The short of it: The short sleeve shirt and its versatility

The short of it

How to wear the season’s most versatile wardrobe item – the short sleeve shirt.


Written by Lynette Botha


The short sleeve shirt is a summer staple – it works in both a smart-casual setting and for a more laidback soiree, as well as being the perfect item to throw on over a pair of shorts any time of the day.


Bottoms up

The short sleeve shirt can work for an array of occasions and outings – it all depends on the bottoms that you pair them with.

For brunch or a day out exploring, couple your shirt with denim or chino shorts and slip on some sliders for a cool-meets-casual take. If you’re headed somewhere a little smarter, pair your shirt with jeans or long chino pants and some sneakers.


Come undone

Buttoned short sleeve shirts allow for at least three ways to alter them. You can wear a fully unbuttoned shirt over a tee or vest for a relaxed and informal look.

Leaving a few top buttons open and exposing some chest is a classic summer look – add a chain or two and you’re golden. When the occasion calls for it, you can keep things smarter by having your shirt completely buttoned up.

Fit and flair

Your short sleeve shirt shouldn’t be too tight (think: buttons almost popping) and neither too loose that it billows. It should skim your torso and fit comfortably without looking baggy.

Because this item is such a summer staple, you should have at least four shirts that you can swap out – pick a mix between block colours and patterned to switch up your look from day to day.


Suits you

Contrary to popular belief, the short sleeve shirt can be worn beneath a suit or blazer for smarter events that are not strictly formal. Dress pants, a short sleeve shirt, loafers and a slim-fit blazer or jacket and you’re good to go. 


Whether you’re heading to a beach wedding, a poolside brunch, an outdoor concert or dinner with her parents, the multi-purpose short sleeve shirt is a winner.