Opinion

The shirt that every well-dressed gentleman must have

Roger Stone The Daily Caller's Men's Fashion Editor
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Every well-dressed gentleman must have an all-cotton oxford cloth button-down shirt from Brooks Brothers.

The shirt’s button-down collar was originally called a “polo-collar,” as the button-down feature was designed so the collar would remain in place instead of flapping up in your face during a vigorous game of polo. This classic — an import from England — was first sighted in 1897 on the polo fields of Long Island.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bobby Kennedy and George H.W. Bush all sported this style on occasion. Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy were all Brooks Brothers customers as well.

The “roll” of the collar is crucial. Lower-budget makers never get the collar roll or the length of the collar points right. (Of course, fine versions of this shirt from J. Press are acceptable.) Eschew the permanent press model. The longer you own this all-cotton shirt and the more times you wash it, the softer and more comfortable it will become. Considered a more informal dress shirt; it is acceptable with a blazer, a sports jacket or a single-breasted suit, usually paired with a regimental striped tie, knit tie or saucy bow-tie.

Never wear a button-down collared shirt with a double-breasted suit. The more formal double-breasted suit looks best with the more formal spread or long-point collar. Fred Astaire broke this rule, but you’re not Fred Astaire.

A Brooks Brothers button-down with an unfastened collar, rolled-up sleeves and jeans makes for a comfortable, casual look. The shirt traditionally comes in white, light blue, pink, blue and white stripes and pink and white stripes. It also comes in yellow, but yellow is a tricky color for most men, depending on their complexion and coloring. Yellow looks good with a brown suit, but then a brown suit never looks good.

Roger Stone is a well-known Republican political consultant and is a veteran of eight national Republican presidential campaigns. He’s also the men’s fashion correspondent for The Daily Caller and editor of Stonezone.com.