The shirt jacket, or overshirt, is the most useful piece of men’s casual wear to emerge this year. If you don’t own loads already, fix that with this selection of loose-fitting joy.
Shacket is, we admit, a slightly grating portmanteau word (bromance, brunch, sitcom) but the world of fashion is particularly prone. Remember the mum-mania, darkness that was jeggings? Often like jeggings, the portmanteau garment is ludicrous; the unwanted combining of styles that should never have been allowed to breed. However, can we encourage you to suppress your understandable rage and confusion at the existence of a silly new term and buy at least one of these handy layers?
We say there’s not much shirt in the shacket and it’s really a loose jacket which at some early stage of its evolution shared some genes with the shirt. Debate us if you have the energy but in our judgement it’s 80 per cent jacket and very little shirt. It will lay cunningly slim beneath a coat, parka or puffer and then once you’re safely in the warm, it will cast you as a comfortable-with-himself gentleman of means in a way a sweatshirt or cardigan never could.
Obviously the shacket is parading itself around as new phenomenon but it’s a relative of the traditional chore jacket, worn by people who did real physical work for a living and needed something light, flexible and pocket-rich. They were usually a deep blue and now appear on architects with expensive pens stuffed into every orifice. The chore jacket in blue is still very much around and an item of tremendous, artisan chic. If you have a beard and do up the top button, you are basically a style God and untouchable hero.
Embrace the shacket, gentlemen. It’s age-flexible, becomes outerwear in summer, warmth in winter and makes jeans look amazing. There’s an almost infinite variety available but these are the ones we’d recommend if kidnapped by an armed gang obsessed with cold-weather layering.
The ultra-traditional, French-style one
Blackshore Lane is a specialist denim company based in London and they make their own on the premises. This 14 oz beauty will age on you as you wear it and with every gentle cold temperature wash, it will grow more characterful like the East End hero it is.
The quirky one
At Nottingham-based Universal Works – a brand favoured by The Sportsman – they call their Shackets ‘bakers overshirts’ because founder David Keyte’s dad wore something along these lines working in his bakery.
The mustard will draw comment…
The statement one
Stone Island make beautiful, interesting clothes, forget all that history. They have a substantial overshirt range and while no one’s saying these are cheap, there is nothing wrong with letting people know you’re solvent.
The heavy, confident one
The second corduroy choice and this one feels weighty and relaxed. Worn with a black t-shirt, this will suggest penthouse flat, open fire and massively bass-heavy sound system and all you’ll have to do is stand there. A Day’s March are Swedish and their pieces a very well-priced and extremely well made.
The quietly chic one
Reiss consistently stay across trends and resist the temptation to stray into the extreme. This shacket will find its way onto your torso more frequently than most because it gets everything right and doesn’t need to shout about it.
The expensive but beautiful one
Ami is a French brand, and this is the luxury end of the overshirt.
If your priorities are elsewhere financially, we understand - but what else are we on earth for though?
The rugged one
Filson is the real thing, a 19c founded, Seattle-based outdoors brand that makes heavy-duty clothing for men who speak bison and ride horses, not buses. This heavy shirtage will look good in any wintery setting and will always carry that whisper of sledging and campfire.