Short Sleeve Shirts At Work – Yes or No?

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When we covered how to roll your sleeves right for your dress shirt last week, we received some messages from readers. Most of them asked why guys don’t just wear a short sleeve shirt instead of rolling up their long sleeves to work. We decided to answer with this post.

Short Sleeve Shirts Are CASUAL

Stepping into most workplaces, you would hardly ever see men dressed in short sleeve shirts, and the main reason for that is that short sleeve shirts are considered CASUAL. According to GQ, there is no such thing as a short sleeve DRESS shirt even, so they definitely cannot be considered formal. In fact, there are maybe a handful of countries where the heat of the summer has made wearing short sleeve shirts acceptable at the workplace.

Dwight Schrute of The Office with creepy geek in short sleeve shirt and tie look

Short Sleeve Shirts And Ties Are A No-No

If you see someone in a short sleeve shirt wearing a tie, you immediately think of the NASA-control-room look, the airline pilot, Mormon missionaries or the creepy IT/geek look that TV promotes these days. However, the problem with wearing a tie with a short sleeve shirt is that it throws the balance of the look, especially in a formal situation, so avoid it like the plague in the office (though you shouldn’t be wearing short sleeves in the first place).

 

Mormon missionaries in short sleeve shirts and tie

No Flaring Short Sleeves

With the exception of Hawaiian shirts, if you want to pull off a casual short sleeve shirt, be sure to first and foremost get the right fit for your body type. For a short sleeve shirt, take note of the sleeves themselves- they should fit well and not flare – to give a much cleaner look.
Patterned Short Sleeve Shirt

Be Bold With Your Casual Look

Since a short sleeve shirt isn’t for the office, there is no need to stick to solid and subtle colors. Feel free to add in some patterns like ginghams, checks or stripes to give your look more personality.

 

Overcoming The Summer Heat

You probably feel that wearing dress shirts to work during the summer months, with temperatures sky high, feels like madness. This is why you should invest in some cotton dress shirts that allow you room to breathe and do not compromise comfort for style. In the words of Cary Grant – “If I want to wear short sleeves, I just roll them up.” Rolled up sleeves looks a lot more professional than short sleeves at the workplace.

 

In conclusion, short sleeve shirts can be great casual wear, but stick to the long sleeve dress shirts for the workplace.

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About Author

Dhawal Shah

Through Art of Style Club, Dhawal Shah is educating himself on lifestyle matters affecting everyday men and bringing a fresh perspective to answer their questions. He is also the co-founder of 2Stallions Digital Marketing Agency, and an expert on web development, SEO, SEM, Marketing Automation & Social Media.

  • Good points here. I would also suggest that if you want to dress lightly for the hot days at work wear a short sleeve button up and then layer a linen cardigan on top. You still maintain that professional look and stay cool.

    • Hey Jarrod, some people tend to point to the lack of a cuff showing under the cardigan/suit/jacket as looking a little unprofessional but personally, I think it’s a great suggestion and something to consider if you wish to wear that short sleeve shirt to work!

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  • PFL1982

    Such bullshit… in the summer, no jackets, no ties… why suffer?

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