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The Staple Shirt: Is Formal Denim the New White?

The Staple Shirt: Is Formal Denim the New White?

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For centuries, the white dress shirt has been a sartorial staple of the discerning gentleman. Timeless and versatile, this closet classic – once the reserve of the super-rich – has since become ubiquitous in men’s fashion. Possessing elegance and functionality in equal measure, and with an enduring appeal that few – if any – garments can match, the humble white shirt, in its multitude of styles and silhouettes, remains an integral piece of men’s formal attire.

However as society shifts towards a more relaxed work aesthetic, a new style has begun to emerge that blurs the line between expected business dress and casual comfort. Weaving practicality with understated elegance, the formal denim shirt sits at the crest of this new wave; a perfect thread to bind a host of head-turning looks.

With its origins in Western workwear, denim has been at the forefront of fashion for more than a century. Journeying from the ranches and railroads of North America to the top design houses of Europe, through the wardrobes of Hollywood legends, presidents, rockstars and kings. And yet despite its long and well documented history, reimagining the fabric for a formal setting has, until recently, seemed unthinkable.

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Now, as the post-pandemic world offers mainstream menswear a window of playful innovation, this new-style denim shirt looks set to take centre stage. To clarify, we’re not talking about studded chest flaps and cowboy boots, rather a lightweight, premium, Italian- milled denim with cutaway collar and exquisite mother of pearl buttons.

Matching the versatility of its iconic white counterpart, this denim shirt can be dressed up or down as your need requires. Pair with more formal tailoring for a refined, elevated look, layer beneath luxury-blend knitwear to strike the perfect balance of class and comfort, or opt for beautiful, unconstructed separates (perhaps a linen safari jacket and contrasting pleated trouser) to create an outfit that’s the epitome of casual elegance.

So whether you’re on a Teams call or in a boardroom meeting; whether dining with friends or turning heads at a chic summer wedding, the formal denim shirt offers the perfect style solution for the modern man.

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