If you’re unsure about what color your collar should be – the short answer is to have options. Your choice of color is one of the most important considerations when choosing the style of your business shirt collar.
For a white shirt, the collar should always be white and made from the same fabric as the rest of the shirt. The only exception to this rule is the tuxedo shirt which may incorporate another white (textured) fabric for the shirt front (bib) and the cuffs.
For stripes, checks and solid colors, Gordon Gecko’s contrast white collar is still a great look on Wall Street. A contrast white collar (with white cuffs) is all about the big city, big deals, and big money. If you’re visiting a big city from a smaller city, a contrast white collar can communicate that you’re a genuine player and not intimidated by the big smoke.
If, on the other hand, you’re visiting a smaller city from New York, the contrast white collar can be a big turn off to blue collar management. Gecko’s, “Greed is good,” mantra appeals to some, but not to all. You don’t want to come across as a slick, big city executive when you’re selling farming machinery in Arkansas.
When dealing with manufacturing operations as well as businesses in smaller communities, a blue shirt (with a matching collar) is a staple ingredient in a businessman’s wardrobe.
Unlike the white shirt which often represents administrative efficiency, the blue collared shirt represents a connection with physical work, engineering, and problem solving. When visiting agricultural sites, a button down blue collar shirt (always worn with a single breasted jacket) conveys both respect and discretion – with or without a tie.
For those business situations that require your multi-faceted understanding of finance, administration, manufacturing, and sales, a light blue shirt will fit the bill.
There are a myriad plaids, stripes, checks, dots, weaves, and color combinations to choose from when you’re looking for a business shirt. If you don’t usually wear a tie, compliment a solid jacket (or suit) with a bright, colorful shirt. If you wear ties, ensure that your tie and shirt do not compete for attention. An easy rule of thumb is to wear plainer shirts with busy ties and plainer ties with busy shirts.
Unless you’re latest recording has just gone platinum, be cautious of combining a busy suit, with a busy shirt, and a busy tie. That being said, if you’re confident in your own good taste, mix it up and show the world who you are. The choice of your collar color is sure to speak volumes about your personal style.
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