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No Shirt Syndrome

02 September 2015   |   12:10 pm

Fancy a striped shirt, or would you rather have a plain flannel?

Care for a classic collar, semi-spread, spread, button down or eyelet?

Which cuff would you have; angle, square, round or French cuffs?

What shade would you prefer; pink or black?

In recent times, the significant rendering a shirt brings has been undermined. In the eye of both men and boys, a shoe comes top of the list. The first thing people notice are your shoes, but nobody spends their entire 24hrs with their eyes fixated on your shoe.

…O that is a nice pair shoe you have on”.

Ok, thank you! Back to business! after the split-second compliment, all you get is  one or three glances at your shoe to be sure they are still there, unless if you are wearing some really cool pair of double monks, or some nice pair of brown brogues. Short of this, back-to-business-time has their eyes focused on your face, now guess what part gets the most attention; your shirt.

shirts- lifemag

However we want this piece of fabric, we must consider two major factors upon which others are founded; the Shade and Fitting. Shirts are needless to say designed everywhere. I mean, just down the road from me there is this guy who makes really nice shirts. He’s made a couple shirts for me though, but you know….

Shirt has in past times represented all the button downs with a collar and a cuff. Now the beauty of a shirt lies entirely on the fitting, you can wear the same shirt Tom cruise wore and look like a joke, believe me a big joke…for the fitting to be achieved, the shoulder seam must meet and rest on the shoulder bone. Again the armholes should not be too high as to restrict motion. The sleeves must end where you palm meets your wrist, and should not be tight or billowy for ease of natural motion.

The shade is just as important as the size. Ok maybe that’s not a viable metaphor. Truth be told, the shade of a shirt goes a long way to express a lot about you, for example a monochromatic shirt gives a sophisticated look. Emphasis should be leveled on Complementary (e.g. rust, brown), Analogous (e.g. red, red-orange) and Warm Colors (e.g. blue, green) for the best looks. Shade should always be kept calm, in other to exude confidence and intone with the weather.


Summarily, bigger sizes are cool. They are generally lovely as they display authority, most times. It’s not bad to have a couple of them, you cannot wear them with a tie if the size different is noticeable. It is bad practice to fold sleeves, though some may see it as expressing style from a new dimension. However, rolling sleeves brings vaguely the entire aesthetic of the shirt to ruin as unwanted creases begin to develop with fervent practice.

Back to the main story, I had realized that I was growing bigger and my shirts aren’t fitting anymore. So I told the guy who makes shirt just down the street to make new pairs for me, despite the bogus rate, I relied on my instinct. All those mannequins standing outside the shop had me counting down. “They’ll be ready in 2 weeks”, he said… “2 weeks?” I asked in shock, he nodded in approval while wearing a very convenient smile. I had to wear my last shirts rolling up their sleeves. That was a big cross, and I hauled it for two weeks and three days. Well, when I finally got the shirts….Nice plain materials, In fact the shades were so nice I took pictures of them. And so was the finishing; seams, collar, cuffs it was all interesting to look at. One word, it was fantastic.

The new week came, I was enthused to jump in them and feel like a normal being again. So, i tried the white and the sleeves fell short, short! I thought it was just the white one, and because they were all clean i tried them all and guess what?

I discovered I had No shirt syndrome.

Udoji Obinna Alphonsus is a fashion consultant and a fashion analyst.

Photo Credit: Shop Clues

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