When it comes to dressing for success, the button-down shirt remains one of the most essential menswear pieces for office attire today. Offering an interesting interplay of textures, it acts as a base layer that helps tell the story of fit, balance and proportion with relationship to the suit. Luxury dress shirts are an expression of sartorial authenticity often reflecting timeless elegance. In the new era, that has been ushered in by the pandemic and defined by zoom meetings, the shirt is no longer seen as something that needs to be worn with a suit and tie. On the contrary, the shirt has become the new blazer of office- attire. Nowadays, albeit conventional, extravagant or unconventional, the fluidity of product offerings in menswear has multiple options for consumers to shop and explore.
In the past, mens dress shirts were worn for most activities. Today, however, tees, polos and hoodies take center stage in most casual settings. Nevertheless, when a man has a strong focus on dressing for success, button down shirts still remain overwhelmingly dominant. More to the point, it can be argued that dress shirts convey a message of confidence and strength within the office environment. Fresh new codes of sartorial perfection with extra cool details strike the perfect balance to enhance the overall look of dressing for success. In short, a well-dressed man at the office is perceived in a positive light . Quite often the sharply dressed man is sensed to be in a leadership role.
Traditionally, only white, light blue and light pink were appropriate for business attire in the USA. Today, more casual modes of self-expression are acceptable. The wonderful range of colors and geometric designs, are the key details in for today’s millennial and Gen Z consumers. Tailored shirts in lightweight fabrics, such as twill, linen and poplin, enhance the elegance of the American businessman today. Most men appreciate a staple button-down shirt for work but also want to feel comfortable for a long work day ahead. Well then, do you think dressing for corporate ascension is still relevant in today’s competitive work environment? Forbes asked style reporter and menswear critic Guy Trebay at the New York Times -for his expert advice on the importance of dressing for success in 2021.
“It is tough to know how the way we dress will affect career prospects in the modified work world. But after a year of sweats and ZOOMs, I am ready to see people in hard pants and shirts that button again.
We all understand that clothes are language and most people are pretty sophisticated about knowing what message they want to convey through their dress.
If you track the news journalists, you can already see how them migrating from their houses to the studios again and getting back into jackets and ties. That says something. The traditional suit may not be coded for power in the way it once was, but it has served well as a uniform for 400 years and I’m not ready to write its obituary quite yet.” Guy Trebay: Styles reporter and men’s wear critic for the New York Times
Only now can the celebration of modern menswear take place, where American businessmen are able to personalize their own style with choices for the workplace never seen before. Product offerings are now available (Ralph Lauren, dunhill dior and many more) in slim fit have men placing great emphasis on maintaining a healthy physique with planned dieting and workout regimes. Product offerings today include meticulously crafted shirts for the perfect fit and feel. Returning to the office this season, just pair your shirts well with the right colors and textures that will give your power-suit a pop of color which many times conveys authority.
In my research, which has always had a strong focus on how men should dress for success, I can attest to drastic modified changes at the workplace. There is clear evidence of changing style codes at the office but that doesn’t necessarily mean to show up in a ill-fitted shirt and worn-out jeans. In addition to dressing for success, maintaining body composition is the dominant approach today. There is currently a reassessment in masculinity in menswear. Maintaining a healthy diet and regimented exercise lends to the importance of your personality. Gone are the days of the three martini lunch. Executives and top management professionals alike, are blending style and fitness by calculating calorie intake with items fitness items such as the TDEE calculator and an assortment of healthy vitamins. There are many layers to be considered when approaching corporate ascension as a unique form of self-expression. Being mindful of how you look and feel is a compliment to yourself and respectful to your place of employment.
In the USA, confident decisions are now in place as consumers prepare to return to the office; Albeit a Manhattan skyscraper or a typical Hamptons office on the beach. Luxury shirtmakers have got it down. In short, Wearing the right apparel and footwear that fit, is the foundation of dressing for success. But in a world of luxury conglomerates, many consumers are seeking fashion’s personal touch.Thankfully, there are a few independent forces in luxury listening to modified consumer needs and tastes.
“I was never interested in fitting into the agenda of the conglomerates that monopolized my market. I trusted in my product, built a proof of concept in my niche, and then brought it to the world myself” “says Antonino Aiello, founder of 100% Capri. In addition to creating his brand, Aiello has seemingly elevated and modified linen into the luxury category tailored to dressing for success.
Although it is evident that corporate America is trending toward self-expression, I would advise most men to make subtle style changes and remain faithful to the brand culture of your company.
Let’s face it, at this time, American businessmen want to get back to work and feel strong and confident once again. You will look amazing and feel great back at your desk after this long absence away from it. This spring/summer 2021 product offerings include a handful of the finest and freshest luxury shirt selections to get you back in the office and back in the game. The race is on to Dress For Success!
Turnbull & Asser:
Turnbull & Asser– The result of 135 years of British craft and luxury shirt making, Turnbull & Asser’s trademark shirt carries their signature T&A collar and three-button barrel cuffs – both features that have formed a secret code among its esteemed patrons. The cornerstone of London’s Jermyn Street, Turnbull are holders of Prince Charles’ first Royal Warrant and the chosen shirtmaker of Jay Gatsby and James Bond. Just like Q’s high-tech gadgets, Turnbull shirts bear as many enhancing features – from reinforced seams to ecologically sourced buttons and crease-resistant cotton. $365
Apposta -Crafted from soft cotton poplin and with a smooth hand feel, this purple and white shirt from Apposta is a must-have for stylish men due to its eye-catching yet subtle multi-width stripe design. Ideal for adding just the right amount of interest to a work look, this shirt is Italian-made and can be created to your unique body measurements at no extra cost. $104
Ascot Chang—Ascot Chang bespoke shirts are created from scratch. Starting from your measurements and style preferences, each shirt is cut from the finest Italian and Swiss fabrics. Expertly crafted to your unique specifications, Ascot Chang takes care of every detail so that you may focus on the day ahead. $345
Giorgio Armani—Regular fit shirt in plain-coloured cotton seersucker. This garment features an iconic guru collar, mother-of-pearl buttons and back darted yoke. $575
Brioni Pitt’s personal style combined with Brioni’s unparalleled craftsmanship drove the artistic idea of ‘BP Signature’, forming a well-rounded wardrobe. The seven pieces in the collection include a two-button suit, a featherweight long-sleeved cashmere polo sweater, a double-splittable cashmere sport jacket, a lightweight and unlined car coat, and a velvet evening jacket with matching wool trousers and fine cotton evening shirt, all offering an interesting interplay of textures.
Each garment in the collection expresses a deliberately simple style that finds further strength from their sophisticated materials and easiness to combine. Inside each of the collection’s pieces, one will discover the exclusive label designed by Brad Pitt featuring his signature. $750
Brunello Cucinelli—This denim-effect slim fit shirt created with pure cotton twill is a lightweight, comfortable fabric, suitable for year-round wear. Close, form-fitting lines through the chest characterize the slim-fit, highlighting the male physique. With the effect of denim adding a dynamic touch, this is an essential piece to complete elegant looks, as well as casual and modern outfits. $495
Canali-Classic shirting is simple but important menswear piece and a must have for any executive’s work attire. This modern CANALI shirt from the Exclusive collection combines the classic details with a modern fit, giving a simple but elegant touch to the day to day wardrobe. Adding a sober color to this classic piece will elevate a wide range of suiting for any man as they begin to rejoin the office environment. $495
Cesare Attolini—Just like our clothing, the Cesare Attolini shirts are an expression of sartorial authenticity reflecting timeless elegance. As in all categories within our collection, the shirts are completely handcrafted in our dedicated shirt room in Naples. A random visit to our headquarters would unveil the skillful hands of our shirt makers tediously placing each stitch with passion and precision. Each one of our shirts features a hand sewn shoulder, armhole, collar, cuffs and bottom hem gusset….also every single button hole is sewn by hand with buttons featuring the iconic high stem “leur de lis” stitch. All in all resulting in a sublime and luxurious soft construction. Essentially, not surprisingly, the very essence of the Attolini philosophy and family legacy continues…..$695
CHARVET white shirt is the quintessential expression of balance and crispness. Since 1838, all shirts have been made by generations of skilled seamstresses in CHARVET workshop. Exclusive extra long staple Egyptian cottons are used to provide fluidity and softness.Each part of the shirt is carefully cut and precisely assembled to give a maximum comfort.The collar is styled to allow a distinctive and elegant versatility, giving the shirt the right look equally for formal or relaxed occasions.CHARVET-28 Place Vendôme 75001 Paris. Available in US at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, MrPorter. Retail price from $530.00
Dior -The blue overshirt is a modern yet hallmark piece. Crafted in cotton denim, it has a pale blue Dior Oblique Pixel motif printed on the interior. The style can pair with the matching jeans for a total look.$1,950
Dolce & Gabbana:
Dolce & Gabbana —The wonderful colors of the sea and the geometric designs of the majolicas, mixed with the white and blue of the linen, are the key details of the “Parco dei Principi” catwalk collection. Tailored garments in light fabrics, such as twill, linen and poplin, enhance the elegance of the Dolce&Gabbana man throughout the entire day. This tailored linen shirt with DG embroidery and mother-of-pearl buttons. $674
Dunhill This long-sleeved shirt is crafted in ink-blue Oxford cotton. It features a split-hem design and hand-embroidered chain-stitch branding inspired by vintage suka and souvenir jackets. $525
Eton—In the new era, that has been defined by zoom meetings, the shirt is no longer seen as something that needs to be worn with a suit and tie. The shirt has become the new blazer of our time! Eton’s white shirt is a true icon for when we want to look our best, and can easily be dressed up or down for any occasion. It looks impeccable, wash after wash, while the wrinkle-free feature ensures that you look sharp 24/7. Eton’s crisp white shirt is cut for all types of bodies and comes in four different fits. $250
ESQ—After a decade specializing in crafting handmade bespoke suiting, ESQ has created the one shirt to rule them all. Created to be a performance dress shirt, the ESQ bamboo shirt drapes like a true luxury shirt, yet is wrinkle-resistant, odor-resistant and machine washable – all in an unbelievably butter soft fabric. Available in both slim and regular fit, spread and one-piece collars. $178
Ferragamo -Sartorial perfection with extra cool details strike the perfect balance in this Salvatore Ferragamo shirt for a casual chic vibe. Made of fresh cotton poplin, it features a super chic Verona collar with visible stitching, mother of pearl buttons and barrel cuffs. The darts on the back give definition to the shape, perfect for contemporary looks.$460
Hermès -This shirt is a must have for men as it’s a versatile style and is a fun yet neutral color. $550
Kenzo- Most men appreciate a staple button-down shirt for work but also want to feel comfortable for a long work day ahead. The Tiger Crest Casual Shirt is a clean-cut, collared shirt that is perfect for a corporate meeting or a day full of errands. It has a classic design that can bring your ensemble together with ease. You can impress your whole office with little to no effort! This style comes in white, royal blue, and black and features the signature tone-on-tone tiger crest embroidery as a subtle reminder of KENZO, the brand. $225
Loro Piana -The icon of the summer is the André Shirt, Loro Piana’s quintessential shirt. One of the first garments the maison produced, it remains an iconic model, a perfect synthesis of tradition and impeccable tailoring. Its versatile yet impeccable nature make it the perfect choice for all sorts of occasions, accompanying the modern gentleman from the golf course to formal circumstances. For summer, the André shirt comes in a palette of pastel tones that add lightness and enhance its leisurely charm.545 USD
Louis Vuitton—Available in a choice of vivid colors, this shirt is all about the collection’s color blocking theme. It is tailored in a slim fit without darts, from cotton fabric with a tonal Monogram jacquard weave. The piece is signed with metallic LV buttons at the top of the front opening and on the cuffs. $395
100% Capri: “I was never interested in fitting into the agenda of the conglomerates that monopolized my market. I trusted in my product, built a proof of concept in my niche, and then brought it to the world myself” “says Antonino Aiello, founder of 100% Capri. In addition to creating his brand, Aiello has seemingly elevated and modified linen into the luxury category tailored to dressing for success. $500.00
Paul Stuart—Phineas Cole shirting is meticulously crafted for the perfect fit and feel. Returning to the office this season, just pair this crisp cotton club collar shirt in rich red and white horizontal stripes with fine tailoring and give your power-suit a pop of color. You will look amazing and feel great back at your desk after this long absence away from it. $295
Ralph Lauren- In the season’s brown-and-cream palette, this shirt is tailored in Italy from color-rich cotton poplin and features an exclusive stripe layout. $395
STEFANO RICCI -is as well-known for sumptuous silk shirts as with the iconic ties upon which the company was founded. This fully handmade model in pure silk features the Torino collar, so named after one of Italy’s northern cities, which has a classic and timeless shape. The garment is elevated by the addition of subtle but glittering Swarovski buttons. $1,200
Tom Ford — Tom Ford White Shirt with a classic fit and barrel cuffs. $595
Ermenegildo Zegna—Made with top quality cotton, the iconic leaf print evokes the natural charm of Oasi Zegna. Oasi Zegna is a nature reserve in Italy that stretches 100km2 (30 times the size of Central Park) between Trivero & Valle Cervo in the Biella Alps, in Piemonte that celebrates Zegna’s love of nature. $445