So I kind of touched on this in my last post, but I’ve noticed two competing trends in menswear: The buttoned all the way up and the letting some chest show. Now obviously you are all buttoned up when you are wearing a tie, so this is for more casual, non-tie days. I honestly don’t have a preference between the two, they are just different looks, but I’ll try and offer some tips on how to do both properly.
I first saw the top-button-done look during my time in England, so I still associate them, and while it is steadily working its way across the Atlantic it is still a look that reads a British aesthetic.
This look take commitment because if done with the wrong shirt it could look like you just forgot your tie. For that reason I suggest more casual shirts, be they chambray or short-sleeved. Also I would say it is easier to pull-off when the shirt is tucked in, but that doesn’t mean un-tucked is totally out of the question.
All buttoned up is definitely complemented best by skinny or slim cut jeans to keep the correct proportions. In general men want to have a V shape; the top-button-done narrows the top, so you want to balance it with a narrow bottom.
Now for the opposite side of the spectrum. Another thing that’s making a comeback? Chest hair. Believe me, I never thought I’d say those words. However, we are not talking Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day, but something more manly and less caveman-y.
Like I mentioned in the Tom Mison Spotlight, you just want a glimpse of the chest, not a full-frontal accost. We are talking the top three or so buttons undone (top two is pretty standard and top four could be too much).
This is a sexy and confident look that draws attention up to the face. It also elongates your torso a bit and makes your shoulders seem wider. All pluses, but it can veer into disco or pirate, so be tasteful. Wear with slim fit pants, but not skin-tight.
I’m also going to include wide-necked shirts in this latter category because what we are really after here is collar-bones. For some reason showing off the clavicle is super sexy on a man or woman. The same open neck effect of the slightly un-buttoned can be achieved with a V-neck, boat neck, or other wide necked t-shirts and sweaters. Henleys are good for this.