Fashion

MACKO'S MATERIALS: SUCH BEAUTIFUL SHIRTS

-By Michael Macko, Details Fashion Director

Sure, movies have always influenced fashion, but often before we see a story on the big screen, we read the book and envision it in our minds. Classic novels like Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, and even American Psycho provide such vivid descriptions of the characters' attire that you don't need a film to get a sense of their appearance.

Books
Images courtesy of Amazon.com

Perhaps the most noteworthy literary style-shaper is The Great Gatsby. My favorite quote comes when Gatsby starts showing Daisy Buchanan his shirts, telling her, "I've got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall." As he pulls them out of the cabinet, she starts to sob and utters one of the most iconic literary quotes of all time: "It makes me sad because I've never seen such—such beautiful shirts before."

Shirts_2
From top: Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Michael Bastian (2), Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Band of Outsiders, Steven Alan, Thom Browne, Brooks Brothers, Tim Hamilton, GANT created by Jeffrey (Photo by Michael Macko)

I'm feeling exactly the same emotion as Daisy did. There have never been better shirts out there, and I want them all. Fashion goes through cycles, fluctuating between woven (dress shirts) and jersey (T-shirts), and we're definitely in a woven phase. When I was recently at Jeffrey, the meatpacking district's retail barometer of cool, I was pleasantly surprised to see racks of oxford-cloth shirts. While the fabric is classic, the cuts—trimmer and with higher armholes—make them modern. The owner Jeffrey Kalinsky noted that "the oxford-cloth shirt hasn't been more popular since the seventies."

Bookshirts
Photo by Michael Macko / Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

If you're more of a T-shirt guy—or want to wear your literary taste in a more literal form—check out a new line from Mustache Brigade that features the covers of classic books straight off a high-school reading list, like Catch-22 and Death of a Salesman.

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