The Only Way is Essex encourages men to take the plunge! Will your guests follow the trend?

21 Jun 2011

The Only Way is Essex encourages men to take the plunge! Will your guests follow the trend?

Those of a nervous disposition look away, the de rigueur way for British men to wear their shirts this season is with three buttons undone.

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Image gallery

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 a tie 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 says, “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 and even 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 continues, “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”.

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