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9 best overshirts that are perfect for layering all year round

From lumberjack shirts to oversized styles – they’re endlessly verstatile

Paddy Maddison
Monday 09 May 2022 11:46
<p>The style has roots in workshops of 20th century North America</p>

The style has roots in workshops of 20th century North America

The overshirt might just be the hardest-working garment in modern menswear. It’s on call year-round, built for the daily grind, and can be worn regardless of the setting or temperature thanks to its endless versatility and layering potential.

Somewhere between a casual shirt and a jacket, this lightweight layer features a collar, a zip or button front, usually a few pockets, and tends to be made from medium to heavyweight fabric. Materials like twill, flannel and wool are some of the most popular.

It may have its roots in the workshops of 20th century North America, but today the overshirt is more popular with style-savvy city dwellers than oil-stained car mechanics.

We firmly believe that every man should own one, and so we checked a mountain of them out to bring you a carefully chosen selection of the best ones to buy in 2022.

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How we tested

The most important things to consider when shopping for an overshirt are fit, style and quality. These were the criteria we were judging on when we made our picks. We got up close and personal with each overshirt to get a sense of the materials and build quality, and wore them to assess sizing and overall looks. Keep scrolling to see our favourites.

The best overshirts for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Carhartt WIP master overshirt: £69, Endclothing.com
  • Best cord overshirt – Stan Ray cpo cord overshirt: £89, Endclothing.com
  • Best for minimalism – Asket the overshirt: £110, Asket.com
  • Best premium overshirt – Norse Projects jens packable overshirt: £260, Norseprojects.com
  • Best for insulation – Snow Peak flexible insulated shirt: £225, Snowpeak.co.uk
  • Best budget-freindly option – Uniqlo overshirt jacket: £49.90, Uniqlo.com
  • Best patterned overshirt – Wax London whiting overshirt: £135, Waxlondon.com
  • Best for the lumberjack look – Fjällräven canada overshirt: £145, Fjallraven.com
  • Best lightweight option – Lyle & Scott washed twill overshirt: £85, Lyleandscott.com

Carhartt WIP master overshirt

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

With a hint of the military about it, this sage-green overshirt from Carhartt WIP is a simple, stripped-back option that works great over a T-shirt as a light outer layer in the spring and summer. It has a regular fit that’s relatively slim in the body, so if you’re planning to wear it over anything more substantial than a tee then you might want to think about sizing up.

Stan Ray cpo cord overshirt

Best: Cord overshirt

Rating: 9/10

We’ve been living in this oversized shirt from American workwear label Stan Ray for a couple of years now. The corduroy is great for adding a touch of texture to outfits and it has a nice bit of stretch to it that aids comfort. The fit is boxy and loose, and we’d say it runs around a size up. For reference we’re usually a medium across the board but a small in this shirt leaves us with enough room to slot a hoodie underneath.

Asket the overshirt

Best: For minimalism

Rating: 9/10

There are a lot of labels right now marketing themselves as “premium basics” brands. Masquerading as sustainable by claiming to offer higher quality, timeless clothes, meaning you’ll ultimately have to buy less. But from our experience, Asket is one of the few names that actually delivers on this promise.

The clothes really are well made, and there’s only one permanent collection – no trend-led seasonal designs. As for the overshirt, it has a classic fit and a soft handfeel, with stripped-back styling that ensures it’ll go with almost anything.

Norse Projects jens packable overshirt

Best: Premium overshirt

Rating: 9/10

Copenhagen’s Norse Projects’ signature brand of modern Scandi minimalism is perfectly exemplified in this lightweight nylon overshirt. It’s a contemporary twist on a classic silhouette, with utilitarian details like a plastic D ring to the chest and a zip pocket on the back, into which the shirt can be packed. The fit is relaxed without being too loose and overall the shirt is true to size. That said, if you do happen to be in between sizes, we’d recommend going down rather than up.

Snow Peak flexible insulated shirt

Best: For insulation

Rating: 9/10

Japanese brand Snow Peak has been making camping cool since the Fifties. And this lightly insulated overshirt is a great example of what the label does best, blending functional design with a clean, stylish aesthetic. It’s made from recycled polyester, features two side pockets, and has a durable water repellent (DWR) coating to shrug off light showers. We found this overshirt to run small and would suggest going one up from your usual size for the perfect fit.

Uniqlo overshirt jacket

Best: Budget-friendly option

Rating: 8/10

Nice and thick with a generous fit, this boxy overshirt from Uniqlo is great for layering in the transitional months and beyond. Because of its loose fit, it works well as an outer layer on top of some knitwear or a hoodie, but is still low-profile enough to fit underneath more substantial outerwear should the weather call for it. It’s designed for an oversized fit and we think your normal size should be just right.

Wax London whiting overshirt

Best: Patterned overshirt

Rating: 9/10

This substantial recycled-cotton overshirt from British label Wax is chunky, slouchy and perfect for layering. The fabric has a lot of texture, which is great for giving your day-to-day outfits a bit of depth, and it’s available in all sorts of eye-catching colours. We love the thickness and generous cut of this overshirt, and think it would suit anyone looking for a proper four-seasons option made from environmentally conscious materials.

Fjällräven canada overshirt

Best: For the lumberjack look

Rating: 8/10

Made from a thick wool blend, this rugged lumberjack shirt from Fjällräven is an outdoorsy option that’s built to take a beating. With its heavyweight fabric and G-1000 (Fjallraven’s signature poly-cotton fabric) reinforcements on the collar, placket, cuffs and pocket flaps, we wouldn’t be surprised if it outlasts us. Beware of the bizarre fit though – we usually wear a medium but we take a small in this. It still fits pretty long in the body, so if you’re usually between sizes you might even want to think about going down two.

Lyle & Scott washed twill overshirt

Best: Lightweight option

Rating: 8/10

This zip-through option from Scottish label Lyle & Scott is understated and easy to wear. It’s made from a relatively lightweight cotton fabric, making it excellent as a light outer layer on cool summer days. We love the simple styling and classic fit of this overshirt and think its a great no-fuss option for just throwing on over a T-shirt in the warmer months.

The verdict: Men’s overshirts

Carhartt WIP’s master overshirt is simple and stylish. We love the fit and the light weight which means it can be used for layering all throughout the year. It’s not cheap, but not eye-wateringly expensive either. If you’re looking for something cheaper, check out Uniqlo’s overshirt jacket, or if you’ve got a bit more cash to play with, go with Norse Projects’ jens packable shirt.

Voucher codes

For the latest discount codes on men’s fashion and accessories, try the links below:

For a greener wardrobe, check our the best sustainable men’s clothing brands to know

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