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The 9 Best Short-Sleeve Shirts for Any Setting, From the Office to the Bar

A smiling man in front of a landmark is seen holding a phone and wearing a black short-sleeve shirt.

For most of the year, long sleeves hold a pretty strict monopoly over the up shirt market. And for good reason. Aside from the obvious — way less fabric on your arms — the best short sleeve shirts blend lightweight materials and breathable construction with the versatility of a woven shirt. Meaning they’re just as well-suited for kicking around the city as they are for sipping cocktails on a rooftop or grabbing dinner with a date. 

That said, the best short-sleeve shirts can run the gamut in terms of formality, and that largely comes down to cut and fabric. For instance, loose camp collar shirts in fabrics like rayon and linen tend to skew more casual. Button-down collars and fabrics like oxford or poplin lean more work-appropriate. Either way, you would never wear even the best short sleeve shirts under a tux, but fingers crossed that if you’re sporting one of those, there’s air conditioning involved.

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Billy Reid Tuscumbia Linen Short Sleeve Shirt

A man wearing a short-sleeved shirt from Billy Reid.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When you need a breathable and stylish men’s shirt, make like those in the know and look to linen to keep you cool. Choose this Billy Reid button-down, with its clean, clean lines and tailored cut that’ll keep you looking sharp, whether you’re at the office or elsewhere.

Taylor Stitch Short Sleeve California in Desert Shadow Stripe

A striped short-sleeve shirt from Taylor Stitch.

Taylor Stitch prides itself on responsibly crafting all its garments, including this neutral-striped short-sleeve shirt. It’s made from linen blended with Tencel, a plant-based fiber that requires significantly less water and energy to produce than traditional materials.

Bonobos Stretch Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt

Bonobos Stretch Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt in Berry Floral

We all know Bonobos as a brand that doesn’t hold back when it comes to patterns and prints. Take this short-sleeve shirt, for example. But not only does the fabric feature a unique floral pattern, but it’s also got a hit of stretch to guarantee the shirt fits like a glove.

Buck Mason Palm Cotton Short Sleeve Vintage Camp Shirt

A Buck Mason Palm Cotton Short Sleeve Vintage Camp Shirt.

From the clean, minimal styling to the peached cotton herringbone fabric — giving it the drape of a heavier fabric without all the weight — Buck Mason’s created a heavy-hitting camp shirt we see ourselves wearing again and again.

Uniqlo Oxford Slim-Fit Short Sleeve Shirt

A blue Uniqlo Oxford Slim-Fit Short Sleeve Shirt.

The solid oxford shirt has been a men’s wardrobe essential for generations, due to its timeless design and ability to wear with just about anything. Uniqlo recuts the classic oxford with short sleeves for a breezier feel. So sometimes, the simplest updates are the most effective.

Todd Snyder Exploded Madras Check Camp Collar Short Sleeve Shirt

A collared short-sleeve shirt from Todd Snyder.

Don’t know about you, but we just can’t ever seem to get enough of madras. Todd Snyder’s fashioned this camp-collar shirt with a vibrant, blown-out check pattern, bringing the tried-and-true fabric into 2021. 

Acne Oversized Shirt

A man wearing a green oversized shirt from Acne.

Who doesn’t love playing with proportion every once in a while? Acne designed this short-sleeve shirt to do just that with dropped shoulders, an oversized fit, and a breezy lyocell cotton fabric.

AllSaints Jardino Floral Short Sleeve Button-Up Camp Shirt

A man with his hands in his pockets is wearing a floral shirt from AllSaints.

For those looking to do florals a little differently, look no further than this leisurely option from AllSaints. Its zoomed-in flower pattern, olive green hues, and boxy fit make for one hell of a short-sleeve shirt.

Everlane Linen Camp Shirt

A black Everlane Linen Camp Shirt on a light gray backdrop.

From the essentials experts at Everlane, a linen short-sleeve shirt that perfectly bridges the gap between practicality and night-time style. Wear it with lightweight jeans, chinos, or even tailored shorts (above the knee, of course) and you’ve got the perfect outfit for the bar.

Stephen Praetorius
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Stephen Praetorius is a freelance writer and editor with near-boundless interests. His work's been featured in publications…
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