Unlike, say, the perfect pair of blue jeans or a crisp white tee, the overshirt may not be an essential menswear staple. But its value certainly shouldn't be overlooked. 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 is a surefire staple when it comes to transitional dressing.

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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, such as denim or flannel. 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, men's 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 realm of overshirts, 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 for men 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 in 2024

Neutrale Workwear Overshirt

Madrid-based brand Neutrale keeps things low-key with this classic workwear-inspired overshirt. Crafted from 100% organic cotton, the unisex style is a fail-safe go-to for casual ensembles. Throw it over a tee and style with shorts and retro-inspired sneakers.

The Resort Co Linen Overshirt

Swedish resortwear label The Resort Co has given the classic overshirt a summery twist, with a holiday-ready version made from lightweight linen. Handcrafted in Portugal, it boasts an unlined construction, recycled horn buttons and hidden waist pockets. Simply add swim shorts and espadrilles for a look that will take you effortlessly from beach to bar.

ASKET The Overshirt

ASKET offers a contemporary take on the original 'bleu de travail' workers uniform with an overshirt that fuses military grade cotton twill fabric with careful tailoring. It features a flattering straight cut and three utilitarian-style pockets. If it ain't broke...

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's consciously-made overshirts for men have earned the brand a reputation as a go-to for minimalist workwear-inspired essentials. This mid-weight Gallery Jacket is a super versatile staple that's perfect for layering over a T-shirt when the summer sun clouds over. Choose from three easy-to-wear muted hues.

Wax London Whiting Overshirt

Crafted from recycled cotton, this easy-to-layer overshirt from Wax London is a sustainable staple that's great for the planet and even better for your wardrobe. Its relaxed fit lends it a laidback workwear aesthetic that will look great with raw denim jeans and Chelsea boots, while the bold combination of navy and yellow is bound to perk up any outfit.

L'Estrange 24 Overshirt

L'Estrange has mastered the art of creating luxury wardrobe essentials, and this perfectly understated 24 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.

Neem Recycled Italian Light Grey Flannel Overshirt

Neem's Italian flannel overshirt is ethically made in London from 100% recycled materials. Its boxy, slightly oversized fit and clean-cut silhouette makes it an effortless go-to for year round wear, teamed just as perfectly with jeans and trainers as with tailored trousers and Derby shoes.

Closed Utility Longsleeve

Crafted from a super-soft and durable blend of cotton and hemp, this utilitarian-inspired overshirt from Closed is an easy-to-wear everyday staple that you'll reach for time and again. Throw it on over a plain white tee and team with vintage jeans and sneakers for effortless off-duty style.

Forét Cran Corduroy Overshirt

You can never go wrong with a classic corduroy overshirt, and this version from Danish label Forét is one of the finest we've come across. Made in Portugal from an organic cotton blend, it boasts a relaxed fit and three workwear-inspired patch pockets.

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 2022.