The Shirt Off Your Back
Many years ago, I concluded that a few hair shirts were part of the mental wardrobe of
every man. The president differs from other men in that he has a more extensive
wardrobe.—Herbert Hoover (president of the United States, 1929–1933)
IF YOU WERE a picture, your suit would be your frame and your shirt would be the matting. A well-chosen shirt will provide a great outline to help showcase you and your suit. It is yet another barrier of protection against embarrassing bodily secretions and hair peeking out of unforeseen places. Your face, being a major focal point, is outlined by this garment’s most critical feature—the collar. Notice I say “collar,” not “neckline,” as the collar is the extra little piece of fabric that makes the shirt the appropriate option for interviewing. It baffles me to see candidates throw away an opportunity to attract attention to their most captivating physical feature by wearing ill-fitting shirts with collars that are chokingly tight or exceptionally loose—or loose around the arms, shoulders, backs, and torsos. A business shirt is tailored, in comparison to the “blousy” options worn by women in casual situations.