During these lockdown days there can be a temptation to switch your style to wearing constant casual outfits. I've been rotating a number of polo shirts and t-shirts. But every so often I feel like putting on a shirt. Once bored of casual nature of a t-shirt, I've found wearing a collared shirt makes me feel a little more focused – maybe it's the change and getting out of habit. The great thing with shirts, nowadays is that you can have very comfortable shirts in lovely fabric, which most times feels nicer on the skin than a cotton or blend t-shirt. I've also found it fun to mix different styles of smart and casual as it's so much easier to break rules and to not offend anyone while self isolation.
Here I've selected a handful of shirts from notable shirt specialists and brands alike, that can bring you some fun and difference during this time period. Hopefully they become more than just lockdown pieces, but if this article can inspire you even to have a look in your wardrobe and resurface some unloved shirts to give them a second life. I've found that I prefer the looser fits nowadays compared to a few years ago when I wore fitted shirts. The classic or 'tailored' fits can be great for wearing around the house, either tucked into chinos or denim, or left untucked for even more comfort. I've even found myself being more proactive while wearing a shirt so there are benefits to be had.
Drake's Multi Check Patchwork Madras Button-Down Shirt
A fun number that you can't go wrong with. Multi-panelled checks comprise this Madras shirt which is probably THE work from home shirt you want. Equal parts fun and cool. If you ever saw one and thought 'who the hell would wear that?'. The answer is you, now while no-one's looking and you can make up your mind on it. I'm confident you'll be sold on it. There's energy and character in a madras and there's no denying you'll feel good and uplifted wearing one.
Drake's Multi Check Patchwork Madras Button-Down Shirt £195
Universal Works Road Shirt in Seersucker
I like Universal Works and they're aesthetic. Very much in tune with my liking for a slight refined casual styling with focus on quality fabrics. This is my only short sleeved option in my selection, probably better suited to when the sun comes out and you can enjoy a craft ale you got one a subscription service. Seersucker is ideal for warm weather with its breathable pockets of air in the fabric.
Universal Works Navy Seersucker Road Shirt £85
Eton Indigo Dyed Blue Denim Shirt
I do like a denim shirt (even a chambray), but a washed denim shirt gives a lived-in sort of feel that you want to go for when restricted to your living room, kitchen, hallway and study. The tougher nature of a denim shirt is also encouraging incase you wanted to dabble in some painting or pick up a new hobby. I'm looking at working on designing my own typeface, and I can envision doing most of that wearing an industrious looking denim shirt.
Eton Indigo Dyed Blue Denim Shirt £120
Paul Smith Panel Shirt
This panelled shirt is for the Ivy style lover or art appreciator who's not adverse to some colour blocking. However, the subdued colours in this Paul Smith version makes it a more approachable, with no worries of what to wear it with. This is more organised than a Madras shirt and appeals to my graphic designer in me. I can see myself working on grid layouts on InDesign while wearing this, or eyeing up the vacant wall and imagining what sort of artwork I could hang up.
Paul Smith Slim-Fit Dark Navy Panel Cotton Shirt £255
Emma Willis Gingham Zephirlino Shirt
Just incase I wanted to have more of a 'business' day at work/home – and I'm sure there are plenty of you still working from home and dialling into several Zoom conference calls – I'd probably wear a gingham shirt just to play with people's eyes on the screen. But in all seriousness, a gingham shirt is a classic that can be worn layered with a merino wool cardigan or buttoned wool sleeveless vest. Not my usual go-to, but this is the time to push the boat and try something different. i use to always look at those wearing a gingham shirt, trying to understand how they pulled it off. But I can see it as a next step after plan and striped shirts and is therefore a no-brainer for me to embrace and go with the flow.
Emma Willis Gingham Zephirlino Shirt £250
Emmett London Two Tone Linen Shirt
This is an exciting find. A linen shirt in a two tone colourway that grabbed my intrigue and attention. With a slubby linen the colours in the thread come out in a very organic uncontrolled way which I really like. Again, something different compared to a plain shirt. Also, linen is a favourite fabric of mine but be prepared for lots of ironing and steaming. Although you could always layer with a lightweight chore jacket or overshirt.