How To Wear a Short Sleeve Shirt 6 Ways


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 on the 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 what to choose then go with blue. That’s what we usually do anyway.

The other thing to do 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
You’ve got to choose the right pattern


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  you button up all the way to the top. 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

When it comes to pattern, there’s really a small limit on what not to go for, as it all depends on what your style is and how you plan on wearing the shirt. If you go for a very buzzy, loud pattern then you can tone it down with a white T-shirt underneath. Wear the shirt open and you’ll have a layered shirt look that bring something cool to your outfit. For when you have a shirt that’s got a fairly subtle pattern you can wear it alone, with or without it fully buttoned like we mentioned earlier. Pair this with a casual pair of chino’s or jeans. These kinds of shirts are only really acceptable as casual attire, so a summer afternoon trip to the pub or a day at the beach is where they should be worn.

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, so the fit and shape of it is important. Keep the sleeves tight, and the bottom tailored down. So slim fit is always best when you’re wearing it full buttoned up. When short sleeved shirts are fitted at the bottom they fit with a lot more outfit combinations. If you do for some reason have a slightly bigger, loose fitting shirt then these should be the ones you wear open. A plain T-shirt underneath and a open shirt over the top works well.

If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more formal, then try wearing a shirt with a pair of smart trousers or chinos instead of jeans. The thickness of the cotton shirt means you can get away with wearing it all year round without freezing in the winter or overheating in the summer. Just make sure when you do wear a short sleeved shirt in the winter, you dress it correctly because you don’t want to look like you’re dressing for the wrong season.

short sleeve striped shirt men
The fit of the shirt needs to be right for you


How to Wear a Short Sleeved Shirt

  • All the big names on the catwalks are now putting patterned short-sleeved shirts in their collections, taking inspiration from the 1970s it’s worth giving it a go.
  • A chambray shirt is your best bet, especially as it is light and the 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 big patterns if you’re doing so – a white short-sleeved shirt is your best option.
  • A patterned short sleeved shirt can be worn both buttoned up or over a T-shirt, perfect to go from day to night.
shorts sleeved shirt shorts mens
A short-sleeved revere shirt with shorts

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 to really get it right – you can even get yourself short-sleeved dress shirts. Short-sleeved shirts are now an essential, whether you wear them loosely fitted, a little tighter or with an all over-Seventies pattern, you need one in your wardrobe. A summer must that’s easy to style, what could be better?


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