Subtle or Bold Contrasts?

When it comes to making your dress shirts stand out, it’s the sum of the smaller details that you must consider.  What color are the buttons?  Have you chosen a standard or hidden placket?  No detail can be overlooked or spared in creating a classic bespoke shirt.  One of the smallest ways to make the greatest impact is the contrast fabric. It’s a given that you’ll choose a contrast fabric for your shirt inner collars and cuffs, but you can also add it to the gusset and inner or outer yokes. When you think about all the places you can use it, this minor detail suddenly takes on a new level of importance.  Here are some things to consider before you settle on a fabric.

Think Long-Term

Your bespoke shirt is a piece that you’re investing time and money into with the intention of wearing it for years to come. The contrasting options that you choose should be a representation of your personality but should also be versatile enough to work with various looks and settings.  If you go for the pink floral contrast on your sky blue shirt, it might tickle your fancy on the first wear.  However, it could seriously limit your pairing options and you might not have a lot of occasions where it works. Think long-term when making this decision.

Get Complementary

As with any other part of a professional look (or even casual ones for that matter), it’s crucial that you choose a complementary color.  You’d never want two different parts of your outfit to clash, and you especially don’t want that to happen within a single garment.  The best way to pick a complementary color is to view the color wheel.  It’s split between warm colors (red, yellow, orange) and cool ones (green, purple, blue). Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel will complement each other in an outfit. For example, if you’re wearing a yellow shirt, a blue contrast accent should work well.

Take a Test Run

If you’re not sure how particular shades of yellow and blue will work together, test them out.  For those gents shopping in person, ask for fabric swatches and hold them up against one another to check their compatibility.  At home, pick two pieces that prominently feature these two hues and stick them together.  It’s important to envision what your combination will look like before you make a final decision. Here is where our 3D visualization really helps because we can see exactly how the contrasts pair.

Subtle or Bold? That Is the Question

When it comes down to choosing a subtle or bold contrast fabric, the answer ultimately depends on your personality and preference. If you aren’t afraid of strong choices, stick to what works for you. However, if your objective is to craft a shirt that can work equally well in the office and at happy hour, subtle is always the answer. You’ll want to wear this shirt all the time, so make sure it’s suited to your lifestyle.  The last thing you want is to sideline this meticulously crafted garment because of a poor contrast fabric choice.

Below are some food for thought with images to assist:

Subtlest way: Add just contrasting buttonholes and button stitches.

 

Collar and Cuff: Pink Herringbone Custom Dress Shirt - Made to Measure

Add Placket contrasts

Pink Patterned Custom Dress Shirt - Made to Measure

What is your style? Subtle, bold or a mix of both for different occassions?

 

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