The Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Styling Lace-Up Shirts

Lace-up shirts have been a staple in fashion for decades. With their crisp collars and versatile laced-up fronts, it’s no wonder they remain popular today. Whether dressed up or down, a lace-up shirt brings classic style to any outfit.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the top lace-up shirt picks and provide tips on how to choose the best lace-up shirts to suit your needs. We’ll also share expert advice on how to properly care for and style these timeless tops.

Introduction

Lace-up shirts are defined by two key features – the laces that run up the front placket and a crisp collar. The laces allow you to adjust the neckline and provide a unique decorative element. Meanwhile, the collar frames the face and finishes the look.

While often considered more formal, lace-up shirts can also be worn casually depending on how they are styled. They are extremely versatile and can be worn untucked or tucked, layered or on their own. Their ability to seamlessly transition from day to night is a huge benefit.

The aim of this article is to highlight some of the best lace-up shirt options and provide tips to help you choose the right fit, fabric, color and pattern. We’ll also share suggestions on how to care for your shirt properly so it stays looking crisp. And finally, we’ll suggest creative ways to style lace-up shirts for different occasions.

The Top 5 Lace-Up Shirts

After extensive research, we’ve selected 5 of the top-rated and most recommended lace-up shirts to share with you below.

1. Levi’s Classic Fit Lace-Up Shirt

This 100% cotton shirt from Levi’s is constructed from soft yet durable fabric. It features a timeless straight point collar and front lacing with removable tassels on the ends. The relaxed classic fit provides room through the chest and shoulders without looking boxy or oversized. Customers love the quality and construction but some warn to size up if between sizes. Overall an excellent basic lace-up shirt to wear year-round.

2. Boyson Men’s Unique Collar Lace Up Dress Shirt

This Boyson shirt stands out for its unique cutaway collar that provides added neck exposure. Made from a polyester-cotton blend, it resists wrinkles and features gold tippets on the ends of the laces. It has darts at the back for shape. Some users find the collar too aggressive for professional settings but it works well for dressy casual occasions. True to size.

3. Harbor Bay Cotton Lace-Up Shirt

This affordable cotton shirt comes in a spectrum of over two dozen colors and patterns including gingham, striped and chambray options. The cotton fabric is soft but substantial and the traditional point collar maintains its crisp shape. Taller customers warn the shirt may run a little short. Overall a great budget-friendly lace-up shirt suitable for work or weekends.

4. Robert Graham Grant Fit Lace-Up Shirt

Made from lightweight cotton modal, this shirt features Robert Graham’s signature colorful patterns and prints including florals, paisleys and plaids. It has a tailored cutaway collar and contrast piping on the cuffs and placket. While not a budget buy, fans say the vibrant patterns and luxurious fabric are worth the price. Order your usual size for the ideal tailored yet comfortable fit.

5. Umooren Linen Lace Up Shirt

A lightweight and breathable option, this Umooren shirt is constructed from 100% linen. It has a button-down collar and discrete side vents for added comfort. The looser fit makes it a good option for layering. Some users wish the fabric was a bit thicker but overall it works well for very casual warm weather settings. Go a size up for roomier fit.

How to Choose the Best Lace-Up Shirts

When shopping for lace-up shirts, there are a few key factors to consider in order to find your perfect match. Let’s take a look at the characteristics that matter most when choosing shirt styles and fits.

Material

Lace-up shirts come in an array of materials including:

  • Cotton – This natural fiber is breathable and soft for all-day comfort. 100% cotton shirts have a casual lived-in look.
  • Linen – Made from the flax plant, linen is perfect for warm weather. It’s lightweight, breathable and has natural wicking properties.
  • Polyester – A synthetic fabric, polyester resists wrinkles and stains. It requires less ironing but isn’t as breathable as natural fibers. Often blended with cotton.
  • Cotton blends – For optimal year-round comfort and easy care, cotton-polyester blends are recommended. They retain the softness of cotton with enhanced durability.

Collar Style

The type of collar dramatically affects the look and versatility of the shirt:

  • Point collar – The most common, these have pointed tips and work well with or without a tie. Most versatile option.
  • Cutaway collar – Features “cutaway” angles that expose more of the neck. A formal, stylish choice.
  • Button-down collar – Can be buttoned at tips to keep collar in place. Offers a casual vibe.
  • Club collar – Rounded small collar with no spread between points. Creates a vintage look.

Fit

  • Measure your chest, arm length and neck to determine your size
  • Consult brand-specific size charts for guidance
  • Look for information about the shirt’s intended fit such as tailored, slim, relaxed, etc.
  • The shoulders should lay flat without straining or pulling
  • There should be sufficient room through the chest to move and breathe comfortably
  • Sleeves hit mid wrist bone for ideal shirt length

Color and Pattern

  • Solid white, light blue and grey offer maximum versatility
  • Subtle patterns like gingham, micro check and mini stripe work for office or casual contexts
  • Bold floral, paisley or geometric prints make bolder fashion statements
  • Contrast tippets on collar/cuffs add a signature detail

Caring for Your Lace-Up Shirts

Follow these tips and your shirts will stay looking crisp and new for many wears:

  • Read garment care labels – Look for cleaning instructions and follow accordingly
  • Wash in cold water – Hot water can cause shrinkage. Use a gentle cycle.
  • Hang or lay flat to dry – This prevents stretching out the lace holes.
  • Iron while slightly damp – Makes it easier to press collars and plackets flat.
  • Inspect buttons/holes – Replace any missing or damaged buttons to avoid further tearing.
  • Don’t bleach – Can degrade delicate fabrics and cause yellow stains.

With proper laundering methods, your lace-up shirts can maintain their integrity and last for many years.

How to Style Lace-Up Shirts for Any Occasion

The versatility of lace-up shirts allows you to seamlessly incorporate them into all manner of outfits. Here are some suggestions for creative ways to style them:

Casual Looks

  • With jeans and sneakers for weekend errands
  • Half or fully untucked over shorts for a relaxed vibe
  • Layered under hoodies or denim jackets when cooler
  • Sleeves rolled up with chinos for laidback flair

Business Casual Looks

  • Tucked into pleated trousers with loafers for polished office style
  • Under a vest or cardigan for added sophistication
  • With a blazer and chinos for smart casual events

Going-Out Looks

  • Tucked into leather skirts with heels for girls’ night out
  • With black jeans and chelsea boots for date night edge
  • Under a leather jacket atop dark skinny jeans for rocker chic

Formal Looks

  • With tailored trousers and monk strap shoes for upscale affairs
  • Under a three-piece suit for black tie optional events
  • Complementing a pocket square and classic tie for weddings

The key is embracing both the dressy and casual side of lace-up shirts. Tuck them in when formality calls, or wear them loose when relaxing. Adjust your accompanying pieces to create the desired vibe.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lace-Up Shirts

What fabrics are best for lace-up shirts?

For comfort and breathability, 100% cotton or cotton blends are recommended. Cotton has a casual, relaxed look that dresses up or down well. Linen is also suitable for warm climates, but wrinkles easily. Polyester blends resist wrinkles but aren’t as soft.

How do you wash and care for lace-up shirts?

It’s best to wash in cold water and lay flat or hang dry. Always check clothing labels. Avoid bleaching, which degrades fibers. Spot clean stains promptly before washing. Iron while slightly damp if needed, avoiding laces. Store folded in a drawer, not on hangers.

What is the best way to style lace-up shirts?

Tuck into trousers or skirts for formal flair, or wear untucked for casual chic. Roll sleeves and unbutton top buttons for more relaxed vibe. Layer under blazers, sweaters and jackets for seasonal practicality. Cuff sleeves once or twice for extra versatility.

What type of outfits can you make with a lace-up shirt?

Dressy ideas include pairing with suits, tailored separates, and skirts. For casual, team with jeans, shorts, chinos. Half tuck or full tuck shirts into pants. Layer under cardigans, blazers, coats. Add sneakers, loafers, boots. Contrast or coordinate colors.

How do you determine your size in lace-up shirts?

Consult brand size charts and measure your chest and arm length. The shoulders should lay flat, chest comfortable but not tight. Shirt length falls around mid-hip. Order true-to-size or size up if between sizes or a looser fit is desired. Ask customer service about sizing when uncertain.

Conclusion

Lace-up shirts offer timeless sophistication and style. With proper fit and fabric choices, they will become wardrobe staples that function across dress codes. Maintain their integrity by caring for them properly. And explore creative ways to style them for casual flair or formal finesse.

We hope this guide has helped highlight top-rated lace-up shirts and provided valuable tips for choosing, caring for and styling these versatile classics. Look sharp and stay stylish with the iconic lace-up shirt.

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