Wednesday, July 11, 2012
In the proper setting, a crisp white dress shirt is the most complementary of all. That setting of course is the complexion of the wearer's face, for white tends to look great on men with some facial color, and ghastly next to pale skin.
Among the many good things about summer for the paler male is the opportunity to get rid of his paleness by acquiring a light suntan, a condition that tends to be achieved through trial and error and typically is overdone at the start of the season (as witness my red and itchy scalp of last month caused by too much time outdoors without a hat).
Obviously clothing, including hats, is the best protection against sunburn, but it serves its function too well; there are exceptions (a particular kind of ladies swimsuit designed to allow tanning during wear comes to mind) but covered skin typically does not tan at all. And for those of us who choose to tan in moderation, that leaves sunscreen.
There seem to be nearly as many kinds of sunscreen as there are dress shirt patterns, but the best of them block both UVA and UVB rays. A good product should also be hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic so it does not cause a rash or clog the pores, which can cause acne. Apply the stuff before going out, and then re-apply it after 15–30 minutes in the sun.
Once you are tanned, take out your white dress shirts.