Summer Time Essentials: The Black Button Up Shirt

B

lack. A colour symbolising attraction, mystery, sex and it’s also an amazing colour for super stylish button up shirts. While men likely stick to white and baby blue as the main colours for their button up shirt, we think it’s time to welcome the black button up shirt.

Is it a bit harder to style? Yes, it is. Occasionally you can end up looking like a mafioso if you don’t know what you are doing, but don’t worry, these are small mistakes that can easily be fixed.

When styling a black button up shirt, you have to consider the setting that you’re going to wear it in, the time of the day, and the colours that you’re going to combine.

FAQ About Black Shirts

Is it okay to wear a black shirt to a job interview?

In our experience, it’s not. For a job interview we would skip the black button down, and go with a classic white oxford shirt, or baby blue button up. But as always, it depends on the job interview that you are going for. If you are going to a job interview in a casual startup where the boss is a 20 year old genius rocking sweats around the office, then sure, break out and rock your black shirt.

Can you wear black and navy together?

Yes and no. Black works with most colours, but with the wrong shade of navy blue it can look off. You can try to pair it. If it doesn’t work you can always go with charcoal, grey, olive green, a light blue suit, or a burgundy one

What pants go well with a black shirt?

Black button ups go well with light blue, some shades of navy, charcoal, white, olive green and even black. Of course, you can go for a nice pair of jeans. We suggest to stay away from black or grey jeans and instead stick to blues. It gives the outfit that extra pop of colour. Not that black on black doesn’t look good, blue just introduces more vibrancy to the outfit.

Can you wear a black shirt to a formal event?

No. It’s been done before and it just breaks the formality of the outfit. When it comes to formal events, such as white and black tie events, stick to the basics – white button up and a tuxedo (or what the dress code states).

Does black button ups work with white pants?

Yes, a black shirt can be paired with white pants. Depending on the style that you’re going for you can go with white jeans, white trousers or white chinos, but if you decide to pair it with white trousers, go for a more off-white colour. It mitigates the look

How to Wear a Black Button Up Shirt

How to wear black button ups as casual and dressy.
Photograph by REISS

When wearing a black button up, it will most likely be for a casual event – going out for drinks, casual Friday in the office (or any other day… it’s the 21st century), or just a simple dinner with friends.

Black button up shirts doesn’t work well in formal settings. While elegant, we don’t recommend you wear them with a tuxedo, or in a formal office setting, as they have a more casual vibe.

Wearing a Black Button Up with Casual Outfits

With casual wear on the rise, we’ve seen a lot of good and bad black button up looks.

Depending on the style that you are pulling off, a black shirt can make you look more elegant, appear taller, and overall give off a different perception of you.


Black Shirts and Jeans

This can be a nice look, but it can also end as a disaster. The fit of the shirt is key, and you should own the proper type of button up. Shoot for a slim fit, shorter cut one.

For the jeans, we’d suggest slim fit, as for the colour, the basic dark blue, grey and black will do the trick just fine. You can go with a lighter shade of blue jeans, but be mindful as it can look tacky.

White jeans, on the other hand, work really well with black button-ups, especially if the shirt is casual. We suggest you couple it with a dull coloured jacket to bring the outfit together for an exquisite club look.


Under a Sweater

Putting on a sweater on top of your black button up is a great way to keep warm in colder weather, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to add depth to your black shirt.

See, details are often lost in black coloured items. Even if the shirt has some details that are in shade similar to black, they are likely to stay unnoticed.

When putting a sweater on top of your black shirt, the layers of the outfit give dimension to the whole look.

You can go for sweaters in brown, black or even some pastel colours as long as it looks good. The truth is that depending on your style, skin tone and your personality different colours will suit different garments.


Untucked with Boots and Chinos

It’s almost fail-proof with this look. Going with beige or black chinos will look great no matter what. The black button up and rugged boots give the outfit a masculine look.

This is a pretty casual style, you can always swap the boots for more refined footwear and throw a blazer on top for a smart-casual look.


How to Wear a Black Button Up Shirt In a Dressy Outfit

As we mentioned above, black button up shirts are mostly suitable for dressy outfits worn in more casual environments – such as a club.

So, here’s how to dress up a black button down.


Black Button Down With a Suit

While we don’t think black shirts can work in every environment, putting one under a suit in the evening can look nice.

We suggest going with a darker suit, coupled with a black shirt, and make sure to skip the tie for a more relaxed look. You can try a black suit, a brown suit or even a dark shade of navy.

For lighter coloured suits, go with beige. A pure white coloured suit will create a strong contrast which can look a bit off-putting.


Black Shirt and Dress Trousers

Or, why not ditch the whole suit thing all together and go without the blazer. You can go with any trouser color you’d like, but we suggest that you stay away from white, for the same reason as mentioned above.

Of course, you can put on a denim or leather jacket on top, or why not even a cardigan? This style gives you a lot of freedom to experiment and see what works best for you.


Whatever style you choose to go with, black shirts can look good. They are great statement pieces, which many men skip because they can end up looking like a 70’s mobster, but with this guide we’re sure that you will look amazing.

Evgeni Asenov

For the last 4 years I've been enthusiastic about men's style, lifestyle and fashion. Trough trial and error I've learned some things in this area and now I'm here to share with everyone who might be interested.

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