A Newbie’s Guide to The Best Men’s Overshirts

Last updated: March 14, 2022

Men’s style has made quite a comeback in the last few years, with unique silhouettes and adrogynous styles being embraced more and more by the masses.

Men have a desire to look interesting, to break away from the old t-shirt and Jean’s pact, but without necessarily sacrificing the convenience of a ready-to-wear option.

There is also increasing demand for clothes that are versatile. With the rise of minimalism and sustainable fashion, people are looking for items that can be worn with multiple different outfits and last for years to come. Entrée: The Overshirt.

What is an overshirt?

Since this has been classified as a “newbie’s” guide, the first order of things may be to talk about what exactly an overshirt is. While the overshirt has gained traction in the last few years , it is far from being a new invention. For the uninitiated, an overshirt may look just like a plain old, well, shirt. But it serves a larger purpose than that.

Overshirts were originally worn in the early 1900s to protect more precious clothing from damage, such as suits. They have evolved since then into a versatile fashion piece, something to add structure and visual interest to what may otherwise be a plain outfit, with the benefit of some added warmth. They are not as heavy as a jacket, and tend to have a cleaner overall look. Overshirts have a recognizably boxy silhouette, loose at the hips with front-facing pockets.

As for fit, many are oversized, in keeping with the recent embrace of baggy clothing (due in part to the influence of the K-Pop industry). Others may keep to a more traditional sizing, but you won’t find an overshirt that is tight.

While an overshirt can have a zipper, they are usually button-up fronts and can either have several pockets, or none at all. They come in various fabrics such as corduroy, cotton, denim, and wool. They can fall at the waist, or as low as the mid-thigh. I think it’s becoming clear that overshirts come in a variety of different iterations! Chances are, you can find a perfect overshirt for any occasion.

Today, we will go over a few different types of overshirts as well as examples from various retailers who are really killing the overshirt game.

The Classic

The 24 Overshirt – Lestrange London

A true over-“shirt”, a lightweight cotton piece such as this one from Lestrange London, gives this fashion item its distinguishable name. It appears to be a regular shirt at first, with a button-up front and a lack of pockets for a seamless, clean silhouette.

An overshirt like this is extremely user friendly. More of a basic than a statement piece, it could be paired well with both an undershirt for a trendy look, or closed like the picture above for a more formal occasion.

Because it is made from cotton, overshirts such as these won’t cause you to overheat, and make the transition from day to night easier.

The All-Arounder

Whiting Overshirt Black Jumbo Cord – Wax London

Overshirts such as this one, made with recycled yarn by Wax London, are designed for their versatility. Slightly oversized, it creates a sexy rumpled look while still being put together.

The jumbo cord made with organic cotton insulates heat while still staying breathable, so you’ll find yourself comfortably wearing this overshirt throughout the year. The cord texture also adds visual interest, while making the fabric feel more substantial than a regular shirt. Two front pockets keep the look modern.

Look for a strong piece such as this if you want an easy pop of style to “zhuzh” up your regular ensemble.

The Retro-Inspo

The Wool Overshirt – Asket

Inspired by the original overshirts worn by craftsmen and laborers during the 20th century, this type of overshirt is a reliable cut that is both unique in its nostalgic design, while still staying on-trend.

Look for three front pockets and a more fitted cut, such as the one pictured above by Asket, to find an overshirt reminiscent of earlier days. It may allow you to hop on the overshirt trend without finding yourself trapped in the unpredictable in-again, out-again fashion culture.

No need to closet this one when overshirts inevitably go out of style. A piece like this is timeless, and will keep you warm throughout the years.

The Shacket

Checked Overshirt – Closed

The shacket is perhaps the most trendy member to arise from the overshirt Renaissance. Found in outlet stores throughout the world, this shirt and jacket hybrid offers a bolder choice for those looking to dive headfirst into this particular style (with some added coziness to boot).

Usually made from wool or flannel, the shacket can be short or long, and has the benefit of making shoulders seem broader and waists look longer. The one pictured above is by Closed and is made of 100% wool with a unique checkered pattern exclusive to the brand.

Large breast pockets create visual impact, and the high-quality fabric is great for fall and winter. No need to sacrifice style for warmth!

The Practical One

Waterproof Workshirt – Percival Clo

Not all overshirts have swapped out function for style. This waterproof work shirt from Percival Clo is made with the working man in mind. Durable and constructed with a cotton blend to whisk away moisture, this jacket will last you forever, and I mean forever.

It defies wear and tear, and is cut wide to accommodate a multitude of undergarments. If you’re looking for something both striking and highly practical, look for an overshirt made with durable fabric to last you through the work day.

Conclusion

Now that we’ve reached the end, you should know a bit more about overshirts than you once did. They are a great option for anyone looking to add highly versatile, yet fashion-forward items to their wardrobe.

There are plenty more options than those listed above, so if you keep an eye out, you should find the perfect garment for your specific needs. Happy shopping!