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I know there's a general consensus on necessary suit colors (navy, medium gray or charcoal, navy pinstripe, gray stripe, et al.) but what is the consensus (if there is one) on necessary shirt colors?

I realize light blue and white are necessities; are there any others?
 

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Again I feel there's an Anglo-American clash of terms here for me.

In the UK a dress shirt is only ever white and is only ever worn with black tie or white tie. (Exception: some special positions within clubs, parliament, the nobility, and military wear a black dress shirt, but they are very few)

Below that level they are called formal shirts over here.
Now, I think it must be formal (UK) shirts you mean as you're asking about different colours.

Over here, alongside striped, single line checks (the line can be any colour), and plain blue and white, pink is also acceptable in the city (business district).

After that, you're struggling. I've seen light purples and greens and grays but they're a bit suspect.

James de Buitléar
 

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Again I feel there's an Anglo-American clash of terms here for me.

In the UK a dress shirt is only ever white and is only ever worn with black tie or white tie. (Exception: some special positions within clubs, parliament, the nobility, and military wear a black dress shirt, but they are very few)

Below that level they are called formal shirts over here.
Now, I think it must be formal (UK) shirts you mean as you're asking about different colours.

Over here, alongside striped, single line checks (the line can be any colour), and plain blue and white, pink is also acceptable in the city (business district).

After that, you're struggling. I've seen light purples and greens and grays but they're a bit suspect.

James de Buitléar
Tell us more about this black dress shirt.

In the UK a dress shirt is worn in the evening, a formal shirt is worn with formal clothing, a shirt worn with a lounge suit is called a "shirt"...maybe a "city" shirt if it has double cuffs.

W_B
 

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In the Uk nowadays only really acceptable at the Bar - i.e. barristers only.
You still see them on city gents - of all ages- but they're becoming a bit of an anachronism.

James
Barristers rarely wear shirts with white collars and cuffs.
They do wear coloured shirts with white collars that are detachable, so that they can wear a wing collar and bands in court.

W_B
 

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Barristers rarely wear shirts with white collars and cuffs.
They do wear coloured shirts with white collars that are detachable, so that they can wear a wing collar and bands in court.

W_B
Well I'm afraid I'll have to disagree there. When my profession took me to courts in London at least once a week to give evidence and to prosecute in the 80s and 90s lots of barristers wore these kind of shirts.

James
 

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Tell us more about this black dress shirt.

In the UK a dress shirt is worn in the evening, a formal shirt is worn with formal clothing, a shirt worn with a lounge suit is called a "shirt"...maybe a "city" shirt if it has double cuffs.

W_B
No disagreement there on the types of shirts.

It would be more than my life is worth to reveal the inner workings of, for example, certain highly placed bodies, establishments, associations, officers' messes and clubs if I were to reveal anything more than the mere existence of black dress shirts.....apparently. I'm sure you understand :icon_smile_wink:
 

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I like the contrast collar and cuff shirts. I have a medium/light blue shirt with white collar and cuff that looks very nice with a blue suit and my red regimental tie. Its a style most guys don't do and I find it fits me. I agree though they can be overdone with the striped shirts and multicolors and the white collar and cuff. But if kept simple I think it looks real good. To the original point, I like blues, white, and a small tattersal. I have a grey and black shirt, but they don't get much rotation.
 

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In the Uk nowadays only really acceptable at the Bar - i.e. barristers only.
You still see them on city gents - of all ages- but they're becoming a bit of an anachronism.

James
I actually disagree with you here. They were out of fashion but remained worn by city types who were still in love with Gordon Gekko. However, I think they are actually coming back into fashion (while the Gordon Gekko's will have ditched them by now...)

I will qualify all of the above by stating that I have none and will not be buying any.
 

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I will qualify all of the above by stating that I have none and will not be buying any.
And there sir we can agree, I personally think they look bloody awful.
But the Gordon Gekko style is not exactly the same as the old traditional Jermyn St white collar & cuffs, which is what I was assuming the original poster was referring to. I should have realised he was talking more Wall Street than Courts of Law.

They are unfortunately very much in fashion in Sweden but not with city or legal types but with the type of young men who wear them with blazers, jeans and Fred Perry trainers. Crimes against sartorial elegance continue to increase!
 

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I like this topic. If I were to build a business wardrobe from scratch, this would be the order of preference for my first 10 dress shirts:
1. Pale blue solid
2. White solid
3. White with vertical stripes (probably blue stripes)
4. White with small checks/boxes (probably grey-lined checks)
5. Medium blue solid
6. Light blue and white microcheck
7. Lavendar or mauve solid
8. Cream or yellow solid
9. White with thinly spaced fine blue stripes (looks almost blue in appearance overall)
10. White with small checks/boxes (two-colour interwoven checks...like a red and blue or a green and blue combination)

After that, I would add similar colour schemes but in different fabrics...like a solid white twill if I already own a solid white poplin. Even if you wanted to restrict yourself to solid white and blue shirts, you could own a huge variety of them thanks to the different weaves available.
 

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Always white. Occasionally blue. And otherwise, I always go for subtly striped variations on white, with a non-striped tie.
+1. Except I sort of have an obsession for sky blue shirts so I wear them just as much as white, if not more. As far as other patterns, it's exactly what Mr. Pipps stated above. Subtle stripes or patterns on white with a non-striped tie can also look good.
 
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