A Pet Peeve

It’s a pet peeve of mine. Which means that it has no basis in anything other than my opinion. I believe that in the 80’s classic “Dress for Success”, Mr. Molloy mentions the dark shirt/lighter trouser combination as being appropriate… to casual wear.

As I am home with my (still sick) daughter, I am dressed in chinos and a black sweater. Fine. Nothing spectacular, but fine for hanging out at home and running to the pharmacy for more medicine. It is the dark dress shirt to which I object. Not the “French blue” shirt, which — in my opinion — does have a place in the casual wardrobe, rather, it is the maroon, brown, black, charcoal, whatever dress shirt which I cannot stomach.

I don’t know the reason for my prejudice. I know that lighter shades of shirts are considered to be more appropriate to business and that finer grades of cotton and linen took to the lighter shades of dye more easily while lesser fabrics required darker dyes to ensure consistency.

Maybe that’s it. I hate to think that a perception of “class”… errrr… colours my opinion, but there you have it. They just look cheap.

Or maybe just… wrong.


I’ll ask you to resist and lead by example. WWCGD? Most often, a perfectly fitted white shirt. Sometimes fine stripes. Fred Astaire? Ditto, but add tattersall and colourful polo shirts. So, when choosing your shirts, think pale. Yellow, blue, pink, bright white, off-white are all fair game. As long as they are the palest of shades.

Thus endeth the screed.

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