How to style a short sleeve shirt this summer

Wondering how to style your short sleeve shirt over those balmy summer months? Look no further...we've got you sorted.

Short sleeve shirts are, quite frankly, the saviours of the summer. If you’ve previously been an aficionado of the rolled-up-sleeves, then we’d beg you to reconsider: because the short sleeve shirt is guaranteed to earn its linen (or cotton) keep as your most paramount wardrobe staple during those balmy months. 

Of course, we do draw the line somewhere; specifically, at outlandish patterns. You can have too much of a good thing, after all. But, when done right, a short sleeve shirt can be your greatest ally in those tricky warmer climes. We’re ready with some top tips on how best to style a short sleeve shirt this summer; together with some of our favourite short sleeve shirt choices. You can thank us later (when you’re blissfully cool in the summer heat…).

Less really can be more when styling a short sleeve shirt

White and navy are the best possible colour choices when it comes to simple, elegant understatement; and we’d suggest keeping it simple when dressing, as well. A simple button down is always a good option here — or you can wear it open for a more relaxed look, too. Plus, white and navy shirts have the added benefit of looking subtly (but significantly) sophisticated when styled with pale chinos and a good pair of loafers. 

Sunspel has well and truly delivered the short sleeve goods with their Italian Linen offering; its exceptionally breathable feel makes it the perfect summer styling option, and its extra fine fibre gives it a far softer handle than traditional linen. Love Brand’s Navy Manjack Shirt is the ideal versatile option; perfect for styling with slightly smarter evening wear, it’s guaranteed to be worn again and again throughout the summer. And New & Lingwood offers something a little different, with their short sleeve Towelling Shirt; this is ideal for styling with a pair of swimming trunks when lazing by the pool, or for sporting on the beach this summer.

Consider styling your short sleeve shirt with a splash of colour

Understated elegance has its place, of course. But we’d never discourage anyone from embracing a splash of colour, if they felt so inclined; and never more so than this summer, which will (hopefully) celebrate a gradual return to a COVID-free world. If that’s not cause for celebration, we don’t know what is — and how better to celebrate than with a suitably styled shirt? Colourful short sleeve shirts are ripe for styling experimentation: wear them open over a white cotton t-shirt, untucked over a pair of shorts or style them with a pair of chinos (buttoned down, of course — at least at the start of the evening). 

Mr P. knows how to do colour, and they haven’t disappointed on this occasion with their Cotton-Seersucker Shirt. The seersucker is a naturally puckered fabric which means it sits away from the skin; perfect for that heatwave we know is coming. Turnbull & Asser have embraced the celebratory aspect that colour can offer in spades, with their Crimson Holiday Fit Shirt; these particular shirts evoke ‘Slim Aarons-esque’ connotations of mid-century resort wear style, which lends this delightfully bright shirt plenty of elegance. And the ever-trusty Ralph Lauren offer a Linen Shirt in a joyful Harbour Island Blue; exceptionally lightweight and with a supremely roomy fit, it’s the perfect colourful option for summer — particularly when styled with swimming trunks and an ice cold glass of Pimms.

An understated pattern can be the epitome of suave, genteel sophistication

We’ve advised steering clear of outlandish patterns — but understated patterns get our vote, every time. When a pattern’s done right, it can look not only chic, but positively debonair. If it’s a pattern that you truly want, then a pattern you shall get. Allow us to suggest some patterned short sleeve shirts that will make a dapper addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe — especially when styled with the right pairings. Plus, there’s no need to be averse to a bit of risk-taking; don’t live by the buttons, gents. If the occasion calls for an open shirt, then we’d always advocate embracing the open shirt. 

Oliver Spencer’s Hawaiian short sleeve shirt is a patterned delight in a jubilant Buckden Blue, and would look supremely chic when styled with sophisticated summer tailoring, or with shorts for a pristine, polished beach look — whatever floats your short sleeved boat. Hemingsworth have hit the nail on the head with their Marina Navy Stripe offering: its bold, clearly defined colours would look suavely sophisticated under a blazer; or, equally, flying solo when styled with summer wear. Sir Plus have opted for stripes, too, of a somewhat wider variety — as seen on their Navy Stripe Cuban Shirt. Opt to wear it open, over a cotton t-shirt and with a pair of linen shorts, or alternatively you could wear it untucked with a pair of chinos. The opportunities are endless.

Looking for more summer style inspiration? These are the best swim shorts for summer 2021

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