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Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 4 May 2018

Here’s why shirts are the best summer apparel... 

It’s time to stock your wardrobe with summer-appropriate clothing. The heat is on, but don’t let it get to you. Who says you need to compromise on fashion for comfort? In fact, summer is the perfect time for you to get a little more experimental with your look. Anupam Biswas, associate vice president-design, Flying Machine, says that shirts are the best apparel for summer because it’s easy to wear and goes well with all body types. 

If you still have to adhere to a dress code for work, and can’t just land up with a round-neck cotton t-shirt, you can pick from a range of light shirts by various brands. When we say ‘light’, we don’t just mean colour-wise, we are referring to a breathable fabric, comfortable cuts and pleasing prints. Gaurav Raheja, chief product officer, True Blue, says, “A lot of fine shirts are made of premium fabrics such as linen and soft cotton. These shirts give you a very polished and dressed up appearance.” 

Here’s how you select the best shirts for you this summer:

FABRICS AND PRINTS
Raheja shares, “This summer is all about bright and happy tones of linens, be it plain or printed.” 

Linen is a fabric that everyone should invest in during the summer. This material made from the fibres of the flax plant is tedious to manufacture, but the demand for it is rising all over the world. Not only is it highly absorbent, but the fabric also keeps you cool and fresh as the weather becomes hot and humid. 

Here’s a fun fact about linen — it was used as currency in ancient Egypt. Since mummies were wrapped in this fabric before they were put into their caskets, the fabric was considered as a symbol of light, purity, and of course, wealth. The German city Bielefeld issued banknotes printed on linen in 1923. Even today, linen is usually an expensive textile produced in relatively small quantities. So if you buy linen today, it might be expensive, but it has that much durability also. Linen has longer fibre length than cotton or any other natural fibre. 

Biswas says that apart from linen, fabrics like twill and washed indigo are also popular summer choices. Since twill has a pattern of diagonal parallel ribs, it usually drapes well. Indigo is believed to have certain antibacterial properties which can only be a benefit against the many infections that spread during the summer in tropical countries. He adds, “Tropical and conversational prints are a big rage this season.” These were a big hit on the international ramps late last year, and have finally made their way to the streets. Conversational prints can range from motifs of animals to pop culture symbols. 

HOW TO STYLE YOUR SHIRTS
“There are so many different ways in which shirts can be stylised. For example, you can give a casual look by rolling up the sleeves and tucking the shirt loose,” says Biswas. The theme of dressing up should be ‘maximum comfort’. Biswas adds, “You can also wear an open button shirt with a complementing vest inside, or pair your summer shirt with light-weight washed shorts,” says he. But if you think a shirt is ‘too boring’, you can add some ‘fun’ to it with accessories like bandanas, shirt pins or funky badges, stick on patches and so on. If you’re heading to a formal event, adding a pocket square to your look is a good idea.

Raheja encourages you to ditch your regular denims for a while and try out bottomwear in various fabrics. “You can style a shirt with various bottoms. For a beachy look, try pairing a bright printed shirt with a much lighter tone pair of shorts,” he says. But if you just cannot part with your jeans, he says, “You can throw on a white shirt with indigo denims for a day out with friends. A shirt can also come handy yet keep your look stylish,” adding, “It is very important that you combine shirts the right way with the right bottom. Every small detail counts. Try lightweight jeans or peached/soft touch chinos.”

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