So you've just ordered your dream pair of made to order trews in the ideal tartan. Plus, your heart is set on a new tweed jacket, and a pair of comfy box fresh formal shoes patiently await your feet in the wardrobe.
Now comes the shirt. So many options are out there but often this is where confusion sets in. The seemingly endless array of collars and other details can be bewildering but do not fear. We have eliminated the background noise and brought together a showcase of the essential shirts to own and wear with your tartan trews, for any occasion.
The White Full Collar Shirt
Wearing a standard tie? This should be your go-to shirt, in a crisp white finish. Timeless and resolutely traditional. When it comes to the collar itself, there are many different variations from the classic style through to the spread collar and pointed. We prefer a classic collar teamed up with a double cuff - when it comes to highland dress, cufflinks are your new 2nd best friend (Your absolute best friend obviously always being tartan trews).
The full collar shirt can also be worn with a bow tie - ideal if you have opted for the trews and Prince Charlie jacket combo. Gone are the days that a bow tie has to be worn with a wing collar shirt.
Whichever tie you choose, we prefer a shirt with concealed buttons, also known as a concealed placket, like this one from Dobell.
The Victorian Collar
Perhaps the most widely seen shirt when it comes to highland outfits. It's a wardrobe essential for your trews outfit and is perfect if wanting to show off a ruche tie but can also be worn with a bow tie. A Victorian collar shirt can be identified by its cutaway wings which are fuller and larger than a traditional tuxedo wing collar shirt. They are also often plain fronted without pleats, which in our opinion is the better choice if wearing a 5 button waistcoat.
You may sometimes see this shirt paired with a standard tie, and although ultimately every wearer is in charge of their own style choices, we prefer the aforementioned full collar shirt for this.
The Black Shirt
Finally, do not feel you are wedded to a white shirt. In fact with the right jacket, accessories, and of course trews, most colours can work. Black though is the colour to join our classic fail-safe trio of shirts, and should always be occupying a space in your highland wear wardrobe. A shirt with concealed buttons will keep you on the right side of formal.
The ideal choice if wearing a grey or black jacket (we really approve of the black shirt and black argyll jacket combo), the black shirt can be worn in either of the collar options mentioned earlier. It's also a great choice when teamed with a darker pair of tartan trews such as Douglas Grey.