Bespoke Anto shirt from La La Land – tucked and untucked

Friday, September 2nd 2022
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In the continuing vein of exploring sports shirts - casual, vintage-styled, often rayon or silk - I chatted a couple of months ago to my friend Jack Sepetjian, who runs Anto shirts in LA

I first got to know Jack when he spoke at our Shirtmakers Symposium during Pitti, in 2018. Jack makes for many celebrities in Los Angeles, but also does a lot of film work. A large portion of his shirts are made for costume directors on films like Casino, Ocean’s Eleven or La La Land. 

It was the latter that sparked my interest recently. I was rewatching the film and noted Ryan Gosling’s sports shirt in it - cream, what looked like silk, worn tucked and untucked, with trousers and with a suit. It looked like an interesting take. 

I thought Anto might have made the shirts for that film, and it turned out they had. I then asked Jack to make me one in the same model. I took my own measurements and the result turned out well - perhaps helped by the fact that Jack and I had met in person previously. 

The shirt is interesting to cover as a product, as a review. But it’s also a good excuse to talk again about tucking and untucking, with a jacket and without, given that’s how the shirt was styled.

I’ve deliberately worn the shirt here in all those different permutations, to enable some discussion. 

The shirt itself is made in an unusual ribbed silk, with an almost crepe-like texture. But it is also densely woven, which means it holds its shape well - retaining a clean, smarter look when untucked. 

The latter, I’m increasingly realising, is a key reason silk or rayon are good for this style of shirt. They will always drape better than linen or cotton, and even if they have to have a silkier look as a result, it doesn’t have to be the satin finish people most commonly associate with silk: it can be more matte, and more textured, as here or with the rayon covered previously

The way of wearing the shirt above is how I would imagine most PS readers will prefer it: tucked in, with a jacket over the top. 

It’s certainly the easiest way to wear it, as the unusual aspects of the shirt are partly hidden. And it means the shirt adds a nice, subtle edge to the outfit, rather than being the focus: you might expect a white or ecru linen, but what you get is a slightly floppy-collar silk. It’s elegant and unexpected. 

I have struggled with the size of that collar, which was bigger than I anticipated (9cm). However, its shape is nice under a jacket like this, curling around the lapel before tucking neatly underneath it. 

And, when the jacket is removed, the light fusing takes on a little of that tucked-under shape, giving the collar a little roll and pointing it downwards. Both make the length of the collar less obvious.

Still, if I were ever to have another shirt like this made by Anto, I would take a centimetre off the length. I’d be more at ease wearing it on its own. 

Which is what I’ve shown in the second outfit iteration, above. 

You can see the size of the collar in this iteration - but with that roll, in an outfit that is clearly a little more dressy and perhaps even evening-y, I think it works. 

I always, always fold back my shirt sleeves when I’m not wearing a jacket; I feel physically weird if I don’t, and I do it in exactly the way I watched my Dad do it years ago. 

But there is also a case to be made that it’s flattering. Certainly, it helps this shirt look a little more relaxed. 

Now untucked. 

Let’s get the menswear rules out of the way first. Yes, it shortens the legs; less obviously, it narrows the shoulders (relatively); it also looks less neat, more messy, and you could say less elegant. 

But as with all the rules (which we’ve covered extensively here) the point is to respect these traditions, understand the benefits that mean they’ve been passed down, and then decide whether you are about other things more. 

In this case, you might prioritise the fact that an untucked shirt looks more relaxed; you might not place much importance on how physically flattering a shirt is; or you might just prefer the style - and that’s always the most important.

Another option, in order to look more relaxed still, is to wear a white vest or T-shirt underneath the shirt. In this case I’ve gone with a white T-shirt, because that’s what Gosling wears in the film. 

I think this is actually my preferred option with the shirt untucked. Perhaps because the collar is de-emphasised, and perhaps because I can still unbutton the shirt as far as I want, but don’t add chest hair to everything else already going on around the neck.

This feels like it might be a nice option for evening drinks somewhere, with friends who are unlikely to be wearing tailored trousers, let alone a jacket.

Last of all, the shirt untucked with a jacket. 

I can see how some people are drawn to options like this, as part of a desire to casualise the suit. But personally I don’t think it succeeds, and looks a little sloppy. 

Untucking under a jacket is an easy thing to do, but more subtle things are actually more effective, such as changing the colour, material or collar of the shirt. 

If you want to wear a shirt untucked, I’d wear something more casual over the top, such as an overshirt or knit. But as ever, let me know what you all think below.

We will cover Anto, the company, its history and clientele, in a separate article. 

Anto shirts start at $375, but any fine materials or even checks are more expensive, from $425. A silk shirt like mine is $525. 

They regularly do remote orders, as mine was, with clients taking their own measurements and fittings over video if required. Delivery time is usually eight weeks. 

antoshirt.com

Other clothes shown: jacket from Brioni, linen trousers from Edward Sexton, Sagan Grand loafer from Baudoin & Lange

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I never really understand why people do the untucked shirt with jacket in this day and age. It looks like you are wearing a label on your head saying “look, I’m such a rebel! I wear my shirt untucked!”
This maybe worked a few decades ago when everyone wore tailoring, but today looks ridiculous because there’s no social convention forcing you to wear a jacket in the first place – convention to which you would “subtly” rebel by untucking the shirt. In fact, nowadays you are more of a rebel if you wear a jacket at all, outside of very specific places (e.g. courtrooms, weddings, funerals).
I particularly don’t understand it because it’s not hard to do better. If you don’t want to wear tucked shirts in order to appear more relaxed, yet for some reason (since it’s a choice now) still want to wear a jacket, just wear a knitted polo. That way you can safely untuck, not look business-like, and still retain the flattering leg length.

Darryl

Completely agree

Robert

Believe I understand your point of view. It seems men’s fashion today is a race to getaway from formality. Wearing a tailored jacket with an untucked rayon shirt is funny.

Jack

shirt untucked under a jacket reminds me of what we sometimes did after school, back in the day – the old blazer and white school shirt untucked when out of the teachers’ watchful eyes! Teenage rebels are fair enough, but not for the grown man! Also a good point in your summer holiday article recently Simon about wearing a long sleeve top and shorts, or short sleeve top and trousers – to avoid the boy look. Good tip

R Abbott

Agree that there is nothing remotely rebellious given the athleisure trend that predominates. You even have brands like UntuckIt cropping up to cater to this trend. And aesthetically speaking, it is not flattering and looks juvenile. Reminds me of boys rebelling against having to wear a uniform at school.
The one exception I make is in the resort setting. So for instance, I might wear a Hawaiian shirt over linen trousers when going for a stroll at a beach resort. In that situation, untucking the shirt does not look out of place and has the benefit of keeping the heat away and allowing air ventilation. But otherwise, I like to keep mine tucked in.

Brendan

This is a beautiful shirt. It looks quite smart for a sports shirt. Is there any lustre at all to the fabric? It looks quite matte.
I’m wondering how cool/breathable this is compared to cotton or linen. Have you worn it in very hot weather?

Brendan

Thanks, that’s helpful. Do you find much difference in coolness between silk and rayon?

Nils

Hi Simon, looks good. How does silk handle wrinkling? I’ve wanted a silk evening shirt for a while now, but I feel it could maybe be too effeminate, even if luxurious at the same time. Any thoughts on silk even shirts for under a jacket?

Fred

Simon,
Cool shirt. Did you consider having a second breast pocket? Two pockets can be distinguishing…but in a good way?

Ian Daly

How can you describe a second pocket as “less luxury”? does that presuppose that one pocket is luxury in some way?
Am I missing something here?
As with other commenters I am not a fan of the untucked under a jacket look, but think it’s OK untucked without, although I would not wear the undershirt and do the buttons up a little.

Ian Daly

Thanks Simon. It was the word “luxury” that I couldn’t understand. I of course know that one pocket is less formal than no pocket, and two would be even less so, but I am not sure what links this to luxury.
Was it the wrong choice of word perhaps? Would “formal” have been more appropriate?
Thanks

Aaron

I think it doesn’t look too bad untucked under the jacket in your pic, but I think that’s because you’re still and one side is curved round with your hand in the pocket. I definitely don’t think it’d look good in motion.
The fabric looks really, really nice.

Peter

Wearing floppy collared shirts, whether rayon pieces like this or knitted Smedley polos, has become my favourite pairing for tailored jackets to achieve a ‘leisure’ rather than ‘business’ look. Would be interested in other peoples’ tactics on this point.

blueboy1967

I think a similar effect can be achieved with button downs under a jacket and I prefer the roll that can be achieved in that way.

Zach S

What a beautiful and luxurious piece, reminds me I need to watch La La Land. Seems practically the most versatile way too cut a shirt too, very interesting (and very jealous, can’t see myself ever spending quite that on a shirt, perhaps a search for alternatives)

I’ve never really liked untucked shirts under a jacket, as comfortable as it may feel. Agree with you on liking all the other ways though

Dennis

For a shirt to be worn untucked, is it a must for the shirt to have a straight hem?

Jackson

This is interesting to see you say this. I’ve always had a conviction in the opposite direction. That a straight hem untucked looks very awkward. I think it looks quite inelegant, making a shirt look either far too short when untucked or like an awkward skirt if longer. I’d have bought several rayon shirts from Bryceland were they not mainly straight hemmed.
The length of the back and front contrasting with shorter sides – depending on the cut and style of the shirt obviously – I think shapes the body quite nicely when untucked.
I have a couple of shirts I consider shirts to be worn untucked only. One is a billowing silk shirt – think Bradley Cooper’s shirts in A Star is Born – and a couple of rayon shirts that I think hang so nicely – front and bank distinctly longer than the sides – that I find them particularly elegant untucked.

Raj

Great shirt , collar is a bit big but it does look good from an aesthetic point of view.
Kinda unrelated to your post , but was watching a tv show, about how Northampton became a hub of shoemaking and tracks how modern styles developed and why shoes from there are some of the best in the world, I understand you have gone quite into depth in this topic in previous posts, link below if you are interested :
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bvg6r4

PeterHall

I think I prefer it with a vest and the sleeves rolled. Plenty of interest in that shape and I imagine it as perfect for a breezy headland.

Chancellor

The paragraph starting with “But as with all the rules…” has a “c” missing in the word “care” near the end.
Did you have any fittings when making your shirt? I personally feel it doesn’t really count as “bespoke” without any fittings, but I know opinions differ on that.
I think the jacket over the untucked shirt works. It wouldn’t if you closed the jacket and we could see any of the jacket peaking under. I agree it is a hard look to work. It maybe works here given the jacket is clearly casual and open taking the formality way down.

Scott

A sports shirt is designed to be a casual garment, thus the name sports shirt. It should be worn untucked as you’ve shown and is a really good look when worn correctly. I definitely agree the it should be a straight hem and worn without a jacket. Thanks for the ongoing interesting discussion on this topic. The sports shirt is one of those garments that can look fantastic or terrible. So getting it right in terms of fabric and design is vital.

Shem

Hi simon im curious why not just get the bryceland sport shirts? They can work tuck in or tucked out. I could say the same for their cabana shirts too

Caleb C.

Simon,
It seems you have really gotten a lot of use out of your brown linen trousers this summer.

Charles

Not sure about this one Simon! It has a whiff of 80’s work shirt about it and feels (with the pocket and plain front) like it should be an overshirt.

But I do agree on the tucked / untucked dilemma. With my formal shirts, they are always tucked. But a nice oxford untucked with jeans looks great. They just need to be short enough (brooks brothers) rather than too long (emmett)

Michael Smith

I may have missed it, but no one seems to have asked if the shirt has improved your dance moves?
Looking forward to the evening event with Tony, and his views on tucked and untucked shirts.

Ben

I’d wear a linen shirt untucked with swim trunks at the beach but never with trousers in the city. And in the former context the shirt is so short that it can’t be tucked in anyways. To me, the tradeoff described here—between looking good and looking casual—is no choice at all.

DrPeter

Nice shirt, Simon. A suggestion: If the collar size or shape bothers you, why not get it altered a tad? My own tailor has done this many times for me at minimal expense. I love the US Army Surplus wool shirt of a certain vintage (perfect as an overshirt with a T), and the one part of these shirts I don’t care for are the overly long, floppy collars. So I have had them converted to short point collars, without damaging the overall look and balance of the shirt. I think my Army shirts look much better with the shorter, more tidy collars, and it usually costs me just a few dollars.

DrPeter

Yes, if you have a shirt collar with a faded edge, then this does become a problem. But with time and more wear, the altered collar’s edge could itself get some fading.The shirts I have with altered collars were all picked up from Army-Navy Surplus shops here in the US, and they were mostly unworn and unfaded, although new. One of my favourites, though, is a green Army wool shirt that was in the sun with some other object placed over the front panel causing a random fading with the sunlight. I loved this effect. I could alter the collar on this one because that part was not in the sun. But even if it had been, I would have enjoyed the differential fading.

Bamboccio

Great outfit Simon, with the shirt tucked in.
The two key rules I grew up with are:
– No white socks
– No T-shirt or vest under a shirt

Rules are made to be broken but not those two.

Yosef777

Come on mate, the real question is why would u re-watch la la land?!?

Felix

How many times do you think such a shirt can be worn given the delicate fabric – also I guess it can only be hand-washed?

Dimitris

Yes sir, of course and think it is a pleasure to hand wash a delicate shirt. As with linen trousers, dry cleaned only after 4 or 5 times you wear it, both ironed with a cotton cloth on. It is ecstasy being involved with this process, with these kind of clothes..

Alan Johns

Seems that Brycelands have a similar one in a similar colour, have you tried it?

Dimitris

Tucked in, rolled sleeves, white undershirtshirt, white socks, whith cuffed highwaisted pleated linen trousers, thats a stylistic “yes” to me. These are the rules (not to be broken) for a classic, a little old fashioned sartorial “casual” look. From the 50s maybe? take a look at Scott Frasers

Clive Birby

Hi Simon,

Unrelated — but do you have any advice on how to wear shirts under knitwear? i.e., sweater over button-up.

I find it always gets clumpy with a terribly unflattering shape, even as someone who is thin and fairly tall.

shem

hi simon any chance you will do this shirt as an item in the PS shop? I think its quite a niche product (otr ones have too wide/small a collar as mentioned) but relevant in today’s context

shem

hi simon, would you ever consider wearing this with a tie under a sports coat? I have a bryceland rayon in cream that has a nice collar shape when fastened and appears to go quite well with black knit tie under a sports coat!

Perry Maso

Great look Simon. Love that Beegees style 1970s collar. You should be dancing – yeah!

Farhan

Hi Simon – How does Anto compare with other bespoke shirtmakers like charvet or budd at the top segment? I like my shirts a certain way and would have any bespoke shirtmaker make it that way anyways so trying to compare shirtmakers at the highest level makes it challenging.

I feel that with suits there are so many components and house style really is a differentiating factor but not as much with shirts. Thoughts?