With summer temperatures climbing—and your blazer, bomber or denim jacket increasingly likely to come off mid-workday—it’s more important than ever to have an arsenal of solid dress shirts at your disposal. Keep reading for five new styles to try (plus the ties to match) if you’re ready to transcend standard stripes and solids.
[About Our Model: He’s not a model. At least not as his day job. We convinced Jeremy Prasatik—Associate Digital Creative Director for Nordstrom.com, and a guy who takes it upon himself to wear a tie pretty much every day despite no one telling him to—to test drive five shirt-and-tie combos here at Nordstrom HQ in Downtown Seattle.]
1) “Go-to-Hell” Plaid. Bored by conforming to 9-to-5 navy blazer uniforms in the ’50s and ’60s, Ivy League alums wore the loudest colors and patterns they could find once they escaped the city grind to summer in the Hamptons. If you didn’t like their Madras trousers? You could go to you-know-where. These days, you can let your shirt do the trash-talking at work, too—while you politely rebut someone’s bad idea.
Shown: Gitman Shirt | 1901 Tie
[Gitman shirt available at selected stores. Shop similar: Plaid Shirts]
2) White Collar is Not a Crime. What goes around comes around, and the ’80s are a distant enough memory to be cool again—minus the egregious, baggy fit. Transport Gordon Gekko to 2014 with a trim-cut version of his signature white-collar shirt, topped off with a European-inspired cutaway collar for bonus style points. We decided to offset the dressy vibe of this shirt and tie with a matte-black tie clip. And a round of Galaga in our 30th-floor lunch room.
Shown: Hugo Boss Shirt | Calibrate Tie
3) Embrace the Minutia. Want to mix things up, without going over the top? A micro-pattern shirt is just the thing. This shirt’s microscopic dots are barely perceptible from afar, but give you an added dimension of style cred when coming face to face with a coworker over lunch or in a meeting. Always bear in mind the golden rule of mixing prints: vary the scale. Here, wide stripes on the tie provide necessary contrast against the shirt’s intricate grid.
Shown: Calibrate Shirt | 1901 Tie
[1901 tie available at selected stores. Shop similar: Knit Ties]
4) Dressed-Up Denim. We’ve been talking about chambray shirts and their killer versatility for a while now—but few have taken the “workshirt as dress shirt” concept and run with it quite as well as the Boss specimen shown above. Its cutaway collar, streamlined fit, and clean, blue hue take it miles from rodeo wear—standing up nicely to a refined, textured tie and tab-waist trousers.
Shown: Hugo Boss Shirt | Canali Tie
[Canali tie available at selected stores. Shop similar: Knit Ties]
5) Power Flowers. Technicolor tropical prints are trending in the weekend realm—but for those of us wanting to branch out during the week, there’s room for florals in the workplace, too. Keep the tones subtle and the fit trim (and tucked in) to avoid it looking like out-of-place luau gear—and stay grounded with a solid tie (preferably in a rough-hewn texture, like this denim-esque one we found). Life hack: sartorial foliage is great—but also, GO OUTSIDE once in a while. Summer won’t last forever.
Shown: Hugo Boss Shirt | 1901 Tie