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Now that the world is opening up again, it’s time for those of us who’ve spent the past year alternating between sweaters and tees to reacquaint ourselves with proper collared shirts. While some may choose to go full throttle—suit, tie, pocket square, the works—I, for one, am easing myself back in the saddle. The first step in my sartorial rehabilitation came by way of Turnbull & Asser’s new officer shirt, which strikes an ideal balance between collared formality and laid-back reality.
The workwear-inspired design features the brand’s roomier weekend fit, a button-down collar and two flap bellows pockets on the chest—details that all add up to a decidedly off-duty look. But because this is Turnbull & Asser, a company that’s made shirts for the likes of Winston Churchill and James Bond, even casual models are constructed with the same fine details as the dress shirts for which the brand is best known. The collar, in particular, has more structure than one typically associates with button-downs, making it a good deal sharper than your average OCBD. It sits as nicely under a blazer as it does a field jacket, and can certainly hold its own when worn solo.
I opted for an iteration in lightweight, deep indigo chambray, which came with the stiffness that’s a hallmark of quality denim. While I have the patience to break in selvedge jeans the old-fashioned way (by wearing them), shirts are a different story. Mine went straight into the washing machine and softened considerably without fading—promising to only get better with age. As a longtime fan of chambray shirts, I appreciate that Turnbull & Asser’s adds something new to my collection: polish.
For those who aren’t as enthusiastic about denim shirts, the same cut is available in arguably even more versatile fabrics like cotton herringbone and cotton-cashmere twill. Another near identical model comes in cotton twill with Western peaked yokes—slightly less smart than the officer shirt but equally attractive. Now that collars are back on the agenda, it might be the next addition to my reemergence wardrobe.