The Barbour Men’s Guide to How to Style a Shirt

The Barbour Men’s Guide to How to Style a Shirt


A classic shirt has long remained a timeless essential in every man's wardrobe. From childhood to adult life, and covering many different fashion senses and styles, a button down shirt is the staple piece for a range of outfits for men. With so many different fits to choose from, finding the perfect shirt that suits your own individual sense of style can be a challenge, and styling it can be even more difficult. The Barbour style guide is here to help.

From collarless styles and short sleeves, to patterned materials and classic tailoring, styling a men’s shirt is not always as simple as it seems. At Barbour, we ensure that all of our shirts are designed carefully to be flattering and easy to style, no matter the season. Whether you’re searching how to style a short sleeve shirt for warmer days, or wanting to learn the tricks behind effortlessly styling an overshirt for the transitional seasons. Our style guide will teach you everything you need to know to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident in your Barbour shirt year-round.


How to Style an Oxford Shirt

Perfect for the summer seasons, or as a lighter layering piece in the colder months, an Oxford shirt from Barbour is the quintessential men’s shirt for every occasion. Praised for their stiff and durable material that holds shape better than most classic shirt materials, Oxford shirts are a great option if you’re looking for a clean, simple and reliable style that will remain effortlessly classy and stylish, no matter what you choose to pair it with.

If you’re wondering how to style a short sleeve shirt, an Oxford short sleeved shirt from Barbour is the perfect starting point to this classic summer silhouette. Short sleeved shirts are a great choice in the warmer months if you’re trying to achieve an effortlessly smart style, without being too formal. Our Barbour Oxford Shirt in Navy pairs naturally with a staple summer trouser like the Glendale Chino - the perfect combination for keeping cool in the heat. 

We’ve matched this with the Liddesdale Trainers in navy to draw on the darker tones introduced by the shirt, and carry this through the rest of the outfit. Sticking to a muted colour palette is a great way to introduce a style you might not be familiar with into your wardrobe, without pushing you too far out of your comfort zone. We finished this outfit off with this traditional casual jacket style, the Barbour Ashby Casual Jacket. This is the ideal lightweight layer for a short sleeve shirt as it maintains the smart casual style, without drawing away from the clean and classic cut of the shirt, which is the foundation of the outfit.

For a classic white shirt that can be styled for both formal and smart casual dress codes, look no further than the Barbour Oxford Tailored Shirt in white. The white Oxford shirt is a great staple for every man’s wardrobe, as it  can form the base  for a wide range of outfits. For an outfit that you can rely on year-round, we’ve paired the Oxford shirt with a simple Navy Chino and statement Barbour Capstan Boat Shoes. A pair of chinos are the perfect all-season trouser as they can be styled a number of ways. 

For summer, a cuffed hem on your trousers goes a long way in styling your simple pieces to seem more season-appropriate, and boat shoes are a great way to reinforce the summer style. The sophisticated leather design of the Capstan Boat Shoes makes them a great choice for Autumn and Winter styles too, here we’ve added the Bedum Casual Jacket to complete the outfit. Again we’ve drawn on the idea of implementing one foundation colour, and choosing complimenting neutral accents such as the white shirt and brown boat shoes to elevate the style.


How to style a Tartan Shirt

Looking to introduce some patterned pieces into your wardrobe? A classic Barbour Tartan Shirt is a great option for those who love anything from the more muted styles, to the bold and brave dressers among us. Tartan is the perfect pattern for drawing on the tones that you already have in your wardrobe, making it a great option for easily styling a shirt for any season. Below we have styled a range of different tartan styles to suit a variety of fashion tastes, so you’re sure to find inspiration on how you can style a tartan shirt with some of your favourite items of clothing.

A neutral colour palette is great for transitioning through the seasons, and this Lomond Tailored Shirt is the perfect choice if you wish to learn how to style a tartan shirt without having to jump straight into bold patterns and colours. Styling a tartan shirt is easier than it may seem - a great rule of thumb if you want to keep it simple is to select one colour from the tartan and use that as the foundation for the rest of the outfit. We’ve styled this tartan shirt that features beiges, blues and a subtle hint of red with the relaxed fit Neuston Twill Chinos in stone, as these trousers draw perfectly from the tartan without overpowering the pattern. 

Continuing with similar tones, these Barbour Yuma Boots are a great accent that nods to the browns of the shirt, whilst bringing some darker shades back down to the base of the outfit for balance. Using shoes and either a shirt or jacket to frame an outfit is a great way to ensure balance without overcomplicating the look. 

This outfit is a great way to style a lightweight tartan shirt, and for when it gets colder, the Chelsea Mac Jacket pairs nicely with the colours that already feature in the outfit, whilst also maintaining the smart casual style. 

For those who prefer bolder and darker colours that are great for Autumn and Winter styles, this striking tartan flannel is the perfect Barbour statement shirt for your wardrobe. The Dunoon Tailored Shirt uses traditional tartan colours with a large pattern for a striking and traditional tartan style. If you’re not used to styling darker colours, a tip to help you avoid overcomplicating an outfit is to stick to classic dark blues, browns and blacks throughout the rest of the outfit. 

Paired with this oversized tartan fabric shirt are the Neuston Twill Trousers in deep Navy, alongside the Barbour Redhead Boots in classic Mocha. These two classic styles allow for the Tartan to be the star of the show, whilst drawing from the existing colour in the shirt to create harmony between the items. For when the weather gets colder, we like to add a traditional waxed Barbour jacket. Here we have chosen the Barbour Beaufort in Sage to best complement the statement shirt. A Barbour waxed jacket provides a protective layer for colder weather, and looks effortlessly stylish when paired with a tartan shirt and trousers. 

For a casual style, a micro tartan is a great choice for introducing more patterns to your wardrobe. The Henderson Thermo Weave Shirt uses Barbours temperature regulating technology to ensure that you remain comfortable in any season, making this shirt a great addition to your wardrobe if you’re looking for a shirt that you can rely on through many seasons. 

This shirt is easy to style as the blues in the tartan match with casual denim pieces for summer, as well as darker blue trousers in the later months. We’ve chosen to pair this shirt with a pair of classic Cord Trousers, perfect for Autumn and Winter as well as providing some interesting texture to the look. Along with this, we’ve selected a classic Farsley Chelsea Boot, perfect for the colder months. We’ve completed this outfit with a staple Classic Bedale Wax jacket for further protection from cold or rainy weather.


How to Style an Overshirt

A classic layering piece that looks great on all ages is an overshirt. Overshirts allow you to introduce texture and interest into a look, and you don’t need to be the most fashion-forward to pull off this timeless silhouette. There are several ways in which you can style an overshirt; they can be used to introduce an element of pattern or texture, or to add a lightweight layer when it’s needed. Below we’ll show you some of our favourite ways to effortlessly style an overshirt.

The Barbour Cannich Overshirt features a modern tartan pattern that is a great go-to item in your wardrobe throughout the seasons. The statement two-tone shirt features patch chest pockets as well as further side pockets for that distinctive jacket-like look. This overshirt can be styled a variety of ways, we’ve gone for an everyday Autumn and Winter look, using the Barbour Seton T-Shirt in military brown as a foundation. Neutral shades are always a great option when you wish to keep the attention elsewhere in your outfit and make for a foolproof way to wear a shirt over a t-shirt. 

A great tip for simple styling of a two tone pattern such as this is to reintroduce the secondary colour elsewhere in the outfit, whether it be in the shoes, trousers or coat. We’ve paired the Neuston Twill Trousers in navy with this look to reintroduce the blue tones in the statement overshirt. Finally, we’ve kept the look simple with a classic pair of brown shoes like the Barbour Sonoran Boots to create a stylish and easy-to-wear everyday outfit.

When it’s colder and a t-shirt simply isn’t enough, another favourite way of ours to style an overshirt is layered over a classic Barbour Knitted jumper. When layering with knitwear, a plain-dye overshirt works well, such as the sleek Moleskin Overshirt in navy. The subtle texture in this overshirt helps to distinguish it from a classic shirt, without interfering too much with the pattern of the jumper. The Townend Crew Jumper can serve as a great focal point to this outfit with its sophisticated colourway and waffle knit texture. 

Using the jumper as inspiration, we’ve kept to a similar colour palette for the rest of the outfit, with the Barbour Highgate Twill Trousers in navy. These trousers offer a relaxed fit for a simple yet fashionable effect. To complete this outfit, we’ve added a pair of Kent Desert Boots to help tie everything together, as the suede fabric provides further subtle texture. 


Find your new favourite shirt at Barbour

Hopefully our guide has provided some inspiration on how to style a shirt. If you’d like to refresh your wardrobe with a few new styles, then browse some favourites from the Barbour Shirt Department. Discover a range of styles from short sleeved shirts to classic tailoring, textural tartan and much more. Shop the collection of shirts for men online at Barbour today. 

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    Barbour Broxfield Regular Checked Shirt
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