The “Going Out” or “Club” shirt
When going out at night, most guys in the last few years (although it’s subsiding) wear a collared, button front shirt, usually with a pattern and shiny fabric. Not the best look. Esquire recently put out alternatives to the “club” or “going out” shirt, but it strangely included lots of outerwear meant for outdoor or colder climates – leather and bomber jackets, plus sweaters. Not exactly the type of clothes guys don in the oftentimes sweltering indoors when dancing or standing by the bar.
Thought I’d put my two cents in with several affordable, alternative options that are actually, well, shirts:
An oxford button own collar shirt paired with jeans and a vintage belt is a classic look that’s just as great-looking now on most guys (whether thin-built or husky). The main thing with most of these looks, is to have the shirt tucked in to look more neat and put together.
Want to stand out a bit? Instead of pointed, try a band collar for a twist on the OCBD.
Most “going out” shirts have patterns and lines that stand out (not necessarily in a good way). If you must wear a collared shirt with more “pop,” go for a subtle print like a pin dot. The cool thing is that from far away, it looks basic. Upon closer inspection (like a lady coming in close) is something that’s distinct, but still tasteful.
For hotter weather, or when it’s too hot indoors, wear a plaid shirt with a flattering print. The best option is to choose a small check pattern. Again, tuck in the shirt and roll up the sleeves for a clean, but not dweeby, look.
Many guys also want to avoid looking like they just came from the office. For a rougher, rugged look that packs a bit more thickness, go for a classic denim western shirt. Pro Tip: Don’t go for a double denim look with jeans. Instead, opt for a slim pant in navy, khaki or olive. Note: Also works as an outer layer with a plain white or grey tee.
Another “classic” look that will never go out of style is the chambray workshirt. With many affordable brands having their own version, however, the style maybe a bit too ubiquitous, so careful of getting a “twinsies” look with someone else.
Some guys want to avoid button shirts altogether and just dress in a casual tee. To avoid looking sloppy, instead of a typical print or graphic or logo, go for a bold color block tee to grab some attention (and guaranteed compliments).
Sick of the constant blue color? (Yeah, yeah I know…) Personally, I’m not into bold colors, but if you want to stray from the norm, but not in a “what the hell is he wearing?” way, go for a classic pattern, like gingham, but with a a different hue, like purple.
A popular staple between a tee and a button front shirt is the polo – comfy as a tee, but the collar gives it a touch of class. There are your traditional, basic one-color polos, but for style points, rock one with cool piping in the collar and sleeves.
Another interesting piece from Forever 21. Collared button front, raglan/baseball short sleeve design, plus a colorful strip of hem on the bottom so as not to look ordinary and plain. Just fashion forward enough without looking too “out there.” That’s the way you want to stand out from the crowd.
* Brands included in this post include Uniqlo, Forever 21, Old Navy, Zara, and AEO, so they should be available locally.