Many things come to mind when you think of summer; suntans, picnics and that first sip of a cold beer on a scorching day. It also means putting away the fantastic ‘big coat’ you’ve worn for four months straight. The problem then is what to replace it with, and that’s where trusty overshirts comes in to play.
Otherwise known as the ‘shacket’, overshirts are heavier than a regular shirt, yet lighter than a jacket. Its roots herald back to the 20th century, where it was a relied-upon piece for French railway workers thanks to its cotton drill material, making it durable yet comfortable, and large pockets to hold tools. This timeless design makes it just as relevant today, the only diﬀerence being we fill our pockets with phones and AirPods rather than the humble screwdriver.
You can browse any High Street brand and be confident that they will, in some shape or form, sell an overshirt. Whether it be cotton, twill, denim or chambray, the choice is yours. Some brands, however, know exactly what an overshirt should be and how it should be made, so to save you some time, I’ve made a pick of the best.
ALBAM – SEERSUCKER APRON POCKET GARDENING SHIRT
One of this season’s standout pieces from Albam is the Japanese-inspired Gardeners Jacket, featuring both the classic workwear front pockets you would expect, but also gardener-style back pockets. Mixing both exposed and concealed buttons along the front further highlight that Albam don’t just understand heritage, but also the importance of detail. The navy colour ensures versatility for your summer wear, as this piece would look perfect with either a pair of jeans or chinos. You can view the shirt here.
STONE ISLAND – 117WN T.CO ‘OLD’ OVERSHIRT
Stone Island know a thing or two about creating brilliant overshirts, and this season is no diﬀerent. It doesn’t stray too far from its roots with the large front breast pocket, but this year they have opted for a brushed cotton finish. This is created through an exclusive dying treatment to give the item a slightly worn appearance. Never afraid of colour, this season’s pieces boast overshirts in aqua, sky blue and rose and as always, feature the famous arm patch. You can find it here.
UNIVERSAL WORKS – DOCKSIDE OVERSHIRT
Universal Works comes from humble beginnings, taking inspiration from working-class men who love to dress well. This ethos drives all that the brand does and this is especially reflected in this piece, the Dockside Overshirt. Updated from a Bakers Overshirt, this staple jacket features a wider body fit for comfort, and three deep front pockets all in a stunning shade of ecru. This is sure to be a favourite transitional piece this year – available here.
H&M – COTTON TWILL SHIRT JACKET
This overshirt from H&M nods graciously to its history and then throws a modern shade into the mix with eye-catching heather. It has all of the simple requirements of an overshirt; large front pockets, heavy cotton twill, an Oxford collar. All paired with a colour too bold to be ignored. This piece perfectly merges the understated uses of an overshirt with a modern-day twist. Get the look here.
Writer: Tom Loughran