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Monday, September 26, 2022

“IT” Guy or “I.T.” Guy: The great short sleeve men's button down debate

In the land of menswear, there’s a whole lot of blurred lines. Fashion is a fickle friend, and the trends come and go faster than you can rip off those stickered ball caps and shorty shorts and pretend they never happened.

Point is, what’s cool one minute can be repulsive the next. So it’s best to stay on top of your game.

And what’s the winning strategy for summer 2013? Short sleeve button downs. I kid you not, this is one on-point trend you can safely surf, knowing its style staying power has officially returned for a second summer season.

Though two summer seasons may seem early to label the trend a success, the look is hovering in that sweet spot between “too early to test out” and “trend follower.” And that means step up to the style plate now, or strike out and strip yourself of any trendsetting you plan to do in the future.

You may say to yourself, “But isn’t that short-sleeved button down Dwight’s trademark mustard-colored look in ‘The Office’?”

Fear not! The short sleeve button down has escaped its “Revenge of the Nerds” status, becoming the calm, cool and collected uniform of stylish men everywhere – from the unapologetically preppy to the unabashedly indie. It all depends on how you style it.

The sleeve on the shirt shouldn’t reach all the way to the elbow, but rather, hit halfway at the bicep. For a slimmer fit, try rolling the tips of your sleeves.

From this girl’s perspective, the short-sleeved button down represents the best of both worlds: a perfect balance between the formal long-sleeved button down and a casual T-shirt.

And when the waves of humidity start rolling in during those balmy summer afternoons, you’re going to want a sharp look that still keeps you cool. So take the summer style for a test run!

For the prep in you, check out Polo Ralph Lauren’s version of the look. The fashion house delivers a handful of solid pastel colors in classic American style for $85.

J. Crew’s collection of short sleeved button downs is much more extensive, boasting madras plaid, bright gingham, faded denim, tropical prints, nautical stripes and solids for just under $70.

But I know, I know, shirts for that price are investments, not test runs, so head to your nearest H&M. You’ll find plenty ranging from $18 - $30.

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Be a dapper dude and beat the trend followers to this short sleeve summer staple!


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