Editor’s note: Get more menswear shopping picks for the season at that link.
There are some staples that never really, truly go out of style. From a rugged chambray shirt to a classic blue Oxford, these are the sort of pieces that a well-dressed guy should feasibly have in his wardrobe. And although there are a few other items you should readily have in your closet, it’s tough to dispute the timeless, rugged style of a denim shirt — yes, that’s right. Like the chambray shirt, the denim shirt is a hearty take on men’s shirting, originally worn by rough-and-tumble cowboys, ranchers and guys who needed a shirt that could take a beating. Well, modern iterations are a bit different — cut slimmer and trimmer, with more style-forward washes and detailing, for one. Yet, it’s the type of shirt that can make any guy look good — if you know which one to buy, that is. Its rugged appeal and durability makes it timeless and … you guessed it … essential. Today, we talk five great denim shirts to buy RIGHT NOW. Get more menswear at The Style Guide Facebook page and via Twitter, folks.
#1. Levi’s Barstow Western Shirt — $69.50
Made the same way as it was decades ago — and updated with a modern fit and neat style details.
If there’s a brand that makes a better denim shirt — or has more longevity doing it — they’ve got a tough act to follow in Levi’s. The brand still abides by the rugged ethos and construction that made its denim the pants of choice for gold miners out West, and the Barstow Western Shirt carries on that same tradition through to the 21st century. Wear this one with the Levi’s 505C to your next concert, and hang onto it the next you want a shirt to wear to the bar with friends.
#2. Scotch and Soda Denim Shirt (Available via East Dane) — $125
A minimal take on the denim shirt — just as essential for the season.
While a denim shirt with a bit of a faded wash is a reliably safe bet, you can never go wrong with a deep, dark blue denim shirt. Scotch and Soda makes pieces that are eclectic and unique in their construction and design, but this denim shirt is a winner — as with the Levi’s option above, it’s the type of shirt to wear to a rock concert, perhaps with a rugged waxed trucker jacket. And for $125, you should give it a go with a grey wool knit tie and burgundy corduroys this coming winter, too.
#3. Buck Mason Bleached Indigo Pearl Snap Shirt — $145
Made in America with classic style details — doesn’t get any better!
$145 for a shirt? Oh, yes. And here’s why — the team at Buck Mason knows a thing or two about making premium menswear in America, and this bleached indigo shirt is a fine example. Made from an 8oz. chambray fabric, it features custom-built pearl snaps and a fit that should team nicely with your favorite rugged henley this fall and winter. The color and construction mean it also works for layering under a suede bomber jacket on breezy days.
#4. J. Crew Slim Midweight Denim Shirt — $88
It’s tough to go wrong with J. Crew — this denim shirt is a surefire winner.
J. Crew was (and is?) quite possibly the reason behind the surge in popularity of the classic chambray shirt over this past half-decade in menswear, and it’s no surprise that they make a heck of a denim shirt, too. This piece is slim and features a dark wash that should look just right this fall and winter with grey denim — and just as great come springtime with slim stone chinos and classic navy sneakers.
#5. Bridge and Burn Flint Overshirt — $182
A deep indigo dye and sturdy construction make this a fall and winter layering favorite.
So, is this overshirt your typical denim shirt? Not quite. It’s thicker, lined with cotton flannel and done up in a deep indigo wash, for one. And it doesn’t feature the typical pearl snaps seen on most denim shirts. However, it gets the nod here because of its versatility, durability and quality construction. The great team at Bridge & Burn puts their own touches on classic staples (including fall’s must-have bomber), and the Flint Overshirt is yet another example of those efforts. It’s easy to layer over a slim pocket tee, and it’ll pair up quite nicely with a stylish henley and your favorite pair of selvedge denim.
No matter how you wear it — atop a tee, under a slim cardigan or on its own with the sleeves rolled up — a tough denim shirt is your answer to rugged fall and winter style. In the right cut and with a bit of visual interest, a denim shirt can act as another casual shirting option — think of it as an alternative to your favorite chambray shirt. And it’ll work in the fall and winter, plus the spring — when worn with other seasonal style essentials, of course. Did I miss any picks? Shoot me a note on Twitter, or drop us a line in the comments below.