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The long-sleeved shirt versus the short-sleeved shirt

Summer is almost here and temperatures are constantly over 70 degrees F (20 degrees C). Because we have weddings and other formal events, the question on everyone’s mind is: how do we dress stylishly and keeping it cool at the same time?

I’m going to talk about the shirt exclusively, because it’s the first option you should consider when dressing casual (t-shirts go well too but let’s leave this discussion for another time. Shirts are of course the ONLY option when you’re invited or hosting a formal event.

So what shirt can you wear if it’s really hot outside. It all comes down to two options: a short-sleeved shirt or a long sleeved shirt.

One of the more recent trends in men’s style suggest that we should avoid short-sleeved shirts. For some reason, they are seen as too childish. They even suggest we avoid wearing them in casual situations.

The recommendation of those who hate short-sleeved shirts is simple: you either roll up your sleeves of your long-sleeved shirt or.. you just deal with the excessive heat.

Why is the short-sleeved shirt so hated. There are two main reasons that I could dig up:

1. It makes you look like a child or a bartender.
2. You can’t wear them with ties or bow-ties because the lack of sleeves will “unbalance” the entire outfit.

Because I don’t really enjoy the torture of staying in a long sleeved-shirt at high temperatures (just to follow a style rule that almost no one around you will know about), I decided to do a little digging. I wanted to know if short sleeved shirts are really that bad.

Here’s what I found (and it’s good news):

Short sleeved shirts are back and are recommended even by GQ. Here’s what they’re saying on their blog, the GQ Eye (this is an article published in april 2011):

One of the best trends in recent years, in addition to the return of the waistcoat and flat-front pants, is the return of the classic short-sleeve shirt.
The short-sleeve button-down is on the casual side of business casual, more so than its full-sleeve counterpart, but I think it’s quite acceptable in a summer-casual work environment and far better than a polo shirt.

You can find the link to the blog post here.

So what is the GQ gentleman trying to say? That the length of the shirt’s sleeve is just a trend like anything else, that’s in or out of style. And here’s another important lesson: never trade comfort for style.

A golden rule of style says that you should always feel excellent in all the clothes that you’re wearing. And if it’s really hot outside and rolling up your sleeves is just not enough, go ahead and wear a short-sleeved shirt.


Ok, let me give you a brief recap of the key points you should remember from my research.

First of all, short sleeved shirts are great and can form very stylish outfits.

Second, wearing them with a tie or a bow tie is a fashion no-no and I agree to that. On really hot days you won’t be wearing such accessories anyway because you’ll barely be able to breathe.

Third, a long sleeved shirt will always be more stylish than one with short sleeves.

And finally fourth, rolling up your sleeves is a great way to be stylish.

It’s all up to you and your own sense of style to make the right decision.

George Lavas

George is dedicated to fashion and style for men. Based in the UK, George enjoys writing about lifestyle and fashion from both sides of the pond. George created BeStylish.org to help readers create a strong sense of style with minimum effort believing that everyone can look and feel good, all day, every day.

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