Top of the Pops: The Popover Preview

It felt like I did a little summer bashing last week so I thought that I would return this week with a pro-summer post. While I don’t find too much to look forward to in terms warm weather clothing mostly, because it doesn’t offer me too many work friendly options it does offer a lot of casual options and what is summer without casual!

One of my favorite warm weather items is the short-sleeve popover shirt. The popover was created by Gant in the 1960s and they continue to make them today. The image above is a current popover by Gant who know seems to call them “pullovers”. The style has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last 5 years. Currently they are offered by everyone from J.Crew to O’Connell’s Clothing. Below are my top 3 popover picks of the season. Gingham Popover1. Brooks Brother Gingham Seersucker ($69.50) – I am a big fan of small scale gingham patterns in blue. Patterns in smaller scales are much easier to wear than large patterns. This short-sleeve popover is also made from seersucker in cotton which is an especially good choice for staying cool in hot weather. I also like the shorter 3-button placket. This shirt is available in Regent and Madison fit. J.Crew Coral Popover2. J.Crew Cotton/Linen Popover in Coral ($75) – I spoke about needing to add a little more color to my wardrobe a few weeks back and this is the type of shirt that could help me do it. The textured cotton-linen fabric looks great in this soft pink color. I could see pairing this with British or stone khakis. The flap pocket is a nice touch. I prefer a dress shirt hem over the square hem on this popover, but it is still a nice shirt nonetheless. Pink Seersucker Popover3. O’Connell’s Clothing Pink Seersucker Popover ($165) – This is by far the priciest popover on the list, but it is still worth featuring. This made in the USA popover features single needle tailoring and the lightweight pink seersucker fabric is the epitome of summer. The placket on this popover is too long for my taste, but it is the traditional length. O’Connell’s once again proves that they can do anything well, but that you will have to pay for that expertise.

Above are just a few of the great popover choices out on the market right now. If you are looking for more options J.Crew seems to be putting out more than anyone at this time, but checking the usual suspects should be fruitful as well. This is one item where I actually prefer an updated look with a shorter placket. If popovers are your style I might consider stocking up on a few at the end of the season. It is hard to tell when items like these will once again become a thing of the past.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

9 Comments on "Top of the Pops: The Popover Preview"

  1. Dave says:

    I think Mercer will make one by special request. They have many fabric options.

  2. JGH says:

    I thought pull-over/ popover style shirts had been around since the 19th century.

  3. oxford cloth button down says:

    JGH – I thought so too, but every source I examined credited it to Gant. One thing that I noticed is that they always specify that Gant did this to sport shirt. Perhaps this is the point of distinction from the pullover dress shirts from the early 1900s.

    Dave – Yes they will and you are right about having fabric options!

  4. Joel says:

    What a funny coincidence! I recently purchased the blue/white striped popover by Gant featured in the first image! (I do love my Gants) I knew it was a good purchase! 🙂


  5. YoungSoulRebel says:

    Ive always thought that these were a bit odd.. I really thought that I could pull one off. They kind of remind me of the workwear brand “Ben Davis” that a lot of the cholos wear around here. That said, I’m really intrigued by the pink linen J Crew number… It’s a little hard to tell about the collar size though. Do any of you gentlemen have some first hand experience with these? Those small collars do me no justice haha.
    Great post Ox!

  6. Ville says:

    I researched the history of our western collar shirts for my book, and found that the first industrial shirts with buttons all the way down the hem were made a bit before the 19th century. Most all models before this were pulled over and had buttons to the chest only, just like these Gants. Before industrialisation all shirts were made to order or measure, usually worn to shreds, and discarded, so few examples have survived. Popovers were the norm, but it’s difficult to say if there simply were no models with full buttoning, or if they just haven’t survived.

    Here are some great examples:

  7. oxford cloth button down says:

    Young Soul Rebel – They aren’t the easiest thing to wear I will admit, but a great casual piece. I think they are a good look with untucked with shorts. They also are great to wear to the beach.

    The collar does look small and it probably is, but for me this is not a huge issue. I don’t worry so much about the collars on my casual shirts. My collar roll obsession is limited to shirts to be worn with ties…for now.

    Ville – Thanks for the comment, the great info, and the link!

  8. Andy Gilchrist says:

    I do not think I could wear one of these to the beach. Give me a good old pair of Australian speedos and a navy colored polo shirt and I am in heaven..

  9. Hollywood Argyle says:

    This style is also found on aloha shirts (i.e., Hawaiian shirts). I don’t recall ever hearing it called “popover” when I lived in Hawaii; perhaps “pullover” is the term used (it’s been a long time).

I would like to hear from you