UK markets closed
  • FTSE 100

    7,389.98
    +87.24 (+1.19%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    19,835.95
    +146.93 (+0.75%)
     
  • AIM

    956.64
    +9.47 (+1.00%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1822
    +0.0040 (+0.34%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2496
    +0.0021 (+0.17%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    23,484.01
    -626.51 (-2.60%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    650.34
    -23.03 (-3.42%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,901.36
    +0.57 (+0.01%)
     
  • DOW

    31,261.90
    +8.77 (+0.03%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    112.70
    +0.49 (+0.44%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,845.10
    +3.90 (+0.21%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    26,739.03
    +336.19 (+1.27%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    20,717.24
    +596.56 (+2.96%)
     
  • DAX

    13,981.91
    +99.61 (+0.72%)
     
  • CAC 40

    6,285.24
    +12.53 (+0.20%)
     

Reports of the shirt’s death have been greatly exaggerated

·3-min read
Collarless looks more contemporary and less fettered, negating the debate of whether you add a tie
Collarless looks more contemporary and less fettered, negating the debate of whether you add a tie

Time was when a man went to his wardrobe and knew that the first item he’d reach for would be his shirt. The staple, dependable base of men’s uniforms the world over. I don’t think I ever saw my grandfather in anything else and it wasn’t until the Noughties that my own father downgraded ever so slightly to polo shirts. But the pandemic has seen a huge shift in how we dress and, on a more granular level, a few things of note in the men’s style world have come my way in recent weeks.

Exhibit A: the historic British house Dunhill unveiled a new collection this week where shirt collars were detachable so that the starched, upright stance could be loosened up a touch. Shortly after, a Telegraph feature garnered a glut of comments on how formality has become redundant. Then a friend informed me about a shirting brand who create custom-made shirts using a digital algorithm instead of more old-school methods.

The shirting industry has suffered immeasurably because of the push towards casual clothes while everyone worked at home; the gentlemanly, mahogany-lined stores of Jermyn Street had yet to “pivot” to offer loungewear as more structured shirting became obsolete. The shirt did get a shakedown, but that doesn’t mean we should forget its smart presence altogether – I can’t be the only one longing for a bit of form and polish.

Even the most traditional of outfitters in this regards have looked to innovative new cuts and fabrics. Hilditch & Key, the 123-year-old brand beloved by Karl Lagerfeld, has evolved to offer easy linen shirts as well as collarless varieties. In recent years, Turnbull & Asser’s shirting range – so beloved by Winston Churchill that he had his siren suit created by the house – has created a “weekend” and “holiday fit” of shirt that is more casual, even employing wool for a knitted cardigan style shirt. And at Emma Willis, sales of pink shirts are up – a less conventional hue than the more standard white.

Should you be following suit? Certainly, we’re a great deal more at ease in how we dress and, if you’re now returning to the office, it’s worth investing in a good shirt. But it doesn’t have to be garden variety – collarless looks more contemporary and less fettered, negating the debate of whether you add a tie. Likewise, camp-collar varieties – the shirt collar lying over the suit one – can still look smart with a blazer, and button-down collars can lend a more breezy stance.

Reports of the shirt’s death have been greatly exaggerated – it’s just time to revive it a touch.

Get shirty

Top row: Kingsman grandad collar shirt, £195, mrporter.com; Collarless shirt, £125, hilditchandkey.co.uk; Camp collar shirt, £51, communityclothing.co.uk Bottom row: Superior cotton shirt, £200, emmawillis.com; Chambray Weekend Fit shirt, £250, turnbullandasser.co.uk; Button-down Bengal Stripe shirt, £59.95, charlestyrwhitt.com
Top row: Kingsman grandad collar shirt, £195, mrporter.com; Collarless shirt, £125, hilditchandkey.co.uk; Camp collar shirt, £51, communityclothing.co.uk Bottom row: Superior cotton shirt, £200, emmawillis.com; Chambray Weekend Fit shirt, £250, turnbullandasser.co.uk; Button-down Bengal Stripe shirt, £59.95, charlestyrwhitt.com

Top row: Kingsman grandad collar shirt, £195, mrporter.com; Collarless shirt, £125, hilditchandkey.co.uk; Camp collar shirt, £51, communityclothing.co.uk

Bottom row: Superior cotton shirt, £200, emmawillis.com; Chambray Weekend Fit shirt, £250, turnbullandasser.co.uk; Button-down Bengal Stripe shirt, £59.95, charlestyrwhitt.com

Are you supportive of the shirt's revival? Tell us in the comments section below

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting