It seems that there are fewer occasions these days to wear a white shirt outside of the office.
This is principally due to what Malcolm Gladwell calls a “tipping point”: essentially there arrived a moment when enough people simply opted not to wear a white shirt out, say to a music recital or to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
The result? Today one wonders, in increasing diverse situations where previously it was automatically the dress code, whether a white shirt is overdoing it.
This is to be regretted, if only from an aesthetic point of view, as white serves as an ideal background. It’s basically invisible: attention is instead drawn to your necktie or bow tie.
To avoid the “too formal?” conundrum, it’s advisable to avoid anything that looks corporate. That means wearing off white, or alternatively wearing white but with texture, for example the subtle seersucker in the above photo.
Neckties and bow ties are wonderful accessories: facilitate their appearance in your outfit with an unnoticed background, without looking as though you’re about to drop into work.