If you’ve never owned an overshirt before, it's about time you rectified that. Ever-versatile, these wardrobe heroes work well with just about any outfit – either on their own, worn over a plain or printed tee, or under a heavier piece of outerwear, like a mac coat or overcoat. In fact, an overshirt makes for the ultimate layering piece and a surefire staple when it comes to transitional dressing.

What is an overshirt?

Occupying the space between a regular shirt and a lightweight summer jacket, overshirts are usually cut from slightly heavier fabrics than regular shirts. They also feature 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 their origins are rooted in military clothing and workwear, overshirts are often cut from sturdy cotton twills or moleskines. Today, the popularity of the style means a range of fabric options are available — from linen to hopsack and wool. 

How to wear an overshirt

1. Workwear style

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 with dark denim jeans and white leather sneakers.

2. Luxury sportswear

Overshirts work surprisingly well in a luxury sportswear context, and certainly aren’t limited to just workwear pieces. Try pairing yours with black sweatpants and retro-inspired high-top sneakers and you’ve got an easy, everyday look.

3. Smart and sophisticated

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

Best overshirts for men

Percival Navy Check Hound Flannel Workshirt

Made from an Italian wool blend, Percival’s flannel overshirt is cut in a similar style to the brand's classic overshirt but with a slightly longer body. The spacious breast pockets and two neat welt pockets are perfect for carrying all your bits and pieces.

Native North Moss Melange Wool Shirt

Native North produces a range of overshirt styles, boasting a range of different pocket designs and fabric choices. This particular moss-coloured overshirt is ideal for the cooler months, thanks to its super soft and insulating wool construction.

Artknit Studios Navy Overshirt Jacket

Artknit Studios' overshirt jacket is crafted from luxurious extra fine merino wool for a more lightweight feel than a typical cotton jacket. It's perfect for year-round wear as a casual layering piece over a T-shirt or light sweater.

Form & Thread Graphite Utility Overshirt

Form & Thread's overshirts have earned the brand a reputation as a go-to for workwear-style essentials. This mid-weight cotton overshirt is a super versatile staple that's perfect for layering over a T-shirt when the summer sun clouds over.

Wax London Brown Heavy Denim Chet Overshirt

Crafted from partly recycled cotton twill, this heavy denim overshirt from Wax London is a trans-seasonal must-have. Its relaxed fit and lived-in wash lends it a laidback workwear aesthetic that will look great with selvedge denim jeans and leather boots.

L'Estrange Navy 24 Overshirt

L'Estrange has mastered the art of creating luxury wardrobe essentials, and this perfectly understated overshirt is proof of its expertise. Crafted from heavyweight organic stretch cotton, it's the ultimate hybrid garment, ideal for bridging the gap between smart and casual.

A Day's March Light Grey Melange Original Overshirt

A Day's March has given their bestselling original overshirt an update in the form of this wool herringbone version. Choose from a range of colours – the light grey gets our vote thanks to its inherent versatility and casual elegance.

Flax London Chocolate Brown Linen Overshirt

Proving that linen is one of the most versatile fabrics around, Flax London has created this hard-wearing overshirt, crafted from a suiting-grade twill weave Irish linen. Lightweight and breathable yet durable, it's perfect for year-round wear.

Now that you've chosen your perfect overshirt, it's time to turn your attention to your sneaker collection: these are the best white sneakers in 2021.