There are as many different types of shirts as there are hours in the day; and with summer fast approaching, the latest styles and fashions of that long time staple of menswear - the shirt - are sure to cause a buzz in the fashion scene all over the country and across the globe.
Whilst the American usage of the term “shirt” generally refers to any garment other than a jacket worn on the top half of the body, in Britain the term normally refers to a garment with buttons up the middle and on the collar, and long-sleeves with full cuffs – an item of clothing known as a “dress shirt” in America. Whilst more formal men's shirts are often associated with special occasions and restrictive job-wear, young men in particular should not make the mistake of overlooking the fashionable men's shirt!
The variety of garments that this definition can provide stretches is both wide and far-reaching. At one end of the spectrum, you'll find the extremely informal white sleeveless shirt which has long been popular in punk and alternative fashions; while at the other end of the scale, people will find the only shirt that was officially recognised in mainland China for many years - the double breasted shirt with four pockets known officially as the ‘Zhongshan suit’, but long referred to as the ‘Mao shirt’ or ‘Mao suit. ’
Thankfully these days our clothing range isn’t quite so restrictive. New fashions in men’s shirts this season show that stripes, checks and grand-dad collars are back in fashion in a big way, with inspirations taken from the indie college rock scene of the mid to early 1990s along with thrift-store chic showing in the latest lines of short sleeved men's shirts . Think fashion shirts from Weezer circa 1994 to artists such as the Kaiser Chiefs today, and you'll be someway towards comprehending how shirts should look this season!
Long sleeved shirts are also changing to keep up with the times. Shirts with deliberately pre-rolled up sleeves are proving to be popular, with long vertical stripes and a comfortable but fitted look winning through. Let’s not forget as well updates to the classic smart work shirt - and of course the ties to go with them! With the increasing popularity of worryingly skinny boys in indie bands with expensive and complicated haircuts, the skinny tie has exploded in popularity again, and is one of this seasons must have mens fashion items.
Andrew Regan is an freelance, online journalist.