It’s no longer just about borrowing a man's shirt, as Balenciaga rethinks this wardrobe classic with proportions that are bigger and boxier than ever.

Balenciaga oversized shirt

Have you ever actually tried to wear a man’s shirt? It seems easy enough, and there are plenty of iconic images from Audrey Hepburn and Kim Basinger to Peter Lindberg’s stripped back Linda Evangelista. But reaching for one of my other half’s shirts just never quite works out for me, perhaps because I want to wear it outdoors, with actual clothing on the bottom half (the distinct lack of is a common denominator amongst the aforementioned references). There is an image of me from many New York fashion weeks ago, attempting this very idea; to say the camera added 10 pounds would be a lie, the shirt did that.

But Balenciaga’s boldly striped disproportionately large shirt has me rethinking my stance.

To say it is the perfect shirt isn’t true, it has almost awkward proportions, an exaggerated wide neckline and slightly stiff starched fabric. Instead it is the perfect shirt for right now. With enough of a twist to make it modern and relevant, and clear that you are, in fact, not wearing your boyfriend’s shirt.

In terms of styling, we should talk about balancing the volume, big on top works with more slim line pant, but that just feels so dated now, as bigger is definitely better. Wear your shirt hanging out (or a half-tuck at the most) and a vintage boyfriend fit jean (my favourites at the moment are Current Elliott’s ‘Barrel’ leg. Finally, add a sharp heel, the perfect contradiction.

Personal StyleLisa Aiken