Ever felt embarrassed upon seeing a stylish veteran sauntering through the supermarket, as you trudge the aisles in a scruffy T-shirt, so creased it looks like it's been pulled through a straw? Us too.
And while there's nothing wrong with wearing what makes you feel comfortable (especially during a pandemic), there's something empowering about slipping on a freshly-ironed shirt – even if it's to do your weekly shop or work from home.
We reckon rocking a collared shirt (even if it's above a pair of PJ bottoms) makes us 50 per cent more productive.
Though this is based on little more than a hunch and some sketchy anecdotal evidence. Not convinced? Why not prime your wardrobe for when life returns to normal, anyway?
You’ll want to look for shirts that are comfortable, durable and well-fitting. It’s good to think about what occasions you want a shirt (or shirts) for too. However, most brands have a mixture of formal, casual and smart/casual options.
To help you on your quest to replenish your shirt stock (yep, you're doing it), we’ve put together a list of our favourite men's shirt brands. Having taken into account price, style, the vastness of range and eco-credentials, there should be something for everyone.
From budget-friendly high street retailers offering quality formal shirts to bold casual ranges from well-known fashion houses.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across 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 from the Vintage Kilo Sale. The vintage clothing brand has heaps of options, from Hawaiian summer shirts and Seventies classics to long-sleeved Ralph Lauren checks and classic denims. Traditionally the Vintage Kilo Sale would travel around the UK selling its cracking second-hand stuff but has moved online in recent times for obvious reasons. Prices are based on weight, so fill your boots for only £15 a kilo.
Weekday: From £35
The Scandis don’t get much wrong, do they? And Weekday hasn’t let us down here with its range of nonchalantly cool men's shirts. Shop everything from casual flannel checked lumberjack numbers to chunky corduroy overshirts. We love the brand's simplicity, affordability (shirts cost from £35) and seasonless approach to fashion. Not only that, 83 per cent of the Swedish clothing company’s products are made from sustainable materials (with plans to increase it further in the coming years).
Uniqlo: From £24.90
Uniqlo is a go-to high street retailer for formal, casual or smart/casual men's shirts. The Japanese brand has a minimalist approach to design and boasts a wide range of shirting options, including dressy garments you don't have to iron (the dream). Think office-friendly shirts and long sleeve grandad collars that look the part for special occasions. Most styles come in a range of colours, in a slim fit or standard, so stock up when you find one works for you. Uniqlo's shirts start from around £24.90, but you're likely to get one for under a tenner in sales.
Organic Basics: From £85
When it comes to slow fashion, Organic Basics is the real deal. The Danish clothing company, founded in 2015, was built on transparency and sustainability. The brand’s website features a list of the ethical factories it uses and a breakdown of the quality, less-wasteful materials it uses. We like Organic Basics' small range of neutral-coloured, preppy men's shirts, particularly the smart overshirt. They aren't as cheap as you'll find on the high-street (they go for upwards of £85) but will stand the test of time, and you can rest easy knowing you've done your bit for the environment.
Maharishi: From £180
This British streetwear clothing brand is known for its range of casual men's shirts in “pacifist militarian” style. Think heavy-duty patchwork camo button-ups and intricately-embroidered Japanese camp collar shirts. Founder Hardy Blechman is devoted to making non-conventional military-inspired designs that will challenge perceptions by “blending east and west silhouettes and graphic influences”. He is a designer that's been redefining what utilitarian kit is for more than 25 years, and we're into it. The catch? Maharishi comes in at the top-end price-wise with shirts costing from about £180.
Cos: From £55
On the hunt for a new shirt that looks the part and fits well? You can't fall off with Cos. The retailer has everything from classic-looking formal garments and merino wool button-ups to grandad shirts and short-sleeve camp collars. Most of the brand's clobber works together, keeping pairing dilemmas to a minimum. A reliable menswear brand for well-designed, no-nonsense shirts that outlive seasonal trends and look good on all body types. Pick up a shirt from Cos from around £55.
Fred Perr: From £70
Despite being best known for its polos, Fred Perry has plenty of other lovely gear in its collection, like the brand's slim-fit, checked shirts, which you could imagine mods donning as they scooted around on their Vespas in the 60s. However, our favourite shirt in the British fashion house's collection is a crisp white, short sleeve Oxford shirt embossed with the synonymous laurel wreath (£70). Fred Perry is the ideal brand for men with a penchant for subcultures and music-rooted fashion. If it's good enough for Terry Hall, and the Gallagher brothers…
Ozwald Boateng: From £265
Renowned menswear designer, Ozwald Boateng, has been dressing the coolest of cats for decades, from Daniel Day-Lewis and Will Smith to Spike Lee and Mick Jagger. His talent, determination and passion for formalwear saw him open his first store on Savile Row in 1995 aged just 28. Boateng's men's shirt collection blends traditional British tailoring with Ghanaian-inspired colourways to create enviable formal garments that transcend time. Though not cheap (shirts start at £265), having an Ozwald Boateng shirt in your wardrobe will earn you kudos from fashion-aware friends.
Marks & Spencer: From £19.50
We all know someone who never shuts up about Marks & Spencer's quality clothing range, and we'd be wise to listen. Marks & Spencer's men's shirt range is hard to beat and features enviable formalwear choices in various styles, fits and colourways. There are plenty of casual day-to-day options too, from thin stripes to thick checks. This quintessentially British high street retailer has been serving the public since 1884 when it started as a “penny bazaar” in Leeds. Though it's changed a little since then, it's still a solid choice for men who want a quality shirt that fits well and doesn't cost a small fortune.
Paul Smith: From £100
On the hunt for a premium designer shirt that won't break the bank? Look no further than the infamous fashion house, Paul Smith. The renowned designer, who showcased his first menswear collection in Paris in 1976, is known for his well-cut, quality, British-influenced garments. Paul Smith's current men's shirt collection blends tastefully jazzy Noel Fielding-worthy shirts with paisley patterns ready-made for Paul Weller. Shirts start at around £100, though you might bag a bargain in the sale.
The verdict: Men’s shirt brands
If you’re looking to shop more sustainably, read our guide to the best men’s sustainable fashion brands