Let’s not make this too complicated: You need a few good short-sleeve button-downs in your rotation. Warmer weather necessitates cooler attire but you still need to look put together. Good thing there are so many worthy options in a variety of materials (including breezy seersucker and classic cotton) and patterns (from subtle to surfs up). Whatever your style, know that the best men’s short-sleeve button-downs are comfortable, breathable, and able to be dressed up or down for pretty much any occasion.
Now, fit is everything when it comes to a short-sleeve button-down. You’re most likely going to wear the shirt untucked. So, make sure the tail and hem hit just below your beltline. You want it to feel fitted but not tight. When you try on a shirt, test out the fit by sitting down. When you take a seat, does the shirt cling to you too much, or is it as comfortable as it was when you were standing? Can you move your arms without the buttons feeling constrained? Lastly, pay attention to the sleeves. They should hit just about mid-bicep and be neither too loose nor too tight.
If you want to add a few more to your rotation, here, from plain to patterned, are nine great men’s short-sleeve shirts to wear.
As always, you want to have a clean, straightforward option in your closet. Something that can be worn in a variety of situations. This is the button-down for the job. The cotton-rayon blend is soft but slightly substantial, while the fit is trim with room to move. In the Natural color, it teams up with every single pair of pants or shorts in your wardrobe.
Johnny Bigg offers up a short-sleeve shirt for big and tall men that’s still got some style points (each color option is designed with an eye-catching contrast placket). The ultra-light linen-cotton blend keeps things cool and a proper buttondown collar helps facilitate a cleaner look.
When you want to dress with intention and style while still staying cool, a mix of stripes in a grounded neutral palette is a great call. The look is toned down, but not boring. This touchably-soft rayon and linen shirt delivers on all fronts, and, thanks to its straight-cut bottom hem, can be tucked in as part of a khaki cotton suit.
If there were ever a short sleeve buttondown shirt made for weekend adventuring that can also be worn in a bit more formal a setting, it’s this number from Seager Co. The western-inspired shirt, with its v-shaped pockets, pearl snaps, and vintage striped pattern, just nails a very particular vibe. The cotton-poly blend delivers lightweight breathability and a touch of stretch.
It’s the subtle pattern against the chambray that really sells this 100-percent cotton shirt from Austin’s Howler Bros. It’s a wear-anywhere pattern that’s fine for a dinner out but doesn’t feel out of place at a backyard barbecue, either. A great feature: There’s a special microfiber detail at the hemline meant specifically for wiping your sunglasses.
Katin’s surf heritage stretches back to the 1950s, but they’ve brought the Hawaiian shirt into the 21st century with an homage that’s nicely grounded and not too loud. We dig the shadowed palm trees rising up in the background, but it’s the garment-washed cotton-viscose blend that really sold us on this one.
J. Crew knows how to do a button-down. This multi-colored rainbow of stripes really sets this seersucker short-sleeve shirt apart from the pack. It’s also hard not to love the range of fit options on offer here. Style it with navy chino shorts or lightweight linen trousers for a classic look.
This wavy, semi-circle print is the perfect print for a guy who wants to mix it up without going overly bright. The design is clean and sharp, with no chest pocket, and the fit runs true to size. The real winner here is a sustainable finishing touch: 99 percent organic cotton construction, topped off with one percent elastane for just enough stretch.
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