What’s the Ideal Way to Pair a Mandarin Collar Shirt with High-Waisted Trousers?

April 16, 2024

In a world of ever-evolving fashion trends, it’s a refreshing change to see the timeless elegance of the mandarin collar shirt and high-waisted trousers combination continue to stand tall. This stylish blend marries the charm of the Far East with the suave sophistication of Western fashion. But how do you nail this look every time? Let’s unravel the secrets to mastering this style.

The Charm of the Mandarin Collar Shirt

The Mandarin collar shirt, also known as the stand-up or Nehru collar, is a style staple inspired by traditional Chinese attire. It’s characterized by a short, unfolded stand-up collar that starts at the neckline and rises about 2–5 cm. This shirt style offers a minimalist aesthetic that is both sleek and modern.

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Shirts with Mandarin collars exude a certain charm that makes them a standout piece in any outfit. They provide a clean, uncluttered look that is perfect for both casual and formal settings. Their versatility, coupled with their unique design, make them an excellent choice for men who want to step out of the conventional shirt-and-tie ensemble and experiment with a more culturally rich and eclectic style.

Pairing the Mandarin Collar Shirt with High-Waisted Trousers

Pairing a mandarin collar shirt with high-waisted trousers is one trend that will never go out of style. The secret lies in paying attention to details such as fit, color, and accessories.

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Fit is crucial in fashion. Go for a mandarin collar shirt that fits you well, but avoid anything too tight. A well-fitted shirt will complement your physique without restricting your movements. For the pants, consider your body type when choosing the cut. Straight cut high-waisted trousers work well for most body types, while men with leaner frames can opt for slim fit.

Color plays a significant role in pairing these two items. If you’re aiming for a more formal look, stick to neutral colors. A black mandarin collar shirt paired with black high-waisted pants is a classic choice that exudes elegance and sophistication. For a more casual outfit, feel free to play around with brighter colors and patterns.

Accessories also help enhance your overall look. However, since the mandarin collar shirt already stands out, it’s best to keep your accessories minimal. A simple watch or a leather bracelet could be enough to complete your look.

Breaking the Monotony with Chinos

While high-waisted trousers are a great match for the mandarin collar shirt, they’re not your only option. If you want to break the monotony, why not try pairing your mandarin collar shirt with chinos?

Chinos are a type of trouser made from chino cloth, a twill fabric originally developed for the military. They are known for their comfort, durability, and versatility. Just like high-waisted pants, chinos can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.

When worn with a mandarin collar shirt, chinos offer a more relaxed and casual look. This combination is perfect for a weekend outing, a casual day at the office, or even a date night.

Again, pay attention to the fit and color of your chinos. For a more modern and youthful look, go for a slim fit. As for the color, khaki, navy, and olive are great choices that pair well with most shirt colors.

Nailing the Business Casual Look without a Tie

Who said you need a tie to look professional? With a mandarin collar shirt, you can achieve a smart business casual look without the need for the traditional necktie.

First, choose a mandarin collar shirt in a conservative color, such as white, black, or navy. Pair it with high-waisted trousers or chinos in a complementary color. Remember, your pants should be well-fitted and not too baggy.

Next, you need to take care of the small details that can make or break your outfit. Ensure your shirt is ironed and your pants are pressed. Wear a belt that matches the color of your shoes.

Finally, don’t forget about the power of accessories. A nice pair of cufflinks, a stylish watch, or a simple pocket square can add character to your outfit and make you stand out in the best way possible.

Experimenting with the Mandarin Knot

If you feel daring and want to add an extra touch of originality to your outfit, why not experiment with the mandarin knot? The mandarin knot, also known as the Chinese button knot, is used in traditional Chinese clothing. It’s a decorative knot that adds a touch of elegance and a cultural touch to your outfit.

Incorporating this knot into your mandarin collar shirt can help create a unique and stylish look. However, keep in mind that this look is definitely more casual, and it’s not suitable for formal occasions. You can play with colors, going for a contrasting knot color to make it stand out in your outfit.

Remember, fashion is all about expressing your personal style. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. And most importantly, wear your outfit with confidence, because confidence is the best accessory you can ever wear.

Going for the Denim Jacket Look

In the ever-changing landscape of fashion, the denim jacket is an evergreen style that never falls out of favor. So, why not pair your mandarin collar shirt with a denim jacket for a stylish, laid-back look?

The pairing of a mandarin collar shirt with a denim jacket adds an edge to your outfit and gives off a relaxed, casual vibe. This combination is suitable for casual social gatherings or a night out. You can further enhance this look by opting for high-waisted jeans or chinos.

When choosing a denim jacket, consider the color and fit. A medium to dark wash denim jacket is a versatile piece that goes well with most colors. As for the fit, opt for a jacket that’s snug but not too tight. It should be roomy enough for you to comfortably wear your mandarin collar shirt underneath.

To pull off this look, pair a light-colored mandarin collar shirt with dark high-waisted jeans or chino pants. Then, throw on your denim jacket. The contrast between the light shirt and dark pants and jacket will create a balanced look that is appealing to the eye. Finish off your outfit with a pair of casual shoes or sneakers, and you’re good to go!

The Versatility of the Band Collar Dress Shirt

Another stylish option worth considering is the band collar dress shirt. Also known as the collarless dress shirt, this is similar to the mandarin collar but lacks the stand-up collar feature. It’s a more relaxed interpretation of the mandarin collar shirt, offering a sleek silhouette with a slightly less formal feel.

The band collar dress shirt provides an excellent alternative to the typical button-up shirt. It offers a clean, minimalist look that is both modern and timeless. Plus, its simplicity allows for a wide range of pairing options, from dress pants to jeans or chinos.

If you’re looking for a way to change up your work outfits, consider pairing a band collar dress shirt with high-waisted dress pants. This combination exudes a subtle elegance that’s perfect for a business casual setting. For a more laid-back look, pair a band collar dress shirt with chino pants or jeans.

When it comes to colors, you can’t go wrong with the classics. A white or black band collar dress shirt paired with black or khaki pants creates a crisp, polished look. For something more playful, consider a shirt in a bright color or a fun pattern. No matter how you choose to style it, the band collar dress shirt is a versatile piece that can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.


In the world of men’s fashion, the mandarin collar shirt stands as a testament to timeless elegance and cultural richness. Paired with high-waisted trousers, it creates a refined look that is both modern and sophisticated. By paying attention to details like fit, color, and accessories, you can effortlessly nail this style every time.

Remember that fashion is about expressing your unique personality and style. Whether you’re dressing up for a formal event or going for a casual outing, don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations. Try pairing your mandarin collar shirt with chinos or a denim jacket for a change. Or consider the band collar dress shirt as an alternative to the usual button-up shirt.

No matter what you choose, confidence is key. So, wear your outfit with pride and let your personal style shine through. After all, there’s no better accessory than a confident smile.