To paraphrase American journalist, Mary Schmich, there are certain inalienable truths in life… prices will rise, politicians will philander – and a well-cut shirt will never go out of style. 

Now, as someone whose collection of closet basics is embarrassingly lacking (I’m the proud mother to numerous pairs of striped paperbag-waist trousers, but woe betide anyone who asks me to produce a plain white T-shirt on demand), it’s a curious departure from habit for me to prescribe anything as a matter of absolute sartorial necessity. And yet, a crisp cotton shirt (collared or otherwise) is, in my humble opinion, so absolutely imperative for modern life – shrouding a multitude of sins with the promise of put-togetherness – that, frankly, no wardrobe is complete without one. 

It’s not enough to play it safe with proportion this season; spring/summer's sleeves are the biggest thing to happen to tailoring since Melanie Griffith’s shoulder pads in Working Girl, sported every which way from voluminous legs o’mutton to trussed up treats served with all the trimmings. 

In detail: Caroline Constas has our hearts (and sleeves) in knots.

Maximalist silhouettes are a calling card of New York-based Caroline Constas and, true to form, she’s cracked the code for the coming months with the clavicle-baring bella that is Margaret – a sophisticated little number that traverses the territory between work and play. In a similar vein, Silvia Tcherassi, an honouree of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (#nobigdeal), has fashioned a formula for a look that’s both smart and casual in equal measure. Sure, Somma will bag you some kudos at your next board meeting – but it’s equally in its element alongside distressed or vintage denim.

In detail: striped sleeves at Silvia Tcherassi set a chic tone.

Otherwise, it can also pay off to be restrained when armed (literally) with quite so much volume; ARKET’s collarless – and, incidentally, water resistant – Paper Nylon number is a clever case in point, counterpointing the texture of heavy ruching with a simple monotone palette for absolute ease of wear. 

In detail: glorious gathering by way of ARKET.

It’s often said that you can have too much of a good thing… but, in the matter of spring’s sizeable sleeves, I think I’ll take my chances.

Roll up your XXL sleeves and shop the trend here: