There aren’t many looks today that can’t be complemented by a good shirt so having a decent selection hanging up in your wardrobe for all styles, occasions and seasons is nothing short of imperative.
Not only can you have season-specific shirts, such as something short-sleeved and linen for spring and summer, or long-sleeved and more heavyweight for autumn and winter, but where you wear them is also something to consider: office, casual, luxury, evening dress. There’s always a need for a good quality shirt.
Every clothing retailer worth their salt will have an extensive shirt collection, make no bones about it, but that also means the level of quality will waiver drastically (and usually be reflective of the money you spend). It probably goes without saying, but the more you invest in quality, the happier you’ll be long term. Just be sure to read the washing instructions!
We’ve selected some of our absolute favourite shirt brands that will keep you looking sharp for when you work hard, but play harder.
You might be saying that Todd Snyder’s domain is the button down shirt, and you wouldn’t be far wrong. His designs are eye catching, playful and impeccably made from his short sleeved bowling shirts to his two pocket long sleeves. Snyder takes a lot of his inspiration from fine tailoring traditions that go back to the early 1900s and then puts his own modern stamp on it, using only the highest quality fabrics, and the end results are superb.
If you're a fan of printed patterned short sleeve shirts for your holidays or festivals, Todd has you covered, but for something more versatile, there's this utility shirt. The cotton twill fabric is sourced from Italy and is made into a shirt with classic workwear styling. We're particularly big fans of the chestnut colouring.
If there's one brand that knows casual style inside and out, it's Outerknown. The laidback lifestyle menswear label was founded by champion surfer Kelly Slater, and has surfer style running through its veins. You'll see what we mean as soon as you take one look at the company's website.
The Rambler shirt, for example, can be had in a multitude of colours and patterns, and makes for the ideal top layer during colder months, or a standalone piece when the temperature rises a little. A relaxed fit, chest pocket and Uber-cool appeal, it will be your favourite all year round.
When three Stamford students took a trip to Europe they were inspired by a stretch of river that is one of great importance to the continent’s trade - the Rhone. Activewear may have been how they started, but Rhone now produces its own line of shirts from its own in-house fabrics developed in Italy. They’re the type of designs you can wear post workout thanks to sweat wicking technology, with four way stretch construction ensuring you stay feeling comfortable and restriction free.
The Commuter short sleeve is the more casual shirt within Rhone's catalogue and will look perfect with a pair of tailored chino shorts. The moisture-wicking fabric we mentioned is present and correct and it's even a dab hand at preventing wrinkles.
Would you believe that Lululemon is not for woman AND they also make a great range of men's casual shirts. Their fabric technology and innovation means their shirts are light and breathable but still perfect for meetings and special events. Double win.
As well as feeling good about how our clothing looks when worn, many of us are just as conscious about how it’s made. Everlane prides itself on fusing sustainably sourced fabrics made ethically in factories around the world. The company's shirts complement a more smart casual look, and are generally spun from quality cotton. And if that wasn’t enough they sit at the lower end of the price range, meaning they’re a great option if you’re looking to add more than one shirt to your collection.
The Modern Flannel shirt is the very epitome of that, being made from a warming flannel material that looks great for layering, or just as smart when worn solo. You can get it in a plaid check, but we reckon the solid colouring works a charm.
The key to staying on top as a high street brand isn’t just about catering for tastes on mass, it’s about creating collections that are both relevant and of value. This is what Uniqlo manages perfectly. Within its designs you can find shirts for a more smart casual ensemble or an office wardrobe, albeit with a much lower grade of cotton. If you’re going for a quick one off interview or meeting that may spill over into an after hours social gathering, then Uniqlo are sure to have just what you’re looking for.
Uniqlo is a big supporter of linen as a fabric and this long-sleeve shirt can be had in a multitude of colours, so you could easily stock your entire wardrobe with a new look for each day of the week. Super-soft and with an oh-so casual silhouette, it's the perfect summer shirt.
Now, we all know how good G-Star is when it comes to denim jeans, but what about shirts? The answer is pretty handy, especially if you like them a little more smart casual. The range has everything from basic and formal styles to bold and colourful creations, made from a wide range of fabrics. There’s also both long and short sleeve designs, which complement the transition between work hours and heading into town to wind down.
Naturally, we had to hand select a denim shirt for all your casual needs and the 3301 more than fits the bill. Taking inspiration from wild west shirt design, this denim number rocks chest pockets and stitched detailing that makes it truly versatile. A slim, tailored fit complete the look.
Swedish brand Eton has been a major player in luxury shirt production since 1926, creating flawless designs for gentlemen who just make things happen.
The company's creations are realised using supreme quality cottons sourced from California and Egypt. Eton is also renowned for its innovative technologies developed alongside high-end Swiss experts that offer crease resistance no matter how long and drawn out your day is, keeping you looking sharp both before and after long days in the boardroom.
This dark navy overshirt offers the ultimate in versatility, capable of being worn on its own with a pair of light-wash denim jeans, or layered over a crisp white or Breton t-shirt for perfect casual cool.
Adding an element of tailored class to a man’s daily ensemble is arguably what Hugo Boss has become most well known for over the past 40 years. It's that close attention to fit and detail that makes its designs stand out and celebrate simplicity. The German brand may like to move into bolder more colourful territories from time to time, but it's it straight forward, black and white contrasts that we all love the brand for.
Even the brand's certified-casual shirts come across strikingly formal, so it all comes down to fabric used to help differentiate the occasion. This slim-fit shirt cut from a cotton-linen jersey blend is ideal for transitioning from office to after-work drinks, being able to be worn under a suit, or with a pair of black jeans or chinos.
The team of designers at Orlebar Brown always manages to stay a cut above the rest with its creations, and the shirts that roll off the production line are in no way different. Made for sunkissed casual occasions, they’re designed using 100% Italian cotton to add the type of quality we so closely associate with the brand - all constructed in Portugal. What’s more, they offer a wider range of collar choices than most from Capri and Classic to Grandad and Cutaway, giving a little more variation to help elevate your overall ensemble.
With its roots heavily in swim and resort wear, it only made sense to select this Travis Towelling short-sleeve shirt. Sporting classic nautical colours in a retro-inspired silhouette, this shirt makes use of a towelling fabric that lets you channel your inner 60s slime ball.
Flint and Tinder
If you like an altogether more rugged and refined feel to your shirts, then you should definitely check out Flint and Tinder. The brand has a comprehensive range of button downs, so whether you’re after plain and simple or something a little more suited to fishing, cutting wood and the great outdoors, you're covered. Made from 100% cotton, they’re a little thicker than most, so probably best suited to either sit under a winter coat or over a tee to take the edge off an early autumn evening.
This Work shirt is made from a Japanese basketweave fabric that Flint & Tinder says it "hard to find". You're investing not in something comfortable and good-looking then, but something a little rare too.
New York retailer J. Crew has been doing the rounds stateside since 1943, producing competitively priced garments for those who like things a little more casual. It has a great selection of shirts for all seasons that offer a touch of style and elegance to any look. The company's creations are also made from a mix of cotton and elastane fabrics to offer complete soft-to-touch comfort with just the right amount of flexibility, and work alongside just about anything in your wardrobe.
The range of shirts offered by J. Crew is nothing short of exhaustive, so selecting a standout is tricky, however, we've gone for this slim-fit linen shirt. With the linen sourced directly from Ireland (considered to be the world's finest) you can rest easy knowing you're buying something of extreme quality and comfort. It's the perfect partner to a pair of mid-wash denim jeans.
Polo Ralph Lauren
If you’re looking for an effective crossover piece that can flitter between styles effortlessly, then Ralph Lauren has to be mentioned. His shirts work under a suit with tie on your way to the office, open over a t-shirt for more smart casual occasions or even with a pair of chino shorts and boat shoes on your way out to sea. All Ralph Lauren shirts are made from a blend of cotton and elastic fabrics depending on the style, season and fit you’re looking for.
We've selected this pastel pink number as our standout piece, but to be honest, any Ralph Lauren shirt will be a welcome addition to your wardrobe and let those around you know you take your fashion seriously.
Founded in Amsterdam back in 2000, Suitsupply does exactly what its name suggests and then some more. It has a fantastic range of well made shirts that are perfect for office attire, luxury looks or evening wear. Suitsupply use Italian and Egyptian cotton to create wonderfully cut, elegant shirts made for those who demand quality and style above all else. The company is also a part of Fair Wear Foundation that promote fair labour and safe working environments for their workers.
Suitsupply's shirt selection naturally leans more towards formal, but casual pieces like this knitted popover offer a seamless blend of formal and casual. Cut from a super-soft Egyptian cotton, this short will look the business with a pair of chinos at the weekend or even for date night.
You don’t get to be the official suit maker of the Baggy Green Caps (the Australian cricket team for anyone who doesn't know) if you don’t know your tailoring. So that fact in itself should tell you a little something about the impressive rise that M.J Bales has been on since breaking through in 2009. As well as wonderfully stylish and elegant suits, M.J. Bale creates exquisite shirts made for casual, business and formal tastes, all cut to perfection and made from 100% cotton twill. These shirts are made to fit, no matter if your preference is slim, regular, tailored or hanging - meaning there’s something for everyone.
The Joel Cord shirt is perfectly balanced between a casual style, but with a premium, formal feel. Made from 100 per cent cotton and with this particular shirt being finished in a stunning charcoal colour, it can easily be worn down with ripped jeans, or dressed up with some slim-fitting chinos.