Editor’s note: For a host of online shopping picks that’ll have you ready for every occasion, head this way.
A short-sleeve shirt can be worn all kinds of ways, but particularly with classics like dark denim and navy sneakers. Vintage ‘drinks’ shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Glasses by Warby Parker.
Here we are, practically on the verge of summer travel season really heating up. Memorial Day is barreling toward us and it’s time to reach for spring style essentials like a casual watch or a nice pair of spring and summer shorts. Yet, how to finish off those ensembles? A polo is a foolproof go-to underneath a blazer (or on its own) at the office, and a popover offers a change of pace visually from a standard T-shirt in casual situations. Let’s say you’re feeling a tad more daring, or the occasion calls for something a bit more … eye-catching. It’s always fun to inject pattern and color into your wardrobe, and it’s all the better to be able to do it comfortably — that is, you’ll ideally only be needing a short-sleeve shirt, not a ton of winter layers (or even a spring jacket). That brings us to the below picks — feast your eyes on the best short-sleeve shirts for spring and summer. Take ’em to the beach, take ’em on a stylish spring bar crawl, and rock them everywhere in between (yes, even at the office). Any brand you see missing? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.
#1. JackThreads The Chambray Short-Sleeve Shirt — $39
A slight deviation from the standard chambray shirt in terms of pattern (and the lack of, y’know, sleeves).
Interested in taking the plunge into short-sleeve territory but don’t want to spend a ton of money doing it? Having a tough time putting away that essential chambray shirt after rocking it all winter? We’re in the same boat. And given both those things, it’s a really solid bet to reach for a JackThreads chambray short-sleeve shirt that doesn’t overdo it on the pattern, keeps the price nice and low, and comes in that oh-so-familiar chambray material (with a color that’s easy to pair with, as well). For more on what makes JackThreads so great, check out this feature.
#2. Saturdays Surf NYC Esquina Gingham Shirt in White/Indigo — $115
No zany patterns here — just an effectively stylish gingham print and a modern fit.
If, on the other hand, you’re more than ready to hop into the short-sleeve shirt pool, give this nice number from Saturdays Surf NYC a try. The brand does lots of things well when it comes to warm-weather gear, from its selection of neutral yet well-crafted knitwear to surfboards actually made for catching waves. While there are more eye-catching patterns from the brand on the site, this gingham pattern pairs easily with more standard style staples, like slim tan chinos and classic white sneakers. Be prepared to pay more for this piece, but know that (at least in this writer’s experience), you’ll be able to wear a shirt like this one for months on end.
#3. Bridge & Burn Thomas Pacific Latitude Shirt — $108
A major pop of pattern that manages to stay grounded thanks to the deep indigo color.
For times that you want something more than gingham or a lighter floral print, grab the truly excellent Bridge & Burn Pacific Latitude Shirt. The cotton-linen blend (50 percent either way, as it were) will keep you cool when temperatures heat up, and the fit is flattering but not too trim. The best part about this shirt? The rich leaf pattern indigo print, which works surprisingly well even atop the striped fabric. It’s nothing short of the ideal shirt to wear on vacation or to the beach — it’s a style upgrade from the standard Hawaiian shirt in every way.
#4. Old Navy Classic Slim-Fit Shirt in White — $21
Dirt-cheap and classic. Not bad at all!
Unlike some of the other picks on this list, the Old Navy Classic Slim-Fit Shirt is downright cheap. That doesn’t lessen its quality though, for the most part — Old Navy reliably delivers on classic pieces for not a lot of money. Again, if you want to test out something more standard before grabbing a printed shirt (like the pick right below this one), this shirt is the one for you. Lest you avoid comparisons to Dwight Schrute, it’d be wise to pair this shirt with, say, some navy shorts and a quilted jacket on the weekends (like this Style Guide #OOTD feature).
#5. J. Crew Factory Slim Short-Sleeve Linen Printed Shirt — $38.50
Linen is the way to go in terms of keeping cool this summer — short sleeves make it all the easier.
It truly wouldn’t be an Online Shopping Picks feature without a pick from J. Crew or J. Crew Factory, right? Aside from a store like Old Navy, they continue to get things right in terms of quality, price point and selection. Given that there’ve been so many blue or white shirts on this here list, this red linen short-sleeve shirt was an easy pick. They’ve given this shirt the full linen treatment here, so it should be extra breezy and cool — as a summer style hack, you could definitely rock this short-sleeve shirt underneath a slim khaki blazer at a summer wedding (preferably sans tie). Wait for a sale, and the price could drop even lower.
As more and more brands truly try to become four-season brands, there are certainly some other options you should consider. For a premium feel and distinctive patterns, check out Bonobos short-sleeve shirts . If you still find yourself searching for a lower price point, swing through Uniqlo for a mixture of plaid and neutral options that are definitely affordable. And a perennial favorite of this site, Grayers, is also stocked up on short-sleeve shirts for the season. No matter where you buy, keep in mind that fit trumps all, even when trying out something a bit different stylistically. So that means a slim body, sleeves that hit about mid-bicep and a length that can definitely be worn untucked. Got all that down? Go to it!