Know Your Terms: Popover

Because dropping the lingo is half the fun of dressing well.

Generally, messing with a classic style is a dangerous proposition—haven’t we all seen at least a few “updated” button-downs that would have been better off left alone?—but every once in a while, tweaking the standards works. And that’s just what Gant did back in the 1960’s when they introduced a shirt that had all the trappings of the standard sport shirt, save for one key difference: The front placket ended well before the garment did.

Dubbed a popover because the truncated button front meant you literally had to pop it over your head to get it on, the shirt quickly became an Ivy style standby. Not a surprise, considering the button-front/pullover combo makes for a shirt that perfectly bridges the divide between dressed-up and dressed-down, and looks especially good untucked. Now, the popover is produced by a whole host of different companies, and its recent uptick in popularity means you can find it on the backs of stylish guys the world over—whether they’re treading the halls of some storied institution, or the sidewalk outside your office.

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