Shirt on Shirt

At FashionBeans, we are big fans of giving our readers a heads up on what to expect for the season to come. It gives everyone a chance to have a good hard think about what trends and looks they want to incorporate into their style, before actually being knee deep in said season.

However, there is another aspect of a coming season that we, as writers, never really mention. And that is what looks or trends we are personally looking to try out and test this time around. As we all know, what’s ‘in’ this season doesn’t always sit well with all the people all the time. Just take a look at any of our comments sections to see what I’m talking about.

So this time around I decided that rather than bashing out yet another ‘Top 5 Items/Looks for AW12′, I’d let you guys have a little bit of an insight into what I intend to be rocking this season, outside of the realm of my extremely streamlined wardrobe of men’s fashion basics.

The Overshirt

For autumn/winter 2012, that would the overshirt. Or perhaps it would more appropriate to say ‘shirt on shirt’ – because I am not talking about a shacket here at all. Not that I have anything against them, I’m just specifically talking about wearing two shirts on top of each other.

The inspiration came a few months back, when I was looking at some old black and white school photos from 1940s/1950s New York. Nearly every picture I looked at featured someone from a blue collar/working class background wearing a shirt and tie with another heavier shirt loosely buttoned over the top. It was perfect for the coming autumn, when the weather has yet to turn freezing but you still require that extra layer for warmth.

The Guidelines

But, as always, there are a few rules I’ll have to follow (and you too if you fancy it):

  1. Thin to thick – remember to layer your clothes in order of thickness. So the overshirt should be of a thicker material than your inside shirt.
  2. Knot it – speaking of the inside shirt, it should always be of a more crisp, pristine nature and knotted with a tie. Trust me, I’ve tested it out and it always looks better this way.
  3. Stay true to size – don’t size up for the outer layer! Buy your usual size and you’ll be surprised how much room there is to layer.
  4. Remember your history – this look is heavily rooted in a workerwear background, so try to pair it with more casual, workerwear pieces such as chinos, flannel trousers and boots.
  5. Have fun – you’re going for an unconventional look so why not have a bit of fun by playing with colour (albeit autumnal ones), texture and maybe even throw a bow tie in the mix?
Example Looks

Here are three example looks that I will be rocking come October. These would also be a good starting place for anyone wanting to try out this particular look:

Look 1

By now you should all own a lightweight blue chambray shirt. Pair this with some navy chinos and a blue and red striped bow tie and you’ve already got a solid preppy look in itself. However, throw an overshirt on top and you’ve got a whole new beast on your hands.

Pick up a flannel or cashmere-blend plaid shirt in a complementing colour such as purple, red or mustard yellow and leave the top three buttons undone. Then all you need is a tweed drivers cap (or snap back hats for those of you out there) and some brown suede desert boots:

  • Folk Chambray 3 Button Collar ShirtFolk Chambray 3 Button Collar Shirt
  • Reiss Zackery Long Sleeve Denim Look Shirt BlueReiss Zackery Long Sleeve Denim Look Shirt Blue
  • J.crew Cotton-chambray ShirtJ.crew Cotton-chambray Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Flannel Check Long Sleeve Shirt BdUniqlo Men Flannel Check Long Sleeve Shirt Bd
  • Suit Red Check Luther Flannel ShirtSuit Red Check Luther Flannel Shirt
  • Marc By Marc Jacobs Plaid Cotton-flannel ShirtMarc By Marc Jacobs Plaid Cotton-flannel Shirt
  • Lock & Co Hatters Herringbone Wool Flat CapLock & Co Hatters Herringbone Wool Flat Cap
  • Reiss Wickham Pressed Chinos NavyReiss Wickham Pressed Chinos Navy
  • Asos Desert Boots In SuedeAsos Desert Boots In Suede
Look 2

Why not just inverse the look? Pick up a broadcloth check shirt in a rich autumnal colour such as scarlet, olive or a deep brown and pair it with a thicker denim overshirt.

Give a nod to the coming cold weather with a herringbone necktie and a pair of grey wool dress trousers. Top the whole thing off with a pair of burgundy brogue boots:

  • Ami Slim-fit Check Cotton ShirtAmi Slim-fit Check Cotton Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Check Long Sleeve Shirt WUniqlo Men Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Check Long Sleeve Shirt W
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Check Long Sleeve Shirt PUniqlo Men Extra Fine Cotton Broadcloth Check Long Sleeve Shirt P
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Shirt In Slim Fit DenimPolo Ralph Lauren Shirt In Slim Fit Denim
  • Allsaints Bronson ShirtAllsaints Bronson Shirt
  • Acne Isherwood Button-down Collar Denim ShirtAcne Isherwood Button-down Collar Denim Shirt
  • Ted Baker Herbarc – Herringbone TieTed Baker Herbarc - Herringbone Tie
  • Farah Vintage Slim Trouser In Wool MixFarah Vintage Slim Trouser In Wool Mix
  • Mr. Hare Freud Textured-panel Leather BootsMr. Hare Freud Textured-panel Leather Boots
Look 3

Ever wondered what purpose a corduroy shirt could possibly have? Well, it works pretty well within this look.

Go for a contrasting colour shirt combination such as red and blue or green and yellow but change the hues. For example, a pink button down Oxford cloth under a navy corduroy over shirt with a knitted brown tie would look perfect.

Pair this one with some raw selvedge jeans and some brown double monks for the perfect weekend look. This can easily transition into a evening look by swapping the overshirt for a navy blazer, losing the tie and swapping the Dub’s for some black loafers.

  • Topman Plum Washed Oxford ShirtTopman Plum Washed Oxford Shirt
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Plain Oxford Slim Fit ShirtPolo Ralph Lauren Plain Oxford Slim Fit Shirt
  • Farah Vintage Sky Blue Hudson ShirtFarah Vintage Sky Blue Hudson Shirt
  • Allsaints Sorley ShirtAllsaints Sorley Shirt
  • Lee 101 Shirt CordLee 101 Shirt Cord
  • Aspesi Button-down Collar Fine-corduroy ShirtAspesi Button-down Collar Fine-corduroy Shirt
  • Polo Ralph Lauren One Rinse Varick Straight JeansPolo Ralph Lauren One Rinse Varick Straight Jeans
  • John Lobb William Leather Monk-strap ShoesJohn Lobb William Leather Monk-strap Shoes
  • Bass Weejun Black Larson LoaferBass Weejun Black Larson Loafer
Final Word

So there you have it guys, the main look I’m going to be attempting this AW12.

Before you all jump to the comments section to politely inform me how misinformed I am with trying this look out, why not first share what looks and trends you are going to try out this coming season? Or maybe what essential items you’re looking to purchase this time around.

Let me know guys!

Matt Allinson