Ask dapperQ: Alternatives to Boring Button Downs to Wear with Suits and Formal Attire?

A reader asks:

I wear a suit to work everyday and I’m always looking for formal shirts that have a little more “umph” or flavor. I wanna know where I can get a tuxedo shirt like the one Abby Wambach is wearing here:

Abby+Wambach+Suitvia More Than Stats

I need a dress option that is neither the standard boring blue striped button down, nor the frilly silk alternatives. Help me out.

We often get questions from readers asking for jazzed-up button-down options and/or button-down alternatives. Especially the latter, because many of our readers cannot afford button-downs that do not gape at the chest area. Let’s start with the first part of your question. We couldn’t find Wambach’s EXACT shirt, but here are some similar styles:

Helmut Lang Button DownHelmut Lang White Storm Flap Uniform Shirt on sale now for $160 (originally $320)

Vivienne Westwood Button DownVivienne Westwood Asymmetrical Collar Button-Down from 6pm and Farfetch

Now, as for revving up your daily business attire beyond the basic button-down, I recommend (1) playing with patterns and colors, (2) opting for sweaters and polo shirts, and (3) layering! Let’s take a look at examples of these three approaches:


Ariam+Geffrard+-+Pattern+PowerPhoto credit: via A Dapper Chick. Photographer Photo Credit: Debbie of DAG images

Mens Power ClashPhoto credit: via Space Coast Living

Pattern Mixing SuitPhoto credit: via Articles of Style

Pattern Mixing Suit 2Photo credit: via Articles of Style


08_Fall12_DressDownSuit_0Photo credit: via dapperQ

Polo under suitPhoto credit: via dapperQ

TURTLENECK-UNDERNEATH-A-SUITPhoto credit: via Trashness


dapperq isadoraPhoto credit: Photo by Lindsey Rickert via dapperQ

Power Clash MenswearPhoto credit: via Lookbook

Layering2Photo credit: via British Style

112crop-580x870Photo credit: via Articles of Style

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