The Best Short Sleeve Button Up Shirts For Summer

Last updated: February 13, 2022

Summer is here and once again short sleeve shirts will be a popular option that can be worn for all types of occasion- casually and on the beach, for a day at the office and even for evening wear.

There is a myriad of colours, designs and fabrics available and if you buy your shirt carefully, it will not only be comfortable to wear, it will look really good too.

So stop rolling up the sleeves on your shirt this year and opt for a stylish short sleeve shirt?

Colours First!

If you want a shirt that you can wear with most things, a smart plain coloured short sleeve shirt is very versatile.

Black, white and navy are all good choices and neutrals such as cream, beige and grey go with many colours too.

All of these colours can look crisp and smart with a tie, making them ideal for office wear.

If you prefer stronger colours, there are so many to choose from, including yellow, orange and wine, which can all look good, but will have to be paired carefully with trousers to ensure a coordinated look – light grey, navy, charcoal or beige chinos work well.

A safe and more relaxed look is to wear your new shirt with denim.

Patterned or Plain?

There are a number of traditional patterns available in short sleeve shirts and these include classic stripes and checks.

Whilst the most traditional stripes are those in narrow, soft colours on a white background, white chalk stripes on a strong blue, charcoal or red background can look really smart and can be complemented by a white silk tie – a look that will definitely get you noticed. 

There are plenty of different check shirts to choose from and those in different shades of a single colour (such as wine or green) look crisp and fresh. Gingham is enjoying a renaissance and looks particularly good in navy and white.

Cowboy checks are more relaxed to wear and for aficionados of the Scots, a traditional tartan shirt is fun and works well with denim or charcoal chinos.

Go Hawaiian!

Once again, short sleeve shirts with bold Hawaiian style designs are proving popular for casual wear this summer. 

Extrovert and fun to wear, it is well worth spending time to make the right choice! Choose a colour that you know looks good on you and also check the size of the pattern – large designs can be overpowering and can make you look shorter, whilst smaller designs in darker colours can be slimming.  

A Good Fit

To get the correct look, take time to try your chosen shirt on. Short sleeve shirts should be slim but not tight fitting.

There are a variety of collars including both conventional and button down and it is worth just thinking how you will wear your shirt – for example, with or without a jacket, jumper etc.

The shoulder seams should lie on the point of your shoulders –  any larger and the shirt will look disproportioned.

The neck should button comfortably and there should be no gaping or button popping on the chest. The sleeves should be well cut and comfortable but not too wide as this can make them stand out at a strange angle.

Make sure that the sleeve is going to be comfortable – you should be able to fit your finger between your sleeve and arm comfortably.

The sleeves should be no longer than mid bicep. Most shirts have a ‘boxed bottom’ which means a straight lower edge that sits covering the waist of your trousers.

How To Wear Hawaiian Style Shirts

For a smart look for the office, wear your shirt with chinos or fitted trousers and smart shoes or white trainers.

Crisp white chinos and sparkling white trainers, with a smart blazer and short sleeve shirt looks both stylish effortless.

A weekend casual look is to wear your shirt with skinny denims – in good condition with no rips or holes- and a pair of leather Chelsea boots or smart navy/white deck shoes.

If you plan on hitting the beach, mid length shorts, white trainers and natty shades will definitely score ten points!

There are some great shorts to complement Hawaiian style shirts in colours such as charcoal, navy and beige – which will all prove a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

If you are opting for a crisp plain neutral- coloured shirt, you can add fun an element of fun with the colour of your shorts –  rust, wine or even palest pink. Add white trainers or pale suede loafers to complete your outfit.

On cooler summer days,  pop on a crisp white tee shirt and wear your short-sleeve top either open, or buttoned up (but leave the top two buttons undone) as this provide a little more warmth without forsaking style!

The Best Brands

The good news is there are short sleeve button up shirts available to suit all budgets and with some clever shopping, you can pick up some great shirts at amazing prices, but it will be worth checking that they have been well made with matched patterns, neat button holes and precise collars as these all help a shirt to look good quality.