Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Outfit Post - The DIY Band Collar Shirt

Sorry for the brief hiatus there! My computer decided it didn't want to turn on any more, and in fact I'm still on a loaner today. Therefore, just a quick one today: 

This outfit post was spawned out of a few moments of serendipity - I just happened to be wearing this great shirt that I recently re-purposed and wanted to share - we just happened to be passing this really cool mural in Wicker Park and wanted to grab the chance for a photo op - I just happened to like the resulting outfit/photo combo enough to want to slap it right up here for you all to check out:

The big take away from this one is definitely the re-purposed shirt. I’ve been seeing band collar shirts pop up all over the place, most notably as a new staple in Wes’ wardrobe (of TSBmen fame). I dig the look, however, much like pop-over shirts, the surge in popularity of this style doesn’t seem to have really made it into the affordable shopping realm, so I’ve been stuck admiring from afar.

More recently, I saw a few mentions of making your own DIY band collars by simply cutting off the collar of one of your button-front shirts. Again, I was pretty enamored with the idea, but was unnerved by stories of crazy fraying and couldn’t muster the courage to take my scissors to one of my dear shirts.

A few weeks ago, however, I was sorting through my closet trying to free up some space and hangers, and came across this shirt that I reviewed for Trashness back in the fall. Back then, I was impressed with the denim shirt they sent me, and more recently was a big fan of their updated oxford cloth, but this first OCBD offering they sent me was just a little rough around the edges. That said, I realized that the things I didn't love about it to being with (kinda rough collar, fraying along the placket, slightly messy logo), made the shirt a perfect candidate for some impromptu surgery. Best part was, I rarely wear the shirt as is, so if it turned into a huge failure, I wouldn't be all full of regret.

Ten minutes of careful snipping later, and voila - band collar OCBD: 

And boy am I glad I took the leap. After a wash or two, the fraying and the collar along with the rough stitching on the placket gave this barely-worn shirt a perfect, beat up and lived-in look. On top of that, the fabric is a bit lighter for an oxford, and along with the band collar makes this a really nice casual summer shirt. I’ll add, too, that the trim fit was an aspect I already loved (good work, Trashness), and the silhouette is pretty sharp - so while casual, I think it comes together very well in a dapper, ‘weekend gent’ look like this one.

Here, I paired it with a pair of Uniqlo chinos in a lighter blue (again, great for the sunny summer day - I believe we were headed to a street fest here in Chicago) that I picked up during my recent trip to SF. I could have definitely played down the formality by wearing sneakers or boat shoes, and maybe a ribbon belt, or my go-to braided brown belt, but I wanted to keep that dapper edge, so I went with my black Everlane belt (similar here) and my favorite (but unfortunately almost worn out) black Allen Edmond’s (similar here) - and of course, I kept it seasonal and breezy by rocking the sockless look with the help of some PACT no-shows.

Moral of the story - I say this is a sartorial jump you should really consider. The benefit (besides what I think is a really stylish look) lies strongly in the whole idea of re-purposing rather than buying new - not only do you get to save money, but you get to recycle on older piece of clothing that might otherwise go to waste. It’s a great move for any clothes-horses who have hit their budget limits early and need to fulfill the urge to add something new and exciting to the rotation before the next payday!

What do you think? How did the look come together? Is the band-collar shirt a strength or a weakness? Does this tempt any of you to undergo some DIY shirt surgery?

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