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GETTING SHIRTY

What do you buy the man who loves a dandy floral flourish but balks at paying silly designer price? Oh, hello Irvine shirts!

Spring has sprung and there’s something suitably spring-like about brand new Deddington-based men’s shirt brand, Irvine Shirts. All those fresh, zingy florals, buds, shoots and leaves – don’t they just make you want to gambol around a field in the sunshine? Or, at the very least, while away an afternoon in a pub garden?

The hand-stitched, floral-themed collection is the brainchild of Alisdair Irvine, an ad man of 25 years standing turned shirt designer. In his previous career, he’d travel the world to exotic locations from the Middle East to South America to shoot commercials. Days off would be spent scouring local shops and markets for floral prints, which he’d then ask a local tailor to run up into a shirt. Years later, giving into his inner dandy, the fashion line was born.

The last few years has definitely seen the rise of the florid shirt –  a statement shirt that works as well with jeans as it does with a suit and allows blokes to be a bit quirky and different. But what about those who a teensy bit scared of bold colours and prints (and, let’s face it, a lot of men are)? Alisdair has thought of that too with his ‘gateway florals’ –  more subtle prints on the Leaves, Leaf Stripes or Asters shirt designs.

At a reasonable £85 a pop, they’re comparable with the top end of the high street and offer something a bit different for when you’re bored of traipsing around John Lewis or similar. A good call, I reckon, if you have a man in your life whose style could do with a spring clean. Or maybe it’s one to bookmark for Father’s Day in June.

They’re available at irvineshirts.com or at the brilliant Vanilla, Summertown, Oxford; the first menswear brand ever stocked by the boutique in 17 years, no less.

irvineshirts.com

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