We’re approaching the summer, where mens short sleeve dress shirts should be a wardrobe goto. Many men choose not to incorporate short sleeve shirts within their attire as obtaining the right fit / look can be difficult. Short sleeve shirts also get a bad rap as being strictly for casual wear — a myth which we’ll seek to dispel. In this episode of UNFUSED, we arm you with the intelligence to know what type of short sleeve dress shirts to wear (and not to wear) and where to find them. Worn correctly, a short sleeve dress shirt is a sleek yet elegant piece that you’ll be able to pull off in a variety of settings.
Some Basic Fit and Style Rules for Mens Short Sleeve Dress Shirts
1 — Know the Proper Shirt Length
In our opinion, stylish mens short sleeve dress shirts look best when they’re worn with an untucked shirt length. Most men do not realize that a shirt meant to be tucked is different than an untucked shirt. As we covered previously in UNFUSED, untucked dress shirts have a few different fit and style considerations that you need to look out for. To summarize, if you intend to wear the shirt untucked make sure that 1) you have a straighter cut hem vs. a classic (curved) hem and 2) the length of the front of the shirt does not dip past your mid-fly.
If your intention is to wear the shirt tucked in, the opposite of the advise shown above should be followed. Obviously, if you’re in an office / work environment, a tucked in look is going to be a pre-requisite.
2 — Know the Proper Short Sleeve Length
The sleeve length can be a tricky one. If it’s cut too long, the whole arm will have a boxy / loose look. However if it’s cut too short you end up with a shirt that looks more like a cutoff. Lastly, if you go too tight your upper arm and bicep have little to no movement. As a rule of thumb, the sleeve should end mid-bicep, and you should only be able to fit a finger between it and your arm.
3 — Know the Proper Cut
More-so than a traditional dress shirt, short sleeve shirts look significantly better when cut close to the body. As there is obviously less sleeve fabric, looser / fuller cuts tend to not look very flattering as there is less surface area for the shirt fabric to drape. A trimmer, slim fit cut tends to flow better through the arms. To get that perfect fitted, slim fit look, we recommend a contoured cut from chest through the waist as well as through the sleeves. If you’re buying an off the rack shirt, you’ll notice the difference if the shirt has higher armholes (slimmer chest opening).
Where to Buy Mens Short Sleeve Dress Shirts
In terms of off the rack / store options, you have many. We’ve outlined a few of our favorites from entry level basics to premium, luxury brands. Additionally, if you have an outlier size or want a specific cut not available with regular store sizing, check out Deo Veritas’ shirt designer, which allows you to create a 100% custom dress shirt online, with style options such as short sleeves amongst a dozen other customization options available (e.g. collars, cuffs, plackets, buttons, monogramming, etc…). As the sizing is custom, you’ll receive shirts that are made to fit your body precisely.
Best Entry Level Short Sleeve Dress Shirt (<$50)
Sleek and slim-fitting, this stylish stretch-cotton shirt boasts minimalist vibes with a handy chest pocket and cuffed short sleeves. This is a great look that will look great in a casual or semi formal environment that boasts a slim fit and contoured cut. If you’re looking to attend a casual / beach wedding, this could be the shirt for you.
Best Mid Level Short Sleeve Dress Shirt (<$100)
Festive pineapples energize a leisurely cotton sport shirt tailored slim to achieve a modern profile.
Best Premium / Luxury Short Sleeve Dress Shirt
A lightweight blend of cotton and linen furthers the casual, comfortable appeal of a shirt patterned in horizontal pinstripes. It has a perfect slim fit contour that will give you the fitted look that you’re after.
Check out some of our other Popular Guides…