How to wear a collared shirt - 7 lessons in classic style from Armie Hammer

Having played iconic men from a range of eras in fashion’s rich cinema history and (not surprisingly) high in the polls as a favourite for the next Bond, it seems Armie Hammer’s roles have been shaped by his style and vice versa. But one thing that’s not up for speculation is his ability to portray the art of simple, classic style. 


Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic 


He might be of the 21st-century, but his style is made in the mould of the old school, which is why he has made style history sporting collared shirts in refreshing and exciting ways. Just like those before him (Alain Delon, Cary Grant and Steve McQueen to name a few) he shares the crucial styling tip that underpins all good style: making it look easy. 

So who better to teach us about the glory of styling the collared button-down shirt, in all its classic charm and glorious simplicity. So get yourself a paper and pen to take notes, they might just transform your Summer wardrobe for the better. 


Style lesson #1: rebel, rebel...

Call Me By Your Name made cinema magic again. A film that encompasses the luxurious languid summer style we look forward to wearing all year. While the time when we can once again mooch about on a sun-dappled terrace seems a long way off, we can at least take some of that for our wardrobe inspiration. Armie serves up fashion-nostalgia in spades - but of a timeless quality. One we can all imagine ourselves wearing. What it really encompasses is Armie’s ability to showcase sprezzatura - the Italian art of “studied carelessness”. To “appear to be without effort”. This is achieved by using all the form and fit of the collared shirt with a small act of unconscious rebellion, to highlight the classic silhouette and then gently throw it out the window. 


Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic 


Style lesson #2: open up more

How? Well, Armie shows it’s in the details. In playing with the rules in small and practical ways. In making the shirt your own. Making adjustments that suit the change in weather. The rolling up of sleeves offering an undone look and a practical source of ventilation. The neglect of top buttons is also a good start. Armie does it by pairing the formal nature of a collared shirt and a statement watch or necklace with a wide V at the neck. Now that’s sprezzureta. 


Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic 


Pale Blue Cotton Linen Shirt & Navy Cotton Linen Shirt 


Who knew we’d learn some Italian too...

Crafted from a crisp organic cotton-linen blend, our collared shirts are crafted to embody this sense of effortlessness.  Made in breathable fabrics and to soften gently with wear - fitting for understated ease. The Navy Cotton Linen Shirt also features a recycled cotton element.


Style lesson #3: just keep it simple

In this casual reinvention of an otherwise straight staple -  keep what is important. And that is that it’s unapologetically simple. So keep it that way. Let the fabrics and cut speak for themselves. Plus the little details - style your newly turned-up sleeves and perfectly undone buttons with sand herringbone linen trousersThis adds a touch of bohemian, carefree attitude to the riviera chic style we all know and love.  


Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic 


Grey Herringbone Linen Formal Trousers & Dusty Blue Linen Formal Trousers


Style lesson #4: go big 

For another layer, size up the shirt for a bit more in the body. Ripe for tucking the front into a pair of linen casual trousers. The “billowing” aesthetic shows that embracing idle sophistication brings a whole new world of breezy possibilities to the everyday collared shirt.  Our cotton-linen blend collared shirts fit the bill. The lightweight blend of fabrics and softening over time is as ready for summer lunches al fresco as you are. It reminds us that on these hot, breezy summer afternoons we can embrace the iconic image of cycling through the hills of Italy (or Primrose Hill for now). That, like Oliver, your only worry can be is do I have enough bottles of something nice and cold to get me through to through another blistering afternoon?


Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic 


Navy Linen Casual TrousersWhite Cotton Linen Shirt


Style lesson #5: be a feast for the eyes

And don’t be afraid of colour. Our British sensibilities lead us to only imagine crisp whites with stiff collars. We already know the classic simplicity of light blues and whites to take the edge of the heat. But the genius of Giulia Piersanti (The costume designer responsible for CMBYN’s pitch-perfect style)  shows that a rich colour palette or some louche stripes can only enhance the shirts ability to be the perfect uniform for summer. A statement colour piece with above the knee shorts and sandals exudes grazing over a long sun-kissed lunch in the garden or late-night candlelit dinners on the balcony.  

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic 

Positano Print Camp Collar ShirtLuanda Print Camp Collar Shirt


Style lesson #6: ivy league inspiration

What’s better than one Armie? Maybe it’s two. In David Fincher’s 2010 American biographical drama The Social Network he plays two rowing-champion twins, showing us the main perk of a collared shirt is in it’s ability to have two sides. Whilst we can play with the rules to create fresh casual looks, we can also wear it to it’s maximum effect by observing the Ivy League aesthetic of the characters he plays.


Photo: Columbia Pictures 


Pale Blue Cotton Linen Shirt &  Grey Basket Weave Cashmere Jumper


Far from being boyish, Armie shows that - like Paul Newman or Eddie Redmayne - using collegiate style can be an iconic wardrobe piece that works either side of the pond. Dressing for downtime doesn’t always have to mean reverting to languid. Instantly elevate your summer work or event attire by opting for a collared shirt à la smart-Armie here. 

Buttoning up can be a simple and effective approach to navigating the smarter side of smart casual.  Jacqueline West (costume designer for TSN) uses Armie to demonstrates a relaxed yet sporty sensibility to the classic collared shirt. The breast pocket comes into play here, too, as it’s able to cater to either your ballpoint pen or a pair of sunglasses - depending on the occasion.


Style lesson #7: up your tie game

Photo: Columbia Pictures 


 Dressing up? Pair with an artful and pop-of-colour tie that keeps the academic and athletic feel perfectly balanced, with a touch of flare. 


Orange Wind Turbine TieWhite Cotton Linen Shirt


Whichever shade or shape you choose, the collared shirt has the ability to add a casual lean to an otherwise formal outfit or dress up a relaxed look with prep.  Ultimately, no matter how you choose to wear it, if you apply a bit of Arnie you’ll somehow manage to never look over or under-dressed. That’s a lesson we can get on board with. Say it with us now...sprezzatura.



Olivia Foan

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