Times are changing and short-sleeved shirts are more than okay: here’s why you need one in your summer wardrobe…

A new season goes hand-in-hand with new clothing, which is why it’s time to get to work refreshing your wardrobe for the well-anticipated warmer weather ahead. However, this also means grappling with one of the thorniest summer style questions: are short-sleeved shirts acceptable?


At The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, we love to be the bearers of good news and we can safely say – they most definitely are! Looking smart while simultaneously keeping cool is just about the toughest sartorial challenge out there; it might have had a bad press over the years, but the short-sleeved shirt could be the secret style weapon you never knew you needed.


Whether you’re relaxing at the seafront with fish and chips in hand, or enjoying a sophisticated soiree in the sunshine, the humble short-sleeved shirt might be just what you need to pull off the smart-casual look this year. Read on to find out more.


How to wear a short-sleeved shirt

It can be tricky to know when’s a suitable occasion to bring out this shirt silhouette. Short-sleeved shirts tend to be preferred for wear as casual beachwear over office wear, but whatever the occasion – as part of a well-thought out ensemble – they can be a real lifesaver when the mercury rises!


The first thing to consider is colour. It’s always important to have a good idea of which shades work well on you, so give this some careful thought before buying; make sure that your chosen hue compliments the rest of your outfit and suits your skin tone (shades of white, black and navy blue are versatile enough to work well for most people).


That being said, the warmer months are a great opportunity to experiment with colours outside of your comfort zone. Bright pastel hues and bold, checked prints are a fun addition to any outfit.

Short-sleeved shirts are ideal for a relaxed, smart-casual look; feel free to experiment with colours and prints this season.

When wearing short-sleeved button-up shirts, another key thing to bear in mind is how far you button it up. This depends on a few things – perhaps one being your physique, but also your desired look; when you’re deciding how far to button, it’s a matter of whether the emphasis is on the smart or the casual. Leaving a couple of buttons undone is a great way of invoking a breezy, easygoing vibe.


You also need to think about what to partner your shirt with. Again, this will depend on the colour, but denim, chinos and cargo shorts make great pairings for a casual look. Complete your outfit with a fresh pair of loafers, deck shoes or light-coloured trainers. Keep your accessorising to a minimum with a pair of sleek sunglasses.

Finding the right fit

As any style-savvy man knows, getting the right fit is everything and short-sleeved shirts are no exception to this eternal rule. However, we’d suggest a different approach to its long-sleeved twin, as a laid-back look works best for summer – go for a looser fit to keep you looking cool and feeling comfortable.


Make sure your shirt gives you plenty of room to breathe and isn’t too tight-fitting; the seams should sit on or slightly above where your shoulder meets your upper arm for the best fit. Your sleeves should also finish just after the halfway point between your shoulder and your elbow.


Although tucking a short-sleeved shirt in would be suitable for a working environment, we’re champions of a more free-flowing look instead for warmer weather.

Keep your short-sleeved shirt untucked for a care-free, casual outfit - ideal for the warmer months.

We hope this handy guide has helped you along your journey to mastering short-sleeved shirts this summer – it’s about time the style basks in its new-found popularity and recent revival!


Looking to pick up some seasonal attire and get your wardrobe summer-ready? Explore the extensive range of men’s shirts here at The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and find the latest short-sleeved styles today.