How To Wear: Overshirts

how to wear an overshirt guide

The overshirt has become a symbol of contemporary style. An emblem of classic workwear, the overshirt retains its utilitarian roots, whilst now being adapted by various labels through patterns, textures, fabrics and silhouettes. This blog will explain the history of the overshirt and the different ways it could be worn, whilst picking out some of our favourite overshirts and matching outfits here at HIP.

What is an overshirt?

Heavier than a shirt, but lighter than a jacket, the overshirt is a hybrid garment that allows for effortless transitions between different seasons and personal outfits. The garment marries the sophistication of a shirt with the functionality and protection offered by a jacket.

What is the history of the overshirt?

Historically, the overshirt was a defining feature of 20th century workwear. Its origins lie in France, where railwaymen and labourers used the overshirt as a sturdy jacket, ideal for long days of work. The garment’s utilitarian pockets were useful for stashing tools and small pieces of equipment, whilst its construction from sturdy cotton made it durable and hard-wearing.

How should an overshirt fit?

The fit of an overshirt can be moulded to match your personal style or the setting you are in. They run slightly larger than a normal shirt to create room for layering, but typically arrive in a regular fit and are designed to be worn over a tee. Although you can size up for an oversized fit – in contemporary style – which can create room for a sweater underneath.

What are different materials and types of overshirts?

Overshirts were originally made from hardy cotton drill or reliable moleskin to be long-lasting and allow freedom of movement during long workdays. Whilst this tradition has remained, the overshirt has been transformed – arriving in iterations such as technical nylon materials and varied corduroy cotton offerings, as labels have adapted it to their own identities. The overshirt can now arrive with innovative pocket set ups, creative patterns, modern fabrics and unique embroideries.

How to wear an overshirt?

The overshirt is a champion of modern versatility. Although typically a casual style, it can even transition to more formal outfits – being suited to trousers and jeans. With the rise of utilitarian garments and outdoorswear as everyday lifestyle clothing, overshirts can even match technical trousers and cargo pants. The beauty of the overshirt is its ability to seamlessly move through different genres, dependent on personal taste.

and Wander Kevlar Jacket

The Kevlar Jacket from and Wander is a versatile hard wearing outdoors ready outerwear piece from and Wander – made in Japan using Kevlar fabric which is a water and abrasion resistant fabric ideal for the rigours of both outdoors and city life. This technical layer features a classic collar, front pockets, easy snap button closure and is finished with the brands iconic reflective logo branding.

Brain Dead Waffle Shirt

Brain Dead’s universe of post punk, DIY culture, underground comics and skateboarding shape its progressive and adventurous silhouettes. The Waffle Shirt reinvents a typical overshirt with soft, waffle texture cotton, rounded off with two button closure front pockets and the label’s signature logo head.

Carhartt WIP Long Sleeve Master Shirt

Carhartt WIP takes influence from Carhartt’s classic workwear roots whilst aligning itself to contemporary styles and developing modern silhouettes. The Master Shirt is inspired by classic American service-station attire of the 1960s, crafted from durable cotton-poly blend twill and including two traditional chest pockets. Carhartt WIP’s signature square label decorates the front, rounding off this versatile overshirt.

Wacko Maria Type 4 Leopard Army Shirt

Inspired by an eclectic range of influences including classic American culture and all types of music, Wacko Maria present daring and glamorous designs captured by its bold “GUILTY PARTIES” slogan. This Type 4 Leopard Army Shirt is no different, with an extravagant leopard-print design. The label’s signature slogan is embroidered to the rear in an eye-catching contrasting red font, whilst the overshirt is accentuated with an oversized silhouette and two subtle chest pockets.

Engineered Garments Cotton Ripstop Explorer Shirt Jacket

Daiki Suzuki’s Engineered Garments label presents the Cotton Ripstop Explorer Shirt Jacket for SS22 which is a unique functional silhouette that acts as a jacket and an overshirt highlighted by a plethora of storage pockets on both the front and the back. The Explorer Shirt Jacket is a direct reflection of the deep affection for expeditionary garments seen in Engineered Garments designs, an amalgamation of pieces from heritage American brands that designer Daiki Suzuki has followed over the years. The shirt uses an open collar, complete with front placket, for a traditional feel – in typical Engineered Garments fashion, the shirt has been crafted in the USA from a seasonal cotton ripstop fabric which is suitable for all year round wear.

C.P. Company Gabardine Zipped Overshirt

Founded in Italy in 1971 by Massimo Osti, C. P. Company was named after the Chester Perry factory where one of Massimos favorite comic strip characters worked at in the Bristow comic series printed in daily newspapers. The Gabardine Zipped Overshirt is a timeless lightweight outer piece ideal for transitional months, arriving in a soft garment dyed emerized cotton gabardine with lens arm branding to finish. Gabardine is a classic fabric produced by C.P. Comapny – known for having a hard-wearing, breathable fit – typically finished in a garment dyed tone to produce an increased chromatic depth and intensity throughout the piece.