The White Canvas



There’s a lot of wisdom my pops has shared with me over the years.  Plenty of valuable life lessons, but also a few tips on the sartorial-side.  One of those was the importance of building your wardrobe around the white shirt.  I always thought it was a boring concept growing up: white, pale blue, and sometimes the blue striped shirt.  But now more than ever have I come to truly appreciate the idea of your shirt as a canvas.  Take a look at some of the best dressed men, and they are almost certainly wearing a white or blue shirt.  Denim has become another popular choice for its versatility, but nothing is quite as easy as going with white.

The white shirt makes life a little easier.  It goes with everything.  It’s your blank canvas that you can begin to decorate with the furnishings of your choice.  There is no need to worry about clashing with your tie or suit.  It’s there to show off all the wonderful details of the well-dressed man.  It’s fool-proof.


Now being in a situation where a suit and tie is standard Monday-Friday, I have found myself continuously reaching for the white and blues that my pops had advised me about years ago.  Once again, he was right.  It goes with another concept he instilled in me at a young age: quality over quantity.  These ideas have begun to reign truer and truer everyday.  If only I wasn’t such a stubborn kid.

I find myself skipping the candy stripes or gingham checks in favor of the minimalist look of a white shirt, allowing me to explore and adventure out in other aspects of my looks on a day-to-day basis.  I have begun the process of removing the unwanted opportunity of potential clashing in favor of having a closet full of those whites and blues.


In this process, I found the Standard Shirt, a New York based company specializing in just that – the standard shirt.  With the offering of two collars, cutaway and spread, the slim-fitting shirt with the not-so-slim collar is the perfect balance of classic and modern, hitting all the right spots wanted in the “standard” white shirt.  The fit is always key when it comes to updating the classics, and without going super-skinny, the Standard Shirt is spot on.  When a company focuses on one area, the product tends to succeed when it comes to the details.  The Standard Shirt falls into that category with design and fit here.

The white shirt in this look carries an interesting color suit like this green number from Caruso.  It keeps the focus on the beautiful shade along with the accompanying details acting as the perfect canvas, as discussed above.  Although this is a rather tame green and business-appropriate in my opinion, the white shirt helps to restrain the look a bit, keeping everything in balance.


The white shirt is never going to be flashy, but it serves its purpose.  It’s the perfect companion to any jacket, suit, tie, and whatever else you want to throw at it.  For those reasons, it will always be the ideal choice.  And keep this as a reminder: always listen to your parents, kids.  I would’ve saved a few dollars.


Follow SbN for More Content
Tumblr | Instagram | Twitter