Gregg DeGuire

The cast of This is Us doubles down on the shirt design that punches up every outfit.

If you’ve ever worked in an office with a real dress code (we’re talking “no denim” environments), you probably own a navy pin dot shirt. While not quite as essential as say, a white dress shirt, they’re up there with repp ties and chinos in the business casual cannon of just-better-than-basic pieces. Every guy looks good in navy, and the subtle dot motif gives you an excuse to skip the tie (shoutout to the air tie too). As such, most office-friendly brands make their version of the perfect navy pin dot shirt every fall. It’s one of those buys that’s a no-brainer for a lot of men.

Yesterday at a bunch in support of The Rape Foundation, This is Us costars Milo Ventimiglia and Justin Hartley both reached for the staple themselves. It was a daytime event on a Monday afternoon for a serious cause—this was not the time for triple-threat denim and they knew that.

Ventimiglia’s styling was a little bit “dad”, as is his way. He paired his Taylor Stitch shirt with standard-issue navy trousers and then dressed the whole thing up with some brown leather accessories. Monk-strap shoes will always make a basic bro outfit feel a little extra, so they were a good choice to complete the look.

As for Hartley, he went a bit more formal in a deep plum-color suit and textured blue tie. This ‘fit might be too much color for most offices, but if you work in a creative field you could probably get away with it. Either way, Hartley’s willingness to play around with monochromatic tones and different textures is a move ever 9-to-5-er should take note of. Ventigmiglia proves that the navy pin-dot shirt can stand on its own, but Hartley reminds us that it doesn’t have to.

If for some reason this staple has escaped you, it’s easy enough to make it yours this fall. Find a polka dot size and shade of dark blue that suits your style—there are plenty of variations to choose from.