Shirts this season are sticking largely to last year’s key trend: less is more. While suits are becoming more adventurous, shirts will remain relatively low-key.
Crisp white with no texturing in the fabric and few frills in the design should be a wardrobe staple, allowing your suit and tie to do the talking.
Slim-fit is still very much on-trend and side panels can give you a more snug fit, especially at the back where the shirt is tucked in and can look messy.
Big “statement” cuffs should be toned down: one button is the flavour of the moment, giving a sharp, understated look.
Collars should also be modest, with the button-down a popular feature for spring 2012, giving a hint of casual cool to a formal look.
For a real quality finish look for mother of pearl buttons – beware though, if it is a shirt you wear regularly, these can be damaged in the wash more easily than plastic imitations.
Striped shirts should follow the general tone of austerity, with pale blues mixed with white.
If you tend to spend a lot of the day with your jacket off, you open up more possibilities – checks like the red and white Boss shirt (pictured) are a strong, casual look – but make sure you match it with a plain suit to avoid looking too busy.
White button-down Ralph Lauren Purple Label £255
Red check BOSS Selection £165
Check shirt with button cuff Thomas Pink £99
Button-down with pale stripes Burberry London £175
Semi-cutaway collar TM Lewin £89
Subtle pink Paul Smith £95