The perfect shirt exists - here's how to find it
Words by Alice Florence Orr
5 Minute Read
Fit, colour, fabric, quality — when it comes to the perfect shirt, it's got to be right. As the base for most ensembles, shirts are an undeniable men's wardrobe staple. By simply changing the style of a collar or choosing a different material, a shirt tells a completely different story — think off-duty, formal, or business casual. A good shirt could last you a lifetime, which is why it's important to source the best quality materials and craftsmanship by finding brands that prioritise sustainability alongside your comfort.
01.Cut and Fit
The shape of your shirt changes everything — whether it's classic, slim or relaxed. A tailored, long-sleeved work shirt will make the right impression in a formal environment thanks to its smart fit and traditional cut. Plus, Valenza's quality Italian tailoring is the result of generations of artisan craftsmanship, ensuring their shirts stand the test of time.
When it comes to collars, choose a modern spread cut, as this flattering feature elevates an otherwise classic shirt by angling the collar outwards, rather than pointing down. A timeless shirt will combine traditional design with contemporary innovation.
For a casual effect, opt for a looser cut and fit. If you want to maintain a feeling of sophistication even on weekends, make sure your casual shirts use quality, relaxed tailoring, such as a soft inner lining on the cuffs and collar. Don't forget to undo that top button for ultimate comfort.
Linen, flannel, denim, silk... shirts are manufactured from countless fabrics, and it's important to find the right one for your needs. If sustainability is your concern, there's no need to sacrifice style or comfort — try materials like bamboo, linen and recycled polyester. Many innovative brands are experimenting with the latest textile technology to harmonise traditional craft with a new vision, and the result is comfortable, eco-friendly shirts that you can't wait to wear.
When it comes to cotton, the best is always organic. Try to source 100% organic cotton, such as Riley Studio's White Cotton Shirt — they use breathable GOTS-certified organic poplin and sustainably made, biodegradable acetate buttons too. Pair with jeans or chinos for a slick office look.
When choosing a shirt, ask yourself: how often will I wear this? The secret to creating a capsule wardrobe is to curate your collection with versatile and durable shirts that can be worn in different ways. And by choosing artisan, quality pieces, getting dressed in the morning will become as easy as your daily cup of coffee.
A timeless piece such as the Pearl Lightweight Silk Polo by Artknit is a great example, as it can be dressed up for a dinner date with classic jeans, or function as part of a business casual wardrobe with chinos and leather shoes. Due to its buttery soft, breathable knit, the polo can work in summer for a relaxed, off-duty vibe. Opt for a long-lasting fabric and neutral colour—think navy, cream, or mink—and see how many ways you can wear a staple shirt in your daily wardrobe.
Your life is always changing, and your wardrobe has to keep up — that's why choosing well-made basics and layering key pieces is is the perfect method for making your clothing work in every season.
By selecting cool, contemporary pieces in neutral shades, such as white, grey and camel, you can build a wardrobe with shirts that never go out of fashion. Base pieces don't have to be boring — as the foundation of every outfit, these wardrobe essentials can embody timeless luxury. Think soft, ribbed t-shirts and quality overshirts, such as Wax London's Whiting Jumbo Cord Overshirt. These staple items work together when layered in the cooler months, giving them universal appeal.