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Ever have trouble deciding which shirt to wear with your blazer in the morning? You’re certainly not alone. One wrong choice has us out-of-sorts for the entire day. It’s why most men settle on a neutral-colored jacket like black, grey, or brown: They go with everything. But if you feel the urge to shake things up once in a while, we’re here to help you decide the best dress shirt to wear with every color of suit jacket, sport coat, or blazer.
Fact is, most guys just aren’t as “in-tune” with colors, particularly as they relate to fashion. With so many colors and patterns of dress shirts out there, it’s easy to choose wrong. Wear a clashing shirt with your jacket or pants, and not only do feel “off” all day long—you might make a bad impression. And that could be disastrous in business.
That’s why we often settle for the basics when dressing. Black, navy, and grey jackets are popular because you really can’t go wrong with your shirt (or pants) choice. But the last few years have seen a surge in popularity in brighter blues, burgundy, tan, and patterned jackets. How do you choose a dress shirt to pair with all these popular colors?
We’re here to help.
Color & Emotion
Color theory has a distinct, if instinctual, role in the perception of color. The colors we wear can influence how others relate to use—and vice versa. It’s all about perception. Historical stereotypes play a role, of course. (There’s a reason bad guys wear black.) But colors correlate to how we, as humans, perceive certain things and feel certain emotions.
For example, here are some of the emotions associated with these colors:
- Red: Danger, fire, passion, anger, immediacy, love, stop
- Orange: Health, youth, attraction, heat
- Yellow: Attention, warmth, energy, caution
- Green: Nature, wealth, envy, fertility, go
- Blue: Trust, calm, stability, relaxed, liquid
- Purple: Luxury, royalty, creativity, intricacy
- White: Good, honesty, transparency, naiveté
- Black: Evil, mystery, deception, closed
- Brown: Earthy, soulful, simple
- Grey: Neutral, open, undecided
Of course, these are open to individual interpretations and feelings. But generally speaking, these are the feelings these colors inspire, and the messages they convey. Naturally, you don’t have to align your dress with your personality. Some people choose to—but even the sweetest people are those who wear black all the time.
So when choosing a dress shirt, consider the impression you’re making on others. If you’re not afraid of showing a bit of mystery, feel free to rock the black or purple. If you want to instill a sense of enthusiasm, go with something brighter. No matter what you choose, the most important consideration is how you feel while wearing it. If you don’t feel confident and self-assured, you certainly won’t act that way. And it will show.
So yes, sometimes the best choice is the simplest. You can never, ever go wrong with a crisp, white dress shirt.
Here are some of our suggestions for the right dress shirt to wear with every color blazer, sport coat, or suit jacket.