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Shirts have always been an important part of a man’s image and when chosen badly ruin the look of even the finest suit! Too often these days’ men are swayed by the pile it high and sell it cheap offers that are readily available and fail to realize that it is better to have a few good shirts that fit them really well rather than a dozen shirts that do not.

Go back to basics and touch fabrics to compare weight and feel of the cloth, shirts are the closest thing to your skin and need to feel great as well as providing the foundation for a balanced look. I have always preferred Egyptian cotton as it feels amazing on the skin and has such a lovely handle when touched.Weight and fabric quality are the most overlooked areas in shirt selection and they are as crucial to get right as colour and pattern.

Once you have selected the cloth and fabric colour you should start to consider how you would like it to fit you, it is pointless buying a shirt that fits you badly as it will destroy your overall look. It is important to pay attention to the key areas to ensure you end up with a good fit, how does the shirt fit across the shoulders for instance? Is there a large overhang on each side? If there is then it is not the shirt for you as the arms will probably be too long also. Next look at the chest is it too full? If it is then you are losing a key area of fit as a man’s shirt should show off his chest shape and not drown it in a sea of overflowing cloth.

Decide on how you wish to wear the shirt, inside or outside your trousers, both have an important influence of finished length of shirt and ultimately in the lower cutting style. The design and fit of the shirt collar will be considered at this stage as the collar for a formal shirt differs greatly in both size and style from those worn more casually.It is also hugely important to consider what you will be wearing the shirt with as most men mistakenly buy their shirts independently and not at the time of buying new suit or jacket, this is a grave error of judgment that usually leads to a bad impulse buy later on or worse still a sympathy buy from a frustrated wife of partner.

Get it right and a shirt will add style and impact to your outfit, you don’t have to buy a vulgar pattern or colour to get noticed as I receive more compliments in a sharp fitting white shirt than when wearing any of my fancy ones. A good shirt can make most suits look better than they actually are and add confidence in your overall appearance.

Jamie Henfrey founded Marc Oliver in 2008. With an extensive background in men’s tailoring and design, he’s had the opportunity to distinguish himself by serving many of England’s leading figures from the word of sport and finance. As head designer for Marc Oliver tailoring he has been the driving force behind the brand that has attracted many of today’s leading entrepreneurs and company directors to the label, as they appreciate his fresh approach to tailoring.  He also enjoys working as a stylist, branding and retail strategy consultant to some of the UK’s very best designer brands.

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