If you don’t already have a popover in your closet, here are 15 reasons why you should change that.
When it comes to men’s shirting, you often see a lot of the same. Oxford cloth button-downs (OCBD), dress shirts, polos, flannels, and T-shirts comprise the majority of what most brands offer today.
As a result, few guys know about the popover shirt, which is a half-placket shirt worn by popping it on over the head. It’s a casual, versatile shirt option that’s an excellent alternative to a regular OCBD.
Popovers typically have three to five buttons and a slightly looser fit to facilitate putting them on and taking them off over the head. As a result, popovers are uniquely comfortable and almost feel more like sweatshirts than button-downs.
As rare as they are today, popover-style shirts were commonplace until 1871, when the type of coat-style shirt we know today — where the shirt completely unbuttons from collar to hem like a coat — was patented.
Even though standard front plackets have since been the standard, popover shirts have, well, “popped” up every now and then.
Popovers gained a little bit of traction in the 1950s. Miles Davis famously sported them and even wore one while recording Kind of Blue. However, they didn’t take off until the 1960s when Gant designed a popover-style sport shirt that became popular among Ivy Leaguers.
Recently, popovers have been making a quiet comeback, but they’re still tricky to find. Most brands don’t push them, and many of these styles aren’t explicitly called popovers.
That’s why I’ve rounded up 15 of the best popovers on the market today.
Here are our top recommendations from the list:
Contrary to its name, the Henley Flannel Shirt by the Vermont Flannel Company isn't a typical henley, defined by its long sleeves, lack of collar, and rounded neckline. Instead, it's a unique take on the classic flannel shirt, designed as a four-button popover.
Made of premium 100% Italian-woven linen, this popover boasts single-needle construction, two buttoned chest pockets, and elegant mother-of-pearl buttons. The vibrant green hue sets it apart, skillfully curated by Drake's.
Read on for more info and the complete list…
The 15 Best Popover Shirts for Men
Here are my top popover picks in order of lowest to highest price.
The Vermont Flannel Company Henley Flannel Shirt
Despite its name, the Henley Flannel Shirt from the Vermont Flannel Company isn’t a true henley (which is a long-sleeved, collarless T-shirt variation featuring a rounded neckline). Rather, it’s the classic flannel shirt reimagined as a four-button popover.
This roomy shirt is made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and is cut and sewn by hand in the USA. It’s hard to find sub-$75 shirts with that kind of quality, so this is an incredible deal if you’re into flannel.
You can pick up the shirt in many of the classic flannel designs, including the iconic red buffalo print. (There’s also a solid dark grey that’s surprisingly smart).
Blacksmith Store Popover Wind Shirt
Blacksmith Store is an online retailer that specializes in well-made, long-lasting garments. While it stocks brands from across Europe, Blacksmith itself produces in-house clothing with a focus on offering conscious yet affordable goods.
Blacksmith offers several popovers, but the Popover Wind Shirt is the most unique. Think of it as a tougher windbreaker that you wear as a shirt. It’s made from a dense cotton canvas, so it’s an excellent transitional piece that’s ideal for blustery days.
While most popovers have buttons, the Popover Wind Shirt has a hidden half-placket zip, giving it a slightly sporty vibe. The large kangaroo pocket provides plenty of storage, and the adjustable waistband is a nice practical touch.
Form&Thread Chambray Popover Workshirt Overshirt
Form&Thread aims to make modern essentials that will stand the test of time. While the brand’s workwear-inspired line is relatively simple, it’s not at all boring, and the Chambray Popover Workshirt Overshirt is proof of that.
Made from a midweight cotton chambray, this boxy overshirt defies expectations with patch pockets and a curved collar, and its four-button placket is topped off with sustainable corozo buttons.
And thanks to Form&Thread’s emphasis on traceability, you can read all about where and how the Workshirt Overshirt was manufactured, which is a huge plus for ethically-minded shoppers.
Alex Mill Popover Shirt in Cotton Twill
Alex Mill isn’t afraid to look to vintage garments for inspiration, and that’s a good thing because we might not otherwise have the classy Popover Shirt in Cotton Twill.
This popover takes direct inspiration from a Swedish army field shirt introduced in 1959, so it’s resplendent with vintage charm. It’s a fantastic substitute for a polo that’s looser and more casual yet still retains a refined appearance.
With a single western-style pocket, this shirt is about as minimal as it gets, which means it’s a particularly versatile piece that’s great for layering and which you can easily dress up or down.
Bricks & Wood YC Popover Shirt
If you prefer looser fits, check out the YC Popover Shirt from LA-based brand Bricks & Wood.
Taking design cues from streetwear, this flowy popover has both dressy and casual aspects that mesh nicely. It’s made from lightweight linen and has a vented, slightly oversized fit, making it ideal for sweltering summer days.
The unique combination of a French placket and a popover placket accentuates this shirt’s crisp, minimal nature. Overall, the YC Popover is a great way to add a bit of upscale style to your everyday look.
Universal Works Overhead Shirt
Borrowing elements from both workwear and classic menswear, the Overhead Shirt from Universal Works feels timeless and fresh.
Its clean design omits a placket entirely in favor of an open smock-style collar that resembles a camp collar. It has a single breast pocket and orange-gold thread detailing, adding a subtle pop of color.
This version is made from a striped poplin fabric that has a nautical vibe to it, but you can also pick up an ultra-minimal ecru self-stripe variant. Both run a tad small, however, so make sure to review the sizing charts.
Neem Recycled Italian Sky Horizontal Popover Shirt
If supporting ethical and sustainable fashion is important to you, then you should know about Neem, a London-based brand that offers responsibly-made clothing that’s easy on the environment.
The Recycled Italian Sky Horizontal Popover Shirt is one of Neem’s many popovers.
This stylish shirt is made from 50% recycled cotton (made from fashion waste) and 50% GOTS-certified organic cotton. According to Neem, each shirt requires 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 93% less water to make than a traditionally manufactured shirt.
If you want to be even more sustainable and save money while you’re at it, you can use Neem’s order ahead option to save up to 25% and help the brand reduce waste and better manage inventory.
Carrier Company Collarless Ticking Work Shirt
Carrier Company is a brand steeped in heritage. Inspired by British workwear and gardening attire, Carrier Company knows how to make timeless, hard-wearing garments, as evidenced by the Collarless Ticking Work Shirt.
This comfortable yet rugged work shirt features a five-button placket, a collarless neckline, and indigo striped ticking. Like most Carrier Company clothing, it’s made entirely by hand in North Norfolk.
It’s generously sized to allow for ease of movement, and the sturdy collar and placket allow the fabric to drape nicely whether the shirt is buttoned or unbuttoned. (Pro tip: There’s also a denim version that’s somehow even more durable).
Kamakura Shirts Vintage Ivy Button Down Jersey Pop-over
Kamakura Shirts is famous for keeping Ivy League style alive, so it’s not a shocker that the brand has a collection called Vintage Ivy. What is surprising is the fact that Kamakura drew inspiration from Miles Davis’s wardrobe to create the Jersey Pop-over.
Made from a soft and heavy cotton jersey and knitted in Japan, this popover has a four-button placket, an elegant button-down collar, and shell buttons.
With a simple design and easygoing silhouette, the Jersey Popover is the kind of shirt you can wear with almost anything. And given that Kamakura has a cult following in the menswear world, you won’t be disappointed in the quality, either.
Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Fit End-on-End Popover Workshirt
Fun fact: The name End-on-End Popover Workshirt from Polo Ralph Lauren refers to how the shirt is woven. An end-on-end weave alternates light and dark threads for a smooth fabric with a slightly heathered look.
Even though it’s called a workshirt, it’s definitely more shirt than work. The classic fit and buttoned pockets are undoubtedly inspired by workwear, but the point collar and barrel cuffs are decidedly dressy.
This is a shirt that’s easy to dress up or down, so if your style tends to lean smart casual, then you’ll enjoy having this in your closet.
Todd Snyder Oxford Popover
If you’re a diehard fan of OCBDs, try switching things up a little with the Oxford Popover from Todd Snyder.
The Oxford Popover is basically a standard OCBD in every respect except for the four-button placket, so it’s a good way to ease into the world of popovers.
Simple and clean, the Oxford Popover will fit right into your business casual rotation. It’s stonewashed for a broken-in feel and cut in Todd Snyder’s classic fit for a comfortable wearing experience.
P Johnson Mid Denim Popover
Sydney-based clothier P Johnson is known for its Italian-made-to-measure suiting, but the brand’s ready-to-wear men’s collection is just as stylish.
P Johnson’s Mid-Denim Popover isn’t just an excellent shirt — it’s one of the few well-made denim popovers out there, period.
It’s woven in Italy from mid-washed slub denim (in other words, it’s highly textured and will fade nicely) and has a shorter three-button placket.
The low-set chest pocket is a small touch that really sets this shirt apart and gives it a uniquely laid-back look. Anyone who likes chambray-style shirts should give the Mid Denim Popover a look.
Ella Griffee Vinney Shirt
Ella Griffee is a clothing designer living in Cornwall who cuts and sews every garment she sells, rotating through different fabrics on a regular basis.
The Vinney Shirt is one of just two men’s shirts she offers. Inspired by vintage rugby shirts, the Vinney features a three-button popover placket, wide sleeves, and 3D-printed buttons made from recycled marine nylon or drinking plastics.
The shirt’s loose fit means it can work well as an overshirt or as a single layer. The prices are also quite reasonable considering that each item is handmade by one person — this is some of the best made-in-UK clothing you can get.
Engineered Garments Popover BD Shirt
Because popovers are inherently on the more casual side, they’re great for summer. The Popover BD Shirt from Engineered Garments is no exception — this easygoing chambray shirt is ideal warm weather wear.
The combination of the popover placket and button down collar is nonchalant yet refined at the same time, and the flap chest pocket brings a hint of workwear to the design.
Like denim popovers, chambray popovers are surprisingly rare, so don’t hold back if this one catches your eye.
Drake’s Green Linen Mandarin Collar Popover Shirt
Few brands do elevated menswear quite like Drake’s. The company’s catalog is full of refined garments inspired by classic British sporting styles.
The Green Linen Mandarin Collar Popover Shirt may be plainly named, but it’s not plainly made.
This 100% linen popover is woven in Italy and features single-needle construction, two buttoned chest pockets, and mother-of-pearl buttons.
The rich green fabric is particularly eye-catching. It’s not too common to come across such a vibrant color for linen, but Drake’s pulls it off superbly.
Pop On Something New — Try a Popover Shirt
Although it may not be all that popular, the Popover shirt has a lot going for it. It’s more interesting than a standard button down, but it isn’t so alien that it’s hard to wear.
The popover is an understated, casual garment, and its ties to workwear and sporting only cement it as one of the coolest laid-back shirting options.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!