It is important to know how to choose a dress shirt and what makes a quality shirt, but what is also very important is to know that in order to look great, there are many other factors you need to take into consideration. Choosing an interesting piece is key if you wish to look your best. Once you have established how a shirt should fit, you can start making decisions regarding the design and originality of your shirt. The reason why it is important to make wise sartorial choices is because your looks can influence your state of mind: your attitude is always connected to the way you see yourself; and fashion is a great tool anyone can use to improve their outlook, regardless of their age, style or budget.
If you are looking for a more interesting, more creative, but still safe look, you can always opt for a dress shirt that features contrast fabrics. Contrast fabrics refer to small pieces of a fabric attached to various parts of the shirt such as the inside of the collar, the yoke, the cuffs, the placket or other parts. These fabrics are different – and therefore contrasting – (in terms of color, print or pattern at least) from the main fabric of the shirt, and this is why they make the shirt look more sophisticated and more elegant. Wearing shirts with contrast fabrics is a way to accentuate a certain part of your upper body and to focus the center of your look wherever you wish. Also, if the main fabric of your shirt already has a print, and the accent fabric has another, you can be sure that most times, the two patterns were skillfully mixed in such a way that they don’t clash and you don’t have to worry about wearing patterns that don’t go together well. This way, you can be sure that you mixed patterns right and you can learn how to mix patterns yourself.
Many people associate shirts that feature contrast fabrics with bankers or people with other similar jobs. Of course, wearing shirts with accent fabrics can be a look anyone can pull off, regardless of his job or interests. Wearing a dress shirt or a casual shirt that has an accent fabric around the neckline, down the placket, around the cuffs or in other places has a lot of sartorial advantages. Simplicity, versatility and the creation of visual interest are the three main benefits that come along with wearing such a shirt.
We always say on Attire Club that simplicity is always the best way to go about for your outfits. Wearing a shirt with an accent fabric will keep your outfit simple and interesting, as having an accent collar /cuffs, etc. is a great way to express yourself, while still keeping the overall look simple. Such a shirt allows you to experiment with clothes without standing out too much and to unleash your creativity and style. Contrasting fabrics, especially if they are not very obvious, are an easy way to brighten your look, without looking too colorful.
There is no rule that says how many accent places a shirt should have. It really is all up to you, but take note that the contrast fabric will draw the eye to it. Therefore, if you wish to accentuate your arms, you can wear a shirt that has a contrast fabric around the cuffs which you can roll up. If you wish to accentuate your biceps, you can wear a short-sleeve shirt that features an accent fabric around your biceps. To emphasize your neck, you can wear a shirt that has an accent fabric around the collar area.
Small details can really emphasize different parts of your upper body. This Stone Rose shirt is a great example of a piece that features a print and a pattern that don’t clash and work together well
Casual or dress shirts that feature accent fabrics are very versatile for several reasons. First, they can be dressed up or down very easily. Wearing such a shirt with a pair of dress pants will make it look more formal, while wearing it with a casual blazer or a pair of khakis will tone it down, giving your look an overall casual vibe. Speaking of casual vs. formal looks, what you always need to remember is that a dress shirt is a shirt that has no pockets. No matter how elegant, a shirt that has a pocket falls into the “casual” category, while a shirt that has two pockets is most likely appropriate for a hike in the woods.
Wearing a shirt with accent fabrics around your cuffs will always make your arms appear bigger if you roll them up
Another reason why these shirts are very versatile is because they can go with either another print or with a neutral color. If you want to have a bolder look, you can wear the shirt with another piece that features a print, but if you wish to make the shirt the main piece and have a more toned-down look, you can easily pair it with a neutral piece. In fashion, neutral colors are colors that go with anything without clashing chromatically. These are white, beige, ivory, tan, brown, khaki, dark blue, tan, black, etc.
Wearing a shirt that features accent fabrics around the collar, the pocket or the placket is a great way to create visual interest. Choosing a casual or dress shirt that comes in a simple color, yet that has small accents will automatically make your outfit more interesting. There are a lot of ways in which you can create visual interest: one would be layering, another is wearing jewelry, a third can imply wearing clothes with strange cuts; but wearing a shirt with accent fabrics is a great way to go as well, especially for a guy who is still uncertain about layering or accessorizing.
Wearing shirts with accent fabrics is always a way to style up your outfits. Making best use of simple elements such as accent fabrics is a great way to look sharp; and looking great can result in feeling great and having a better posture, a better outlook and a more positive attitude towards fashion, the world, and yourself!
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. Do you like to wear shirts with accent fabrics? How and why do you wear them? Share your thoughts, questions or feedback on the article in the comments below! For more style advice and fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!