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Stop getting shirty

The button-down shirt is an absolute staple of any man’s wardrobe and has a quintessential style and grace that has lasted for a very long time. You probably don’t spend much time wondering where the humble shirt came from but it is one of the pieces of men’s fashion that has a definite history unlike other garments with a confused and shrouded origin.

The button-down collar was first called a ‘polo collar’ and was worn by polo players in the 19th century in England. Polo players found unfastened shirt collars would flap annoyingly in their faces and so came up with a home-made remedy of attaching a button to keep their collars out of the way. John Brooks of the Brooks Brothers made note of this and began to incorporate the method into shirts being sold to the public. Brooks Brothers shirts still boast on their labels that theirs are ‘The Original Polo Shirt’.

Even with the Brooks Brothers putting the style firmly on the style map, it was the influence of the Italians in the mid 1900’s that really made  the shirt the centre of a distinct fashion move. Ever since then the shirts have been everywhere and a solid classic, being easily adapted to suit both casual and formal looks. For Mens Farah Shirts, visit https://www.ejmenswear.com/men/farah.

Collars now have grown narrower and shorter with a wider spread to allow for the slimmer fits and lapels that are so fashionable these days. This also allows for a shirt that still looks good when the tie is removed for a more informal appearance. For informal business attire, there are six types of collars to consider:

  • Spread Collar – this is one of the most common collars available today and comes in a variety of angles and points. It can be worn both formally and casually and the ‘spread’ refers to the distance between the points.
  • Forward Point – this is the most traditional shirt type but cannot be worn without a tie as it’s too formal. Because of this it has fallen out of favour but is still the choice for formal business attire.
  • Cutaway – the lapels are very wide and designed to look like they’ve literally been cut away. They are to be worn with a very large knot in the tie and don’t look right without a tie. Not very often seen other than in very formal celebrity type affairs.

Time to get shirty!

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  • Button down – as mentioned earlier, this one can be worn casually without a tie with its history based in sports. Often paired up with casual suits and slacks.
  • Tab – recently seen on 007 in an attempt to revive the style but it’s a fairly rare sight these days and is a style that has fallen in and out of favour quite often.
  • Club – this is another style that looks good without a tie and is a unique style that came about due to an English boarding school looking to make its uniform stand out from the rest. It had its heyday in the 1930’s and has seen a recent revival.


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