Popovers, woven shirts with button plackets that extend roughly to the sternum of the wearer, date back to the 1960s and though where and when the popover originated is a matter of debate, its utility, iconic nature, and all around awesomeness are unquestionable truths.
The popover can best be imagined as a standard button down shirt with a button placket that only goes half way down the chest of the wearer and thus, must be “popped” over the head in order to be put on and removed and this style of shirt dates back to the 1960s. Some fashion historians say that GANT invented them at that time while others claim that a shirtmaker from Ginosa, Italy named Angelo Inglese began making them around then for his start client, Gianni Agnelli. Regardless of who did what first, the result was the same: a shirt that, while more relaxed than a traditional button down, is more formal than a polo shirt, and thus, a hybrid, versatile garment that straddles the border between formal and casual and is a great option for those looking for a shirt that’s classic, clean, and easy to wear.
The popover comes in short and long sleeve versions and typically has a three button placket. They are also made in a variety of fabrics and weights. Oxford cloth popovers are the most common, but pure linen, pure silk, cotton linen blends, and even chambray popovers are easy to find as well. Designers have also begun experimenting with different fits for popovers. Though, we'd warn you that a very slim cut popover can make for a challenging time as it may be impossible to get it on and off. Furthermore, since the woven fabric doesn't have the ability to stretch like a knit, the future prospects for an overly slim fitting popover are grim.
While popovers can be worn year round, they are most often seen in the Spring and Summer and in the summer, particularly in regions of the world where it is extremely hot, short sleeve popovers in pure linen are almost a necessity. And what should you wear them with? Anything from jeans to chinos to shorts. Perhaps untucked with some shorts during the warm summer day and tucked in with an unconstructed, unlined blazer and chinos on a cool summer evening? Perhaps not? The only person that can answer that question is you, but we think that it's one worth exploring the answer to.
So, keep your eyes and ears peeled and pop on over to wolfvsgoat soon to buy the best that the popover world has to offer.