Geek Chic: Short-Sleeved Shirts

July 7th, 2012

Short sleeve button-down shirts are very underrated.

Somewhere along the way, due mostly to popular culture, they picked up a bad reputation. Nerdy, sloppy, “middle management”, etc.

A properly fitting short-sleeved shirt, however, is one of the coolest shirts you can own.

Here’s some tips on how to pull them off for those hot summer days.

    1. Business Casual Cool

    The fit needs to be slim through the body, with a narrow sleeve that skims the arm and hits about halfway down the bicep.

    A billowy shirt with a baggy sleeve down to the elbow is not going to be taken seriously.

    If you’re only going to get one, I’d say make it 100% linen in a neutral-colored check or plaid pattern.

    With tropical weight hopsack trousers, this is one of the best combos for “business casual” on a sticky hot day.

    2. Beach Getaway

    A seersucker s/s is the perfect layer for a beach weekend, for when the sun goes down (or your skin just needs a break).

    A chest pocket is a great feature. Use it for your sunglasses when you remove them from your face.

    This look was featured in last summer’s Hot Weather Neckline post.

    • Distressed jeans by Levis Vintage
    • White graphic tank by PegLeg NYC
    • Orange short-sleeved seersucker shirt by Land’s End
    • Brown leather strap sandals by Mercanti Forentini
    • Brass railroad spike cuff bracelet by Giles & Brother
    • Leather duffle bag by Lotuff & Clegg
    • “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi
    • Wooden shades by Shwood

    3. Keep it Lighthearted

    The short sleeved with a tie is already a little kitchy, so have a little fun with a retro pattern. The brown/burgundy micro square pattern is just subtle enough to work with a tie, and just cool enough to wear open over a tank top.

    Also, lighten up your entire look with summer accessories like a thin silk knit tie, grosgrain watch strap and classic aviator shades.

    Thanks for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • Josh

      put some socks on you f’ing hillbilly

    • Ty

      I’m sorry, but a short sleeve button up with a tie looks odd…..a little too “tie it down”. And like all great Italian designers profess in regards to black shoes. Only for weddings and funerals. Brown would look so much better!

    • Fashionisers

      Love the first look and the denim look so much! :)

    • Mons Yale

      Just last week I told myself I would never buy a short sleeve button down. This article convinced me of the opposite.

      It’s summer and my long sleeves get hot, even when rolled up to the elbow. Plus, these could be worn with shorts, while I feel like long sleeves with shorts create an unbalanced look (again, even when rolled up). Thanks for opening my eyes.

    • Rick

      I do enjoy and applaud some of the outfits you pull off at times, but, man, get some socks already.

    • Don

      Those sandals are hedious and would be embarrassed as a man walking around in those.. the business casual outfits are pretty nice though

    • Fede

      Cool posts man!

      I really enjoy reading all the style tips that you give us. I have a quick question. Can you give us a quick recommendation on how we should hem our trousers and jeans. What length should we be aiming for ? I have a bunch of pants/ jeans that i need to take in and i want to get your opinion first.mAny advice that you can give me will be really appreciated!

      Thanks alot! for all the way in Bolivia

    • gian

      Nice post as usual!

      Love the two-color loafers!

      Take care
      Consultant Style Advisor

    • Stu

      I like your individual pieces of clothing. Put together is another thing. Looks a bit too forced, Don’t like the no socks with a suit look at all. Takes away from a classic elegant look. Kind of like being caught between trying to dress like an adult and college frat at the same time.

    • Mike

      You sure like jumping over fire hydrants.

    • JKFMAN

      Good post. A slim, short sleeved shirt is something I’m liking these days although I still feel like it’s difficult to wear with ease. Liked the 4th look. Kinda Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’-y.

      Maybe it’s my eyesight, but in the 2nd look is your belt brown Dan? Opinions on brown belt with black shoes or vice versa? I always feel it looks a bit odd but open to ideas.

      • cam

        the loafers are navy

        • JKFMAN

          Ha. Shoulda read the description!

    • cam

      dan, this ish is str8 dope sauce…ive been outta the country and off the social media grid for a second and its too bad cause I would’ve killed em at the model scouting (ha ha)…keep it up.

    • TO

      Frank Clegg got some shine in GQ’s The Eye “Stuff we Like” homie! They link right to his site, so hopefully the GQ readers will figure out what’s up:)

      • Frank Clegg

        Next up is GQ eye featuring our collaboration! :)

        • TO

          That’s great to hear Mr. Clegg! And thanks in advance for the embroidered “TO” chocolate backpack! I can’t wait for it to be delivered:)

    • Zen

      Amazing blog!

    • 9Sharp

      couldn’t agree more. I like the versatility you give the shirt, and already live by many of those tenants. Also, for a more riviera look the half-button down short-sleeve collar shirt.

    • DL

      Not for me, but you pull it off

    • UrsTruli

      Still dont get why there are those who check this blog out, despite how many times Dan has stated what his intentions are with ‘The Styleblogger’, to still say what’s ‘right’ and what’s a ‘no no’. They’re clothes, wear them how ever you want.
      SB, sick post. Keep up the great work.

    • Yujesh Pininumaneni

      Just roll up you’re long sleeves. I call this the homer-simpson-at-the-plant look

    • Kevin

      I love this site but this isn’t one of my favorite posts. Maybe because I’m just not a fan of short-sleeve shirts.

      That graphic tank on the beach attire most definitely looks like it belongs for females (just my opinion).

      Despite my disappointment, I’m still a big fan!

    • Adyna

      Great post! That Summer Smart Casual is the best, luv it! All the best

    • FC

      Looking good Dan! Keep the dream alive and continue being you! Love the style!

      With love brotha


    • AggieK

      They look great except for the one with the tie. All you need is a pocket protector!

      • Sammy

        I disagree, I think he pulls it off. The shades definitely help counteract the nerd look of the s/s and tie, but I think since the “geek chic” look is in style, it looks very “nerdy cool.”

        • Tim

          I totaly agree with Sammy here. I am a skinny blonde kid with glasses and it’s hard to dress sharp and not look like a geek. Geek Chic is pretty much every day for me and I think it looks good.

          • AggieK

            Sorry, I’m not convinced at all. However, if you feel confident in that look, then who cares if I don’t see the chic, only the geek.

    • Adam (The Bow And The Tie)

      Short-sleeved shirt with tie is a big no-no …
      Except that everything is brilliant as usual ;)

    • Desmond

      Great post!! And I agree with u 100%, they get such a bad rap but its just because most get the fit wrong. But find one in a great fit and ur golden.

      • Jon

        Amen! Thx

    • Eamon

      Hi Dan,

      I have a question about the second look, specifically the seersucker short-sleeve shirt by Club Monaco. I purchased this shirt a few weeks ago and noticed that the tail is slightly longer in the back. Would it look sloppy if I wore the shirt untucked, bearing in mind how long the tail is?

      Thanks for the help,


    • Angel

      AWESOME! These are great tips, especially for us living in the tropics.