A reader named Mike had a simple but important question about a basic: dress shirts. More specifically, he is a young guy just starting out with a new career, with little-to-no experience with dressing up. For Mike, this is an exciting time for building a smart foundation for a great wardrobe, finding what works and making discoveries with the details as he finds his style. For now… the essentials.

white-dress-shirt-heroQ: Hi, George. I just graduated from college and am now working as a commercial real estate broker. I’ve never worn “dress” clothes before and am wondering if you have any recommendations on shirts. These will be the first dress shirts in my wardrobe. I read on your blog that you recommend the basic colors. Thanks for your help, and I love the blog! – Mike

A: Hey, Mike! First, thanks for reading the blog. And congratulations on graduating and getting work! Well done, sir. For shirts, you’ll need to start with your basic solid white dress shirt for sure. At least two or three for now. Light blue is another to add to your collection. As you start to build your collection of shirts, you could even look into the idea of custom shirts, just to give yourself a bit more variety and have some shirts that are tailored to you specifically. Being in real estate, you’ll have room to get more adventurous with your shirts in terms of colors and patterns. A nice blue & white gingham or a stripe if you like would be a good starting point in the patterns area. But, again… start with your solid white.

A terrific resource for dress shirts is Charles Tyrwhitt in London. Not only are they great, well-made dress shirts, but they’re also quite affordable. It seems like they’re having their famous “4 shirts for $199” sales every five minutes – a sale of which I’ve taken advantage more than once. And their customer service and exchange/return policy are excellent.

The great thing about your navy suit is that it will prove to be incredibly versatile in terms of what it goes with, leaving you with nothing but options. Have fun, do good work, and thanks for asking. – George

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