Weekend shirts move into the work week

June 26, 1991|By Marcia Vanderlip | Marcia Vanderlip,Dallas Morning News

Relax. Get the starch out. The new dress shirt is here, and it's neither stiff nor stuffy.

Men are taking the weekend shirt into the work week, pairing denim with art deco or floral neckties with khaki pants, or washed chambray with jeans and light sport jackets. Simple woven leather belts finish off the look.

The keys to this nontraditional fashion statement are comfort, cotton and updated classics.

Classic regimental striped ties are mixing with the denim and chambray set. But the tie doesn't have to be subtle and silk any more. Sport ties in cotton, linen, rayon, wool and multi-color knits are finding a place on the rack. And the prints are whimsical and wild, with themes ranging from candy wrappers to wildlife.

Naturally, this updated career dressing isn't for everyone.

Bankers and corporate attorneys, who have a vested interest in looking like a million bucks, are slower to give up suits. But men who have a little fashion leeway are loosening up and dressing down on the job. Likely candidates include young businessmen, architects, college professors and art directors.

The un-uniform, almost-rumpled look is virtually without rules a happy realization for the creative dresser or the guy who grew up in jeans and hasn't ironed his shirts for years.

And the summer shirt colors are as soft and cool as 100 percent cotton chambray: raspberry, aqua, teal, grape and sage. Apart from the solids, many designers are rethinking minichecks and houndstooth in grape and white or navy and white. For a more understated look, some offer the classic stripe even gingham.

Watch for the fall colors in casual career shirts: deep greens, cranberry, orange, spice, mustard and even black.

So kick back, put away the ironing board and unbutton your collar.

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