The Dude Society

An Online Magazine for Guys.

The Going Out Uniform… At Least Do It Right

We’ve probably all worn this: The button down and jeans. Some of us might even do it every weekend.  Not too casual, yet not too formal… seems like the go-to look for when we go out. The important part is to do it correctly. Do it right and you can look cool, do it wrong and you look like the nerd wearing his Dad’s shirt.

You can’t just grab one of your standard work dress shirts and toss it on with your jeans. Most dress shirts, depending on the fit, are made with extra fabric at the bottom so they stay tucked in with pants, as that’s how they are meant to be worn. Luckily some of today’s more modern or “slim” fit dress shirts are shorter than the more generously cut, long ones our Fathers probably wore.

When you wear a button down shirt with your jeans, it should come just a bit past the waist of your pants and maybe hit the upper part of your back pockets. Any longer than that and it will look like you’re wearing the wrong shirt.

How do you pick the right shirt?

You really need to try them on. Since your pants won’t be holding this shirt in place, you need to pick a slimmer shirt that doesn’t have all that puffy extra fabric. You also need to make sure the length of the shirt and sleeves work for you. The sleeves of more casual shirts are often slightly longer than that of standard dress shirts, but you should make sure they don’t go much past the break of your wrists

In terms of color and fabric, darker colors are typically ideal for nighttime, unless perhaps in you are in a place like Miami. Often times more casual button down shirts will have a small percentage of nylon or spandex mixed in with the cotton allow them to stretch a bit or have a very minimal amount of shine. These can be great, but you do want to pick a shirt that is primarily cotton. Anything that is mostly synthetic will likely look cheap, and will make you sweat your ass off.

About the author

Jamie is the Founder of The Dude Society and a New York City based web designer & developer. He really likes telling people how to think, act, and dress.

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4 responses to “The Going Out Uniform… At Least Do It Right”

  1. @dvrcdntbrkn says:

    I have found that taking your "Club-Shirts" to a local tailor shop and having them alter it to fit you perfectly only adds around $10 to the cost. It is well worth it for a perfectly cut shirt or two.
    Best of luck

  2. Sri says:

    Where's a good place to find a shorter-length 'going out' shirt, especially for someone smaller/slimmer? Any suggestions?

  3. Jamie says:

    I'm a fan of theory (the brand) personally. It's sold at higher end dept stores and online. There are other options as well, obviously. John Varvatos also makes a lot of cool men's stuff. It really depends on what style you like and what budget you're aiming for. A good suggestion might be to go to a department store like Bloomingdales, Saks, or Barneys and look around. See what designers you think you like, and then start trying things on. In terms of chain stores, Club Monaco sometimes has some nice shirts. Express Slim 1MX shirts are easy and very cheap, but when compared to a more expensive shirt it become more obvious why they're cheap.

    As jack mentioned, depending on your proportions, sometimes having thing tailored slightly will leave you with the best fit.

  4. Gregory says:

    Hey Jamie! I like your articles. When you buy the shirts with lycra in them it is called Stretch Woven. The stores will generally know what you are talking about. You want to avoid the ones with nylon as it is a man made fiber that pills. You can find looser fitting ones at stores like Express in a host of colors. For nicer quality ones check out

    1) Nara Camicie at 190 Grand in Little Italy. I found them when I was in Florence and the shirts fit excellent off the rack if you have an athletic cut. This is my favorite as Italians make the same fit then modify the design each season. They also have fuller cut shirts for the American market.

    2) Camicissima at 509 Madison Ave in Midtown. I havent actually tried their stuff on, but it looks like it fits well and its reasonable in price.

    3) Michael Bastian has a new line for Spring 2012 that I saw at Fashion Week a couple of months ago. They are nice quality and the fit was nice. This is not the Gant brand but his own label.

    If you would like, I can make an article for guys on how to put darts in your shirts, but that would be go with the pants article.

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