If you’ve never owned an overshirt before, you’re missing out. They work both on their own, worn over a T-shirt or under a heavier piece of outerwear. In fact, overshirts could be the ultimate layering piece.

What is an overshirt?

Overshirts are pretty straight forward. Sitting somewhere between a regular shirt and a lightweight jacket, overshirts are usually cut from slightly heavier fabrics than regular shirts, and have boxier cuts to allow them to be worn over the top of other layers. 

An overshirt will typically have slightly larger collars, and crucially, will feature some form of pockets. Typically, you can expect to find two regular chest pockets, but some overshirts feature more elaborate pocket designs including flap or bellows pockets. 

Given they come from a military and workwear background, overshirts are often cut from sturdy cotton twills or moleskines, but the popularity of the style today means a range of fabric options are available from linen to hopsack and wool. 

3 ways to wear an overshirt

Workwear

A classic workwear look never fails. If you’re new to the overshirt, or you just want a versatile look suitable for a range of occasions, go for a cotton overshirt worn over dark denim and sturdy Chelsea boots

Sportswear

Overshirts work surprisingly well with luxury sportswear, and certainly aren’t limited to just workwear pieces. Try pairing it with black sweatpants and retro running shoes and you’ve got a solid look.

Smart

Overshirts also work in smarter looks, and are more than suitable for some offices. To sharpen things up wear it with tapered trousers, penny loafers and a dark raincoat for a tonal outfit that’ll never fail. 

Best overshirts for men

Percival 

Made from a military cotton canvas, Percival’s overshirts feature two buttoned-down pockets at the chest as well as twin slanted pockets towards the hem, perfect for keeping hands warm on colder spring evenings. 

Native North 

Native North produces a range of overshirt styles, featuring differing pocket designs and fabric choices. This one boasts a single pocket at the chest as well as a Cuban collar, injecting a dash of riviera style into the boxy cut. 

Far Afield

Far Afield’s Station overshirt works well open, worn with high-waist trousers and a white T-shirt. Made from cotton twill, its rounded collar, three external patch pockets and hidden interior pocket are all details that make it stand out. 

Forét

Forét’s Geysher shirt is constructed from cotton canvas with corduroy pockets and sleeves, making it stand out from the rest. This gives it a more structured jacket-like feel that’ll work well as the final layer of a workwear look. 

Private White V.C.

Few brands produce such a stellar shirt offering as Manchester-based Private White V.C. This overshirt is a zip-through style, meaning it leans more on the jacket end of the spectrum. Crafted from linen and hand-made in the UK, it’s a tough act to beat. 

For more menswear essentials, check out our guide to luxury sportswear.