Moz from The IT Crowd may have it all wrong, but get short sleeved shirts right and you’ll enjoy a cooler summer all round.


With spring outdoing itself at the moment and summer just around the corner, stocking up on short sleeved shirts is a smart move for the style conscious in warm weather. Unfortunately, with this deceptively simple summer staple, things can all-too-easily go wrong. As luck would have it, we’ve put together some helpful dos and don’ts to help you get short sleeves spot on…

DON’T go baggy

2As with any tailored accoutrements, a good fit is fundamental to a good short sleeved shirt. Unless you want to look like a member of a retro bowling team gone rogue, we’d advise you in the strongest terms to avoid a baggy shirt. Sleeveless and open at the collar, a too-big shirt can make anyone’s arms and neck look pencil thin, creating an instantaneous poindexter effect. Avoid at all costs.

DO wear your size


Baggy may be bad, but it has nothing on too tight. The sight of biceps essentially tourniqueted by too-tight armholes is frankly unacceptable. See also: pectorals and bellies busting open buttons. You’ll either look like you can’t dress yourself, or like you’re inviting literally everyone to the gun show. Don’t do it. Instead search for well-tailored short sleeved options which fit your frame properly. Not too big, not too small, find the sweet spot in the middle and you’re sorted.

DON’T choose synthetic fibres

4You’re going to be wearing this bad boy in warm weather. In these conditions, synthetic fabrics are not your friend, especially in a stuffy office environment. Synthetic fibres are less breathable which means you’ll get much sweatier much faster. It can happen to the best of us, even Robert Pattinson. Synthetic fibres are also less easy to tailor well, losing that all important fit we’ve been talking you into…

DO opt for cotton & linen

5Much cooler, much more breathable, easier to tailor sharply – choose natural fibres every time to get short sleeves just right, like this tasty irregular check number from Calvin Klein in cotton.

DON’T be garish


There’s a fine line between the world of quirky, kooky and creative – and the world of aggressive garishness. The first world is a fun place to experiment with colour and print. It’s summer after all, why not be playful with your fashion choices? The second world is a world full of painfully loud Hawaiian shirts worn with absolutely no sense of irony.

The rule is: if your embarrassing uncle who talks loudly and slowly in English to the locals on holiday would wear it, don’t do it yourself. If you don’t have such an uncle, use your imagination and be grateful.

DO be daring


With uncle Barry out of the equation, you can dare to be a little creative with your choice of print. A shorter sleeve length does a lot to dilute a strong print, which means you can add a little more punch than with a long sleeved alternative. If you’re not comfortable with bright colours, look for fun prints and monochrome patterns to add some creativity and personality to your summer wardrobe.

DON’T wear over a t-shirt


Are you a 14 year old skater from 2002? Enough said.

DO take a smart-casual approach


When you’re putting everything together, the best way to think about short sleeved shirts is as part of a overall smart casual look. Joggers and trainers are going to look awful, so match your shirt with smarter shorts or chinos, along with casual brogues or smart summer sandals to finish it all up properly.

DON’T accessorise with neckwear


If you don’t want to look like the next incarnation of Doctor Who, don’t do this. No ties, no cravats and for heaven’s sake no bow ties. Take this one on trust.

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