Few things in a man's wardrobe are as underappreciated as the white shirt. Worn in the post-war years by every IBM man, white became the symbol of dull in dressing, noted for its tendency to wash out pale complexions when not in a proper context. But white was not always considered so mundane. A sign that a man did not work with his hands and could afford to have his clothing laundered, Beau Brummell for example wore nothing but white with his navy jackets and buff colored trousers.
Centuries after Brummell white shirts remain the best choice for evening, either with formal wear or a lounge suit. During the day, they complement jackets with white in the pattern, whether pin stripes for the City or black and white odd jackets like the one worn by Mr. Grant in the photo (he sets his off perfectly with a black necktie).
Whether oxford cloth or twill for cool weather, poplin for year-round wear or voile or batiste for the heat, consider the white shirt.