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 2023

Percival Khaki Cotton Twill Overshirt

Made from a durable twill cotton fabric, Percival’s khaki men's overshirt is a casual workwear-inspired staple that you'll reach for time and again. Utilitarian functionality presents itself in the form of multiple spacious pockets, including a hidden interior pocket.

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 a range of easy-to-wear muted hues.

Wax London Black / Yellow Ombre Check Whiting Overshirt

Partly 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 selvedge denim jeans and Chelsea boots, while the bold sunny hue is bound to perk up any outfit.

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.

Flax London Midweight Railway Jacket

Proving that linen is one of the most versatile fabrics around, Flax London has created this hard-wearing overshirt, crafted from a mid-weight Belgian linen. Breathable yet durable, it's perfect for year-round wear and will develop a unique patina as it moulds to your body over time.

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 Quilted Shirt Jacket

Crafted from a cotton blend with vegan padding made of recycled PET bottles, this vintage-inspired quilted overshirt from Closed is equal parts stylish and sustainable. Its relaxed fit and longer-than-usual length makes it the perfect top layer, ideal for wearing over a hoodie or roll neck. A super-soft teddy fur lining promises ultimate comfort.

Corridor Variegated Cord Overshirt

Made from a heavyweight cotton corduroy, this gorgeously-textured men's overshirt from NYC-based label Corridor is an effortless layer that's perfect for year round wear – as a top layer in spring or a mid-layer in winter. It's ethically crafted in India, in a majority woman-operated factory that's partnered with a rehabilitation centre for women encountering domestic violence.

Forét Denim Rowan Overshirt

You can never go wrong with a classic denim overshirt, and this version from Danish label Forét is one of the finest we've come across. Made in Portugal from organic cotton, 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.