The best blue dress shirts for men are trend-proof. There was a time, not so long ago, when we here at GQ believed in a few hard-and-fast rules about menswear: that there was only one correct way for a suit to fit, only one correct tie width you should ever consider wearing, and that you should never, ever wear a short-brimmed fedora. (OK, that last one is still true.) In 2021, though, there are virtually zero rules left. Suits are back in a big way, but nowadays they can be shrunken and short à la Thom Browne, voluminous and lapel-less like an Issey Miyake joint, or land anywhere in between. One thing that absolutely hasn’t changed, though? Our steadfast and unwavering belief that every man alive looks handsome as all hell in a great blue dress shirt.
What “great” means for you, of course, is variable. We used to look for a specific collar size and a specific color that we very modestly called “GQ blue.” (Not a joke.) Now the trick is finding the best fit for your style: if that’s timeless and all-American like our go-to Ralph Lauren version, then awesome; if it’s retro and eccentric like the Gucci take below, that’s awesome too. You’ve got options, and no matter which you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll look smart and sophisticated and totally put together—because that’s just what the best blue dress shirts for men do. Some things in fashion really don’t ever change, and for that, we’re grateful.
The Best All-Around Blue Dress Shirt
If you’re anything like us, when you’re in need of something as straightforward as a blue dress shirt, your first instinct is probably to head to Ralph Lauren. Trust that instinct. The king of American menswear built his empire largely on the strength of perfectly executed basics like this: the cut is flatteringly trim; the cotton is specially woven for a beautiful hand and just a hint of stretch; the collar is a medium spread that’ll stand tall with or without a tie. Add to that a totally reasonable, sub-$100 pricetag, and there’s really zero reason to waste any more time overthinking this.
The Best Blue Dress Shirt for Getting Noticed
Maybe you’ve gone all in on this wild style era, and now fear that a classic blue shirt won’t fit in with the rest of your trippy, balls-to-the-wall wardrobe. If that’s the case, Alessandro Michele’s got your back. The bombastic Gucci designer can’t help but bring a little whimsy to whatever he touches, and he does so here by way of an elongated, ’70s-style point collar embroidered with a monogram logo borrowed from the Italian house’s archives. It’s weird enough to turn some heads, but not so much to strip the shirt of its timelessness.
The Best Blue Dress Shirt for Business Trippin’
When you’re out on the road for work and absolutely need to make the right impression, this is the shirt to rely on. It’s streamlined and crisp in every respect, with an icy blue hue that’ll look razor sharp paired with a trim dark suit and tie. As an added bonus, the easy-iron cotton should hold up nicely in your suitcase—the less time you spend bent over a crappy hotel room iron, the better.
The Best Extremely-Rich-Guy Blue Dress Shirt
How could a simple blue dress shirt possibly be worth nearly $1,000, you ask? The answer lies largely in the fabric: this puppy is crafted entirely from Sea Island cotton, A.K.A. the luxest, rarest, softer-than-a-newborn-puppy-iest cotton fibers on the planet. The stuff is grown and hand-picked in highly limited quantities in the Caribbean, and then woven into the subtle textile you see here. From there, it’s exactingly tailored by hand in Italy into a shirt that truly looks and feels like a million bucks. Which, if one were to take that literally, means you’re actually getting it at 99.9% discount. What a steal!
The Best Last-Minute Blue Dress Shirt
Surprise! An in-person meeting with the top brass pop ups on your calendar, but all your dress shirts are at the dry cleaner—or worse yet, hanging pit-stained and yellowing in your closet, waiting to go the dry cleaner. We’ve all been there. (If you find yourself there more often than not, the problem, dear reader, might be you.) What used to be cause for panic is now an excuse to order a grip of new dress shirts that’ll be by your door faster than you can say “promotion.” Convenience aside, Calvin Klein’s perfectly streamlined button-up would still be a winner. It comes with all the hallmarks of its pricier counterparts, including a sleek point collar, a fit that’s slim but not suffocating, and moisture-wicking properties aplenty so you can keep your cool under pressure. Congrats: you’ve got nothing to worry about except nailing those pesky talking points.
The Best In-a-Pinch Blue Dress Shirt
Working with a tight budget? Land someplace only to realize you forgot to pack a dress shirt? Nordstrom is your answer. Unlike most department store button-ups, this one is neither scratchy to the touch nor embarrassingly sheer. Instead, it packs a ton of value into one seriously wallet-friendly package: nice slim fit, quality fabric, sturdy collar. As far as entry-level options go, Nordstrom’s take is as rock solid and totally viable as it gets.
18 More Blue Shirts We Love
More Best Stuff
The Best Chinos for Men at Any Budget
The Best Flannel Shirts Will Make Everything Better
The Best Men’s Cashmere Sweaters Are the Swankiest Way to Stay Cozy