Autumn/Winter Shirting

Menswear loves a good buzzword, doesn’t it? Sprezzatura, Americana, sports luxe, timelessness, business-casual, essentials, capsule wardrobe, versatility… the list is endless. Many of them will inevitably be forgotten as soon as the trend they’re tied to falls out of favour, while others are now firmly entrenched within the industry.

Today’s topic focuses on the last word of the list above: versatility. A crucial part of any well-curated wardrobe, investing in staples that are able to adapt to both casual and formal scenarios not only increases your outfit options for any given event, but also helps keep your expenditure to a minimum.

This season’s key shirting options just so happen to tie in with this multitalented ethos, so we’re set to break down the ways you can wear each of them smart and casually…

The Denim Shirt

Denim, in all forms, has rightly cemented its place within menswear. Currently dominating industry hot lists, the fabric was extremely prominent within AW14 and SS15 collections – yet we all know that denim is much more than a flash in the pan trend.

Although typically considered a casual material, over recent years denim pieces have gradually crossed over into the smarter side of our wardrobes. Slim-fitting jeans are now regularly being paired with blazers, while the denim jacket has become a viable alternative to formal styles for dress-down Friday in the office.

The denim shirt is the latest piece to experience a notable rise in popularity, with many men now considering it a modern wardrobe essential due to its versatility.

No longer the reserve of the workerwear scene, this masculine option is being dressed up by sartorially-inclined gents across the world. In fact, today, you are just as likely to see it supporting a suit and tie as you would a shacket and heavy duty boots combination.

However, in order to get the most from your denim shirt, you need to get the style right. Look for slim-cut, button-down versions in dark blue and indigo washes for the best results – they can be dressed up or down with ease, bringing a rugged, tactile touch to traditionally smart aesthetics while taking casual ensembles up a notch due to their clean lines and fitted appearance.

Lookbook Inspiration: Casual Denim Shirts

Men's Denim Shirts - Casual Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

Olzen aw14zara 2012farrell aw12new look aw14j crew october 2014scotch & soda AMSTERDAMS BLAUW FALL 2014tesco f&f aw14river island aw13La Comédie Humaine aw14
Lookbook Inspiration: Smart Denim Shirts

Men's Denim Shirts - Smart Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

j crew aw13Baldessarini 2014suitsupply aw13he by mango september 2012he by mango aw13house of fraser aw13windsor aw14massimo dutti aw13asos christmas 2014
Outfit Inspiration: Denim Shirt, Double Duty

Below we’re going to take the exact same denim shirt and demonstrate how it can be used for both on- and off-duty occasions.

We’ll begin with the dressed-down look. Forget all preconceptions and past style sins, double denim has become a styling technique that all men should have in their repertoire.

This look is extremely easy to pull off, so long as you remember the golden rule: differ your washes. Here we contrast the blue wash shirt with some dark black jeans.

Finish with Chelsea boots or trainers and layer up with an on-trend camel overcoat – no one will be questioning your denim decisions:

  • He By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Denim ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Denim Shirt
  • Burton Camel Wool CoatBurton Camel Wool Coat
  • Frame Denim Vinoodh Black Magic Slim-fit Denim JeansFrame Denim Vinoodh Black Magic Slim-fit Denim Jeans
  • Topman Trigger Chelsea Brown Suedette Chelsea BootsTopman Trigger Chelsea Brown Suedette Chelsea Boots

The premise of a capsule wardrobe is that it can adapt to any scenario or occasion. Here we prove the denim shirt deserves a spot in your collection by dressing it up with some sharp tailoring for the office.

Start by combining it with a suit in this season’s key material trend, grey flannel, and knitted tie – the burgundy version below complements the shirt both in colour and texture.

Finish with some sharp black leather Derby shoes. You could even choose to layer up with the camel overcoat showcased in the outfit above:

  • He By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Denim ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Dark Wash Denim Shirt
  • Reiss Darcy Slim Silk Knitted Tie Wine BerryReiss Darcy Slim Silk Knitted Tie Wine Berry
  • Topman Grey Textured Skinny Fit SuitTopman Grey Textured Skinny Fit Suit
  • Asos Derby ShoesAsos Derby Shoes
Key Styles
  • Allsaints Munrow Denim ShirtAllsaints Munrow Denim Shirt
  • Gap Gap + Gq Brooklyn Tailors Denim ShirtGap Gap + Gq Brooklyn Tailors Denim Shirt
  • Lee Western Denim Shirt In Pitch BlackLee Western Denim Shirt In Pitch Black
  • He By Mango Classic-fit Dark Denim ShirtHe By Mango Classic-fit Dark Denim Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Denim Long Sleeve ShirtUniqlo Men Denim Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Topman Blue Bleach Denim Long Sleeve ShirtTopman Blue Bleach Denim Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Burberry Brit Washed-denim ShirtBurberry Brit Washed-denim Shirt
  • Jean Machine Switch Denim Shirt 200833Jean Machine Switch Denim Shirt 200833
  • Simon Miller Denim ShirtSimon Miller Denim Shirt
The Checked Shirt

As the menswear industry took off, checked shirts went through a period where they were considered the ultimate men’s style overload. You couldn’t move on the high street without spotting one and sadly that level of saturation eventually saw them fall out of favour with many discerning gents.

Yet over recent years their popularity has waned slightly and it seems the check shirt is now ready to stage its comeback, tying in nicely with AW14’s big check/tartan trend. Those made of autumn/winter-appropriate materials are particularly worthy of consideration, with the flannel check shirt recently highlighted as one of FashionBeans’ five key pieces for the new season.

There’s a wealth of styles available on the current market, at all price points. Check has become a blanket term for everything from buffalo plaid to tartan, but if you’re looking for the ultimate in versatility, you will never go wrong with a classic gingham shirt. Closely linked with mod style, it can be dressed up with tailored separates or down with a parka and jeans at the weekend.

Much like its denim cousin, the check shirt is one that every guy should have hanging in his wardrobe. It’s a true essential that simply requires you to come up with creative, individual ways of styling it. Which is exactly what we’re set to help you with…

Lookbook Inspiration: Casual Check Shirts

Men's Check Shirts - Casual Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

pull & bear october 2014burton aw14asos 2014forever21 aw14he by mango winter 2014brax aw14David Naman aw14allsaints november 2014ben sherman aw14
Lookbook Inspiration: Smart Check Shirts

Men's Check Shirts - Smart Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

j crew october 2014zara 2012vistula aw14banana republic pre aw14sisley aw14suitsupply aw13hugo boss sportswear aw14j crew august 2014he by mango fall 2014
Outfit Inspiration: A Check Shirt For Work & Play

The checked shirt is a style chameleon – it can be seamlessly integrated into an array of different aesthetics, from preppy to punk.

For this casual look we style the check shirt in a more current, contemporary way by combining it with a leather biker and some slip-on trainers. Indigo wash jeans anchor the ensemble and allow the luxe leather to take centre stage, while the vintage Black Watch tartan print provides the all-important detailing and personality.

You could mix this outfit up even further by using your shirt as a creative accessory: tie it around your waist (a key styling technique within Ovadia & Sons’ AW14 collection) to add a touch of grunge to the ensemble, using a basic white tee in its place:

  • Reclaimed Vintage Checked ShirtReclaimed Vintage Checked Shirt
  • Allsaints Jasper Leather JacketAllsaints Jasper Leather Jacket
  • River Island Dark Wash Dylan Slim JeansRiver Island Dark Wash Dylan Slim Jeans
  • Balmain Leather Slip-on Trainers 205035Balmain Leather Slip-on Trainers 205035

Reinforcing its versatility, the same checked shirt could actually be worn to the office, if your dress code is slightly more relaxed. Take a tactile approach to your tailoring by favouring heavyweight, seasonally-appropriate fabrics.

Here, a tweed blazer and woollen trousers combination ensures you appear sharp and sophisticated, bringing a British heritage edge to your classic tartan shirt.

Team with a matte navy tie and some tan brogues to really reinforce the underlying outdoor influences running through the look:

  • Reclaimed Vintage Checked ShirtReclaimed Vintage Checked Shirt
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris TweedAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris Tweed
  • Incotex Slim-fit Donegal Wool TrousersIncotex Slim-fit Donegal Wool Trousers
  • Ben Sherman Ista Short Wing Brogue ShoeBen Sherman Ista Short Wing Brogue Shoe
Key Styles
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Plaid ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Plaid Shirt
  • Obey Morton Check ShirtObey Morton Check Shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Check ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Check Shirt
  • River Island Cream Check Long Sleeve ShirtRiver Island Cream Check Long Sleeve Shirt
  • River Island Red Check Long Sleeve ShirtRiver Island Red Check Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Reiss Marty Slim-fit Check Shirt BordeauxReiss Marty Slim-fit Check Shirt Bordeaux
  • Saturdays Surf Nyc Crosby Windowpane-check Cotton-flannel ShirtSaturdays Surf Nyc Crosby Windowpane-check Cotton-flannel Shirt
  • Nn.07 Frede Gingham-check Cotton ShirtNn.07 Frede Gingham-check Cotton Shirt
  • Ben Sherman Yellow Pop Tartan Check Long Sleeve ShirtBen Sherman Yellow Pop Tartan Check Long Sleeve Shirt
The Overshirt

By far the least common of our three shirting picks, the overshirt isn’t something many would even consider when looking to expand their autumn/winter options.

A cross between a shirt and jacket, it retains the classic shirt silhouette but is often made from thicker, warmer materials and usually comes lined. Quilted takes have also come to the fore due to the technical fabric trending for AW14.

The overshirt comes into its own during milder autumn days, where it can operate as a temporary jacket, yet it makes a great layering piece as temperatures continue to drop through winter. Just make sure you stick to slimmer, tailored versions in order to really harness its versatility.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Overshirts Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

penneys aw14scotch & soda aw13 amsterdams blauwh&m aw14gant rugger aw14avva aw14asos aw14tesco f&f aw14M.Grifoni denim aw13asos christmas 2014drykorn aw14allsaints aw14h&m 2013
Outfit Inspiration: Overshirt Versatility

The overshirt is set to become your new go-to piece this season. Its ability to operate as a top or middle layer will be invaluable as the weather worsens, with the art of layering vital to overcoming the elements.

Shore up your off-duty ensembles by slotting the overshirt in-between your outerwear and middle layer – in this case it’s a timeless pea coat and on-trend roll neck pairing.

Your staple navy chinos, a pair of practical boots and a textured beanie complete this rugged look:

  • Asos Merino Roll Neck JumperAsos Merino Roll Neck Jumper
  • Allsaints Stove ChinoAllsaints Stove Chino
  • Maison Martin Margiela 14 Mens Blue Alpaca-wool Beanie HatMaison Martin Margiela 14 Mens Blue Alpaca-wool Beanie Hat
  • Nn.07 Erik Boiled-wool OvershirtNn.07 Erik Boiled-wool Overshirt
  • Reiss Roman Wool-rich Peacoat CherryReiss Roman Wool-rich Peacoat Cherry
  • Diemme Roccia Vet Boot Jasper OntarioDiemme Roccia Vet Boot Jasper Ontario

The overshirt can just as easily be integrated into your smarter getups. In this look, we’re dressing it up by opting for the shirt-come-jacket over a blazer.

Underneath, team a non-matching trousers and waistcoat combination with an Oxford button-down and textured plaid tie.

Individual and creative, this outfit would be ideal for business-casual work environments, smart-casual occasions or a night out:

  • Uniqlo Men Oxford Slim Fit Long Sleeve ShirtUniqlo Men Oxford Slim Fit Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Topman Brown Flannel Suit WaistcoatTopman Brown Flannel Suit Waistcoat
  • Nn.07 Erik Boiled-wool OvershirtNn.07 Erik Boiled-wool Overshirt
  • He By Mango Check Wool-blend TieHe By Mango Check Wool-blend Tie
  • Reiss Charles T Modern Tailored Trousers GreyReiss Charles T Modern Tailored Trousers Grey
  • Grenson Finnegan Derby Shoes In MahoganyGrenson Finnegan Derby Shoes In Mahogany
Key Styles
  • Asos Overshirt In Long Sleeve With QuiltingAsos Overshirt In Long Sleeve With Quilting
  • Marshall Artist Garment Dyed Field Overshirt In BlackMarshall Artist Garment Dyed Field Overshirt In Black
  • Allsaints Dearborn ShirtAllsaints Dearborn Shirt
  • Pull & Bear Large Check Quilted OvershirtPull & Bear Large Check Quilted Overshirt
  • Shore Leave Overshirt In CharcoalShore Leave Overshirt In Charcoal
  • Topman Grey Quilted Long Sleeve OvershirtTopman Grey Quilted Long Sleeve Overshirt
  • Wemoto Long Sleeve Ohno Striped OvershirtWemoto Long Sleeve Ohno Striped Overshirt
  • Barbour Quilted Mined OvershirtBarbour Quilted Mined Overshirt
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Check Fleece OvershirtPolo Ralph Lauren Check Fleece Overshirt
Final Word

The capsule wardrobe concept is one that we here at FashionBeans continue to champion – and the three shirts showcased above fit into this philosophy seamlessly. Being able to dress an item up or down makes it a huge wardrobe asset, providing you with a wealth of styling options and saving you money in the process.

But now we want to hear your view – so leave a comment to let us know what you make of our three AW14 shirt choices and how we’ve styled them…