September 15, 2019
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How to wear a grandad shirt

When it comes to fashion, we often think about the modern relevance of the clothes we choose to wear. But with some trends of the season it’s worth thinking a little bit about their history.

An article in Listverse cites hoodies, caps and tank tops as just three common items of clothing that have interesting origins. Another popular example is the grandad shirt – a garment that has risen in popularity for its effortless style and easy-to-wear nature.

But how was the grandad shirt born and why do you need it in your summer wardrobe?

The detachable collar

One school of thought believes that the grandad shirt originated in New York in the late 1920s among office workers who began using detachable collars for work. When removed, the typical low collar of the grandad shirt remained leaving an altogether more casual look fit for post-work socialising.

Farmhands and industrial workers

Another explanation looks at a more working class background where factory workers and farmhands would refuse to wear a tie for fear of it becoming trapped in machinery. In order to flout the rules, they would wear shirts with no collar so that a tie wasn’t possible to wear. You can imagine the working class of the 1920s and 30s teaming their grandad shirt with a pair of work boots and washed out demin – a rugged look that would still be cool today.

Further afield

It is also said that the grandad shirt was popular in countries like India where royalty and noblemen would wear it because the absence of a collar kept them cooler. When The Beatles toured India they brought back some of the styles which were quickly embraced by the British public.

How to wear a grandad shirt

How to wear it now

These days a Farah grandad shirt ( can be worn in a number of ways. Wear it open over a plain tee with jeans and sneakers for a casual day look. Or match it with a pair of skinny jeans and espadrilles for a suave holiday vibe. You can even style it with a waistcoat, blazer and brogues for a cool and alternative look for a summer wedding.

So while the grandad shirt may have a long and rich history, it hasn’t had its day just yet and is clearly still highly relevant in today’s modern fashion world.

Declan Bell