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BY H: when there’s nowhere left to go

Sometimes you’ve got to just take a breath. Camo, fluoro, leopard prints, colour clash, retro illustration, colliding geometry, idiot words. Synapses firing too fast. So many t-shirts with Droogs on. Too. Much. Pattern. This is menswear today, a  street-fight where the Queensberry Rules take two diamond-encrusted fingers to the eyes.

With so much noise there’s nowhere left to go. What can you wear to stand out? How will you get noticed amongst 1000 hoodies covered in pop-art machine guns and paintings of Jesus hanging from a noose? There are only two approaches. One, beat the boujee anarchists at their own game and wear a top featuring a grinning picture of Jimmy Savile and the words ‘Pedo 4 Life.” Or, assuming you’re not ready to tackle that level of irony, just wear a plain cotton shirt.

When everyone’s doing one thing, the quickest way to distinguish yourself is to do the opposite. It isn’t a hard and fast rule — not entirely appropriate for bank robbery or ritual sacrifice — but it’s a fine lesson for men’s upper-body-wear.

Anyway, if you’re considering quietening things down, you could do a lot worse than checking out these shirts from By H. I know nothing about the brand, other than it’s available over at I Am Shop and their shirts murder.

This model, the ‘We Shirt’ is particularly cool. Sure, it’s essentially a cotton shirt, but look at those pockets, they’re huge, with what appears to be some overlapping detail. There’s a draw cord waist too. And those cut-out cuffs. They’re the most exciting thing I’ve seen all week — granted it’s only Monday, but if this week is anything like usual, these cuffs will be in the top three at least.

I bought a simple white Nanamica shirt a couple of weeks back. I chose to wear it fully buttoned up (first time in ages I’ve gone fully buttoned) with an interesting, but fundamentally flat-grey Comme Homme Deux blazer. I felt like David Lynch. Or at the very least an architect featured in an early edition of Arena. Point is, the look was clean, simple and refreshing. I can recommend it. I felt like a grown up. Not something I’m entirely accustomed to.

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