Up until recently you would probably have added the short sleeve shirt to your list of don't-even-go-there (alongside socks with sandals and three-quarter length trousers). Thanks to its reputation as a key piece of that driving instructor's uniform. So we're here to convince you that the short sleeve shirt is more Don Draper than Homer Simpson and pass on a few simple rules. Here's how to wear the short sleeve shirt.
Do find your colour
When it comes to colour, here are a few hard and fast rules. Yellow suits darker or tanned skin but can make pale skin look sallow. Navy and burgundy are a good choice for fairer skin tones. If you're really not sure, go for a plain white, black or chambray (light blue). In fact, short sleeve shirts in these shades are staples you can rely on as they work well in both casual and formal situations.
Don't be afraid to experiment
With a plethora of prints out there, you can find something to complement your style and also bear in mind colours that suit you (see point above). Whatever you do, wear with plain coloured bottoms such as denim jeans or chinos. Just starting out? Keep it basic and stick with stripes or plaid.
Do think about fit
Admittedly, the short sleeve shirt is not the easiest to pull off. You want it to be slim fitting but not too snug. The shoulder seams should hit right or slightly above your shoulder joint and you don't want to feel strangled in the collar region. Too small around the chest and the buttons will find it a struggle to hold the shirt together when you move your arms. You also need to pay attention to how your sleeves fall. You want them to fit closely to your arms and flap out or stick out at an angle. So yes, that means the a boxy shape is definitely out.
Do consider the details
When it comes to short sleeve shirts, it's worth paying attention to the variety of collars available and how you are planning to wear your chosen piece. If you want to go formal, add a tie and blazer (wearing without a blazer will just look odd) or do the top button up, then a point collar is the best choice.
A button-down collar is pretty versatile and straddles a formal and casual style. Whether buttoned up or slightly undone, this is a great addition to your wardrobe.
Don't forget the rest of your outfit
Just like your diet, keep your outfit clean and lean. A streamlined silhouette is what we’re aiming for here so go for complementary pieces. Whether that be a pair of smart shorts, smart leather belt and boat shoes for a city break or chinos, basic t-shirt and short sleeve shirt layered loosely over the top, get your shape right. It's all about proportion.