Summer is fast-approaching. Like many men around the globe, you're going to have to adapt.
Here's the issue: How do you look amazing without sweating like a pig?
I'm here to tell you that – believe it or not – it's possible.
That's why today we're talking about the top seven casual men's summer shirts you'll look amazing in.
1. Linen Shirts
Linen has a long history. The ancient Mesopotamians used it to denote men of status. In Egypt, it was even used as a currency due to its perceived value.
But what is it?
Linen is a light and breathable fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. The flax is commonly hand-harvested in order to gather the longest fibers possible.
Just like the ancients, modern men love it for its utility in hot weather.
Choose a simple design – a solid-colored shirt with no modifications such as epaulets or pockets.
The reasons for this are practical; linen is notoriously prone to wrinkles. Lighter weaves might fold if you so much as stare intensely.
The darker the color – the less noticeable those wrinkles will be. Furthermore, a simple shirt will be easier to iron and maintain.
Nevertheless, men's summer shirts made with linen are a timeless and stylish way to stay fresh under the sun.
2. Broadcloth And Poplin Shirts
First things first – what are broadcloth and poplin?
Trick question – they're the same (but we'll call it broadcloth).
It's a smooth, light and untextured cotton fabric whose thread weave ranges from 50 singles to 140 (or more) doubles.
Broadcloth is the single most versatile fabric out there, as it appears on both formal and casual menswear.
Overview Of Checked Patterns:
Now let's talk patterns. The summer is a great time to experiment with checked patterns.
- Gingham is a good way to start – it's popular for casual shirts. The pattern consists of tightly-crossing lines of various colors (see the image above).
- Madras is a little wilder and ultra-casual, with unlimited combinations of colors.
- Tartan originates from Scotland in the 1700s and resembles the iconic kilt. Though it's usually made for wool and flannel, it's also commonly found on cotton.
- Tattersall is a tamer pattern of vertical and horizontal lines, usually in two colors on a light background.
What about colors? Stick with white on the background, but experiment with pastel colors on the stripes.
Yellows and blues are also safe summer-themed colors to wear with these summer men's shirts.
3. Boldly-Patterned Shirts
The summer months are the time to be aggressive when it comes to patterns. Try these to stand out from the crowd.
- Paisley was originally a Zoroastrian motif from the Persian-Sasanian Empire. Nowadays it's common on ties and pocket squares. Who says it can't be on a shirt too?
- Floral patterns were first invented by the Chinese, who printed peony flowers on garments. These patterns are pretty common on ultra-casual menswear.
Balance bold patterns with a subtle color contrast such as two different shades of gray or blue.
Pairing paisley or florals with solid dark-colored trousers will make for a slim and monochromatic look.
4. Short Sleeved Button-Down
Shirts with short sleeves are generally great for casual wear, but they're especially effective as summer shirts.
Here are a few guidelines to look your best:
- Don't tuck it in. It's meant to be casual.
- Don't wear a necktie with it, or you'll look like you work in a cubicle.
- Wear with solid pants if you're going for patterns.
- You can add some edge by rolling up the sleeves a little more.
Short sleeved summer shirts are ideal in broadcloth or linen.
Short sleeves suit muscular men best. However, those of you with a slimmer build can do just as well if you pay attention to the fit.
The shoulder seams shouldn't extend beyond the bone at the end of your shoulder where the arm begins.
As far as width is concerned you shouldn't be able to pinch more than a half-inch of fabric.
The length should fall roughly between your shoulder and elbow.
5. Lightweight Chambray Fabric
Like broadcloth, chambray is perfect for the summer. It's a linen-finished cloth with a white weft and colored warp, making a faintly streaky appearance.
Chambray has a history dating back to the French town of Cambrai in the mid-1500s.
The original “cambric” was a linen fabric used for everything from handkerchiefs to shirts. It started being referred to as chambray by the British in the 19th century.
Chambray is often confused with denim, but the former uses a plain weave construction and is significantly lighter and breathable.
Like denim, however, it traditionally comes in various hues of blue. It's a solid choice for a men's summer shirt.
6. Classic Polo Shirt
You'd be hard-pressed to find a man who isn't familiar with Polo shirts.
This widespread garment goes back to the 19th century British Raj, when army officers started using it as a uniform to play the sport from which it derives its name.
The polo is a collared shirt with only two or three buttons (though more are common on golf-style shirts). They come in short and long sleeved variants and the short sleeves are ideal for men's summer shirts.
100% cotton is the staple, but they're commonly sold with synthetic fibers.
What about length? The bottom shouldn't go more than halfway down your fly and back pocket, and certainly shouldn't be higher than your belt.
The shorter sleeves should run halfway to two-thirds of the way down your biceps.
It's meant to be untucked, but you can always tuck it in with chinos for a slightly dressier look.
7. Band Collar Shirts
When it comes to easy-going men's summer shirts, none encapsulate the classy beachside gentleman quite like a band collar.
This shirt surrounds the neck with a standing collar which doesn't turn over into a collar “cape.” It usually extends no more than two inches so as not to jab into the wearer's neck.
Try this fun shirt in cotton – or in linen for a more relaxed summer aesthetic.
Summary – Men's Summer Shirts
Let's do a quick review:
- Wear simple and dark linen shirts. Linen is a luxury fabric that is breathable as well as stylish but beware of wrinkles!
- Use broadcloth checked shirts to experiment with bright summer-themed colors.
- Try bold patterns such as paisley and florals.
- Use short-sleeved button-down shirts for an ultra-casual look.
- Wear chambray – it's a breathable and light fabric.
- Wear a classic polo shirt to achieve a sporty but stylish look.
- Buy a band collar shirt – it embodies casual but elegant summerwear.
Outside of the office, the summer is a time to ditch the layers and be adventurous with clothes that make a statement.
By combining bolder patterns and breathable fabrics with casual shirt styles, there's no doubt you'll be the best looking man under the sun.
For more tips on wearing a dress shirt – regardless of season – check out my article on ten ways to look great in a dress shirt.
Want to know where you can find these shirts custom-made for you? Tailor Store specializes in custom-made shirts for every man. There's no fast fashion here, only timeless dress shirts that you can wear year after year.
Read next: men's summer fragrances to wear this year.