Get Shirty: Why the oversized shirt is a style essential right now

The shirt, it used to be an office must-have, a little drab, something you had to wear, not something you wanted to wear. But recently, the little white shirt has had a makeover. Consumer desire for personalisation in clothing has seen shirts come with embellishment, embroidery, and even styled with only one shoulder on. And now the latest seasonal update: the oversized shirt.

yellow Victoria Beckham oversized shirt

Victoria by Victoria Beckham oversized shirt

Witnessed at Victoria Beckham and Neil Barrett, oversized shirts increased 35.7% month-on-month, as relaxed, casual fits coincide with the laid-back aesthetics of high summer. Elongated and exaggerated lengths are also applied to sleeves to create further visions of this.

We’re seeing this catwalk impact trickle down to the high street too. Shirts and blouses increased 37.9% week on week (w/e July 9), with a 172.9% increase in out of stock volumes and 14.9% increase in new-ins MoM (m/e July 9), as the new season brings fresh updates to the category- according to WGSN Instock data. Everyone from to Boohoo to Warehouse fashion is experimenting with the look.

Warehouse shirt

And the future of the white shirt? Bigger is better:

“The opposing `80s trend of A/W 17/18 brings focus to shoulder detailing in addition to voluminous balloon and bell sleeves. Young, fast-fashion retailers have the opportunity to amplify brave features such as a leg-o-mutton sleeve or pleated shoulder, whilst premium retailers need to keep detailing discreet and feminine bearing in mind customer acquisition”, explains the WGSN Instock team.

Maje shirt


London street style

Jil Sander


Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.