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What Does Your Shirt Say About You?

January 2017Words by Mr Alfred Tong

Mr Leonardo Dicaprio in The Great Gatsby, 2013. Photograph by Bazmark Films/Warner Bros/REX Shutterstock

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him.” This is how Nick Carraway describes Jay Gatsby early on in Mr F Scott Fitzgerald's great American novel The Great Gatsby.

Style, too, is a game of gestures. How we style our clothes constitutes the commas, dots and dashes – the grammar and punctuation – of an elegant outfit. Coat collar up or down? Hat tilted to the side or straight on? And when it comes to shirts, do you undo one, two or even three buttons?

Jay Gatsby and his flighty lover Daisy Buchanan, as we all know, have a thing for shirts, specifically ones made in London. In the 1974 film adaptation of the book, Daisy (played by Ms Mia Farrow) is even reduced to tears by a particular shirtmaker: Turnbull & Asser.