Just because temperatures swell to nearly unbearable levels doesn’t mean your style has to go out the window entirely. It’s something that can be tricky to navigate, in my experience, but trust me when I say style can co-exist with the heat.
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.
As for me, when I’m packing for a summer getaway, I’m assuredly bringing along a rotation of stylish short-sleeve shirts.
It looks great with plenty of different summer staple pieces, it’s offered in 47 different styles, and the price is quite nice, too. Plus, you can find your perfect fit with multiple fit options from Bonobos.
I’ve said it before at WERD, and now, I’ll 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. In my experience, that’s one of the fun parts of getting dressed: Building an outfit you love from picks you enjoy wearing, all from one brand.
I’ve found that Bonobos makes it easier than ever, especially with a short-sleeve stretch shirt that’s so comfortable, it’s almost like wearing a T-shirt.
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.
When I want to trade in my cozy Todd Snyder + Champion sweatshirt for something well-suited to hotter climates, I reach for a Todd Snyder buttondown. I’ve found that the designer’s shirts are always visually appealing, with cool patterns and colors readily available.
Plus, the feel of a Todd Snyder shirt is elegant, but it still seems as if it’s a shirt you can wear with ease – you’ll feel great, and you’ll look even better, but Snyder’s shirts aren’t ostentatious.
This linen shirt lives up to that approach quite handsomely. It’s the kind of stylish summer shirt 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? I say: Absolutely.
Available in 8 colors.
Wearing a short-sleeve shirt doesn’t mean that fit goes by the wayside: The best short-sleeve shirts should still fit your body well, and the right fabric makes all the difference.
I’ve found that a fabric like twill, which gets softer over time, wears especially well in short-sleeve shirts, since it offers a polished look and yet a soft-on-the-skin feel.
I’ve also found that Buck Mason makes subtly stylish, throwback-minded short-sleeve shirts better than nearly any other brand out there, and this cleanly designed option is no exception.
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.
The Taylor Stitch Hawthorne Shirt, in my humble opinion, is simply one 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 I 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 I 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.
No matter the season or the occasion, Alabama-based Billy Reid is nothing if not prepared for what lies ahead. If your summer schedule looks anything like mine, that means sunny happy hours and BBQs aplenty, and dressing for those occasions calls for a touch of easygoing style.
In my experience, Billy Reid shirts have a timeless feel, with easy-to-wear fits and premium, soft fabric. It all comes together with the Tuscumbia Shirt, a Billy Reid staple that he’s streamlined in a short-sleeve design. He calls it “lived-in luxury,” and I’m tempted to agree.
We’re willing to bet you don’t have a shirt in your arsenal quite like the Wax London Didcot Shirt. The profile itself is plenty eye-catching, modeled after classic short-sleeve camp collar shirts (with the boxy fit and lay-flat collar to prove it).
Things only get better from there, as the Didcot Shirt comes in a wonderful range of impossibly cool colors and patterns, from understated Geo patterns to embroidered vertical designs. There’s an option to suit everyone’s personal style, and that’s no overstatement.
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.
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. I’ve found that J.Crew tends to “keep it in the fairway” with plenty of its designs, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
What do I mean by that? In my experience, you know you’re getting quality fabric, cool, versatile colors and styles that are trendy but not too overly fashion forward. Those are crucial components in every guy’s wardrobe, mine included (and hopefully, yours!).
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.
I’ve made this a key part of many a summer look, especially if I’m wearing off-white linen trousers or olive green chinos: It’s subtle, smart and casually versatile, and the comfort is next-level.
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.
Stylish but not fussy, easy to wear without being sloppy – that’s what Wills set out to do with its elevated take on the short-sleeve shirt.
It’s a nice step up in terms of style from a plain T-shirt, with soft linen fabric that still delivers a nice, breezy feel on hot days, and that’s something I value in my short-sleeve shirts.
The buttondown collar offers a touch of casual polish – again, reach for it when you want an upgrade from a crewneck T-shirt.
And the simple, versatile lineup of solid colorways, plus the agreeable sub-$100 price, makes this option from Huckberry a new everyday essential: You could easily outfit your wardrobe with more than one, and I know that’s what I’ll look to do this summer.
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 I also like to keep that crucial mix of affordability and style top of mind as I shop for men’s clothing.
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.