The Versatility of a Dress Shirt – How to Change Between Formal and Casual

The Versatility of a Dress Shirt – How to Change Between Formal and Casual

A crisp (and comfortable!) dress shirt is one of a man’s greatest fashion weapons. Used correctly, it can impress anyone from an interviewer to an important date. In the past, a dress shirt lived up to its name of being only used for formal occasions – during casual situations it would be ignored in favor of other types of shirts. However, in recent years, there has been a re-birth of the dress shirt… bringing a versatility to match more casual occasions, while also feeling amazing! That is the inspiration behind the xShirt, to provide the most comfortable of tops that can be either of top level formality, but also transforming to meet occasions where you don’t need to go over the top.

Let’s explore a few ways of wearing a dress shirt in different levels of formality:

Suits with Tie


The ultimate classic business or important event look – a nice suit and tie certainly sends a message. It means that you are dressed for the occasion, no matter what it is. Of course, dress shirts come with a collar that can accommodate a tie and make it look great. For a look like this, a white shirt is usually the go-to style. When doing this way, you will want to keep your shirt nicely tucked in, with the collar buttoned and the sleeves all the way to the hands also buttoned.

While ties are becoming less in fashion in recent years, there is nothing wrong with occasionally bringing out this look, especially for nice weddings and other major activities that show you really care. In fact, every man should have at least a few ties in their closet to break out on occasion. Of course you can always take it off if things get more casual as the night goes on.


Jacket with Pants


A step down from the formal style mentioned above it to keep a similar look with a nice jacket, but no tie. In this case the top button of your shirt should be opened. Otherwise, the dress shirt should be still styled in a more formal way, with full sleeves and tucked in.

One option that you have with this style is to mix up the pants a bit (within reason). While a nice dress pant combo matching the shirt is a safe and strong look, you can also try to use a pair of nice jeans, preferable in black, grey, or dark blue. Just don’t wear ones with tears or holes in them – that will ruin the appearance you are going for.

Sweater and Shirt


Another way to use your dress shirt in a different way is by putting it on under a sweater. This sleek and simple look of a casual dress shirt layered under a nice solid color cardigan is a winner, especially in cooler months. A good shirt color for this would be the light blue option xShirt, which can be paired well with a variety of sweater colors – from grey to white to dark blue.

Showcasing your favorite sweater with a dress shirt is a really terrific way to show you care, while also keeping things a bit more on the casual side.


Sleeves Rolled Up


A dress shirt can be transformed in seconds into part of a more relaxed outfit by rolling up the sleeves. This especially can be a good option when the weather becomes hotter, or you just want to turn over to a more casual side – maybe at an afterparty or late night “fourth meal”. While it is not appropriate in all situations, it can look good and really bring out the adaptability of your top layer.

One of the strengths of the xShirt is its anti-wrinkle and stain capabilities, which makes it more adaptable to these casual occasions without disturbing the look with unfriendly marks or creases.

Untucked Shirt


Probably the most controversial styling of dress shirts is the untucked look. This way is not for everyone – when done incorrectly it can look sloppy and not showing good care. However, with the right shirt and occasion it can be an interesting look that can be implemented with a jacket or without.

Black on Black


A style that many people are afraid to try and pull off but actually can look great is pairing a black dress shirt with black pants or jeans. While normally it is frowned upon to have the same color of shirt and pants, this is an occasion that can really turn heads. However, it has its limits and needs to be used with care depending on the occasion. For example, in a business setting, this is not an ideal look. However, for a party or night at a club, it can look terrific and show a side of confidence that will really impress those around. A black performance xShirt is the perfect option to throw on with a pair of black trousers, to look and feel great at the same time.

As you can see, a stretch dress shirt has a lot of options beyond the standard suit and tie combination. Why not try some different ways mentioned above and see what works for you – you might discover some way of wearing button-down shirts that feels great and that you have never tried before!


Now that you’ve seen about the different ways of styling dress shirts, why not check out our article about How to Properly Wash and Dry a Dress Shirt? You’ll learn some great tricks to keep your shirt looking great – whether you choose to wash by hand, in a washing machine, or at the dry cleaners.