The men’s shirt is a piece of clothing as old as the hills. It has been adapted and embellished down through the centuries but it still retains that basic design the same as it did when the Ancient Egyptians started wearing them in 3000BC. This was discovered by archaeologists and they described it as having pleated sleeves for comfort of movement and a decorated neckline. If you look at Farah Shirts you’ll find something a bit more sophisticated.
The humble shirt was not an outer garment as it is today until the start of the twentieth century. It was worn as an undergarment beneath a large coat or a smock. To be out in public in only your shirt would have been quite scandalous. It’s why Elizabeth Bennett gets so hot under the collar in Pride and Prejudice and some, like Joseph Strutt, thought that not wearing a shirt to bed was indecent.
Before we got to the collars and cuffs that we know today the shirt had frills, lace and something called a jabot. This is a lavish piece of lace that hangs from the neck. Shirts were uniformly white until the twentieth century when colour started to appear. At first this is the practice of the common man but it soon becomes the norm for everyone.