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RANDT: One big detail

If there’s one clear failing with modern shirting it is that it does the job of covering the torso too well. No ambiguity, just comprehensive and complete concealment.

Was it once decided by a global cabal of shirt makers that shirts must run uninterrupted from chin to belt? And if so, where does that leave the shirt enthusiast who also enjoys showing off their stomach?

I’d like to make it clear, I am not a member of the alvinolagnia community, I have no special interest in, nor sexual attraction to the human belly. But it stands to reason that some men, somewhere, get a kick out of exposing their middles. Of course there’s always the crop top. But what if you’re not ready for that level of exposure? Maybe you’re just looking for a shirt that gives you choices; full coverage for formal occasions, but also, if the mood takes you, the option to give passersby a glimpse of the good stuff.

The ever reliable Nepenthes are addressing this sensitive issue via their (rather sporadic) imprint RANDT. What we have here is a shirt, the lower left frontal portion of which is unbuttonable. I believe the scientific term is, ‘shirt with removable front bit.’

Does it entirely come off? I don’t think so, it appears to just hang there like a throttled fox. But the result is full exposure of the lower left frontal portion of the tummy. Presumably there’s a market for it?

Round the back there are more buttons encouraging a full sternal reveal. But it’s not just shirts, there are jackets too. With the same array buttony contrivances. Even RANDT’s trousers now unbutton to the thigh.

I’m not sure I’m down with this frenzy of fastenings. I’m all for tricksy and surprising detail in menswear, but these pieces are like one big detail. A big, mad excessively buttoned detail. Feels a bit self-indulgent to me. Navel-gazing you might say.

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