How To Wear A Short Sleeve Shirt

Stack of linen shirts

Stack of linen shirts

One of the most contentious topics among menswear aficionados is the short sleeve shirt. There’s no escaping this big trend for summer 2018, but does it deserve a warm weather welcome or should it be restricted to pilots and professional darts players?

Currently in the middle of a renaissance taking inspiration from mid-century music and movie icons like Elvis Presley and James Dean, this staple is being redesigned in an endless variety of block colours, bright florals and shiny bowling shirts.

Thanks to the likes of cartoon characters such as Homer Simpson the short sleeve shirt’s less-than-glamourous reputation has put many a man off from flashing their forearms.

The shirt fit, how far you button, and whether or not you roll the sleeves all contribute to the success of your statement. So whether you’re going all out with a neon tropical print or a pastel stripe or check, here’s our advice on how to stun with short sleeves.

Oliver Cheshire short sleeve shirt

Get the cut right

As model Oliver Cheshire (above) shows, a white short sleeve shirt gives instant holiday vibes even without the Italian hillside in the background. Replicate his look with one our cotton linen blend shirts for the ultimate beachy feel.

The key is not to try and wear it like a long sleeved shirt. Instead, steer clear of figure hugging fits and keep it relaxed with a slightly looser cut that’s casually or only partially-tucked in at the front for Insta appeal.

By pairing it with formal grey trousers, as Cheshire does, it smartens up the shirt for dress down Friday at the office or a sunset supper on a rooftop.

Idris Elba short sleeve shirt

More bang for your button

Cheshire is sporting a Cuban collar (a.k.a. camp collar) for throwback style, but a regular or button down collar also gives the same breezy effect when the top two buttons are left undone.

Or why not follow actor/style icon Idris Elba’s polished approach? Buttoned right to the top, his light blue short sleeve shirt gives a much more put together look with the invisible tie. It might look less like you’re going away, but it stylishly avoids appearing old fashioned or stuffy thanks to the slim fit.

Left untucked with navy chinos, the tonal look is cool and contemporary while the strong vertical lines can also make you seem taller.

Armie Hammer Call Me By Your Name

Turn it up

Not all short sleeves are created equally and length makes all the difference to the overall effect. Instead of burying your biceps, roll up your sleeves so that they end no more than halfway between shoulder and elbow.

This simple trick adds length and definition to your arms by creating a more flattering cut-off point, and the contemporary edge stops your wardrobe looking vintage like Armie Hammer’s striped costume in the last summer’s 80s romance Call Me By Your Name (above).

Show some skin with confidence and top up your tan for the best summer accessory.


Don’t get shirty with us on this sensitive summer topic. Let us know your thoughts on the short sleeve shirt below…

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