Just because temperatures swell to nearly unbearable levels doesn’t mean your style has to go out the window entirely.
Even retreating to a coastal getaway (or the nearest body of water) is a chance to put your best foot forward, which is where the best short-sleeve button ups can add style and substance to your summer.
What makes a great short-sleeve button up?
For starters, look for the right fabric: It’s got to be soft, breezy and comfortable. Fit makes a big difference, too: Aim for a middle ground between “super relaxed” and “overly tight” (as you’ll soon see).
There’s something out there for everyone, and at every price point. And above all else: Have some fun with color and pattern. It’s summer, after all, and a choice short-sleeve button up will have you enjoying every minute of it.
Declaring a shirt the “best button up to buy now” carries with it some lofty importance, does it not? When looking for the best overall button down shirt for summer, we scoped out both fabric–not too breezy or light, not too stuffy–plus a unique pattern or color option for a bit of summer fun.
Fit was also key–look for a brand that leans modern and provides room to move. And if you can snag all this at the right price, we say go for it.
The Taylor Stitch Hawthorne Shirt, in our humble opinion, is the best of the best, with textured organic cotton woven for sustainability and laid-back style. The dark colorway and striped design is flattering on multiple body types, and sizing up to XXL provides something for everyone–all for an agreeable sub-$130 price. Several style options are available.
As we say time and again at WERD, buying on a budget doesn’t have to mean skimping on style or quality. The best brands, after all, know how to blend both, and that’s why we looked at both fabric quality, plus fit and style, all rolled into one. Be gone, baggy shirts, and instead, let’s look for a nice-fitting option for a low price, the kind you can wear with chino shorts.
L.L. Bean has been providing reliable, affordable basics since well before the dawn of the modern menswear era as we know it, never straying too far from the classics. Seersucker’s puckered design allows air to pass more easily through the fabric, while the light blue color simply screams summer. Of course, the $45 price tag is a nice steal, too.
If you’ve been saving for a summer vacation and a summer wardrobe upgrade at the same time, why not have a little fun with it? We looked for luxe fabrics, style that’s a bit classic but also just ever-so-slightly premium and eye-catching, not to mention the right blend of a sort of “devil-may-care” style that tends to go so well with a beachside cocktail hour.
MR. PORTER’s MR. P line is more affordable than some of the luxury designers the store stocks, but still a splurge. This shirt-cardigan hybrid is apt for wearing on cooler summer nights, but looks just as nice unbuttoned over a T-shirt for a more easygoing look.
Western shirts are quite popular right now, calling to mind the dusty towns and fading sunsets–and perhaps a rugged, old-school sensibility, too. The Western shirt is both throwback-oriented and yet fun, modern and ready to throw on at a moment’s notice to grab a Miller High Life. Make sure this embroidered Howler Brothers option is close at hand.
Some short-sleeve buttondowns are geared more towards pleasure, and others more lean towards performance. This KUHL shirt does a bit of both, with a clean look that’s optimal for happy hour beers and yet ready to handle the demands of a day hike–the key is the stretchy poly-spandex blend for go-anywhere reliability. Plus, the dusty olive colorway pairs up with everything from light wash jeans to tan chino shorts.
Todd Snyder draws from all over the globe to deliver suitably stylish, seriously cool menswear collections, and the American designer knows how to do effortless fashion the right way.
Take this Japanese cotton shirt with summer-friendly stripes, the kind you can wear for long, lazy days by the pool–and long nights sipping cold cocktails at a tiki bar. Is it worth that investment, then? We say: Absolutely.
If we’ve said it before at WERD, well, allow us to say it again: Finding pieces you can team up with your favorite Bonobos chinos is kind of like taking most of the work out of getting dressed.
This short-sleeve stretch shirt was made to do just that: Look great with the rest of your summer staples. It’s offered in 47 different styles, and the price is quite nice, too.
At times, you just want one of the best short-sleeve button ups to check all the right boxes–a solid color, a comfortable amount of stretch, a streamlined fit. 7 Diamonds, as sold through Nordstrom, does all of that and then some. Colors like Black go with just about anything in your wardrobe, too. You can even rock this under a blazer, thanks to the polished collar design.
From the bright (but not overly loud!) color scheme to the goes-with-anything navy backdrop, this J.Crew shirt is a surefire summer style winner–and it’s also available in shades like a timeless Black, too. The camp collar design is a nod to styles of the ‘50s and ‘60s, yet also wears plenty well today, and the hemp-cotton blend is sustainable, to boot.
Touted as a favorite of the beach-seeking, Internet-shopping crowd, Duvin Design blurs the line between the fashionable and the classic – take this simple black button up short-sleeve shirt, for instance.
Although you can certainly go more bold with Duvin’s designs, the camp-collar design and contrast sleeves (simply roll ‘em up to show off those guns) are steady style moves on the beach or the boardwalk. The fit is relaxed, but not overly so–size down if you fancy something more snug.
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