How Many Shirts Do I Need?

As a follow up to my previous piece which addressed how many suits one should have in their wardrobe, this piece looks to plot a course through the minefield that choosing your work shirts can be.

As a rule I always recommend to our customers that they should keep it simple. In my experience, its best to have at least 10 office shirts in circulation, in traditional colors and styling.

For example, I have 4 pink, 4 blue and two white, most in the same two fold pain cotton material. The exception is a classic blue gingham - a classic weekend shirt. 5 are double cuff shirts and 5 are two button, barrel cuffed shirts.

So why just 3 colors? With a simple palette of shirts, you build a foundation to plan your entire wardrobe around, as these colors will complement a wide range of suits, jackets, tie or other accessories. With this flexibility, you can focus on building a wardrobe of style staples, investing in bespoke tailoring that will suit your entire range of shirts.

It also takes the stress out of having the plan your outfit in any detail. You'll know instantly which shirt, tie and suit work well together as your choices are significantly simplified. 

A few favorite examples are:

  • A navy suit will work excellently with white shirt, light blue shirt or a a pink shirt, in order of formality. Compliment with a matching pocket square 
  • A gray suit would be complimented by either a white shirt or a blue shirt
  • A black suit works with your white shirts

Finally, you'll want some formalwear basics to match your tuxedo - add 2 dress shirts, one a classic 'Marcela' bib and the other a pleated bib.

So, in total, we recommend 12 shirts. Of course, build your shirt collection without haste and make sure these are 12 shirts you truly love. The quickest way to do this is to work with your  bespoke tailor to produce the perfect shirt. Once you've found it, we'll make a pattern for you, so we can produce the exact same shirt in a wide range of colors and fabrics. 

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