A button-down debate.
I’ve heard that you shouldn’t wear a button-down shirt with a suit and tie, but with a sport coat at most. Now, I’ve also heard that you shouldn’t wear loafers/slip-ons with a suit, but this has proven to be fashionably acceptable. So, button-down or no?—Jesse, Minneapolis, MN
This question often pops up likely because the button-down has rather casual origins and people want to keep it there. But the fact is that the button-down is an incredibly versatile and iconic shirt and it’s perfectly acceptable to wear it with a suit and tie. To quote from the book A Gentleman’s Wardrobe, the button-down is “the international symbol of modern business.” Which seems pretty definitive to us. But, if you’re looking for more style ammo to fire back at those who say it’s suitable only for sport coats, consider that the late Gianni Agnelli, the former head of Fiat, who was named one of the five best-dressed men in the history of the world by Esquire magazine, only wore button-downs with his suits.
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