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Debenhams reports rise of shirtego mens fashion trend


Debenhams has revealed that the de rigueur way for British men to wear their shirts this season is with three buttons undone, otherwise known as the ’shirtego’ trend.

Last seen on seventies lotharios such as Richard Gere in ’American Gigolo’ and John Travolta in ’Saturday Night Fever’, the bare chest has marked the return of the ’machosexual’ - men who are not afraid to be masculine, confident and sexy.

Department store, Debenhams asked its customers, “how low can you go?” and found that 75 per cent of men now regularly wear their shirt with three buttons undone on a night out, 41 per cent of men will risk a four button undone look and 36 per cent of men will even risk the fashion at work.

Previously, shirts buttoned up to the neck with ties were expected for work and formal events, one button undone with a tie for the end of the working day, two undone for a good night out and three only for those rare tanned and toned few.

Paul Baldwin, Menswear Director at Debenhams said: "This is traditionally a look more commonly associated with Latin lovers, but it has now hit these shores with British men embracing the warmer weather and the salon to bear their chests.

“You only need to look at Simon Cowell vs. Louis Walsh on the X Factor to know that button-free fashion gets the girls.”

The men of ’The Only Way is Essex’ have also brought the look celebrity status, with 62 per cent of men citing the sexy, successful reality TV stars as encouraging them to take the plunge.

Ryan Reynolds, Gerard Butler, Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds were also stated as sartorial inspiration for the dramatic trend hitting the high street.

Debenhams’ survey found that while the exhibitionist look was most easily sported in the creative industries of advertising, marketing, PR and design, the return of dress down Fridays has brought the deep V to the more traditional industries.

Research showed that 27 per cent of pioneering accountants and lawyers would venture the look at the end of the week, but only just before leaving the office for Friday drinks. 

Baldwin continued: "This research has helped us review the design of our men’s shirts. We are looking into ways to ensure the collar always sits open to display the chest when the shirt is left undone.

“Time in the gym will also help wearers pull off the look successfully, however, make no mistake, a thick chest rug and heavy gold medallion is not due to make a comeback.”


Notes to Editors:
1,000 men surveyed by Debenhams research team in May 2011
Debenhams sells almost 900 shirt options, ranging from £12 to £75.

Brands include J by Jasper Conran, J Jeans by Jasper Conran, Rocha.John Rocha, Red Herring, St George by Duffer, FFP, Thomas Nash, Mantaray, Maine New England, Lee, Wrangler, Jack & Jones, Levis, Fred Perry, Ben Sherman, Animal, Bear Grylls, Berghaus, Black Tie, Columbia, Cottonfield, Craghoppers, Fairtrade Maine 5G, Melka, O’Neill, Osborne, Peter Werth, Pierre Cardin, Piscador and Quiksilver..

About Debenhams:
Debenhams is a leading department stores group with a strong presence in key product categories including womenswear, mens fashion, childrenswear, home and health and beauty.

Debenhams is the second largest department store chain in the UK.

Debenhams operates 161 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Debenhams also has 61 international franchise stores in 24 countries and six Magasin stores in Denmark.

Designers at Debenhams include Preen, Jonathan Saunders, Jonathan Kelsey, Roksanda Ilincic, Ted Baker, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Erickson Beamon, FrostFrench, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald, Melissa Odabash, Jane Packer, Pearce Fionda, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Lisa Stickley, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.

PR Contact:
Ruth Attridge
PR Manager - Menswear, Beauty, International & Retail Services
33 Wigmore Street
0207 529 0172


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