The Monk shirt is one of our favorite pieces from this season. It's both clean-cut and polished and yet subtly unique in its approach to shirting. The Monk shirt takes its inspiration from two vintage Japanese boro shirts that we acquired in the last year. One was a rare piece from our friend Jaime who runs bicoastal vintage store Raggedy Threads, which is a great source for vintage Americana ranging from military to workwear to old sportswear and much, much more. It's a go-to spot for us, both in Brooklyn and at her LA location, for both inspiration and great conversation! The other one landed in our laps somehow... a friend found it under her bed during a move... who knows how it got there.
Regardless of murky origin, we immediately fell in love with both pieces. They're both a bit too precious and, in the mystery-shirt's case, too tattered to wear, but we treasure them for the fantastic stories buried in the fabric wear and unusual piecing. We kept staring and staring at these items, until an idea emerged to combine their elements and make a new version all our own.
Our monk shirt takes the standing-collar style and partial-placket of both, lengthening the latter to make this piece wearable without a high-waisted pant. One of the characteristic elements of boro clothing is the use of many smaller pieces of fabric to make the whole cloth; in this case, we took the drop-shoulder piecing only, as to add too much piecing and seaming would cause unnecessary waste in cutting, and make the new rendition seem heavier. The final result is a clean, modern cut, with slits at the sides for ease of movement, an unusual tab-cuff detail at the wrist that is hidden when buttoned, and drop-shoulders for casually elegant look.