Rayon shirts, and tucking in or out
I’ve been interested in rayon shirts recently, perhaps as I’ve been dressing a bit more casually and would like an alternative to linen.
However, I’ve found it hard to find the perfect model. Usually the collar is the issue - this is a retro material, and the shirts often come with retro styling, which means wider collars.
This can look great on larger men or those with larger features - like Ethan at Bryceland's for example. And they work well if that’s more your overall style I think, as it is for Scott Simpson.
But for a guy looking for a more subtle, everyday style, they can be a bit much. I’d love a Bryceland's rayon but I’ve tried them a few times over the years only to reinforce this conclusion.
It was nice, therefore, to find the rayon shirt pictured from Pherrow’s, sold at Clutch Cafe.
It has a smaller collar - the kind of thing a shirtmaker might cut as his default camp collar. To put it in numbers, it measures 7cm to the point, compared to 10cm for the Bryceland's.
It’s also possible for collars to be too small, at least for me. This seems to largely happen with mainstream shirts, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising given their button-down collars and jacket lapels are so small.
But I also have an old Gitman Bros camp-collar shirt from Trunk that has a 5cm collar. I end up undoing more buttons and rolling the fronts open, to try and increase the size.
It’s worth emphasising that - as with everything we discuss - the point here is not to just follow someone’s preferences or dimensions - mine or anyone else’s. Rather, it is to understand another's preferences and then consider whether they apply to you. They may not.
Featuring this rayon shirt brings up some other issues readers have asked about. Let’s try and deal with one of them: tucking in and out.
In very hot weather - as many of us have experienced in recent weeks - it can be much cooler to wear a shirt untucked. Air flow makes a difference.
But a tucked-in shirt is usually more flattering, and certainly more elegant. It gives you a clean line at the waist and it makes the upper body look wider. It also lengthens the legs and brings attention to a nicely cut trouser.
For those reasons, and because elegance is always at the back of my mind (no matter what I’m wearing), I will wear a rayon shirt like this tucked in most of the time.
I’d also encourage others to try it. It might not be the intuitive thing to do, but try tucking a short-sleeved shirt into a pair of good linen trousers - they don't have to be expensive, just with a nice line, length and colour.
Still I will wear a shirt like this untucked, and it’s more natural to do so with one that has short sleeves and a square hem.
That's the question readers usually ask: when would you wear a shirt untucked?
With a shirt like this, but I'd also be more likely to do so with a long-sleeved one that had a square hem, and would do so last of all with something that was long-sleeved with a regular hem (a normal shirt, basically).
Untucking a regular shirt can look good, and I recommended a linen shirt like that from A&S recently. But it takes a little more consideration to make sure it doesn’t look like you’ve just untucked your office poplin.
If you're going to do that then having a square, blowsy cut helps; as does a soft collar and cuffs; unbuttoning it more to create shape is nice; also wearing something close-fitted underneath, like a vest; and sticking with casual, open-weave materials.
It's no coincidence that the same kinds of things apply to overshirts - they're usually looser and softer in the same way.
The other subject short-sleeved shirts can bring up is bold patterns - Aloha shirts and the like.
Two kinds really turn me off - the ‘fun’ type (Snoopy surfing anyone?) and the ones with that kind of dense pattern that reminds me of English men like Noel Edmonds.
Actually, it’s unfair to lump this on Noel. The English middle-aged male generally is guilty of wearing ‘party’ shirts that have close Liberty-like patterns, presumably because it’s an obvious way to show that this is not an office shirt.
But patterns more broadly are probably best left for another day. For the moment I'm sticking with love this plain ‘black’ from Pherrow’s, which is actually an inky navy. Following its success I bought the ‘natural’ - a kind of sand - but that benefits from something white underneath, like a vest, otherwise it rather washes me out. Always a risk with creams and related colours.
The shoes are Edward Green unlined Belgravias, in black suede. The trousers are brown linen, from this Sexton suit. The bag is my old old Frank Clegg working tote. If anyone has any questions on the shirt - fit, feel, material etc - do ask in the comments.
Photography: Alex Natt
Great timing on the article as I am currently looking for a short sleeve camp collar loose cut straight hem shirt.
I have a question regarding the cloth : what exactly is rayon ? Is it always cotton ? Do you feel ‘sweaty’ as in polyester ? What is the feel, texture like ?
It’s a synthetic, but made with natural materials. Sometimes called a semi-synthetic.
It feels light and cool, similar to a lightweight silk but perhaps a bit smoother and lighter
Rayon is not a synthetic fabric (made from synthetic polimers), but a semi synthetic, made from cellulose fibers (basically wood pulp, like paper). In most European countries it is also called viscose. Because it’s made of natural materials, it does breathe. The diadvatntage is that it wrinkles like crazy. It is sometimes called a cheaper alternative to silk, although it usually does not have the same sheen.
Thanks Anna – I said it could be called a semi-synthetic. Yes, it does wrinkle quite a lot, though I’ve found that’s not so much of an issue worn like this – only if, for example, you tuck it in and then later untuck it.
How would you compare this shirt to an equivalent in 100% cotton or linen? I don’t really like viscose, but like this style of shirt
It’s more similar to silk than cotton or linen. Cotton won’t usually drape in the same way, unless it’s superfine, and then it looks rather dressy. Linen is great, but will wrinkle quicker and show it more.
It feels cool to the touch (like linen) and drapes attractively, which makes it flow and increase air flow. It feels cool to wear, more so than cotton certainly.
However, as with any material, it’s also important to recognise that there are different types and weights of rayon. If you wore the bemberg lining of a jacket as a shirt like this, it would be too heavy, densely woven, and so hot.
It can also go by the brand name Tencel
I think Tencel is strictly a type of Rayon? Anyway, not a big difference
If there is a difference, i think it is in the source of the cellulose (bamboo, beech, etc), bit as you say, not a big difference in the final spun cellulose fabric
I have to say that i love rayon fabrics for casual hot weather shirts, but i also struggle to find a collar i like. Certainly RTW
Really not sure on this.
I am not a fan of synthetics at any time, they do not breathe, I remember Bri-Nylon. I note you wear a layer underneath possibly to counter the lack of wicking.
The cut seems to be too boxy, coupled with the drape of the material hides the waist.
You are relatively slim yet your waist is destroyed the bunching when tucked in gives a spare tyre, when out it is totally bereft of shape.
I have a 46in chest the boxy cut would give me a 46in waist, when it is 36-38in.
There must be a style you are trying to achieve, latino? But I do not see tailoring nor quality materials.
Sorry it is a No from Me.
It’s a mistake to group together all synthetics – they perform very differently, as well as being made in different ways. Rayon feels very cool, and performs as silk would.
The cut is certainly boxy, which is partly the style and partly the fact it’s RTW. If it were MTM I would have the shape a touch slimmer in the body and the collar higher, but that’s RTW for you. I could yet have the body tapered by a local seamstress.
It also sounds like this is simply not your style as well though
I’ve bought some tencel/linen blend shirts recently and I really like the feel and drape . . . as well as the cooling properties.
Hi Simon – what I have wondered is what exactly is rayon? Is it natural or man-made? How does it wash etc? Best wishes, Rob
See comment above Rob, and a quick Google search will give you all the technical information.
It performs and washes a lot like silk – a delicate wash in a machine is fine. It does wrinkle fairly quickly in the same way too – you wouldn’t want to stuff it in a drawer, or it would need ironing again afterwards
thats exactly what i mean as an elegant, classic mens summer style! A few linen trousers, cotton short sleeved shirts and tassel loafers. Of course plain colored shirts, always tucked in!! Maybe some stripes, but thats about it. And that camp collar.. how flattering. The white underwear t-shirt detail, that women love to hate!!
well… very nice beggining for the 1st day of the month
I wish a cool, restful August
Do you think the v of the collar opening should frame the width of the face? This shirt does and it looks very well balance.
I think it’s certainly something to consider, yes Peter.
In a similar way a slightly higher collar would look better on me – and it’s what I’d have were it being made for me.
I do sometimes fold collars like that a little higher on the back, go get that effect, but rayon would be too soft for that to work
As an additional point if your short then tucked in will definitely make you appear taller.
Just a thought but why not add pleats to the back of that shirt , give it shape, without it becoming too restricted ?
I’m actually looking at buying linen shirts at the moment and ,whilst the Cordings ones are a very good cloth , wondering whether to wear them as they come (loose and baggy) or altered with pleats .
Good point on height Robin.
By adding pleats, do you mean a box pleat in the centre of the back, under the yoke?
Sorry, no not a box pleat but two darts to give it a bit of shape thru the waist .
I’m so used to tailored clothes on this site that anything boxy seems odd.
Aha, darts not pleats – that makes more sense.
I have actually tried darting shirts like this in the past, to give them more shape, but the result is a little odd. I would recommend slimming a little through the side seams instead. Otherwise it starts to hang oddly if you wear it untucked (darts alter the front/back balance)
I had a Cordings linen shirt some time back; they are quite generous in width & length. I had mine slimmed, shortened with a straight bottom & two side vents & changed the collar to be smaller & less stiff. Now I wear it more often.
First to say Yea 😎 I myself was toiling with this shirt style and how could I possibly fit it in my wardrobe. But I realised it’s not I will enjoy wearing (who knows I might if I did it well), but not my thing for now. It’s gives me clarity after reading your thoughts on this type of shirt and styling. Thanks Simon.
I suggest buying a cheap one on eBay and try it out to see if you like the style
Very simple and elegant. I actually really like the blousy-ness when tucked in, I think it’s a nice contrast with the trouser waistband but still feels relaxed. I do like the contrast with the vest underneath – I prefer it to the ‘sleazecore’ look of unbuttoned shirt and vest (though I can certainly appreciate the practicality on a particularly hot day or on the beach).
Is the pocket strong enough to hold a pair of sunglasses?
Only just. I woudn’t bend over far with them in there…
Wow. Rayon is never a material I would have associated with Permanent Style; nor would one have thought the words ‘elegant’ and ‘rayon’ could be used in the same sentence.
I suppose I must reconsider.
Thanks for the view Fred but let’s keep it civil please. Cheers
Why not? Bemberg is used in almost all tailored jacket linings and it is a type of rayon.
Really nice. I found one for myself, but it’s viscose. Is there actually a difference between viscose and rayon?
Viscose is a type of rayon, using just one type of natural material
This is a great looking shirt. I think its slouchy, relaxed vibe would be complemented perfectly with some Casatlantic trousers or similar higher rise pleated chinos.
I think the only way to carry off this look is to have darker skin or a tan.In the photos Simon there is too much pale skin on display which isn’t very flattering.A better alternative in my opinion would be a conventional dress shirt,perhaps in a blue fabric with the sleeves rolled up a little,slim chinos and Sagans or espadrilles.
Thanks. I disagree to be honest – see similar aesthetics on a few friends, Scott Simpson among them. I think it might be mostly associations. But that look would also be nice – just rather different and a bit more conventional. This kind of look is not for everyone
My basic rule when it comes to wearing a casual shirt has always been to wear it untucked when I’m wearing shorts, and to tuck it in when I’m wearing full-length trousers.
It’s certainly a “Summer Look,” but unfortunately doesn’t work on me. I’ve tried some of these short-sleeved shirts at The Anthology Taipei just last week, and was really excited about it before I tried them on. Definitely agree on your comment that these shirts would work much better on people with more character, such as Ethan of Bryceland. What’s your take on boating stripes on short-sleeve shirts? The dos and don’t on the color combination or collar types/shapes for example. Thanks in advance.
I would have thought stripes like that would have been bolder and harder to pull off than this one? Or am I missing something?
You’re not wrong. At least for me, they are both hard to pull off, but I still appreciate the look, hence the question. Have it made with higher collar and trim it at the waist should make it suit me better, since my build is slim and tall (184cm, 72kg). Yet, I fear that this alteration would very largely change the silhouette of the shirt and loss the causal/holiday feel to it.
Color is another issue, I’ll stick with colder or more muted colors such as Navy, Olive, and Beige/cream. Warm colors just don’t work on me, or maybe that’s just personal preference.
Yes, I think with the alterations or having something MTM it helps a lot if you’re buying from a maker you trust the style of, or have tried on something of theirs already. Unfortunately not an area makers are always great at
Very nice shirt and interesting newsletter, as usual. I like the look of the undershirt (which I believe you call a vest) and would even think it was necessary, given the amount of chest the wearer would be showing otherwise. Do you agree?
I think it’s a question of the look you want, Charles, and the situation. I would be happy wearing it without the vest on holiday in the summer, for example, given the heat. But I would not do so in London and not when it wasn’t clearly a practical choice
Ιn hot climates like the one i live in, cotton undershirt is almost necessary becαuse it absorbs sweat, which would otherwise appear on the shirt. So, perhaps due to the given need, it became a summer style, mainly for old fashioned men (younger or older) who wear camp collar shirts.
Thanks Dimitris, yes I’ve always found this area interesting. It’s something the Americans do more than the northern Europeans at least. But I never quite understood why people do it with a vest rather than an undershirt that has sleeves. Because if it’s just a vest do you not show sweat from the armpits on the shirt?
Good morning Simon!
More than Europeans, not just northern Europeans! I guess it is 40’s American influences.. the young man in the sleevless underwear, the cigarete at the ear, the fire hydrant on the street corner spewing water.. Well, in the summer, i only use 100% cotton undershirt with sleeves, which are not visible ftom the wide and almost elbow length sleeves of the camp collar shirts. The reason, you just mentioned it above. And yes, i don’t understand why people use sleeveless underwear while we sweat mainly in our armpits. I also use those “vests”, but with white long sleeve shirts, in the winter (even with a tie and cufflinks) when the temperature is low and does not cause sweat. Thats because i dont like shirts worn directly to the skin and dont even want the underwear sleeve to show through the translucent formal shirt. Also use knee high, thin, cotton or linen socks with the tassel loafers, in the summer.. do not feel comfortable without..
I find that I sweat mainly on the front and back of the torso and not at all under the arms (effective anti-perspirant I guess). I’ve tried using undershirts with sleeves but I can’t get over the feeling that they interfere too much with the drape of the shirt sleeves. The vest is just where I sweat and nonexistent elsewhere. Also, the vests goes under t-shirts as well, which is useful when I want to wear my t-shirt untucked, but I don’t want to expose the small of the back when I lean over.
Yes Bjorn.. very accurate observation and unfortunately, you are 100% right about how the sleeved underwear interferes with the drape of the (formal mainly) shirt. The only solution that i see, is very thin and tight to the body, cotton undershirts. In the cold days its ok, because you have the suit jacket on.. so with the braces, some say that they must not be visible, as an underwear it used to be
Re the undershirt here’s my two cents. I wear a T-shirt style in winter and an A-shirt in the summer.
I go with the latter because there is less fabric which I find cooler. Everyone is different but I find that the overall tradeoff suits me and mitigates sweat better than having a second t shirt style undershirt.
Good morning Simon G. Its nice to have a common ground for ideas about solving “problems”! I enjoy the noble dialogue with the readers of P.S.
A pair of Stan Smiths, would take this look to another level, pushing the envelope.
Cheers Roger. I think I’d wear a slightly slimmer sneaker with tailored trousers like this, or even a canvas shoe – might be a little more refined
Hi Simon. Love the silhouette and the textures. A really sophisticated look. Shows how cold colours work with a Summer outfit.,
Cheers Daniel – hadn’t thought about the cold colours point, but yes good point
I accidentally made the Rayon leap this summer (with this: https://mobile.yoox.com/ca/12705817AV/item#dept=clothingmen&sts=SearchResult&cod10=12705817AV&sizeId=-1). I only realized once I had the tags off, and was busy kicking myself until the fabric won me over. The drape was so good (I also wear it tucked it). I’ve not yet been able to find another rayon shirt that drapes as well though. Now I see it’s on sale I’m tempted to buy another…
I like rayon shirts but I’m always disappointed by how much they seem to shrink with laundering. Perhaps I should try dry cleaning but that just seems excessive for a casual shirt.
Regardless, this is a nice look. The subtle slate-ish color of the shirt is nice.
Follow-up question: do you get linen trousers such as these lined to the knee? It seems a bit counterproductive since a linen is meant to be breathable, but I’ve encountered this in RTW many times.
Thanks Magnus. Are you washing delicately? I use my normal delicate machine wash for these shirts, and there is no shrinkage. It’s important to make sure you do all parts of it – low temperature, low agitation (wool or delicate setting), low spin, and drying on a rack.
I stopped buying rayon shirts when I gave away my aloha shirts years ago. The fabric did not breath like my summer linen shirts and it is a bit silly to wear an aloha shirt in the Midwest to my way of thinking. Your white undershirt showing does not look good in my opinion. Thank you for this discussion.
Thanks for your contribution to it William
If you didn’t have PS would you still bother with off the rack shirts? Wouldn’t it be easier (though obviously more expensive) just to find some good rayon material and bring it to a tailor in that case? Even with the smaller collar, I don’t find this shirt particularly remarkable.
I’d certainly buy less, but rayon is not an easy material to source for a shirtmaker, certainly in any variety of weights and colours/patterns.
And then there’s design. The downside of a tailor or shirtmaker is nearly always their lack of style – a combination of them spending no time on design, not creating any samples for the customer to try, and not having access to the same range of materials as a RTW brand (or having the scale to create their own).
To have something made I would want to try on a several rayon RTW shirts, to understand what collar shape I liked and what body fit and length, before then buying the best one, taking it to a shirtmaker, and have them make the style from then onwards. I think my experience with the collars here is a good example of how tricky it is to get that aspect of design right for example.
Does that make sense?
Yes, certainly if you don’t know exactly what your measurements are rtw can provide a useful reference. At this point I know my shirt dimensions precisely enough that rtw is never quite right, so I don’t bother. Using my local shop, the price disparity isn’t so significant either.
Thanks Ben. If you were ever trying a new style of shirt, which more naturally had a larger body fit, then perhaps that would be more limiting. Or indeed a new collar style. But perhaps that doesn’t really apply to you
That shirt, i.e. short sleeves and deep front chest opening, is casual and not made to be tucked in or any other type of formal look. I would just wear it tucked out even if it looks blousy. Also, not a fan of the undershirt which shows.
That’s not really true Dan, at least historically. The kind of sports shirts that these were designed on (and a brand like Pherrows is explicitly inspired by) were often worn tucked in – an untucked shirt was seen as rather sloppy.
I’m not saying that means everyone should do the same today, but it is the kind of look that can be inspiring today when everyone is so dressed down. This article is interesting in that regard – though it’s more about knitted pieces.
Very interesting article, Simon, thanks. Being from Sydney, where the summer’s are hot and humid, I’ve been increasingly experimenting with camp collars, but so far only in linen and pique cotton. Do you find Rayon tends to stick to you in hot weather, or does it stay comfortably off your skin as, for example, linen does?
A few of my thoughts on the camp collar style:
I find rayon doesn’t stick, no, because it has a nice airy drape to it. It’s not quite as cool to the touch as linen, but both are better than cotton.
Thanks for the other observations, I’d never thought about the one on vintage materials, and haven’t tried the Stoffa version.
These ‘vests on show’ are a strange thing, I see them in the movies and confess to thinking they look cool (in certain circumstances) but when I try it myself I feel awkward and slightly ridiculous… I guess we are only comfortable in things we are comfortable in.
Maybe try without so many buttons undone Gary? I think it’s nice with just a little peep of vest too, though again this is quite personal (and depends what the wife/partner thinks as well…)
Aye it looks nice… on others… just cant get myself comfortable with it. T-shirt yes, vest no, and I have tried. Just one of those things eh, maybe the contrast with the hair all bursting forth at the top of the vest, who knows but I do like the shirt and agree with the collar size issues.
Yeah, hair length and density are certainly factors – a bit probably helps, but a lot pushes it towards lothario!
Always thought myself more of a Lounge Lizard than a Lothario but yes…. Heading that direction
I can picture it now
”But patterns more broadly are probably best left for another day.”
A great future topic for sure. It seems to me there’s a fine line, but when done right … Bryceland‘s diver print rayon comes to mind. In many ways it’s so similar to a snoopy surfer print, yet there’s something so right about it. It seems like “the” shirt for summer 2022, based on how often I’ve seen it online.
I think you’re right Benn, on the popularity and on how nice that print is. I think the colour combination makes a big difference too – they’re strong, but not as garish or primary as many of the other shirt patterns
I’m once again here with my very own two cents:
I personally tend to gravitate towards higher rise trousers when wearing looser fit shirts tucked, as it then accentuates wider shoulders to your hips and not the opposite, as it does as lower the rise goes.
Also to all the sneerers and smirkers towards rayon as a fabric:
It’s not the fabric , but the wearer that creates the elegance (exception to the rule might be full synthetics, though). Most folks here would see old worn in Barbour wax jacket giving their wearer more gravitas than anything when worn by a gentleman in British countryside, but an awful rag when draping from the shoulders of a LA hobo.
Also rayon in my view might be the superior fabric when it comes to the more tropical climates.
Great point on high-rise trousers, yes. Makes it much easier to keep them tucked in too, and is perhaps why more vintage shirts were that style
If only rayon/viscose/modal/bemberg/cupro were eco-friendly 🙁
As you rightly point out, a lot depends on personal style and preferences. I neither like short sleeved shirts nor camp collars, but this is subjective.
I wonder somewhat more about the showing white undershirt (t-shirt). I always believed this to be a – for the lack of a better word – objektive no-go.
I think these things exist on a scale, and more unusual clothing is more likely to be disliked by more people. But that doesn’t any of it is necessarily wrong. It could be argued it’s less flattering, or has negative associations, and those also become more likely the further you drift along that scale. But that’s about it
Hi Simon – I always enjoy reads about the things of which I know little.
Totally off topic I see that the comments from people are in some cases quite resolute in their views. It got me thinking – we all have our clothing prejudices; often irrational.
Colours and colour combinations – burgundy anything, blue shirt and yellow tie. Full Windsor knots. Cufflinks with those turny bar things, although these days perhaps just cufflinks. It’s actually a long list but ….
They relate to certain times, people or situations in my case. I guess they now shape my taste. Nevertheless they are engrained in my thinking. I guess we all convert these to absolutes which we are not afraid of being quite vocal about.
Have you many?
Best wishes N
True, I think this is what I mean when I refer to associations we have with certain clothing.
And I’ve said in the past that a lot of what we think about clothes comes from these associations – a depressing amount, probably most of it. I have many, such as the Noel Edmonds reference here.
I’d like to think that dressing considerately and well gives you a little more self-awareness, so at least if you’re determining your clothing choices by their associations, you’re aware you’re doing so – where someone else might just say ‘they look crap’ or ‘they’re not cool’.
When people are strident in their opinions, I think it’s sometimes because they lack a little of that awareness.
Interesting debate on rayon. There are a number of ‘semi synthetic’ materials around and a quick online search usually tells you all you need to know.
As for this style of shirt. I find that in plain colours it can look a bit like a uniform shirt, so I would go for an archive type geometric prints.
There are lots of low cost versions of this style around if just thinking of trying one out. That old favourite Uniqlo usually do some every year.
Plain or patterned, the neck always just feels too wide open for my taste, hence I always wear a crewe neck T-shirt under the one I own.
I really don’t get the singlet style vest though, (please don’t take this personally as I think your style is inspirational overall) it just looks unflattering in any context to me. The one exception being when worn by the late, great James Caan playing Sonny I the Godfather.
Thanks Stephen, good thoughts all. It’s interesting on the vest, I think it does seem to split people quite a lot, and maybe depends on associations.
The Uniqlo ones are often nice patterns, though in my experience they feel pretty cheap (not all Uniqlo things are that obvious quality-wise)
Of course I understand that being in this business means that you try out different styles and ideas and present them to your readers for discussion. This article is an excellent and useful example of this. My take on this look is that it’s best suited for overweight guys who want a looser fitting shirt. The shirt is boxy and obscures the waistline, particularly when tucked in, and therefore doesn’t work well for men who are fit or at least not overweight. The “wife beater” t-shirt underneath is definitely a no no. Lastly, I’d say that cotton and linen are still the best fabrics for warmer weather as I’ve never liked rayon.
Thanks Scott. On the waistline point, I think it’s worth looking again at a lot of the old photos of elegant men in the 20s and 30s. Shirts are usually blousier even than this, but it’s actually quite flattering, as it makes the body look bigger but you still have that small waist created by the top of the trousers.
As another reader commented above, that happens more the higher waisted the trousers
Is the vest Sunspel? If so, I wonder what size you take. I’ve found their medium size vest and underwear t-shirt rather loose. Thanks
It is, and it’s a Small. I’m probably between Small and Medium, but I’d rather have it a little tight than loose. A loose vest isn’t a great look – and you tend to not notice it after a few minutes anyway even if it’s tight
I think what this outfit needs is a Panama hat or equivalent trilby and resort backdrop, bet all the negative opinions would disappear!
Would a white or blue button down shirt in Rayon look good?
Could it probably a good alternative to Oxford in summer?
I wouldn’t say so Ayush, no. It’s more suited to these soft collars and looser cuts
I’m firmly in the short sleeve camp shirt camp. Not tucked. No undershirt. No flowers or psychedelic patterns. Linen or cotton blend. The collars in my view are more flattering then regular ones on a short sleeve shirt. I think tucked in sends a mixed signal in this case. Making an inherently informal item more formal, maybe? Plus a square hem means it wasn’t designed for tucking, doesn’t it? Love the discourse though…..
Cheers Zeke, and good to hear from that side of the debate.
On tucked in, actually a lot of sports shirts historically were made with square hems and tucked in a lot of the time. But then the trousers were higher waisted so the shape of the hem mattered less.
Thanks for this post on rayon as used in making shirts! Frankly, I wouldn’t have consider rayon as a fabric worth considering when it comes to shirt.
This piece looks good on you! And thanks to its color, It also happens to be very versatile within the realm of smart casual trousers, and even shoes, as here with the EG black suede Belgravia! A great feat in terms of functionality, as you know!
I, too, like these types of shirts in hot weather, and I also wear them tucked. Besides looking much smarter, I find that untucking the shirt doesn’t really make me feel cooler. What DOES make me feel better is leaving the top one or two buttons undone, and wearing a shirt with a bit of a looser, drapier fit. That gives me air circulation while still looking sharp.
In a similar vein, I’m also a fan of quality Hawaiian/aloha shirts. Like everything, there is a range of quality to these shirts, both in terms of construction and in terms of pattern, and I find it pays to get one or two high quality ones rather than a bunch of the lower end ones. Once you wear one of the really good ones, it’s hard to go back. And I wear these tucked as well.
Cheers Craig. Is there any way to distinguish a higher-end one that you can communicate? Or brands you’d recommend?
Sure! Keep in mind I’m not a great reviewer, so it’s hard for me to put into words. But the nicer shirts feel like their material is higher quality. It’s thicker and more substantial. The buttons are nicer, not plastic. And the colors are richer, and more vibrant, with a broader range of colors. Also, there’s the nature of the pattern or print itself. This is subjective but the nicer shirts look like paintings, they’re not just a basic pattern repeated over and over. Or if it is a pattern, it’s an aesthetically pleasing one that is visually interesting. Again, subjective.
Some brands I’ve liked are Sun Surf, Pagong Kyoto, and, surprisingly, Cordone 1956, the Italian shirt maker.
Hi Craig (and Simon),
Re some Hawaiian shirt brands, my Uncle who was a Honolulu resident for 45 years recommended these companies a while back:
Baileys Antiques and Aloha shirts
The first three are makers and the last is a retailer of new and vintage shirts.
All the manufacturer’s above are Hawaiian (Aloha) shirt specialists I believe rather than “inspired by”, with manufacture in Hawaii until at least a few years ago – not sure now.
Materials include rayon and silk, both of which are authentic depending upon which origin story you go for.
I really have wanted a Hawaiian shirt for many years and now with our increasingly sunny, warm summers and more casual dressing I think they would no longer look wildly out of place in the UK.
Thank you Yash
Simon.. Tori Richard, Honolulu
Could shirts like these be suitable for casual wear?
Sure. I’m not a big fan of band collars like that, as I find I suit something higher at the neck, given my fairly long neck. But it might look great on you
I have a few shirts and it’s collars are not the best part about it.
What do you think about cutting up the collars and converting it into a band collar shirt
I think take it to a shirtmaker and see if that could be done neatly, but I would think it would be hard
Simon, have you tried Wythe New York’s rayon shirts? Really great colours. I’ve also been looking for rayon shirts recently after discovering they are incredibly good in the heat. They’re not unbreatheable at all… the opposite in fact. I used to think linen was the solution but find it much less cmtotsbke than rayon. Almost grabbed a few Wythe pieces during the No Man Walks Alone sale, but they don’t ship outside the US!
Good point Joon. I have tried them from Wythe and to be honest I didn’t like them that much – partly the style and partly perhaps the quality, but hard to say on the latter given I ended up returning it.
May I please ask which size shirt did you take in this?
They come up small, I took a 42
At Clutch Cafe they use M/L/XL…
Do you mean L or XL?
Great look, Simon. Loving the brown and dark navy/black together. I also think that, as you’ve said in the past, the pop of white makes a world of (positive) difference here. Mind my asking what size you went with on this one? Thanks.
Thanks Justin. I took a 42 – they come up small
Nice shirt; what’s rayon like for wicking & creasing?
My take on shirts in or out is dependant on how smart are the trousers & how warm is it. Smart creased trousers need a tucked in smart shirt which gives a crisp elegant look as you say. But with more casual linen or chinos I’d certainly have out if warm & more circulation was required. Likewise with shorts I’d wear out unless wanting to look English ‘colonial’. What’s your take on shorts & shirts Simon.
Long sleeved linen shirts definitely tucked in for me, but might have out if sleeves folded up to elbow area – as more casual.
as you say rules can be interpreted & broken as long as you’re aware of how the look changes.
See above in the comments if you can Steve – lots there on those aspects of performance.
Shorts and shirts are great – often a long-sleeve top looks better with shorts, and short sleeves with trousers. If both are short that’s when you can look more like a child.
The shirt doesn’t have to look smart or ‘colonial’, it just depends on the shirt. Eg a chambray or denim shirt, looser cut, soft collar. Maybe becoming a little untucked during the day.
i understand the comparisons with silk & linen; silk I find can retain sweat a tad & doesn’t wick away the moisture as much as a more open weave linen, especially when tucked & humid. A I haven’t knowingly worn rayon; does it iron well? Needless to say it’s sold out.
Regarding short sleeved shirt/ shorts, I’d only wear a soft or camp collar, not stiff, otherwise I’d agree with the child like comparison if the shirt were white, grey or striped with a school cap 😉
Generally though if it is hot & humid I’d wear the shirt out for circulation & it aids in reducing a creased wet look. The rayon shirt looks nice either way.
Thanks Steve. Rayon irons OK, not as well as linen or cotton but perhaps better than most silks.
Yes, the shirt sold out a while ago – I included it in our seasonal round-up a while ago.
IMHO those collars are awful
Always appreciate the view Colin – though if you have anything of more substance to add, it’s helpful. Thanks
There’d be less criticism of the shirt if the color were more of a summery hue.
Looks a bit too gloomy for the current season. Which is what makes it look “off.”
Don’t have any experience wearing rayon so don’t have anything valuable to contribute in that regard.
Thanks – it’s more my taste but I don’t like stronger colours, even in brighter weather. I’d prefer paler, whiter, if I were trying to be more summery. Such as this with white trousers for instance. Still, this is more at home in a city like London
Hi there! 🙂
I can recommend the camp collar shirt by Besnard. Great fit that’s quite relaxed, and the bottom line is straight.
My personal problem with wearing shirts tucked in is related to trouser rise. I’m one of those who can’t keep a waisted trouser on the waist without suspenders. However, I do consider suspenders to be an under-garment, so just wearing them without having jacket of some sort in the outfit still seems a bit odd to me.
So what I do in summertime is that I pretty much wear lower cut trousers (pants, tbh) with the shirts untucked. I try to compensate the loss in elegance with the help of a panama hat and one of many Ascot ties that I tie in a rather relaxed way, thinking of it almost as a summer-scarf.
I would love to wear stuff the way you show here, which looks super, but unfortunately my body just doesn’t allow for it…
This is my first comment, but I’ve been following your content for a while now 🙂
Best regards and many thanks!
Thanks Jean-Marc, it’s a great contribution
Question for you on the Besnard shorts, Jean-Marc. I’m looking at their giro inglese fabric camp collar shirts and wanted to know if you have an experience with them and how shear they are in person.
As it often happens, a guideline rather than a hard rule seems to be an interesting exercise here as regards what collar width looks most pleasing from a subtle chic perspective. Perhaps two-thirds to one-half the width of the wearer’s face is a good baseline for experimenting?
Perhaps, yes. I think always best to consider it in the whole though – what you feel looks right, rather than being too numerical?
Oh, certainly! This is purely for establishing a jump-off point, which is where the process (and the fun) begins.
Why would one wear Rayon in hot weather . Isn’t it polyester ?
See comments above Gary. No it’s not, and it’s actually quite cool
Is that Pherrows shirt in navy or black?
They call it black, but it’s actually a dark indigo
What is your opinion on shirts being worn untucked? Not the smart poplins but casual linen shirts or Oxfords.
I’ve kind of covered it in this article and this one Amrinder. Let me know if you have any specific questions after those