Our Shirting Variety
As late as the early 20th century, to be seen “in shirt sleeves” without a jacket (or at least a vest) was considered a state of undress, appropriate only among family and friends. Little attention was paid to white shirts style and fit. Today – especially as more men do without jackets altogether in warmer months – shirts are front and centre, and their fabric, cut, and quality is more important than ever.
Traditionally, a “shirt” meant a collared, button-front cotton dress shirt – usually made of smooth lightweight cotton poplin, satiny twills, textured oxford cloth, or soft brushed flannels in a spectrum of pastel solids, bold stripes, and rustic checks – and even in our more casual times, these remain staples of any professional wardrobe. Crisp yet casual linen is also an excellent choice in the warmer months.
At New & Lingwood, we offer fits to suit different physiques and tastes. You may prefer the easy fit of our ‘classic’ shirts or the trim (but not tight) silhouette of our ‘tailored’ fit.
The essential feature of any shirt is its collar, which we offer in both traditionally structured and soft, unlined options. Because it frames your face, it’s important to choose a collar shape that complements your features. Here’s a quick guide:
Our classic collar is a staple of British style. It spreads approximately 5” from point to point, making it an excellent choice to be worn with wide or thick neckties that produce larger knots. This collar can be worn by everyone, but its wider, more horizontal orientation is particularly well-suited to balancing narrower, longer faces and necks.
The cutaway collar is essentially an extreme spread collar, with the distance between points exceeding 6”. This dramatic collar is rather formal and is best worn with a tie. It’s not especially advisable for men with short necks or wide/round faces because the cutaway’s very horizontal orientation will tend to exaggerate these features.
The button-down collar was first invented by British polo players looking to stop their collars from flapping in their faces during matches. As the name suggests, the button-down collar has soft, unlined point collar tips buttoned down to the shirt. It has been most widely adopted by people who like the casual, idiosyncratic “roll” of the collar points. The button-down is especially elegant when worn open, as the buttons keep the soft collar standing proud.
The neckband collar shirt is essentially a collar band without an attached collar. A century ago, most dress shirts had band collars, to which stiff detachable collars were attached with a pair of brass studs. New & Lingwood is one of the few retailers today carrying this style for traditionalists, but we also carry band collar shirts intended to be worn as they are, imparting a vintage, rustic feel to casual outfits.
The camp collar (also known as the Cuban or pyjama collar) features long, wide points that lie open and flat on the wearer’s chest. We’re pleased to offer this style on our mid century-inspired short sleeved terrycloth and print shirts. Our other sport shirt options include two-pocket safaris, cotton pique polos, and fresh soft-collar linen shirts in rich summery colours.
These might all seen like a lot of options to consider, but like all elements of good style, you’ll know what you like when you see it.
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