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Best Black Shirts for Men: Timeless and Versatile

Cars. Accessories. Furniture. Art. These are some items that share a common feature. They all look amazing in black. 

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This color is timeless, versatile, and easy to procure. And this is why black is also very popular when it comes to clothing and fashion. You would be hard-pressed to find a lack of black attire in any store, whether that store is Target or Gucci

man wearing black shirt

And when it comes to black clothing, shirts cannot be left out of the conversation. What about this wardrobe item is so great, you ask? Well, let’s take a look!

Are Black Shirts in Style?

Some questions are objective, a matter of opinion, meaning there is more than one right answer. However, the question “Are black shirts in style?” is not that kind of question.

There is only one acceptable answer, and that answer is “Yes.” But why is this one garment such a powerful wardrobe item?

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Easy to Match and Accessorize

What do you pair with an outfit utilizing a black shirt? Well, almost anything. Colorwise, virtually any color complements black. In fact, while it is a fashion faux pas to match a color with the same color in many instances, you can almost always match black with black. 

You really can’t make too many mistakes wearing a shirt of this color. Accessorizing with a black shirt is also much easier than with other colors. Instead of overshadowing the jewelry or scarf you are wearing, black will help emphasize the accessory.

Blend In…

Black is the color of shadow and is therefore synonymous with blending in. A shirt in this color has an understated elegance that allows you to look stylish but in a subtle manner.

…Or Stand Out

And yet, done correctly, an outfit starring a black shirt will stand out like no other. The right pairing that includes a one will make the ultimate fashion statement.

Never Out of Season

Black is never out of season, and shirts are no exemption. While black does absorb heat, prompting caution in the hotter summer months, you can work a one into almost any outfit for almost any occasion. 

Black Of course they are available in various styles, which allows for pairings that will work no matter the temperature or seasonal aesthetic.

Formal or Casual

No matter the event, it’s certain that a black shirt can be worn with your outfit. Typically, the clothing color is associated with funerals and other formal occasions. But black shirts are equally appropriate for casual wear. Few clothing items of any color are so versatile.

Our Shortlist of the Best Black Shirts

These items of clothing for men are truly indispensable and some can even be described as must-haves in your wardrobe. Here is our shortlist for some of the best black shirts to own, divided into formal, casual, and semi-formal.

Best for Formal Wear

Theory Men's Sylvain Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt

Theory Men’s Sylvain Long-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt

Made with elastic materials, this shirt offers a relaxed fit with quality texture.

Calvin Klein Men's Dress Shirt Slim Fit Non Iron Stretch Solid

Calvin Klein Men’s Dress Shirt Slim Fit

This shirt is fitted but stretches to accommodate mobility and stays dry. This black shirt’s back is tailored to provide a flattering appearance.

Calvin Klein Men's Dress Shirt Slim Fit

Calvin Klein Dress Shirt in Herringbone

This slim-fit shirt has a subtle herringbone pattern, lending it some weight.

Best for Casual Wear

Billy Reid Men's Long Sleeve Cashmere Polo with Pocket

Billy Reid Men’s Long Sleeve Cashmere Polo

A perfect combination of comfort and style, this polo works great with jeans or joggers.

Arc'teryx Captive SS Polo Men

Arc’teryx Captive SS Men’s Polo

Comfort and functionality meet style in this business meeting on the golf course shirt.

Hanes Men's Beefy Long Sleeve Henley Shirt

Hanes Men’s Beefy Long Sleeve

The perfect black shirt for Fall, this henley goes well with jeans layered with a leather jacket. Durability is an added benefit.

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Best Semi-formal Shirts

Arc'teryx Skyline Shirt SS

Arc’teryx Skyline Shirt Short Sleeve

A short-sleeve button-down is a must-have. The Arc’teryx Skyline has an understated and sleek design to fill this need.

Arc'teryx Skyline Shirt LS

Arc’teryx Skyline Shirt Long Sleeve

The long-sleeve variation of the Arc’teryx Skyline is the perfect semi-formal black shirt; it can work under the right suit but also pair well with jeans.

Mizzen + Main Men's Leeward No Tuck Button Down Short Sleeve Shirt

Mizzen + Main Men’s Leeward Short Sleeve Shirt

This shirt is a more traditional take on the black short-sleeve button-down.

PAIGE Men's Cooper Button Down Shirt

Paige Men’s Cooper Button-Down Shirt

This breathable rayon shirt can be found in fashion statements throughout the 21st Century and is still a great look with the right outfit combination.

When and How to Wear a Black Shirt

What is the best way to wear a black shirt? Like we stated above, it’s really very difficult to mess up an outfit with a black shirt but unfortunately, it is still possible. Messing up with a black shirt may not be of the same detriment as, say, wearing a striped tie with a striped shirt but there are some easy pairings that will help you avoid any mistakes. 

If you’re going for a more formal look a black dress shirt looks incredible as part of a head-to-toe black outfit. If you want a bit more color or pattern, opt for a pinstripe patterned suit and pair it with a red tie. 

man in short black shirt

If the occasion is semi-formal, you can ditch the suit and keep the button-up or try a black polo or turtleneck on for size. You might switch the button-up to a short sleeve since the lack of a jacket or blazer will allow the arms to have some spotlight. 

You can also play with different black shirt designs. A pair of black slacks or even khakis will go well with these shirt variations. This simple outfit combination synergizes well with accessories, so it’s time to bring out your chains, watches, and belts (go subtle with the chains; you don’t want to look like a Dwayne Johnson meme). 

Another suitless black shirt outfit involves a sleeveless patterned sweater. Outerwear can add another layer to this combination but really isn’t necessary. 

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What about casual events? Black shirts work just as well at a bar hop as they do at a gala event. Again, all-black works great here. You can add variation by throwing in some accessories or wearing pants or jeans with different wash textures or colors. 

So many color combinations work with black, so it’s hard to miss here. Polos, short-sleeve and long-sleeve button-ups, turtlenecks, and crewneck t-shirts all have equal opportunities to shine in casual situations.

Final Thoughts

Many consider the black shirt a difficult closet piece or simply relegate it to a part of their closet assigned to funeral wear. However, the value of this wardrobe essential cannot be overstated. 

Versatile, striking, elegant, and yet subtle, these shirts should be a staple of your professional and casual outfit choices.

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best black shirts

Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.

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