Maybe you just bought your first suit. (Congratulations, and good luck at that interview.) Maybe you just bought your 50th. (Congratulations, and enjoy that office with the complimentary coffee-pod machine in the corner. Love a good coffee pod.) Or maybe you’re somewhere in between. But wherever you are in your suit-buying life, and no matter your suit-buying budget, this much is true: you can always use another white dress shirt to wear with those suits.
They’re what you need for every conceivable life event. Don’t believe us? Here, watch. First day of work: wear a white dress shirt. Last day of work: white dress shirt. Wedding? White dress shirt. Bar mitzvah? Confirmation? Graduation? White dress shirt. Funeral? Condolences, flowers, and a white dress shirt. You get the idea. And the white dress shirt is what you need in relatively advanced fashion situations, too. Pitti Uomo peacocks, red carpet heroes, and charity-dinner all-stars all have one secret weapon—besides the animal-pelt jackets and shawl-collar tuxedos and floor-through apartments. They have perfect white dress shirts. But what separates the perfect from the workaday?
Here’s your answer: The perfect white dress shirt only needs to do a couple of things, but it needs to do them perfectly. Rule number one: no wimpy collars. Our favorites can all support a thick knot if that’s your thing, or will stand tall on their own sans tie. Rule two: They’re cut the way any shirt should be cut in 2019 (or 2018, or 2020, or 2045), which is slim but not super tight. They stay tucked without the ballooning mess most “regular/classic/easy/comfort” fit shirts offer above the waist line. Some of our picks are 100% cotton, some have a little stretch in the mix, but all of them are designed to stay crisp and are built to breathe. That August steam-room of a wedding? You’ll stay cool.
And that, really, is reason enough to buy one, two, or all of the dress shirts we’ve picked out here. They’ll help you stay cool in every conceivable way—whether you're on suit number one, 50, or somewhere in between.
The Best All-American (by Way of Japan) White Dress Shirt
The Best White Dress Shirt For Your Next State Dinner
The Best Unfussy, No-Frills White Dress Shirt
The Best High-Fashion-Flex White Dress Shirt
The Best-in-the-Mall White Dress Shirt
Five More Shirts We Love
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GQ's Best Stuff has your back with nine superlative blue dress shirts for every taste and budget.
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Originally Appeared on GQ