As a menswear journalist who’s bombarded with newness on a daily basis—from “groundbreaking” products to “game-changing” collections—it’s not often that a new brand cuts through the noise and genuinely grabs my attention. In the last few months, there’s no brand I’ve discovered that’s more captivating than Pikol, a little-known camp-collar shirt specialist that uses vintage linen tablecloths replete with nostalgia-laced, hand-embroidered details.
The brand was founded in the summer of 2020 by Dan Branston, a biology graduate turned shirtmaker who admits that he had very little experience in, let alone knowledge of, the fashion industry. “I’ve always liked creating and making things and I had some time on my hands last year and decided to sew a bed sheet together. Then I started to borrow some linens my mum had and turned that into shirts. I enjoyed it and made more, until I realized people might want to buy them. Now I’ve made over 100 one-off shirts,” he tells Robb Report.
That Pikol champions up-cycling and each shirt is 100 percent unique are reasons enough for the brand to warrant attention. However, I’m most impressed with the fit—far too many camp-collar shirts these days are cut on the slim side, which inhibits their function of keeping you cool. Branston’s shirts, which are finished with real horn buttons, are satisfyingly boxy and akin to leisure shirts from the 1950s, when the style first became fashionable in the US.
My only negative comment is that Pikol didn’t come to my attention earlier, which is a shame as summer’s end nears and I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it enough. However, that merely presents me with another reason to board a plane to a more befitting climate.
Branston releases a handful of shirts on the last Friday of each month. Be sure to check out Pikol’s Instagram to stay in the loop.