While the warmer seasons may require an abundance of lighter layers, there’s absolutely no need to forgo the formalities of a good wardrobe. Instead, it’s simply about reframing your favourite formal pieces to a more effortless (and, of course, practical) mode point of styling. The first ingredient to start with? A shirt.
How to work the open-collared shirt
Most often recognised as the piece to centralise your sharpest two or three piece suit and house your tie of choice, the power of a classic shirt in itself goes a bit unnoticed. Fortunately, Spring changes that, because it’s the time to pack away your tie, let a generous amount of buttons loose and let the featured collar speak for itself. The more open, the better. And if pulled over your upper layer of choice, you’re looking at a style move that definitely won’t go unnoticed.
With a plethora of shirts on offer as part of our Spring/Summer 2022 collection (as well as our made-to-measure service, in case you missed it) we thought we would offer you some styling inspiration ahead of purchase. Specifically, through music. So over to five of our favourite male musicians who pulled the collar out with serious power…
First up, the French man who made waves for menswear: Serge Gainsbourg. Challenging traditions with his style just as much as his music, Gainsbourg’s sartorial expression was excellent simply because it felt fresh. Case in point: this effortless yet elegant stance: powered by an unbuttoned denim shirt layered over a classic single breasted suit. This is proof that darker shades still work for a Spring wardrobe, just as long as they’re centralised by a light blue underlayer. Check out our linen styles for reference.
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne may have been known for his big suits (and rightly so) but his styling of shirts was just as sublime, and largely because he liked to unbutton them. Pictured here in 1980, his style of choice featured a stripe print, baggy sleeves, tight cuffs and a perfect pointed collar – opened to give a cuban style appearance. For the days that require no finishing layer, a printed statement is the ultimate style move, and we’re on hand to discuss all the options through our personal service.
Jazz master John Coltrane brought as much sharpness to his style as he did his sounds: perfectly exemplified through the above ensemble. Keeping things classic through a high buttoned stripe blazer (a nice nod to musical sheets, if you ask us), his base layer of choice was a simple white cotton shirt: unbuttoned ever so slightly for elegance and ease of movement. To recreate the look with your favourite tailored set, our Hoxton shirt is the ultimate companion.
If there’s one person to make a case for the open collared shirt, it’s Mick Jagger. Unofficially dictating the flamboyant style moves of the seventies, Jagger’s extravagant tailoring selections were frequently accompanied by classic, monotone shirts. Frequently varying in colour, the one thing they had in common was the collar size: bigger than life. For this pictured occasion, his black shirt of choice looked nothing short of sensational layered over a single breasted checked suit. Proof that the classic colour still stands if styled correctly (and if you’re interested in replicating the suit, our bespoke service is on hand).
While the past has undoubtedly shaped our style, it’s just as important to acknowledge the present – and one of the finest cases for the open-collared shirt today is Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. With a uniform that calls upon simple single breasted suits and casual, open collared shirts, Turner’s carefree approach to clothing is living proof that the latter wardrobe move is one to transcend the decades. And so with his nonchalant stance in mind, we suggest swapping your traditional cotton shirt for one of our waffle knit polos. Trust us: it works.
Words by Faye Fearon