Though the shirt is the center of a man’s wardrobe, it seems, at times, most guys forget how to wear one.
Many men wear a larger size to hide insecurities about their figure or choose the wrong cut for their frame or fabric for the season.
To avoid such blunders, the Star Tribune consulted with local menswear sellers, including the founders of upstart John Henry, the men’s counterpart to women’s chic boutique Primp. The store opened in White Bear Lake last month.
John Henry combines a boys club atmosphere with fashionable wares that won’t hurt the wallet.
“We’ve got local beer in the fridge and flat-screen TVs on the wall where you can watch sports,” co-owner Mike Henry said.
Those amenities might lure you to the store, but once you’re inside the fitting room, try this advice on for size:
Lose the sleeves
Short-sleeve button-ups were once the territory of scientists with pocket protectors. That’s no longer the case as stylish men shed their sleeves for spring and summer.
“Men are looking for a step up from a polo, a step up from a t-shirt,” said Anne Debeau-Melting, general manager of Len Druskin at Southdale Mall.
While the look might not pass muster in a more formal office, it’s perfect for creative types who work out of coffee shops. Or throw one on with a pair of cuffed chinos for patio dinner and drinks.
Bolder is better
Most men’s wardrobes would benefit from a splash or two of color. While blue and white serve as excellent anchors to any outfit, a dash of pink, bright blue or green is just right for warm weather.
“We would pair it with our denim and our driver shoes for more of a casual look,” said co-owner Michele Henry. “Or we’d pair it with our chinos so you can wear it from work to an after-hours meeting.”
Gingham is a staple for a reason; its tiny squares add dashes of color and understated preppiness.
Instead of going for navy, which is becoming overplayed, consider red or another crisp color.
Lounging in linen
The breezy elegance of linen shirts makes them a refined way to beat the heat. They now come pre-disheveled so wrinkles feel less slouchy, according to Anthony Novachis, owner of J. Novachis by Anthony in Excelsior.
“Classic linen has turned a corner,” he said. It looks spiffy dressed up, but he likes linen shirts with jeans a loafers, lending a casual feel to a dressy fabric.
Relax up north
Weekends Up North call for more casual dress than the typical 9-to-5. Go beyond T-shirts and sweatshirts with an outdoors-worthy Oxford in a rugged fabric and elbow patches by local Great Lakes Clothing. John Henry recommends pairing it with nautical shorts. Covered in anchors, they’re a stylish statement for a weekend on the water.