Perhaps the time has come to pick out another shirt for a casual day at the office or a winter holiday on the road — the next time you find yourself stuck with what to wear in terms of weekday or weekend style, you should be reaching for an elbow-patch shirt. Yes, that’s right — an elbow-patch shirt with both old-school inspiration and modern style. The best elbow-patch shirts do a bit of everything, from layering atop your favorite henley to standing in for your trusty Oxford shirt at holiday dinner. The elbow patches provide some seasonal texture, too — and heck, when done the right way, one of the best elbow-patch shirts can function at home or in the field with ease. Still not convinced? Allow our picks to lead the way.
Perhaps the top example of an elbow-patch shirt that can be both old-school and modern at the same time, we love the rich olive color and unique windowpane pattern, touches that make this classic elbow-patch shirt easy to wear with chinos or jeans in equal measure.
Leave it to Pendleton to come through with a rugged trail shirt that exemplifies the brand’s approach to heritage-quality menswear — the elbow patches contrast nicely with the black wool fabric.
If you prefer your elbow patch shirts to be more subdued, then take a look at the outdoors-minded Tech Chambray Plaid Work Shirt, with reinforced elbow patches that are a bit more subtle.
The great thing about the best elbow-patch shirts is that those elbow patches really can come in handy when it comes to extra toughness and reinforcement — witness the quilted elbow patches on this field-ready Ball and Buck Hunter’s Shirt (the cool camo pattern doesn’t hurt, either).
Again, it’s quite helpful that the best elbow-patch shirts feature the ideal blend of functionality and rugged durability with style — this lightweight shooting shirt (also available for right-handers) is a prime example of that ideal blend.
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