Best men’s shirt brands 2021: Formal, casual, checked and designer styles
Have you ever been embarrassed to see a stylish veteran strolling through the supermarket while stomping down the aisles in an unkempt t-shirt, so wrinkled it looks like it’s been pulled through a straw? We also.
And while there’s nothing wrong with wearing items that you feel comfortable with (especially during a pandemic), there is something invigorating to put on a freshly ironed shirt – even if you want to do your weekly grocery shopping or work from home.
We believe rocking a collared shirt (even if it’s over a pair of PJ pants) makes us 50 percent more productive.
However, this is based on little more than a guess and some sketchy anecdotal evidence. Unconvinced? When life is back to normal, why not prepare your wardrobe?
You should look for shirts that are comfortable, durable, and well fitting. It is good to think about whatever occasions you would like a shirt (or shirts) for as well. However, most brands offer a mix of formal, casual, and smart / casual options.
To help you with your quest to replenish your shirt inventory (yes you do), we’ve compiled a list of our favorite men’s shirt brands. Considering price, style, long range and environmental friendliness, there should be something for everyone.
From budget retailers selling quality formal shirts to bold casual ranges from well-known fashion houses.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commissions from some retailers, but we never let this affect the choices that emerge from real-world testing and expert advice. These revenues help fund journalism in The Independent.
Vintage Kilo Sale: From £ 15
Reject fast fashion, but love a bargain? You could do a lot worse than buying your next shirt on the Vintage Kilo sale. The vintage clothing brand has tons of options, from Hawaiian summer shirts and 1970s classics to long-sleeved Ralph Lauren checks and classic jeans. Traditionally, the Vintage Kilo Sale traveled around the UK selling its crunchy used stuff, but has recently gone online for obvious reasons. The prices are based on the weight. So fill your boots for just £ 15 a kilo.
Weekday: From £ 35
The Scandis don’t get much wrong, do they? And Weekday didn’t let us down here with its selection of casually cool men’s shirts. Shop for everything from casual flannel plaid lumberjack numbers to chunky corduroy overshirts. We love the simplicity, affordability (shirts start at £ 35), and the seasonless approach to fashion. In addition, 83 percent of the Swedish clothing company’s products are made from sustainable materials (with a further increase in the coming years).
Uniqlo: From £ 24.90
Uniqlo is a popular retailer of formal, casual, or elegant men’s shirts. The Japanese brand takes a minimalist approach to design and offers a wide range of shirt options, including sleek, no-iron clothes (the dream). Think office-friendly shirts and long-sleeved grandpa collars to go with for special occasions. Most models are available in different colors, in a slim fit or as a standard. So you should stock up if you can find one that works for you. Uniqlos shirts start at around £ 24.90, but you will likely get one for less than a tenth in sales.
Organic Basics: From £ 85
When it comes to slow fashion, organic basics are the real deal. Founded in 2015, the Danish clothing company is based on transparency and sustainability. The brand’s website provides a list of the ethical factories they use and a breakdown of the high quality, less wasteful materials they use. We like the small selection of neutral, preppy men’s shirts from Organic Basics, especially the elegant overshirt. They’re not as cheap as on the main drag (they cost over £ 85) but they will stand the test of time and you can rest assured that you have done your part for the environment.
Maharishi: From £ 180
This British streetwear clothing brand is known for its range of casual men’s pacifist military style shirts. Think sturdy patchwork camo button-ups and intricately embroidered Japanese shirts with camp collars. Founder Hardy Blechman is dedicated to creating unconventional, military-inspired designs that challenge perception by “combining East and West silhouettes and graphic influences”. He’s a designer who has been redefining what a useful kit is for over 25 years and we love it. The catch? Maharishi comes out on top in terms of prices with shirts starting around £ 180.
Cos: From £ 55
Looking for a new shirt that looks great and fits well? You can’t fall away with Cos. The retailer has everything from classic-looking formal garments and buttons made of merino wool to grandpa shirts and short-sleeved camp collars. Most of the brand’s clobbers work together keeping mating dilemmas to a minimum. A trusted men’s brand for well-designed, no-frills shirts that survive seasonal trends and look great on all body types. Get a shirt from Cos from around £ 55.
Fred Perr: From £ 70
Although Fred Perry is best known for his polos, he has many other nice items in his collection, like the brand’s slim-fitting, plaid shirts that you can imagine when mods slide around on their Vespas in the 60s. However, our favorite shirt in the British fashion house’s collection is a crisp white short-sleeved Oxford shirt embossed with the laurel wreath of the same name (£ 70). Fred Perry is the ideal brand for men with a taste for subcultures and music-based fashion. If it’s good enough for Terry Hall and the Gallagher brothers …
Ozwald Boateng: From £ 265
Renowned men’s fashion designer Ozwald Boateng has been dressing the coolest cats for decades, from Daniel Day-Lewis and Will Smith to Spike Lee and Mick Jagger. Because of his talent, determination and passion for evening wear, he opened his first store on Savile Row in 1995, when he was just 28 years old. Boateng’s men’s shirt collection combines traditional British tailoring with Ghana-inspired colors to create enviable evening dresses that transcend time. Though not cheap (shirts start at £ 265), an Ozwald Boateng shirt in your wardrobe will earn you praise from fashion-conscious friends.
Marks & Spencer: From £ 19.50
(Marks & Spencer)
We all know someone who never makes fun of Marks & Spencer’s high quality clothing line, and we should listen. Marks & Spencer’s men’s shirts are hard to beat and offer an enviable range of evening wear in a variety of styles, fits and colors. There are plenty of everyday options too, from thin stripes to thick checks. This quintessentially British retailer has been public since 1884 when it started out in Leeds as the Penny Bazaar. Although it has changed a bit since then, it is still a great choice for men who are looking for a quality shirt that fits well and doesn’t cost a small fortune.
Paul Smith: From 100 pounds
Looking for a premium designer shirt that won’t break the bank? Look no further than the infamous Paul Smith fashion house. The renowned designer, who presented his first men’s collection in Paris in 1976, is known for his well-cut, high-quality clothing items with a British influence. Paul Smith’s current men’s shirt collection tastefully combines jazzy Noel Fielding-worthy shirts with paisley patterns made for Paul Weller. Shirts start at around £ 100, although you might get a bargain on sales.
The bottom line: men’s shirt brands
The world-conscious Vintage Kilo Sale is our first choice for inexpensive casual shirts. For formal and everyday shirting needs, Cos cannot be knocked on for quality and style.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice that you can trust. In some cases, we generate income from clicking the links and purchasing the products. However, we never allow this to affect our coverage. The ratings are compiled through a mixture of expert opinion and real testing.