Clothes don’t just influence what other people think of you.
Recent research shows that what you wear also has an impact on how well you perform at work, the kinds of risks you’re willing to take in your personal life, and even your overall self-confidence levels.
While there is certainly no shortage of information when it comes to women’s fashion advice, tips and tricks when it comes to menswear can be a bit tougher to find.
Though you have at least somewhat of an idea about the latest trends for men, you’re lacking information when it comes to a more classic style.
This post is here to help.
Consider this your ultimate guide to the most essential men’s shirt styles that undoubtedly belong in your closet.
Read on to learn all about the different types of shirts for the right occasion, the kind of impression you want to make, and even which ones are a great fit for your personal style.
1. The Undershirt
Even though no one is going to see them, undershirts are among the most important types of shirts for men.
They help to prevent your chest from showing through sheerer fabrics, they keep you warm, and they can absorb your sweat to protect your shirts (and your dignity.)
Your best bet is to get long and short-sleeved undershirts in grey, brown, black, and white. When possible, choose a v-necked undershirt, which gives you more options when it comes to unbuttoning your overshirt.
You can even look for ones with heat-tech options to keep you warmer during the winter months, as well as moisture-wicking fabrics for the summer.
The fit of an undershirt should be tighter than a tee — you don’t want the fabric to bunch up under your overshirt and create folds.
2. The Flannel Shirt
The flannel shirt is one of the most popular men’s shirt styles of all time, a true classic for those who want more of a relaxed, rugged style.
Plus, flannel is incredibly warm, making it the ideal men’s shirt for running wintertime errands, hiking, or just leaning into the lumberjack aesthetic.
It’s a decidedly casual option, usually much more suited for the home than the office. It’s also a smart, simple choice for weekend dates and hangouts, and allows you to safely experiment with colors and patterns.
3. Band Collar Shirts
Looking for men’s shirt styles with more of a vintage, classic feel?
Interested in dressing a bit differently with a decidedly dapper aesthetic?
If so, then band collar shirts are certainly ideal for you — and thanks to shows like Peaky Blinders, these Edwardian/1920’s-style shirts are back in a big way.
Band shirts are collarless, and in the past, men might have added their own detachable collars to the mix. Today, however, most men just wear them without the collar.
They’re ideal casual shirts, but can also easily be dressed up for more formal occasions.
Band collar shirts are the chameleon of menswear, and if you want to look fashion-forward but not ridiculous, they belong in your closet.
4. The Classic Button-Down
No list of shirt styles would be complete without a mention of the crisp and classic button-down, the ultimate shirt to wear to work, first dates, and any other occasion where you want to look sharp.
Button-downs come in limitless fabrics, colors, and patterns, and can be worn with jeans, shirts, dress pants, or anything else you like. You can get them in any sleeve length, though generally speaking, long-sleeved is the more traditional way to go.
Button-downs have a line of buttons down the center, and usually, have a pocket on the breast.
For a more contemporary look, throw on jeans and a pair of suspenders with a dress shirt.
5. The Polo Shirt
Another one of the most common shirt types for men is the Polo shirt, the uniform of preppy men everywhere.
Though they often conjure up images of yacht parties and country clubs, they’re also great for game day and occasions with a more relaxed dress code.
You can go the classic route and pair them with some khakis, but they also look awesome with jeans.
You don’t have to go exclusively with the Polo brand, either. As long as it’s a cotton short-sleeved shirt with a collar, it’s a Polo shirt.
6. The Tee-Shirt
Looking to show your love for your favorite brand?
Want to express your admiration for a musician, a restaurant, or make people laugh with a smart saying?
If so, then a tee-shirt is perfect — though decidedly casual.
However, causal certainly doesn’t mean sloppy, especially in today’s world when many designer shirts for men are tees. You can pair them with jeans for a concert, with sweatpants for a cool street style look, or even with shorts for a quick run around the neighborhood.
Tee-shirts are awesome conversation starters, so if you’re on the shy side, let your tee do the talking for you.
7. The Dress Shirt
You need to wear something that’s like a button-down but is also a bit more formal.
For that starched, old-money look, go for a dress shirt. You can get dress shirts in all different kinds of fabrics, but generally, they’re solid-colored or striped. (It’s not the place for novelty prints and wild patterns.)
They pair best with blazers and black or brown slacks.
You certainly have your choice when it comes to collars and dress shirts, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed!
Straight point collars are the most common option, but you can also go for a shorter cutaway collar or a wider semi-spread collar. If you’re looking for a vintage 40’s vibe, opt for a crisp, short wingtip collar.
Looking for a collar option with a bit more length?
If so, opt for a long button-down, which, as the name implies, actually buttons onto the shirt. (Yes, there’s also a short button-down option.)
There’s really no one “right” or “wrong” collar type. It’s all about personal preference and style.
8. The Henley
A Henly is kind of like a cross between a flannel shirt and a long-sleeved tee-shirt.
It definitely has more of a casual vibe to it, but if you style it correctly, it can easily give you a fashion-forward look.
Henleys are easily recognized by their collar — usually, they’ll have three to four buttons in the shape of a v-neck.
They belong in your closet in the fall and at the start of winter and are well accessorized with a hat and some boots.
Most often, they’ll come in a ribbed texture or a raw fabric to give you more of a rugged look.
9. The Tuxedo Shirt
When you need to know exactly what to wear to a formal event, a tuxedo shirt is your answer.
Don’t worry — we’re not talking about the ruffled monstrosities from the 1970s.
Instead, the tuxedo shirt is one that is ideal for any formal event. It will have slits for cufflinks at the sleeves, often removable front buttons, and may or may not have slight folds across the chest (called a “pleated front.”)
You can even opt for a pique front if you want to be a bit more daring.
No matter what you choose, tuxedo shirts are pretty much the only option for dress shirts for formal occasions where a tuxedo is a must. (Don’t worry — you can rent one.)
10. The Sweatshirt
Not all types of shirts have to be fancy.
Whether you’re lounging at home, dealing with chilly weather, or just want to opt for a more casual look, it’s tough to go wrong with a sweatshirt.
Like tee-shirts, sweatshirts can have slogans, designer names, or even the name of a college/university you attended (or want people to think you attended!)
They’re best suited for jeans or gym wear, and should always have a loose, larger fit. Be warned, however: these are the types of shirts that your girlfriend is the most likely to borrow and never give back!
Which of These Men’s Shirt Styles Do You Like Best?
Whether you’re ready to rock a casual tee or if you’re planning on stepping out wearing a wingtip collar, we hope this list of men’s shirt styles has helped you feel more confident in your knowledge of fashion basics.
Don’t be intimidated by figuring out menswear, either. If you just invest a bit of time in learning about the styles you prefer and that best flatter your personality and body type, your confidence will increase tenfold.
Need to learn more about the latest men’s fashion trends? Curious about what to wear to make a good impression on a first date? Having trouble choosing the right watch or belt for your wardrobe?
Our blog is here to help, so bookmark our page to be prepared for any fashion emergency.