Buttoned Up Shirt Collar In Or Out Of Fashion Men’s Shirts – Fashion, Not Just Function

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Men’s Shirts – Fashion, Not Just Function

For many, the average men’s shirt is simply a utilitarian garment—one worn by men the world over for functional reasons and not necessarily fashion. But this attitude contradicts the hundreds of years of trends in men’s shirts. From the quintessential collarless shirts with billowing sleeves worn by classical painters to the modern formal button-down shirt, men’s shirts have captured the imagination of designers and common men alike for generations. Especially in the twentieth century, a variety of shirt styles have proven popular among men of all ages.

For example, one of the most important developments in men’s shirts over the last hundred years has been the invention of the polo shirt. The polo shirt, or ‘tennis shirt’, was created by legendary French tennis player Rene Lacoste in 1929 as an alternative to the stiff shirts and ties typical of tennis attire at the time. In the 1960s, Ralph Lauren pushed the polo shirt to new heights as a prominent element of his ‘Polo’ collection; and since this time the polo shirt has become so popular that it is now a standard category of clothing – although it has fallen out of favor with most tennis players.

The grandfather shirt has also been a long-standing trend in men’s shirts in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These collarless shirts have been popular with men in warm countries for decades and have seen a number of different incarnations over the years. The Nehru jacket, for example, is a South Asian version of the modern grandfather shirt, popularized by the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1950s and early 1960s, and has since been worn prominently by a number of celebrities, from e.g. by Sammy Davis Jr. to Steven Segal. Today’s grandpa shirt preys on bright colors and an ethno-bohemian vibe that appeals to a variety of men’s fashion trends – from festival wear to smart casual summer wear.

The button-down shirt has also been one of the most influential men’s shirts in fashion history – but memories of how it was created tend to be somewhat hazy. Some fashion experts claim that the button-down collar shirt was invented by an American shirt manufacturer who was inspired by an English polo match where the players had their collars cut down to avoid flapping in the wind. Others say that button-down shirts were created in New York when their inventor (as yet anonymous) buttoned up the collar of his button-down shirt in a fit of irritation at the oncoming wind.

But regardless of the origin of the button-down shirt, its influence on the men’s shirt industry has been historic, as button-down shirts are now used in both formal and casual contexts. Today, men’s short-sleeved shirts are often paired with skinny jeans, large belts and tailored vests for a fresh and casual look that still exudes smart chic. And with men’s shirts available in a variety of colors – from gray to raspberry – and in a variety of floral and striped patterns, it’s clear that new trends in men’s fashion are far from over.

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