About ten years ago, a Nigerian working in the Home Office in London received £600 as dressing allowance. He bought only four shirts with it. The boss, an Englishman, must have bought about two dozens with his own allowance. The Nigerian left to train as a lawyer and is now a highly-paid investment banker. The boss has remained a civil servant. You have to dress as you aspire, to say it the way an inspirational speaker would.
TM Lewin makes very decent shirts. You can buy four of them for £100 which isn’t likely to get you even one shirt from most of the brands on our Top Business Shirts list. These are solid sartorial investments, made with the best cotton and accessories, they easily last 8 years. They feel heavenly on the skin and look super sharp on you. Every guy should have one or two shirts from the brands on our list. Check out the list- the shirts will inspire you to aspire.
TURNBULL & ASSER
Sir Winston Churchill, James Bond, Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Picasso, Prince Charles – these are some of the iconic gentlemen who have worn Turnbull & Asser. Need we say more? Made from prime-quality Italian fabric, Turnbull & Asser shirts are tailored to perfection with detailed craftsmanship. Each shirt is woven from 34 different pieces of fine cloth, complete with ten glistening mother-of-pearl buttons. Turnbull & Asser has an unbeatable reputation for excellence: the brand currently holds a Royal Warrant, courtesy of being the go-to stylist for the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne. Who wouldn’t love to be in such great company?
BLUE WEST INDIAN SEA ISLAND COTTON SHIRT WITH CLASSIC T&A COLLAR AND BUTTON CUFFS
WHITE TWO-FOLD 200 COTTON FABRIC
NAVY CASHMERE BLEND FABRIC
Tom Ford, the man, is an icon for the times. He is an American fashion designer with a career course that reads like a fashion legend. In 1990, Gucci was a struggling fashion house nearing bankruptcy. A has-been luxury fashion brand. Ford was hired as its womenswear designer. Within six months, his role expanded to include menswear designs. The touch of his scissors worked like magic. He became Creative Director four years later. Gucci enjoyed a 90% increase in sales the year he was made Creative Director, outstripping earlier bounces in sale since he joined the business. By 1999, the once-bankrupt Gucci was worth $4 billion, rising to $10 billion shortly after. But he would leave only a few years later to start his own eponymous fashion house, when Gucci started to bore him. Tom Ford doesn’t bother to pretend that he designs for anyone except highly successful people. Wear success.
DOUBLE-TWIST YARN-DYE TWILL DRESS SHIRT
MEN’S SILK-BLEND POPLIN DRESS SHIRT
CLASSIC FRENCH-CUFF SLIM-FIT DRESS SHIRT, WHITE
Twelve thousand stitches – that’s what it takes to make a single Eton shirt. If that does not speak quality, then nothing ever will. For over 90 years, the family-owned Swedish brand has been the first choice for those seeking first-rate men’s luxury business shirts. Eton shirts come in different unique fabrics, from the crisp, sharp-patterned poplin and the soft, natural fibre of the cotton & linen to the radiant, crease-resisting signature twill. Even amongst luxury shirt brands, Eton stands out for the great quality of its fabrics. The finishing is so good on Eton shirts you could accuse the tailors of being finicky.
WHITE SIGNATURE TWILL SHIRT
BLUE FLANNEL TWILL SHIRT
NAVY STRIPED COTTON & LINEN SHIRT
“My car of choice is a Rolls-Royce. I go to Stetson for my hats and Budd for my cravats.” Back in 1919, Budd was name-dropped in the now-classic Broadway hit, Lala Lucille – even a hundred years ago, Budd was the definitive mark of luxury in British and American upper-class circles. Today, it is one of the favourite brands for gentlemen in the know on both sides of the pond. If you are looking for business shirts and accessories that make you feel plush, Budd is one of your best options. Here’s an interesting comparison: a pair of BUDD socks costs £30 pounds, giving you £10 to £5 change if you bought a TM Lewin shirt. BUDD remains a small brand, marketed to only 1% of British society.
CLASSIC FIT PLAIN SOYELLA DOUBLE CUFF SHIRT IN CORNFLOWER
CLASSIC FIT PLAIN SEA ISLAND COTTON DOUBLE CUFF SHIRT IN CREAM
CLASSIC FIT PLAIN SEA ISLAND COTTON DOUBLE CUFF SHIRT IN PINK
Named after French artist Marcel Duchamp, a painter and sculptor who “turned everyday objects into art”, Duchamp is dedicated to honouring the legacy of its inspiration with a creative use of print techniques and distinct colouring patterns, lending its shirts a “painterly feel”. Duchamp shirts are a perfect blend of serious and light moods, giving the wearer a smart, yet fun, appearance. An industry leader, Duchamp is credited with reinventing soft tailoring, which allows you to pair your shirt nicely with a lightweight suit. The shirts are made with English and Italian fabrics. It also pulls creative ideas from the tailoring traditions of the two countries: the soft shoulders and high armhole are typical of Italian designs, the near-silhouette shade of the sleeves and neat hemming are very British.
MOLLIE FLORAL JACQUARD SHIRT BLUE
GEO JACQUARD SHIRT BLUE
MOLLIE FLORAL JACQUARD SHIRT PINK
Now, when we talk about luxury, nothing captures its essence quite as accurately as Brioni – an Italian menswear couture house. Tracing it origins to 1940s Rome, Brioni has a long history of pioneering achievements. It held the first men’s fashion show in history in 1952, a mere seven years after its launch. Fast forward to 2019, it is arguably the most coveted menswear brand in the industry. Everybody who is somebody wears Brioni. From world-leaders to Hollywood royalty, the record of A-listers who wear Brioni is endless: Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan, Will Smith, Michael Fassbender, Drake and even Donald Trump. But really what marks out Brioni isn’t this celebrity clientele but the Italian commitment to craft. Brioni doesn’t outsource anything, it uses only tailors trained in its own school. Brioni obsesses over quality in all it does, from picking the choicest fabrics to the ironing before packaging. The painstaking craftsmanship is easy to see on the finished product.
LIGHT BLUE HERRINGBONE SHIRT
NAVY BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED FORMAL SHIRT
BLUETTE TWILL FORMAL SHIRT
Savile Row’s finest, Hardy Amies hails from the home of British tailoring. Founded by Queen Elizabeth II’s couturier, Hardy Amies, the brand is one of the most respected names in British high fashion. Starting as a womenswear outfit, Amies earned global fame in 1977 following an appearance by the Queen before an audience of 500 million people, wearing a gown designed by the house. That rich history is ever-present in the house’s designs, even after it switched to menswear. Its business shirts have that very posh, very British touch with their ageless detailing, French cuffs and crisp fabric.
WHITE HERRINGBONE BUSINESS SHIRT (SLIM FIT)
COBALT CHECK BUSINESS SHIRT (CONTEMPORARY FIT)
BLUE MICRO TWILL SHIRT (SLIM FIT)
Hackett shirts promise to take you through the busy weekdays and weekend outings. With their expert tailoring and flawless fits, they come with an unspoken oath to give you the ease and elegance every man aspires to. Either worn under a sport jacket, solo or as blazer, they solemnly swear to always stand you out. Hackett shirts come in a variety of materials, colours and patterns. They all guarantee confidence and a dapper look. And they are a more realisable aspiration, a typical Hackett shirt costing around what you would spend on three TM Lewins.
POPLIN CLASSIC DOUBLE CUFF SHIRT
POPLIN SLIM SINGLE CUFF SHIRT