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What To Wear With A White Shirt – A Men’s Style Guide & Outfit Ideas

Men's Wardrobe Essentials
Monday, 16th March, 2020

What To Wear With A White Shirt - A Men's Style Guide

A crisp white shirt. Is there a better feeling than putting one of these on?

It’s one of the most simple and basic items of any guys wardrobe, and is completely universal. It may be simple, but it’s also elegant and classic, and can be a key component to dressing well.

You may be thinking: What should I wear with a white shirt?

I’m talking about a button up or button down shirt. There’s plenty of options, from the classic Oxford shirt to End on End and Poplin fabrics. There’s no doubt that they are  a versatile piece of clothing and can be worn by anyone.

Regardless of age, season or style, the white shirt is one of the most timeless items you’ll ever own.

There’s plenty of different ways to wear a white shirt, which largely comes down to occasion. It’s an essential part of a mans wardrobe which can be dressed up as well as down, and you can create an almost endless number of outfits.

Here’s what to wear with a white shirt, from formal to casual outfit ideas.

White Shirt Outfit Ideas For Men

Styling a white shirt with a blazer

White Shirt With A Blazer

If you’re looking for how to wear a smart white shirt, teaming it with a blazer is a great idea.

This becomes a smart casual outfit by wearing the white shirt with jeans. I have finished off the outfit with a pair of black shoes to keep the smart edge.

Since there is no tie, I have left the top button undone, keeping everything on a casual level.

This outfit choice should be a go to for most guys who are looking to be smart without feeling over-dressed.

smart casual - wear a white shirt with blue jeans

White Shirt With Jeans

An absolute classic outfit combination and something you can pair up a long sleeve white shirt with is a pair of jeans. If you want to wear a white shirt casually, this is a good go to outfit.

I have went for an un-tucked shirt which some people may not agree with, but the purpose of this look was to be more casual.

It works well in most weathers, and is pretty universal. I’ve worn it with some black and white Converse to keep this as casual as possible.

casual look - wear a white shirt with leather jacket

White Shirt With A Black Leather Jacket

A white shirt and black leather jacket go together so well.

This is a more edgy smart casual outfit, and hits all the right notes. It has more of a rock style to it, however I have paired it with some Air Max trainers to give it a more sporty style.

smart casual - wearing a white shirt with grey jumper

V-Neck Jumper Over Shirt

A V-Neck jumper over a white shirt is a good combination when then temperature drops.

You can layer the white shirt with a good complimenting colour sweater. In this outfit I have chosen a dark grey sweater to go with the white shirt. The two colours go together well, and for my lower half I’ve selected a pair of black jeans.

When it comes to the footwear I have gone for my favourite grey suede Kurt Geiger derby shoes.

Suit up - wear a white shirt with a suit

White Shirt With A Suit

Wearing a white shirt with a suit is the most formal way of going. You can however keep a casual edge by leaving the tie out and going with the top button undone.

I am far more of a smart casual guy than a formal one. If you want a formal outfit with a white shirt, wearing a suit along with a tie is the way to go.

When it comes to suit colours, the best which go with a white shirt would be blue or charcoal which work in most situations. A black suit should be reserved for very formal events or funeral attire.

To keep the look smart you have to go with some smart shoes, and I’ve gone with my black derby shoes from Kurt Geiger.

If you are a guest at a christening, or even godparent, this would be a great choice of clothing, and you’d definitely look the part.

All White Outfit With A White Shirt

Do you dare to go all white?

A complete white out would be very brave, and it’s a look you should only be thinking about if you’ve been invited to an all-white party, which is entirely possible come the Summer.

Not tucking the shirt in keeps it all casual, you may want to roll up those sleeves if the weather dictates too.

If you’re looking for outfit ideas for white jeans, pairing up with a white shirt is an option which will stand out.

Light chinos - wear a white shirt with beige chinos

White Shirt With Chinos

Finally the last Summer outfit with a white shirt is to wear it with a pair of chinos.

There’s so many reasons you need chinos in your life, they make a great alternative to denim for one.

You can also get chinos in an array of colours, all of which go perfectly with a white shirt. I’ve picked out a sand colour which gives off a summer and airy feel, perfect for warmer months.

The outfit is finished off with a pair of Converse trainers.

Should You Tuck Your Shirt In Or Not?

Should you tuck your shirt in, or not?

Did you know that some shirts were designed to be tucked in, and others to be worn untucked. This is not a hard and fast rule, but is a really good guideline on whether or not you should tuck in your shirt.

If the hem is quite short and cut straight, this is usually a sign it was designed to be untucked. If it’s a curved hem and it’s quite long, it’s definitely supposed to be tucked in.

However the biggest factor on deciding whether or not to tuck your shirt in is the occasion. For a smarter dress code you should tuck it in.

If you’ve gone for a more casual or smart casual look, you may want to leave the shirt untucked.

When you’re wearing a blazer with a shirt, you should almost always tuck in your shirt.

What To Wear With a White Shirt - A Men's Style Guide: 7 Ways To Wear A White Shirt

How To Wear A White Shirt: A Checklist

  • Get The Right Fit For Your Body Shape – Skinny, slim, standard, tailored, or loose.
  • Long sleeves are almost always better, and can be stylishly rolled if needs be.
  • Ensure the rest of the outfit is complimented well with each other
  • Make sure it’s ironed – A crispy white shirt looks and feels it’s best when it’s ironed
  • Make sure it’s clean – It’s white, so imperfections are easier to notice. Make sure it’s fresh and clean when you put it on.

How A Shirt Should Fit

As always, the fit is key. There’s some really easy basic points you can check to make sure your shirt fits. First of all check the shoulders, make sure the fit is good at that point.

Next up make sure that there’s slight room in the collar, you should be able to fit your fingers around the collar, but there shouldn’t be enough room for much else. This ensures a nice fit around the neck, not baggy and not too tight.

Lastly make sure the front of the shirt is a nice fit. You don’t want the buttons to be bulging, but equally you don’t want to be able to grab vast amounts of the shirt and it looking baggy.

The different kinds of fit you’re likely to encounter are:

  • Skinny Fit
  • Slim Fit
  • Tailored Fit
  • Classic
  • Contemporary

You should make sure you get the best fit for your body type. A slim fit works for most body types, while the tailored and classic works

There are plenty of different types of fits for shirts, each brand will fit slightly different. Check out the Men’s Wardrobe Essentials series for more must have clothing.

What To Wear With A White Shirt

  • For a formal outfit pair a white shirt with a suit
  • Throwing a blazer over a white shirt will create a smart casual look
  • Wear chinos and experiment with different colours
  • Pair with shoes for a smarter edge
  • Wear with a pair of trainers for a more relaxed edge

What To Wear With Black Jeans

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

  1. Stuart Forster Said,

    In a world of infinite complexity a white or, for that matter, plain black shirt can prove an elegant and inspired choice.

    posted on Monday 27th March, 2017 at 23:38
  2. Keith Said,

    Good afternoon, my partner and I are visiting Newcastle this weekend and I was wondering if you could pass on some tips for eating out and some cool bars for after dinner drinks. I’m not interested in being around stag or hen do’s and would prefer an area with plenty of bars, to save walking around.

    Thanks in advance


    posted on Tuesday 11th April, 2017 at 13:16
  3. Michael Said,

    Hi Keith,
    This is actually a post for tips and advice on what to wear with a white shirt. As for bars, we have lots of different areas, you can check them all out here – https://www.michael84.co.uk/newcastle-bars/ There is a map at the bottom of the page. You’ll possibly run into stag/hens as there’s many going to a variety of bars and areas. Maybe you want to head down to the Quayside and try bars such as Tiger Hornsby, or try around Grey Street in the centre where you’ll find places such as Browns, Barluga, Harry’s on Grey Street, with bars like Bacchus and Pleased To Meet You on High Bridge, Lola Jeans and dAT bAR on Markey Street.


    posted on Tuesday 11th April, 2017 at 22:17