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The Fun shirt is back – just when we needed it most

Been feeling a bit miserable of late? Us too. But, while there’s not much anyone can do to alleviate the anxiety of coronavirus, there are a few small steps you can take to bring a little brightness back into your life – starting with your wardrobe.

We’re all struggling with the work from home clothing etiquette. Some have remained steadfastly fastening on ties while others have leaned in to loungewear. Either way, chances are your outfits have both looked and felt rather grey recently – which is where the Fun shirt steps in.

Originally created by apprentice tailors practicing their shirtmaking techniques, these colourful shirts were made from leftover scraps of fabric and, accordingly, have a casual, patchwork feel. They are, in short, rather fun. Traditionally made in the style of an Oxford shirt, these natty garments found fans among off duty polo players in the late 1800s and, after a few years on the back burner, are making a resurgence this season in all their striped, pastel-hued glory. Here are some of our favourites…

Keep it classic in pastels

It seems fitting that some of this season’s finest Fun shirts should come from a designer renowned for his love of polo: Ralph Lauren. The brand’s classic Fun shirt, in hues of lemon sorbet, sky blue and pastel pink, is so good, in fact, that we’ve included it twice – once with stripes and once without. Elsewhere, Thom Browne’s slightly subtle take on the trend plays with stripe widths and complementary hues. Wear with dark denim for maximum impact.

Custom Fit Oxford Fun Workshirt

Custom Fit Oxford Fun Workshirt

£115

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Classic Fit Oxford Fun Shirt

Classic Fit Oxford Fun Shirt

£125

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Light Blue Quarter Split 4-Bar Straight Fit Shirt

Light Blue Quarter Split 4-Bar Straight Fit Shirt

£490

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Ease yourself in with a monotone design

We get it. Fun shirts are more out there than the standard blue button down you’ve been pulling on everyday for years – but we promise, once you make the investment, you won’t look back. An easy way to try the trend is with a shirt which dabbles with the mis-matched stripes of a traditional Fun shirt without the deluge of colours. Commes des Garcons' light blue take on the style won’t feel a million miles away from your usual pinstripe shirt while Tommy Hilfiger offers a more statement versions with clear nods to their tailoring heritage.

Blue Forever Striped Cotton Poplin Shirt

Blue Forever Striped Cotton Poplin Shirt

£279

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Mixed Stripe Oxford Shirt

Mixed Stripe Oxford Shirt

£100

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Be bold with brights

Purple, yellow, green, red and blue in one shirt? With stripes? No we never thought we’d see ourselves recommending this either but Drake’s  technicolour Fun shirt is exactly what our dreary winter days are calling for right now. The return of freedom gives us all an excuse to be a little more exuberant with our styling choices and we know JW Anderson's rainbow design is going to make you feel like you’re sunning yourself in the Mediterranean – even if you’re really just on a balcony in Stepney Green.

Primary Multi Colour Broad Stripe Linen Spread Collar Shirt

Primary Multi Colour Broad Stripe Linen Spread Collar Shirt

£255

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Parasol oversized striped cotton shirt

Parasol oversized striped cotton shirt

£280

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