Though SS15 menswear is full of important pieces, there's no doubt that the Cuban collar shirt is one of our key styles for the season. Find out why in this week's Menswear Diaries.

Reiss SS15

Last summer saw the Cuban collar shirt become a cornerstone of the Reiss off-duty summer offering, and we continue to champion the design for this season too. Building on all the things that we loved about the original design, our SS15 offering introduces new fabrications and patterns for a squarely contemporary take on a menswear icon.

Leonardo Di Caprio in Romeo & Juliet, 1996

As its name suggests, the Cuban collar shirt began life in South America, and though stories of the shirt’s origin are conflicting, it's generally agreed that the earliest version of the style appeared in the region some time during the 18th Century as a men’s working shirt. Formative styles shared several hallmarks; a lightweight composition, pockets for storage and a straight shirt hem designed to be worn untucked.

Reiss SS15

Fast forward a handful of centuries and while the Cuban collar shirt may have taken on many different guises, the essence of the original design remains intact. For SS15 our design team was inspired by the shirt’s iconic appeal across the decades. Whether worn by Leonardo Di Caprio in 1996’s Romeo + Juliet or more recently by Johnny Depp in 2011’s The Rum Diary, the shirt’s insouciant appeal persists.

Johnny Depp on set of The Rum Diary, 2011

In a range of colours, fabrications and prints, each of our Cuban collar shirts for SS15 offers its own sartorial originality. For fans of print, abstract takes on checks and prints inspired by nature offer eye-catching style, while tactile woven textures rendered in block colours offer a subtler take on the trend.

Reiss SS15

The shirt offers a pleasingly diverse variety of styling options too. For off-duty cool wear loosely with shorts, or alternatively tuck yours into a pair of straight-leg chinos. Don’t think of the Cuban collar shirt as solely the preserve of informal dressing either. There’s something undeniably appealing about letting the shirt’s collar splay gently over the lapels of a suit for a relaxed take on formal dressing that stays looking suitably sharp.

However you wear yours, it’s indisputable, the Cuban collar shirt is SS15’s definitive shirt style.