The color of a shirt is generally the most important choice to consider when matching it to a suit, although the choices are much simpler than with women’s fashions. The primary color scheme for men’s fashion is a dark suit with a light shirt. However, a dark suit is slimming so you may wish to select another color if you are very thin. Your main choice with solid-color suits at this point is to choose between shirts with subdued colors such as white and light blue, or bright colors such as green and orange. You will often wish to match your shirt to the color and knit of your trousers.
Selecting a shirt for a patterned suit with is a more complex choice than it is for a solid suit. A common option is to choose a shirt with a lighter color than the patterned suit’s primary color. Another choice is to wear a shirt that matches the secondary color of the patterned suit, which allows a greater variety of color combinations. A safer option that offers fewer choices of color combinations is to match the primary color of the shirt to the lighter shade of the suit.
The best collar for a shirt depends on the formality of the suit. The basic collar types in increasing order of formality are spread collars, straight collars and button-down collars. The distance between points on a spread collar is between 3 ½ inches and 6 inches. Collars at the wider end of this range are known more specifically as Windsor collars.
Straight collars have a distance of 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches between points. A button-down collar has buttons at the ends of the points that allow the collar to be button to the main body of the shirt. Shirts with this type of collar are used with suits that have a sporting style.
Button cuffs are generally the most common type of cuffs for business wear. Single-linked cuffs are the traditional choice for black tie and are sometimes worn with lounge suits. Double-linked cuffs, commonly known as French cuffs, are a more formal choice than single-linked cuffs. However, you should not wear these cuffs with a slimming suit since they tend to make the wearer’s arms look larger.