Button everything or not?

fred perry, m3600 -

Button everything or not?

"The simple act of buttoning the top button of a shirt or polo and the simplicity of style this decision creates belies a variety of complex and intricate intentions. It presents an appearance at once adequate in its cleanliness and rebellious in its deliberate exclusion of the tie. ." - Gert Jonkers and Jop Van Bennekom, editors of Fantastic Man

Button everything or not?

It's the question that has plagued youth culture since the post-punk era, when artists and musicians like Orange Juice, Jesus & Mary Chain, Robert Smith of The Cure, Paul Weller, David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Jean-Michel Basquiat and director David Lynch shook the norm and presented themselves to the world without ties, adopting the clean and tidy style of ancestors like the Mods of the early '60s.
More recently, Hollywood actors Ryan Gosling, Timothee Chalamet and Zayn Malik have started wearing their shirts and polo shirts in this way. "It's a look that's as careless and elegant as it is clumsy and smart," are the words to English GQ from self-proclaimed "Style Psychologist" Teo van den Broeke. Neil Tennant, of the highly successful British pop duo Pet Shop Boys, pioneered the answer to the button-all-to-the-top question by declaring, "I like functionality. If there's a button at the top, why not use it? an open shirt is too casual. It's not for me."

It is this simple method of achieving formality that proves to be enduringly attractive. As far as the Fred Perry M3600 polo shirt is concerned, the answer is simple: it's time to button all the way up; as the brand celebrates its 70th anniversary, a cut detail was reintroduced. From 2022 onwards the M3600 will leave the button plackets of the "grown on" or incorporated type (where the piece where the buttons are buttoned is part of a single piece that constitutes the front of the polo shirt) and will be replaced by a button placket of the "set-in" type. As a result, pressing the last button presents an air that the wearer has taken the trouble to consider the appearance. While this may seem like a minor change, it is significant as it goes back to Fred Perry 's original design from 1952, when he and his design partner Tibby Wegner presented their revolutionary product at Wimbledon that same year.

Originally called the tennis shirt, its popularity grew with the leisurewear business over the decade with the help of the opening of menswear stores such as Vince Man's boutique, a Soho store whose customers included boxer Billy Walker and late Sean Connery, who was building a career as a bodybuilder.

By the end of the 1960s, polo had reached huge popularity among young Modernists. Appreciation for the aesthetic values of this design continued to grow through the Mod revival of the 70's and early 80's and the Britpop of the 90's. In the early nooghties Fred Perry presented the M12 Made in England polo shirt with the button placket. of the "set-in" type, a detail it shares with the M3600 . With a solid history and foundation in its lineage established by Fred Perry over seven decades, the polo remains contemporary, not to say futuristic, when buttoned all the way up.

As written by fashion journalist Alexander Fury, this indicates "precision and importance attached to the smallest of details". It's time to button up.

Paul Gorman's words translated to Portuguese by Rui Araújo