When it comes to getting the most out of your clothes, looking for multifunctional items that’ll see you through many seasons to come is a good bet.
A decent flannel shirt usually falls under this remit, able to be worn as a light jacket, top, or tied around your waist – that is if it’s not this Balenciaga offering.
At £825, the Men’s Knotted Shirt is certainly an investment piece. Yet its name belies its usage, as you can’t actually wear it as a shirt at all.
The piece – which was first shown as part of Balenciaga’s SS22 Red Carpet collection – is designed to be worn around the waist, kind of like you’d do with a regular shirt when it’s warm outside.
Crucially, there’s no collar, with the black check cotton having been folded and sewn into more of a skirt or lungi shape.
Although the sleeves can be tied and untied, this is more for adjusting the details of your look than to keep your arms warm.
A BB Balenciaga logo is embroidered on the left sleeve, and the Italian-made fabric is dry clean only – certainly not your average throw-on flannel.
It seems counterproductive to take a multipurpose garment and turn it into something less functional (with a much larger price tag to boot) but Balenciaga has form.
Last year, the Paris-based fashion house took the humble Croc – known for its comfort – and put a towering stiletto heel on the bottom. Then this year Balenciaga debuted a £1,000 bag that was a carbon copy of a Tesco carrier bag with upmarket branding.
Celebrities get the same treatment, with ambassador Kim Kardashian sporting outfits made of tape(branded, of course) or that are so tight she can’t move her arms.
Dare we say, if you’re considering this alleged ‘shirt’, it’s better to go for one that can fulfil its many purposes in life and doesn’t cost a month’s rent? Without invoking the wrath of the fashion police, it does seem like the logical solution.
That said, this upmarket lumberjack kilt does have sustainability credentials.
Balenciaga’s website reads: ‘This product contains 100% organic cotton, grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides or GMOs.
‘This method of cultivation requires half as much water as conventional cotton on average, improves soil quality and respects ecosystems and biodiversity.
‘Organic cotton cultivation ensures better remuneration and working conditions for the growers.’
You’ll be justifying such a purchase to yourself for a long time after the card payment goes through, so it’s best to find small wins when you can.