How Can I Dress Down A Contrast Collar Shirt?

I just recently got an internship position at the district office of a local politician. I was told their dress policy was slightly relaxed and included dress shirts and dress pants, but ties and suits aren’t needed.

I also recently bought a blue dress shirt with a white contrasting collar and contrasting French cuffs. My question is, would this shirt be too formal for an intern when the the dress code is business casual? Would something like leaving the top two buttons unbuttoned and rolling up the sleeves using the basic or master roll be acceptable, or is it best to just not try dressing down this style of shirt and leave it for a more formal setting?

Thank you.

3 Replies to “How Can I Dress Down A Contrast Collar Shirt?”

  1. The formality of contrast cuffs/collars is sort of overstated. For the most part you can wear them anywhere you’d wear a regular dress shirt, so long as you aren’t sporting crazy expensive cufflinks.

    Speaking as someone who’s interned at a state capitol, I’d say wear the shirt properly: buttoned (and with cufflinks), with a necktie and good slacks. A casual jacket won’t hurt either. You might end up a little more formally attired than the more senior members of the office, but that’s not a bad thing, especially if you’re also the youngest member.

    I’d avoid the unbuttoned/rolled sleeve look you described. It’s not really appropriate for a professional office no matter what your shirt is, and an unbuttoned shirtfront is going to look particularly bad with a contrast collar.

  2. You can just go with the dress shirt and slacks, no cufflinks. Avoid the unbuttoned/rolled sleeve because it looks unprofessional and sloppy.

    You can wear it without the sport jacket or blazer if you really want to dress it down.


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