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Style Guide: Shirt Style Pattern and Design

December 16th, 2009

    Originating from the 1920’s, pattern and design of a shirt plays a key role in having great style and sending out the right message. Shirts have different patterns, such as solids, stripes and checks. An idea to keep in mind is that the shirt pattern will enhance the wearers look.

    • Solids are the classic multi-purpose shirts which can be worn in both formal and casual settings. Depending on its color it can be worn in a board room or a club.

    • Stripes, which came into fashion towards the end of the nineteenth century, are less formal than solids but more formal than checks. A key idea to keep in mind is the thickness of the stripes and the spacing between them. Thinner stripes are more formal than thicker stripes. This is because the thinner the stripes, the more solid they appear, and solids are most formal. Shirt A has thinner stripes, and therefore looks more formal than Shirt B, with its thicker, bolder stripes.

                                                        Shirt A                                    Shirt B

    Shirts are also more formal if the spacing between each stripe is acute. A tip on wearing stripes is  that they generally make a heavy-set person look thinner therefore, stripes are recommended for heavy-set people. Stripes also allow for distinction and urbanity.

    • Checks are generally more casual, but the size of the checks can determine if it can be worn in a business or casual setting. Smaller checks are more formal than big checks. Big checked shirts will make the person appear bigger, thus heavy-set individuals should avoid these. Shirt C is more formal than Shirt D.

       Shirt C                                   Shirt D

    Some types of checks include: glen plaid, mini-check, and windowpane checks. Glen plaids have the appearance of a solid shirt, therefore it is much formal than windowpane checks, which are harder to coordinate with ties and suits.

    • Darker colors are generally more casual than lighter colors. The number of colors on a shirt is also very important because it distinguishes whether the shirt is formal or casual. If a shirt has 3 or more colors it is less formal than a solid or a shirt with 2 different colors. The key idea to have in mind is that solids are most formal. The more solid a shirt appears the more formal it can be. The more colors a shirt has, the less solid it appears. The less solid it appears, the less formal it is. Shirt E is more casual than Shirt F, because of the difference of color quantities.

        Shirt E                               Shirt F

    Written by Giselle Diaz

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