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Necessary or Unnecessary: a lumpy mouthful of syllables

There’s a certain irony in a brand called Necessary or Unnecessary putting out a shirt like this. See that button fastening. It’s all skew-whiff.

The guys over at Necessary or Unnecessary have seemingly concluded that regular, straight-up-the-front buttons are unnecessary, while buttons on-the-wonk are considerably more necessary. I imagine they’re in the minority in this. But it hasn’t stopped them putting out five different colour-ways of what they call, ‘The Sidewinder’.

Necessary or Unnecessary are one of those wonderfully niche, folksy brands stocked over at Beams Fennica — the Japanese only, small-run arm of the lifestyle behemoth. I love the name. Necessary or Unnecessary. Such a lumpy mouthful of syllables. It’s like the title of a western game show clumsily translated into Japanese.

Of course this kind of asymmetrical fastening isn’t new. Especially favoured by King’s Road basin-heads in the 60s, you can imagine Herman’s Hermits wearing these while cooing over Mrs Brown’s lovely daughter. But perhaps the style looks vaguely fresh here. At least, fresh in the sense that you never see anyone wearing this style today.

But would you actually want to? Moving the buttons to one side creates a challenging bridge of uninterrupted fabric between the collars. There’s no hiding from it. You’ve come as Micky Dolenz.

To some eyes the prospect of The Sidewinder will seem interesting, different, a gateway to a new cool. To others, just a ridiculous relic. Either way, it’s unignorable. Unforgiving. Arguably, unnecessary.

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