One of the key ways to staying warm without overdressing in the fall is by wearing thicker material. You swap out your linen pants for a pair of jeans and are better off upgrading your button-up shirts to a thicker material as well. For casual wear this means going to an option that’s based in the blue-collar world – the work shirt.
These were originally made of a thicker material to be able to stand up to more wear and tear in outdoor and shop-like situations. Even if you’re just wearing one on a Saturday while out running errands, it gives you additional warmth without going overboard.
There are a few other marks of a good work shirt you should keep an eye out for as well.
- Added support in seams. The weakest point in any shirt is going to be the seams and work shirts make up for this by having extra reinforcement. Look for larger plackets and double stitching.
- Coarser material. On top of being thicker, the material in work shirts is going to be a bit rougher. As a result, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing an undershirt (V-neck or tank, no crew necks) to keep comfortable. They won’t be as itchy as a wool sweater, but they still won’t feel like that cotton, gingham shirt you’ve had on all summer.
- Shorter tails. While these are meant to be worn tucked in, they’ll still be viable untucked as well. The shorter tails will allow you to go with either option.
- Button down collars or no collar tabs. These collars are not meant to pop like on a dress shirt. As a result, you don’t have to worry about putting in any collar stays.
- Extra pockets. Work shirts were made for work and are equipped to hold more tools and materials than your average dress shirt. The extra pockets will look inappropriate in an office environment but are great for casual situations.
- Larger patterns. Not all work shirts come in a pattern but those that do will have larger and bolder versions as a finer pattern denotes a dressier shirt.
Remember that these should fit you well just like any other shirt. If they’re too big you run the risk of looking like you were stuck in Seattle in the 90’s. Too small and you’ll come across as some lumberjack-wannabe hipster.
Work shirts are great in that they are a subtle indicator of your ability to physically dominate the world around you. These are worn by men who work with their hands and put in long days. Even if you’re not such a man (and you should be, at least for a hobby), you can ride on the coat-tails of those who are.