We’re not one to tell anyone how to dress, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t acquired loads of wardrobe know-how over the years of being in the clothing business. As we’ve mentioned before, we keep things pretty casual here at Ledbury HQ but understand the value of building out a versatile wardrobe anchored by a solid shirting selection (naturally.) This brought us to the following question: Which shirts do you really need? The options are often overwhelming, and nothing is worse than looking for a shirt in your closet only to realize you’re lacking a key piece. We did an informal internal survey here at Ledbury and asked some of our most style-savvy guys what they thought should be spring-friendly shirting essentials. Here, we share the five shirts that will find a permanent home in your wardrobe.
Sure, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many guys don’t actually own a solid dress shirt, nevermind one they actually like (or fits correctly). By definition, dress shirts tend to be in more conservative styles and are typically made of woven cotton fabrics. Dress shirts also have a longer body as they’re meant to be worn tucked in and paired with suits and formalwear. Our Corbett Check or the classic Urbana Box Check are classics that you’ll reach for time and time again.
As the temperatures rise, you’re going to reach for this one again and again. Woven from the fibers of the flax seed, linen allows for a level of breathability and breeziness that you’ll be counting on as the temperatures heat up. Also, don’t be scared of wrinkling here. Linen wrinkles naturally and looks great that way. The rumpled look gives you a casual springtime elan that nothing else can, which is why a great linen shirt is the perfect casual Friday option. The nubby texture pairs perfectly with dark denim and even casual chinos or slacks. Just don’t pair with a business suit – the laid back style of linen doesn’t work with formalwear. Our Picks: The Shandy Linen and The Stoddart Check.
3. A Basic Poplin
Basics are basics for a reason, and a simple, white poplin shirt is a must for anyone’s wardrobe. It’s sort of the white Chuck Converse of shirts: there isn’t ANYTHING it doesn’t really go with. A crisp, white poplin dress shirt makes a navy suit pop, looks polished worn casually with denim, and is light enough to be layered under a blazer or sweater during cool spring and summer nights. This shirt is perfect for all of those spring weddings you have coming up, makes you stand out at a job interview or board meeting, and is indispensable year round. Trust us, you’ll want at least one white poplin or broadcloth dress shirt in your closet at any given time. Our Picks: The Blue Poplin 120 or The White Poplin 120
4. A Tattersall Check
Like us, the classic tattersall check has roots in British Sportsmanship and makes a great option for the days that call for a solid “business casual” dress code.The tattersall comprises a pattern of regularly-spaced thin, even vertical warp stripes, repeated horizontally in the weft forming a grid. The pattern was originally found on horse blankets during the 18th century in London’s Tattersall’s Horse Market. The grid pattern lends a sporty look to your workwear and if you’re pattern-averse but want to mix it up, tattersall is a great option. It’s also a great way to work more color into your wardrobe without burning anyone’s eyes. We’re currently favoring our White and Blue Mayland Tattersall 120 for spring, which features a tonal blue grid on 120s cotton poplin from Thomas Mason. This guy still means business but is a refreshing break from solid blues and whites. Our Picks: The Longfellow Tattersall and The Atwell Tattersall.
5. The Oxford
An Oxford may seem like a throwback to prep school and in many ways it is. The iconic button down collar was first used by polo players as a way to fasten their collar down from flapping around during a match. The style caught on in the ’30s when American athletes started sporting the look on traditional dress shirts (while some our European counterparts turned their noses up at the practice.) Our friends at Put This On have put together plenty of tributes to the beloved ‘OCBD’ (oxford cloth button down, to the uninitiated) and are in agreement that this is a holy grail item. It’s a classic that will anchor many looks in your wardrobe, and goes with just about anything. Our Blue Wexley Oxford Button-Down is pretty traditional save for one Ledburian tweak: we’ve omitted the chest pocket giving it a dressier more elevated look than your average oxford. Remember that a button down collar is on the more casual side, so probably don’t wear it to your biggest business deals.
Have additional questions about fit or style? Email our Shirt Stylists at shirtstylists (at) ledbury.com