How Many Shirts Does a Man Need?

The question of how many shirts is a significant one. If you’re like me you’ll want loads. That’s because I am slightly addicted to shirts.

I’m just over 6 feet tall. My arm length, fingertip to fingertip, is well over 6 feet long. However, I am not an especially large man. So my collar size and chest size are smaller than my arm length would suggest. So finding shirts that fit properly has been a bit of a challenge for most of my adult life. But then I Found My Perfect Fit.

Ever since I discovered that I can get shirts that fit me properly I’ve been on a mission to develop my collection of fine shirts. The question is how many shirts does a man need Obviously the answer is, “Perhaps just one more….” Seriously speaking, how many shirts does a man need? Here are some suggestions:

First of all you want some shirts in white. Then, you will need some shirts in blue. This is because white shirts and blue shirts can be worn with a very wide variety of trousers or suits. In addition, they are very flexible and therefore can be worn either for very formal occasions or be worn in more relaxed settings.Once those basics are in place you will probably want to broaden your colour palette and look at shirts in perhaps purple, or lilac, pink, or in grey. All these shirts of course I assume are in solid colours.

However, you will also want to consider shirts in patterns. Perhaps stripes, or gingham check, or if you are really funky you might even consider polka dots. I confess I’m not brave enough to try the latter.

And then there is the question of shades. For example, the colour blue is a very wide colour palette. So at one end of the blue spectrum is navy. All the way at the other end is extraordinarily pale blue. Similarly, the purple colour palette stretches from pale lilac at the one end all the way through to dark purple at the other. So you may need multiple shirts in a particular colour palette.

All of this of course is before you consider whether you want contrast collars or cuffs, whether you prefer to wear cufflinks or button cuffs, or whether you prefer some shirts to have a breast pocket or not. You may also wish to have some shirts with a button down collar or short sleeves. Or, indeed, both. The variety of course is endless, or nearly so.

Clearly, the question how many shirts does a man need will depend very much on the man. If you wear a smart shirt to work every day you probably need at least 10 shirts. This allows you to have two weeks worth of working shirts in your wardrobe.

However, if you are really keen on shirts you may want twice or even three times as many shirts as this. That number allows you to have a range of shirts of different patterns, shades and collar styles within a single colour palette.A wardrobe of that depth means that should the mood take you to wear a red shirt with white stripes and contrasting white collar and cuffs which sports a breast pocket, you are very likely to have one in your collection already. And if you don’t, well, you probably know what you can do….

The problem with shirts is that you can always find a reason to buy another one. This can prove to be a very expensive preoccupation. So proceed with caution.

T M Lewin is a great place to find shirts that fit well in a wide range of colours and styles. Also try Thomas Pink, Hawes & Curtis, or for the well-heeled, Hilditch & Key.

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