Classics: How To Wear It – The Bold Check Dress Shirt

Because you don't always have to go with solid white or pale blue.
In Person: Calibrate Trim Fit Non Iron – $59.50

Originally Published 7/28/2011

Nordstrom knows how to make a shirt.  This particular model is a neck and sleeve dress shirt from their more fitted house brand Calibrateicon.  So despite the pattern, you won’t be wearing this untucked.  The fabric is a smooth 96% cotton with 4% lastol for stretch.  The collar is crisp, substantial, and honestly a real good example of what you want all of your dress shirt collars to look and feel like.

The “trim fit” from Calibrate fits close and is only slightly larger through the body than an Express 1MX Fitted.  Thanks to the hard to miss check yet smooth finish, you can wear this shirt with almost anything.  For example:

1. With a grey suit & wool tie: Suit by Indochino, Shoes by A.E., Watch by D&G, Vintage Tie

Still respectful, but far from blending in.

Just because your Dad had a bulky flannel checked shirt doesn’t mean you can’t wear this cleaned up version with a sharp suit.  Keep the tie simple but go with a texture like wool or cotton.  Since it’s a large pattern, your watch and shoes can bring some beef  while still looking balanced.  Try wingtips or brogues.  Maybe a chronograph with some contrasting red accents.


2. With denim:  Jeans by Levis, Tie by CR for Clubroom, Shoes by Calvin Klein

Dressed down, but not out.

“Jeans Fridays” leaving you with no answers?  Make sure the shirt is tailored precisely to your torso, put on a knit tie with some color, and grab your favorite pair of not quite dress shoes but not sneakers either.  Feel free to roll up those sleeves too.  As previously stated, you’ll be tucking it in.


3. With white chinos:  Blazer & Chinos by B.R., shoes by Sebago, watch by Swiss Army

Carrying the load.

The bold pattern is a perfect addition to the poor man’s version of the summer suit.  Almost white chinos and a pale blue blazer make for a versatile setup with colors that are both light but just different enough.  A navy cotton blazer would work here to.  The shirt anchors the outfit and the watch equipped with a cheap American Eagle Strap adds some more color.  If you don’t like the idea of a black check shirt & brown shoes, black suede would look good here too.