Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE," where we look into the inspiration behind some of our favorite Engineered Garments pieces. This installment features the "Ivy BD Shirt," a new shirt that encapsulates the Ivy-style theme of the Spring Summer 2024 collection.
Historically, the popover shirt was the norm for men's shirting. In the 18th and 19th centuries, shirts were undergarments, usually not seen without a waistcoat. White shirts, a luxury for the elite, were voluminous, collarless, with a partial neck opening. They used cords, strings, or buttons for closure and required a separate collar. Notably, these shirts had a closed hem, requiring the wearer to pull them over the head.
In 1871, Brown, Davis & Co. of London patented the "Figurative Shirt" with buttons from neck to hem, enhancing comfort and fit. This style gained popularity in the US and became a European standard by the century's end.
The 1950s, the Golden Age of American Ivy League fashion, witnessed a revival of the popover shirt. Perhaps inspired by the polo shirt's success, manufacturers reintroduced it in lightweight poplin with 3-button plackets. Its relaxed style quickly won over East Coast college students, who paired it with sport coats, chinos, and loafers, making it an Ivy League emblem.
Its appeal was broader than Ivy League campuses. In 1954, after performing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, jazz legend Miles Davis visited The Andover Shop, a bastion of American Traditional menswear, leaving with sack suits, striped ties, and popover shirts. Davis's patronage introduced the style to cultural icons like Chet Baker, Ralph Ellison, and Charles White.
This Engineered Garments Ivy BD Shirt embodies the Spring Summer 2024 collection's theme, reinterpreting the popover shirt's rich legacy by subverting critical elements of its identity. The shirt features a 6-button placket, which extends nearly to the hem, unlike traditional popover designs. This, along with the shirt's punched-out wide proportions, gives the item an appearance that mixes orthodox button-downs with the mid-century half-placket designs.
The shirt also includes classic American dress details, like the pleated sleeve with placket, split yoke, button-down collar, and button-flap breast pocket. Another feature of Ivy-style shirts appears directly above the back box pleat - a fabric "locker loop" for wrinkle-free hanging.
In keeping with melding formality with experimentation, Daiki produces the shirt in various Iridescent Oxford and Candy Stripe Oxford Fabrics.
The Engineered Garments Ivy BD Shirt is a new chapter in the popover shirt's evolution, traversing from 19th-century gentlemen to university students to the modern clientele of Engineered Garments. Each iteration reveals a fresh style perspective while maintaining its classic form. With this shirt, Daiki breathes new life into a rich history with a playful twist.
The Ivy BD Shirt is available in the following fabrics:
Blue Cotton Iridescent
Jade Cotton Iridescent
Khaki Cotton Iridescent
Pink Cotton Iridescent
Pink Candy Stripe Oxford
Navy Candy Stripe Oxford
Grey Candy Stripe Oxford
Available in-store and online at nepenthesny.com