You don't need to throw on a big coat once the weather gets colder. Why not keep your look all year round with a nice overshirt? Overshirts are a crossover between a shirt and a jacket which are easy to layer and style. The fact that they are functional, casual and not very well known make them one of our favourite pieces. There should be room for at least one in your wardrobe!
Overshirts are outerwear items which are constructed like shirts and wear like jackets. They most often feature collars, front closure (buttons or zipper) and barrel cuffs from shirts, but are made with thicker, warmer materials and sometimes pockets derived from jackets.
Overshirts run the gamut from very shirt-like to appear more like a jacket, but are almost always unlined. Most of them are made of a dense weave which block more wind than a knit sweater would. It is not uncommon to see wool or technical fabrics.
How to wear
The whole clue here is versatility. You can simply use an overshirt instead of a shirt on a chilly day, or you can combine it with underwear and outerwear once the winter is here in proper. Normally you can keep wearing it as a shirt once inside.
Generally we find that overshirts are best worn on top of simple undergarments. We recommend a round collar T-shirt, a longsleeve or a wool jersey so that only the overshirt is visible when fully closed. With a thick, jacket-like overshirt you can pull off having a regular shirt underneath, but avoid this with thinner, shirt-like equivalents so it doesn't look like you just put two shirts on top of one another.
Since the overshirt is essentially a light jacket you can wear it open or closed. When worn open a good touch is to use contrasting colours, such as a light tee with a dark overshirt or vice-versa. Avoid too many patterns or crashing colours - the overshirt should do most of the talking. As overshirt fabrics are thicker and stiffer than a shirt, you should refrain from tucking it in your trousers or rolling up the sleeves.
How to fit
Most overshirts fit a bit more generously than pure shirts in order to make room for a baselayer underneath. They are, however, nowhere near as bulky as a dedicated jacket, which is part of the appeal. As a rule you should go with your regular shirt size. You can size up one notch for an oversized look, but there is no point in sizing down. Make sure that you can fit more than just a tee underneath.
A brand's fit will generally carry over to their overshirts:
- Schnayderman's overshirts fit long and slim.
- Libertine-Libertine overshirts run wider, especially at the shoulders and sleeves.
- Goetze overshirts are pretty boxy with short bodies and should fit like jackets.
- Séfr Séfr overshirts fit straight and regular.
- Livid Jeans overshirts fit slightly more oversize than their regular shirts, with straight sides and back.
See our collection of overshirts here!