How To Wear a Short Sleeve Shirt 6 Ways

short sleeve shirt men bucket hat

Short sleeved shirts are a staple piece of men’s fashion. Versatile enough to be worn in a whole number of different outfits it’s important to wear them correctly. Here’s how to get the best casual look this season. 

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If you’re going to roll out the short sleeved option, then it’s got to be good, and it’s got to work. And if it does, then expect to notice more of them cropping up in your friendship group. Because the short sleeve can be heavily decent, at work or out in the open world. So let’s have a look at a few ways of styling it right. Men’s short-sleeved shirts are now a menswear staple and you should definitely invest. Whether you go for a denim short-sleeved shirt or a plain white one, you’ll definitely want one in your wardrobe this summer.

Should You Press Print?

Short answer – absolutely, Yes.

A lot of prints come with the 1970s and a fake moustache as added extras, so it’s important you choose the right one. Definitely big flowers are best avoided, unless you’ve got a pair of bright blue denims and an invitation to a Margartitaville party. Nowadays all the big names not he catwalk are introducing patterned short-sleeved shirts to their collections in homage of the Seventies, so definitely get involved.

A lot of what’s on offer at the moment involves small motifs repeated all over, and it’s just a matter of what you’re feeling at the time. Really, the important thing is making sure the base colour is one that suits you. And if you’re not sure go with blue. That’s what I usually do anyway.

My other thing with printed short sleeve shirts, is to pair them up with a plain pair of well fitted chinos or shorts. Dark jeans are cool too, but any kind of light denim is asking for trouble. That’s not to say I don’t like 70’s cop dramas. It’s just, well, you know.

green short sleeve cuban hawaiian shirt


Body Shape

You get a lot of bigger guys buttoning their short sleeves right up to the top, and, to be honest, there are better ways to show off your gym dedication than that. If you’re naturally stocky, you may end up looking even wider if  button up. So instead let two buttons go, and everything becomes a little more relaxed.

However, for naturally thinner boys, the top button is the way to go with printed and plain short sleeved shirts. On a personal level though, I reckon big patterns do best with the top two buttons down. A lot of fashion websites think you should avoid them all together, but if you’re feeling good about yourself you can get away with almost anything.

short sleeve shirt mens
Team a short sleeved shirt with shorts


Pattern Type

Well I guess it’s already been answered to a certain degree, but I would say those little motif shirts we talked about earlier, should get the top button treatment most of the time. Bigger patterns then let it down. And then the plain shirts can go either way really. I’m just glad we’re talking about short sleeve shirts. It feels therapeutic somehow.

vans dickies short sleeved shirt mens
A short sleeved shirt goes perfectly with a pair of Dickies



It’s easy to get a short-sleeved shirt wrong. Keep the sleeves tight, and the bottom tailored down. When short sleeved shirts are fitted at the bottom, that is to say not wide and flowing, then they fit with a lot more outfits.

short sleeve striped shirt men



Those old bowling shirts are made from some strange, cold war designed, man made fabric that never moulds, and lasts for 300 years. So maybe let’s give that a miss. Obviously you thought that anyway, so I guess it’s just a case of going over what the best fabrics are at the moment. Chambray stuff is really nice, and works well with short sleeve shirts. It’s a fabric that works especially well for summer because of that light, almost weathered look it creates.

shorts sleeved shirt shorts mens
A short-sleeved revere shirt with shorts


If you’re looking for something a bit more formal, then try wearing one with a pair of smart trousers or chinos. The thickness of a cotton shirt means you can get away with wearing it all year round without freezing in the winter or overheating in the summer.

Regular cotton shirts are probably the most popular and offer comfort as well as good dimensions. I actually prefer wearing these to anything else, because they’re so light in the summer. To be fair, my summer wardrobe is pretty much made up of different versions of this. Shades. Fitted Shorts. Cotton Shirt (Short or Long Sleeves). Boat Shoes.

How to Wear a Short Sleeved Shirt

  • Trade in your long-sleeved shirt for a short one in the summer.
  • Never wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt – a short-sleeved shirt and a tie is an absolute no.
  • All the big names on the catwalks are now putting patterned short-sleeved shirts in their collections, taking inspiration from the 1970s.
  • A chambray shirt is your best bet, especially as it is light and chances are you’ll be wearing a short-sleeved shirt in summer.
  • You can wear a short-sleeved shirt to formal events, just keep it simple and avoid patterns if you’re doing so – a white short-sleeved shirt is your best bet.
  • A black short-sleeved shirt should be a summer staple – don’t shy away from the shade.
short sleeved shirt lacoste mens
A Lacoste short-sleeved shirt

On That Note

A short-sleeved shirt is a great alternative to a long-sleeved shirt, especially in summer. Keep it buttoned down and ditch the tie (always) to really get it right – you can even get yourself short-sleeved dress shirts. Short-sleeved shirts are now an essential, western you wear them loose-fitting, a little tighter or with an all over-Seventies pattern. If it works for the likes of Ryan Gosling, then it more than works for us.


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