Boxer Shorts and Button-Down Sets Are Officially a Thing

Boxer Shorts and Button-Down Sets Are Officially a Thing


At the height of summer, comfort dressing has arrived at a new frontier: oversized button-down shirts paired with boxer shorts. But FYI, these versatile sets are meant for everywhere but Zoom.

Unfussy, oversized button-ups and equally relaxed shorts serve Nantucket vacation by way of Risky Business. A leap above pajamas without going full suiting, such done-but-undone outfits are found everywhere from luxury retailers (Net-a-Porter) to cult labels (The Frankie Shop). Open Instagram, and you’re bound to scroll past an influencer or 10 in a laid-back matching set.

The Frankie Shop founder Gaelle Drevet tells that her brand’s coordinating separates are a magnet for folks who want to dress up without … dressing up. “We see shoppers are leaning more understated, yet chic at the same time,” she explains. “It seems that the typical summer essentials like dresses have become too obvious, and perhaps too feminine.”

The button-up and boxer short renaissance is also a by-product of current events. “Boxer shorts are an extension of the leisure trend we have been seeing during the pandemic,” Anine Bing, designer at her eponymous label, explains. At Anine Bing, where boxers are a fairly new addition, “the idea is that you can wear [boxers] at home to lounge, or you can pair it with our Mika Shirt to transition to the real world,” the designer says.

The sets are so amenable to our still-strange times, they’re the hero products for made-in-quarantine brands—like Recreational Habits, which opened its (virtual) doors in 2020. “We’re a new, small brand, so we have to really love a piece to move forward with it in production,” cofounder Jackie Skye Muller tells us. Muller’s team included button-ups and boxers in its launch lineup because, she says, “We felt it was a perfect WFH uniform that could also look put together to go grab some takeout.”

Pajamacore cotton sets predate 2020 and its particular, comfort-minded effects on fashion. Take HommeGirls, Thakoon Panichgul’s media brand-meets-reimagined menswear label. HommeGirls began selling its oversized oxford shirts and matching shorts in 2019, foreshadowing the many variations that would come one year later.

The biggest difference between now and then? Drevet says, “Where we see it as a reflection of our current times is the expression of color—people opting for brighter and more colorful options as a sign of optimism and excitement for what is to come.”

And Drevet would know: In June, The Frankie Shop released its Lui set in hues like tangerine and berry alongside minimalist black, white, and blue. Peek at the comments on the shop’s Instagram, and it’s the tangerine set that shoppers want need restocked.

No matter the shade, the easygoing vibes of these button-up sets are hard to resist. Here’s to dressing up by dressing down, all summer long.

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