Regardless of how much I’m a fan of the sunshine, its inevitable return always brings a few pet peeves with it. Usual contenders for the list of ‘Reasons To Hate Summer’ include socks with sandals, ¾ length shorts and just a general disregard for style. Although an honourable mention should also go out to people who wear those sports wrap-around sunglasses. Seriously mate, where do you think you are?

Up until last summer, you would also find short sleeved shirts on this list of summer sins. But following a resurgence of them in US street style blogs, along with a few awesome pictures of Nick Wooster rocking them, I slowly started to change my mind.

Before said fateful photos, it’s safe to say I was not a fan at all. I prescribed to the Cary Grant methodology of “if I want short sleeves, I just roll them up” – mainly due to the many horrendous examples of short sleeved shirts being worn out and about, as well as a complete lack of shirts that I wanted to try on or draw inspiration from.

With most versions coming with way too much excess material around the waist and sleeves, combined with awful colours and patterns, it seemed impossible to pull this style off without looking like the I.T. guy who has come to fix your work computer.

Thanks largely to a stylish few, the days of looking like a NASA employee are well and truly behind us. These days there is a wide variety of short sleeved shirts that can be found in varying price ranges, for just about any body shape. Whether you’re looking to maintain your American Prep look into the warmer months or just fancy a change, the short sleeved shirt could be for you. And with ASOS offering a wide range of print versions, who is to say you can’t hit two birds with one stone?

Key Considerations

As always, there are a few pointers that need to be observed before diving head first into this born again fashion piece:

  • Nail the fit: as with a long sleeved shirt, fit is going to be key. Make sure that it not only fits you across the chest and body but also in the sleeve length and width. You want to be aiming for mid-bicep and to only be able to fit a finger between your arm and the sleeve. A loose or badly fitting shirt will veer you sharply into Barry from I.T. territory.
  • Poplin: seeing as this is predominately a summer option, and linen tends to be a material most gents fear (a huge shame might I add), if you are going for cotton, opt for poplin. It’s thinner than your everyday twill or Oxford, which means it’s lighter and can breathe better. This, as we all know, equals less sweating!
  • Pattern Pending try and inject some pattern into your life with this shirt! Solid and stripes are generally for business, so why not invest in a micro-check, gingham or plaid in contrasting colours such as red and blue? Alternatively, simply add some texture by going for a chambray or linen option.
  • Not All Shirts Are Born Equal: some are meant to be tucked in and some aren’t. A short sleeved shirt can be either but it’s important to know which one it is you want. Tucked in generally lends itself more to a tailored trouser and a quality leather shoe while untucked is more relaxed with a cuffed chino/jean and some trainers.

As for what to wear it with? Well, whatever you want really. You can keep things simple and think of it as great alternative to you bog standard t-shirt – pairing it with any jeans, chinos or shorts you fancy.

Or you can stick with an all out Prep look and pair it with a linen or madras tie in a retro colour and some faded denim in blue or white. Hell, why not wear it under a suit jacket? As I said, stick with solids or stripes for business and checks for casual but as long as the fit is great you can’t fail. I mean if it’s good enough for The Woost and Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders, surely it’s good enough for you too, right?

Men’s Short Sleeved Shirts
  • Farah Vintage Short-sleeve Chambray Shirt
  • Asos Short Sleeve Oxford Shirt
  • Reiss Albury Short Sleeve Microweave Shirt Red
  • Topman Lilac Short Sleeve Oxford
  • Reiss Sunrise Short Sleeve Linen End On End Shirt Blue
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Linen Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Burton Blue Gingham Check Shirt
  • Dobby Striped Shirt Original Fit
  • Allsaints Compass Half Sleeved Shirt
  • American Apparel Striped Chambray Short Sleeve Button-down Shirt
  • A.p.c. Madras Red Navy Plaid Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Allsaints Buckland Half Sleeved Shirt
  • Ps By Paul Smith Short-sleeved Gingham-print Cotton Shirt
  • Topman Blue Swallow Pattern Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Topman Blue Swallow Pattern Short Sleeve Shirt
  • River Island Tribal Shirt
  • Burton White Short Sleeve Native Shirt
  • Topman Yellow Acid Floral Pattern Short Sleeve Shirt
The Final Word

As always guys I want to know what you think, so don’t forget to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on short sleeved shirts, American Prep and whatever else is on your mind… like Kate Upton for example.