The Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing a White Dress Shirt


The traditional white dress shirt is a timeless piece of clothing that every man should own. It’s versatile and elegant and can be dressed up or down for various occasions. However, wearing a white dress shirt is not as simple as it may seem. There are sure do’s and don’ts to remember to ensure you look your best while sporting this wardrobe staple. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the essential rules of wearing a white dress shirt.

The Do’s of Wearing a White Dress Shirt

Choose the Right Fit

One of the most crucial aspects of wearing a white dress shirt is ensuring it fits you perfectly. The shirt should be tailored to your body shape, neither tight nor loose. Please pay attention to the shoulder seams, sleeve length, and how it drapes around your torso. A well-fitted shirt enhances your overall appearance.

Quality Matters

Invest in a high-quality white dress shirt. Quality fabrics like cotton or a cotton blend feel comfortable and look more polished. A well-made shirt will also last longer, making it a worthwhile investment. Consider checking Tailored Athlete store for a range of premium white dress shirts that combine exceptional craftsmanship with exquisite fabrics to ensure comfort and longevity.

Keep It Clean

White shirts are notorious for showing stains and discolouration, so keep them clean. Regularly launder your shirt to maintain its crisp, bright appearance. Additionally, consider using stain-resistant products or a bleach alternative to keep it looking its best.

Accessorise Thoughtfully

White dress shirts provide an excellent canvas for accessories. Experiment with ties, pocket squares, cufflinks, and a stylish belt. These accessories may give your outfit a splash of colour or personality.

Match It Well

Pair your white dress shirt with complementary clothing items. It goes well with classic navy, grey, or black suits for a formal look. Pair it with jeans or chinos for a more relaxed look. The white shirt’s versatility makes it suitable for various occasions.

The Don’ts of Wearing a White Dress Shirt

Avoid Wrinkles

Wrinkles can quickly undermine the polished look of a white dress shirt. Make sure to iron or steam your shirt before wearing it. Hang it properly after use to prevent creases and maintain a crisp appearance.

Be Cautious with Undergarments

Choose your undergarments carefully. Opt for a nude or skin-toned bra or undershirt to avoid visible lines and colours showing through the shirt. A well-chosen undergarment will keep your look clean and professional.

Watch Out for Transparency

White shirts can be somewhat transparent, especially in certain lighting conditions. To avoid embarrassing moments, check your shirt’s transparency in different lighting before stepping out. If necessary, wear an undershirt to minimise clearness.

Don’t Overdo It

While accessories can enhance your white dress shirt’s look, be cautious not to overdo it. Avoid wearing too many bold or flashy accessories that might distract from the shirt’s elegance. Balance is key.

Be Careful with Stains

White shirts are stain magnets, so be mindful of what you eat and drink. Avoid messy foods or dark liquids that could leave unsightly stains. Carry a stain remover pen for emergencies.

White Dress Shirt Styling Tips for Different Occasions

Once you’ve mastered wearing a white dress shirt with the do’s and don’ts in mind, it’s time to take your fashion game up by understanding how to style it for various occasions. The white dress shirt is a wardrobe essential that can be dressed up or down for multiple events. Let’s explore some essential styling tips for different occasions:

Business Formal

  • Pair with a Suit: For formal business meetings, interviews, or black-tie events, team your white dress shirt with a well-fitted suit in classic colours like black, charcoal, or navy.
  • Choose a Conservative Tie: Opt for a conservative tie in solid colours or subtle patterns like stripes or dots. Stick to classic tie knots like the Windsor or Half-Windsor.
  • Cufflinks: Consider wearing simple cufflinks to add a touch of sophistication—silver or gold cufflinks with a subtle design work well in formal settings.
  • Polished Shoes: Complete the look with shiny leather shoes in black or brown, depending on your suit colour.

Business Casual

  • Chinos or Khakis: Pair your white dress shirt with chinos or khaki trousers for a more relaxed but professional look.
  • Loosen the Tie: Go for an open-collar look, or skip the tie for a casual feel.
  • Casual Blazers: Add a casual blazer or sportcoat to elevate the outfit while maintaining a business-casual vibe.
  • Brown Leather Shoes: Choose brown leather shoes for a more relaxed feel or loafers for added comfort.

Casual Wear

  • Roll Up the Sleeves: Roll up the sleeves of your white dress shirt for a laid-back, casual appearance. This works well with jeans or shorts.
  • Denim or Shorts: Pair your shirt with well-fitted jeans or stylish shorts for a comfortable and fashionable everyday look.
  • Leave the Top Button Unbuttoned: Embrace a more relaxed style by unbuttoning the top button of your shirt.
  • Sneakers or Casual Shoes: Complete the ensemble with sneakers, boat shoes, or other casual footwear that matches your outfit.

Maintenance and Care for a White Dress Shirt

Maintaining your white dress shirt is essential to its bright, clean appearance. Here are some tips on how to care for and maintain your white dress shirt:

Follow Care Instructions

Check your shirt’s care label for precise washing and care instructions. Different fabrics may require additional treatments.

Prevent Stains

Be mindful when eating and drinking to avoid spills. If a stain occurs, treat it promptly to prevent it from setting.

Separate Laundry

Wash your white dress shirt separately from coloured garments to prevent colour bleeding.

Use Cold Water

Wash your shirt in cold water to help preserve the whiteness and prevent the fabric from shrinking.

Use Mild Detergent

Choose a mild, colour-safe detergent to prevent damage to the fabric and maintain the brightness of the white colour.

In Summary

White dress shirts are timeless and flexible, elevating your appearance for every event. You can always look your best when wearing this classic piece by following these do’s and don’ts. Remember to choose the right fit, maintain it properly, and pair it with complementary clothing items to achieve a sophisticated and polished look. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be ready to confidently wear your white dress shirt and make a lasting impression wherever you go.