Ask TPL: Short-Sleeved Button Downs?

Ask TPL: Short-Sleeved Button Downs?

Hey, where can a guy get some decent, white, short-sleeved button down shirts for the summer without breaking the bank? Thanks!

— Joe L.

Well, we figured it was high time we introduced a new series here on the site in which we answer your questions in a longer form than we can do individually over social media or email. Not to mention that fact that many of the questions you gentlemen submit to us are really good, and could benefit many other people as well. So, before we go any further, if you have any question at all you’d like us to answer, you can send it to us over Twitter, Instagram, or Email — we reply to every message we receive (as best we can!) and, who knows, it might even make it onto the site as a part of this new series! 

Now that the little introduction is out of the way, let’s get into it. Indeed, short sleeved shirts are a perfect summer staple. Worn correctly, they can be a fantastic more casual option for the really warm days ahead. To my mind, there are really two options when it comes to short sleeved shirts. One is very loud — think floral or bold prints. These look great, but they are every casual, of course. On the other side of the spectrum are solid colored short sleeve button down shirts, in whites, blues, or pinks. Beyond these options, I really wouldn’t consider much for short sleeved shirts without looking too much like someone who would wear a pocket protector. A crisp white, short sleeved button down shirt, though, is one of my favorites. Especially in a linen or seersucker fabric. Killer looks. 

Of course, as always, fit is key. Keep it high and slim around the biceps and arms, not too tight nor roomy in the chest and waist, and make sure the shirt is no longer than the end of your fly as far as length is concerned. (If you’ll be wearing it tucked in, you can go a bit slimmer in the overall body of the shirt, and a bit longer as well so it stays tucked.)

Okay. Let’s get into some selections…

SuitSupply White Plain Short Sleeve Shirt — $99: Pricey, but, SuitSupply. Will be a nice, high quality Egyptian Cotton in their Extra Slim Fit, which is likely what you will want for a shirt like this. Got a nice button down collar and a chest pocket.

Banana Republic Seersucker Shirt — $69.50: Overpriced at full retail, but perpetually on sale. This is in their Grant Slim fit, which is a solid cut. They also a linen option in their roomier Camden fit. They also have a bunch of other options as well that are worth taking a look at. For a shirt like this, BR is always a good option. Good-enough quality, and a reasonable price when on sale. Just beware that the armholes might not be a slim fitting as you would like, or as SuitSupply’s will be. We’ve tried them both. The BR options will very likely need a trip to the tailor to fit nicely around the arms.

J Crew Slim Stretch Short Sleeved OCBD — $59.50: That is a link to our full review of that shirt so that will be everything you need to know. But J Crew also has a bunch of other options as well. Much like BR, J Crew is a go-to when it comes to shirts like this. A few good options, in decent fits, and decent prices. Again, the armholes will likely be too wide for most guys, but nothing a tailor can’t fix.

Proper Cloth Custom Shirt — $80 and up: For a few bucks more you can go fully custom, and get exactly what you want. Not to mention, it’ll fit exactly the way you want as well. In general, when there is a specific type of shirt you want, a MTM place should always be on your list of places to consider.

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