5 Summer Shirts Every Man Should Own

Warm weather is here, it’s time to have a look at your shirt rotation and make some updates. Adding in a few key shirts to your essential wardrobe this summer is an easy, affordable way to bring up your look another notch.  All of these styles we chose are very versatile and will work with everything from shorts to chinos and lightweight denim.  For more tips on all things shirt fit, check out our Fit Guides.

Here are our top choices for the summers shirts you should own! Don’t forget to check out all our picks listed below.

 

 

1. Short sleeve print shirt

A big trend that we’re loving for summer, go for a bold pattern – florals, geometrics, or polka dots- but stay away from jokey/comical patterns.

Picks:

Topman

Uniqlo

Vince

J.Crew

 

2. Linen shirt

A classic warm-weather essential that looks great with chinos or shorts and can even be dressed up with a blazer. Go for long sleeve or short sleeve and look for basic colors like white, blue, grey and simple patterns for maximum versatility.

Picks:

Uniqlo

Vince

Brooks Brothers

J. Crew

 

3. Short sleeve camp collar shirt

Another trend that you’re probably seeing a lot of places, this type of shirt has a relaxed vibe and a flat, laydown-style collar. You can opt for these in a solid color or something with a print or bold pattern. These shirts are a great casual piece, so wear with shorts or denim/chinos.

Picks:

Todd Snyder

Vince

Uniqlo

Mr. Porter

 

4. Striped oxford shirt

Once you have a rotation of solid oxfords in blue and white, you can add in a classic blue striped oxford. This shirt is another staple summer item you can wear dressed up or down.

Picks:

Brooks Brothers

Gap

J.Crew 

Gitman 

 

5. Short sleeved seersucker shirt

Speaking of classics, a short sleeved version in white and blue or a tonal solid is simple and always a good move. Seersucker’s unique texture and weave make it extremely lightweight and breezy, so it’s going to be a great option when it really heats up.

Picks:

J.Crew

Brooks Brothers

Polo Ralph Lauren

Zegna

Dorian’s Outfit

Floral Shirt

 

Should You Wear A Polo Shirt Under A Sweater?

It’s officially polo shirt weather but you’re probably still needing a layer here and there. In this week’s edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re going over a few rules when it comes to layering a sweater with a polo shirt. Here’s how to do it right.

Layering Tips

  1. Skip the polo under a sweater
    Wear a button up dress shirt or an oxford underneath a sweater, a polo shirt shouldn’t be worn over a sweater as the collar of the shirt doesn’t have enough structure. This goes for all types of sweaters – crewneck, v-neck, and shawl collar sweaters.
  2.  Wear a blazer, bomber, or Harrington instead
    If you do want to add a layer over a polo shirt, try a bomber jacket or Harrington jacket instead, they are better suited to the style of a polo shirt.  A blazer can be worn over a polo but we recommend sticking to a polo that has a neat, structured collar and stays put underneath your jacket.

 

 

How To Wear Patterned Shirts

Whether you want to level up your business casual and weekend wardrobe or complement dressy looks, the right patterned shirt can do wonders. No matter if I’m dressing my clients formally or casually, I rely on patterned dress shirts to add both style and visual interest to whatever they’re wearing, and I’m going to show you how to do it so you look great – every time.

First, a quick word on formality.  While it’s not a hard and fast rule, in a basic sense, the bigger or bolder the pattern, the less formal the shirt is. For most of you dressing casually or in business casual, you’re home free, most patterns will definitely work. But, for some of you guys that work in more formal office environments or if you’re dressing up for a fancy wedding or evening event, keep in mind that the more subtle patterns will be much more appropriate. So now that we’ve got that established, let’s get some patterns in your life.

Stripes

Stripes can come in all manner of widths, from wide (sometimes known as Bengal stripes), to medium (pencil stripe), to thin (pinstripes) and since they tend to lean a bit more conservative, they’re also an easy place to start if you’re new to the game.

How Best To Wear Striped Shirts

As a general rule, the wider the stripe, the bolder the statement, and just like matching colors, the bolder the choice, the more simply you should approach the rest of your look. For casual and business casual looks, a simple pair of chinos or dark denim is a great option.  I also like stripes when worn with solid-colored or textured suiting and under a solid v-neck sweater with dress pants, denim, or chinos.

Checks

The world of checks is a wide one, but there’s no better way to add some instant personality to your shirt arsenal than with a few carefully chosen checked shirts.  There are many different options available, but, in my opinion, the three with the most versatility and style are windowpane, tattersall, and gingham. Both windowpane and tattersall feature types of graph patterns that can range in size and thickness and gingham goes one step further with a bolder, thicker check pattern that often combines a base color like white and one other color.

How Best To Wear Checked Shirts

As with stripes, the level of statement can vary, but my go-to rule remains, keep the rest of your look simple.  Dark-colored denim, chinos, and dress pants are the ticket, and if you’re going to dress them up, I recommend solid-colored suits and solid or subtle ties. On the tie front, I think geometrically patterned ties can look a bit too matchy-matchy with checked shirts, so be wary. Protip: for a less formal tie option, try a knit tie in a solid, complementing color. The texture and slightly less formal nature of a knit tie work really well with blazers, chinos, and denim for a dressy hybrid that’s great for business casual or a dressed-down Friday.

Geometric and Floral Prints

Now more popular than ever, print shirts are a great way to add a cool, modern edge to your casual looks and even suiting and dress clothes. Small-scale geometric prints are a great place to start if you want to keep it subtle but, I definitely recommend trying a bolder floral print too, it’s an easy, fun way to add a bit of stylish personality to your vibe.

How Best To Wear Geometric and Floral Prints

The printed shirt is all about letting the shirt do the talking, so I highly recommend denim or dark chinos in navy, tan or gray, especially if you’re going with a floral print, and finish with sneakers or loafers (I like driving mocs). Don’t be afraid to dress up a printed shirt too, pair it with a slim dark suit and some penny loafers or dressy leather sneakers for formal-but-not-stuffy settings like a cocktail party, fun summer wedding or night out. For a black belt-level move, try rocking the air tie (top button buttoned, no tie).

Plaids

When you’re talking plaid shirts, usually the pattern involves multiple colors and lines/boxes and the more things happening with the pattern (color, width, etc) the better suited the plaid will be to casual dressing. Be warned, though, it’s a slippery slope to full lumberjack hipster, so chop firewood at your own risk!

How Best To Wear Plaids

Ultimately these patterns are busy, and I recommend keeping plaids casual and subtle, so try them with denim, chinos, and shorts in solid colors, and finish them with shoes like sneakers or chukka boots. You can always “turn down the volume” of a plaid by layering it under a solid-colored sweater, lightweight jacket or pairing it with a dark-colored blazer in dressier situations.

Now that you’ve got some know-how and a few tips in your pocket, have confidence and make these patterns work for you! Your shirt rotation (and your wardrobe in general) are about to get an upgrade.