9 Shirts Every Man Should Own

When shopping for clothing, men sometimes need a little guidance regarding what kinds of clothing to wear. Depending on the circumstance, different articles of clothing will suit different occasions, and this is especially true when it comes to shirts.

A man’s work environment might range from very dressy to laid back. However, a man working in an office will still need t-shirts for casual outings, and a man who works with his hands will sometimes need nice dress shirts for special celebrations. Therefore, there are nine types of shirts that every man should make sure to own no matter what he does for work or for fun. This list of nine shirts that every man should own is further classified into categories of formal, all-purpose, and casual shirts. Starting with the most formal white button-down and ending with the completely casual sports jersey, this list will help buyers as they stock up on men’s wardrobe essentials.

Dress Shirts Every Man Should Own

A man should have a least a few dress shirts in his closet. Men who work in offices will have more than men who do not, but at some point, every man will need a dress shirt for a formal occasion like a special dinner, a fancy party, or a wedding. Dress shirts come in many different varieties, but the most formal kinds are generally the most subdued, like classic white and pinstripe button-down shirts.

1. Classic White Dress Shirt

Whether going to work, a nice dinner, or any other fancy occasion, every man should be able to pull a classic white dress shirtfrom his closet. These shirts are the basic building block of good fashion. They can be dressed up, dressed down, worn with a suit, or paired with jeans. With no color or pattern of their own, classic white button-down shirts match anything. Men who stock their wardrobes with plenty of white button-downs benefit from the flexibility and freedom they provide.

2. Pinstripe Dress Shirt

While not as versatile as the classic white button-down, the pinstripe dress shirt does allow men to add a little variety to their dress clothing. Because pinstripes are so thin, these shirts are also as subtle as the white button-down, but can add a little bit of extra stylishness. Pinstripe shirts can be mixed and matched with a variety of patterned ties for a trendy yet professional look. They are also not as plain as white shirts when worn with a simple pair of jeans, yet they add the same touch of formality. For an even more discreet look, men can try hairline-stripe shirts. Hairline stripes are very similar to pinstripes but are just a little thinner.

All-Purpose Shirts Every Man Should Own

The following all-purpose shirts are suitable for dressy work environments as well as semi-casual outings. They provide men with the opportunity to be a little more stylish and flashy while still remaining within the scope of what could be considered formal or business casual attire. Simply pair one of these all-purpose shirts with the right jacket and dress pants.

3. Pencil-Stripe Shirt

Pencil - stripe shirts are slightly more casual than pinstripe dress shirts. Because pencil stripes are much thicker than pinstripes, they might look odd with suits. Instead, most men pair pencil-stripe shirts with dress pants or jeans.

Pencil stripes are almost as thick as the white spaces that lie between them. That characteristic differentiates the pencil-stripe shirt from its candy-stripe counterpart, which features thick, colored stripes that are the same width as the white spaces in between.

4. Checkered Shirt

From gingham to flannel there are a variety of checkered shirts that can spice up a man’s wardrobe. The right checkered shirt can go well with the suit-and-tie look and at the same time, it can be perfect for a picnic or family function. Flannel shirts are much more casual, but certain fashion plates have been seen pairing flannel shirts with blazers or ties. The great thing about checkered shirts is that they can be as toned down or crazy as each individual wants.

5. Linen Shirt

The linen shirt is a summer staple that is suitable for various environments. Made with ultra-thin material and a weave that looks stylish even when wrinkled, linen shirts are perfect for keeping cool without looking too sloppy. Although these shirts may be too casual for workplaces that require business formal attire, they give men a classy option for the weekend thanks to the buttons that most of them feature. As a result, the linen shirt straddles the line between casual and formal, with the final look depending on how the man wears it. If tucked in and buttoned up completely, this shirt might be appropriate for a casual Friday in August. If un-tucked with the sleeves rolled up, people may assume that the man is on his way to a vacation on a tropical island.

Casual Shirts Every Man Should Own

The last category of shirt, the casual shirt, is not appropriate for business formal or business casual environments. Men should wear casual shirts only when relaxing after work or during the weekend. However, these items are still an essential part of any wardrobe, whether men can wear them to work or not.

6. Basic T-Shirt

Much like the classic white button-down, the basic t - shirt is one of the building blocks of a man’s clothing collection. For a casual look, nothing beats the plain t-shirt, which goes with almost any kind of pants, shorts, or even swim trunks. For those who work outdoors, the plain t-shirt is an even greater necessity and will most likely be a wardrobe mainstay throughout the week and during the weekend.

7. Fun T-Shirt

Having at least one fun t - shirt allows a man to show off his silly side. This shirt can be brightly colored, patterned, or feature a funny picture. In every instance, a fun t-shirt demonstrates that the wearer does not take himself too seriously. Men must be aware, however, that Fun T-shirts are not suitable for all environments. Each man must therefore use his own judgment and should probably avoid slipping on a crazy t-shirt for any kind of formal occasion.

8. Sweatshirt

The sweatshirt is a perennial favorite for many laid-back gentlemen. Sweatshirts, which are usually made of thick, soft cotton fabric, keep men warm and comfortable in cold-weather climates. It does not get much more casual than the sweatshirt, but this clothing item can come in handy when the temperature starts to drop.

9. Sports Jersey

Not every man is a sports fan, but every man can pretend to be if he has a sports jersey in his closet. Sports jerseys are ideal for a guys’ nights out, and men have a variety of styles to choose from. The choice of sports is also vast and includes football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer, among many others.


Not every man has the same sense of style, but there are a few essential items that all men should own. From the most classic dress shirts to ultra-casual jerseys, once acquired, these shirts give men all the versatility they need to be appropriately dressed for work, home, and everything in between. Crisp white button-downs and classy pinstripe shirts suit the most formal environments. Thicker stripes, checkers, and linen are a little bit more casual but are still formal enough for most work environments.

Linen shirts are the most casual of the three, so men will need to judge for themselves whether or not they will be appropriately dressed when in linen shirts. Finally, different kinds of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jerseys can be great for relaxing at home or casual outings. They can also be appropriate for very casual work environments. No matter what the circumstance, men should make sure to start off their clothing collections with these nine types of shirts. That way, they will be sure to have attire that fits every occasion.