How to Choose the Perfect Summer Shirt for Men

More put-together than a basic tee yet equally lightweight and comfortable, summer shirts are the perfect clothing solution during the warmer months. Whether heading on holiday or simply relaxing at home, they add a classy touch to your summer outfits, all the while remaining effortless. However, when it comes down to finding the right shirt for you, it can be more of a challenging task than you may have originally thought! You might be wondering which materials are the most comfortable to wear in warm weather to avoid getting too hot under the collar, or what colours and patterns will suit both you and the occasion. To stop you from getting too overwhelmed, we’ve created a guide to picking the perfect summer shirt. So, read on to discover our top tips and tricks, and elevate your outfits this sunny season... 

From cotton to linen, make sure to choose breathable fabrics this summer

Summer typically means warm temperatures (at least if we’re lucky). Therefore, the ideal summer shirt should be lightweight and airy. We recommend opting for cotton or linen designs, as these natural fibres allow maximum breathability, absorb but don't retain moisture (meaning they’re great for when you sweat) and, most importantly, are super soft on your skin. For greater ease of movement, some cotton-rich models even have a little elastane woven into them, providing extra stretch and comfort that you’ll definitely appreciate when lounging around on holiday! These fabrics also create a super-chic yet laidback look and facilitate comfortable cuts. And, if that wasn’t convincing enough, blended models or those made from crepe fabric are also super-easy to care for, with no ironing required – perfect for throwing into your summer suitcase! If you're going for less of a relaxed style, however, and are leaning more towards the smarter end of the scale, we suggest choosing a shirt in cotton poplin, thanks to the smooth and silky look it provides. And, of course, we can’t forget chambray. Super-popular for summer shirts, it is soft, supple and comfortable, offering a host of qualities, as well as a distinctive mottled look.

Why light shades are the best choice for your summer shirt 

It’s true what they say, dark colours do tend to attract heat. It's therefore best to avoid sombre tones and wear light-coloured shirts in summer instead. White is often said to be the go-to shade when the temperature soars, as it keeps your body cool and adds a fresh look to your summer outfits. If you would rather add a splash of colour to your wardrobe, however, we suggest opting for pastel shades such as yellow, pink or blue. Blue is a particularly popular colour, thanks to its cooling effect – reminiscent of holidays by the sea. And, for the more adventurous among you, tropical, floral patterns will really help you get into that longed-for summer mood. If you’re more traditional when it comes to your style, stripes and checks make for winning outfits too. Still not sure what colour shirt to choose? Check out our Colour Guide to find the shade that suits you best.

What about wearing long sleeve shirts in summer?

While short sleeves are more common in summer, there's nothing to stop you reaching for a long sleeve shirt! When it comes to style, there's no doubt that a long sleeve shirt is always dressier and more chic than its short-sleeved alternative, which is more suitable for casual occasions. If you do choose a long-sleeved shirt, you can of course still keep cool by rolling up the sleeves, either to the middle of the forearms or all the way to the elbows, as well as opting for an airy fabric alongside a lighter colour! To shake up the traditional long sleeve look and dial down the formality, you may also want to opt for a mandarin collar…

Wondering what clothes to wear on holiday? Try out these summer shirt outfit ideas

Designed for the warmer months, it comes as no surprise that summer shirts match perfectly with shorts. We suggest choosing chino or cargo shorts, as these will provide a more classic, put-together look than your typical sports shorts. Wearing your shirt open alongside your swimming trunks after a dip in the sea is another easy way to achieve beach-chic style and surfer sophistication! Later in the day when the evening breeze starts to set in, simply layer a t-shirt or vest beneath your open shirt for a bit of extra warmth and protection. Just make sure that you choose colours that complement each other and wear a plain t-shirt if your shirt is patterned, in order to avoid unwanted clashing. If in doubt, a white base layer is a risk-free choice, as this wardrobe staple goes with everything! And to protect your legs from the evening chill, swap your shorts for full length chinos or jeans – a classic combo that’ll provide the ultimate smart-casual summer look.

Shirts really are the perfect option for a smart-casual summer look!

So, there you have it, a rundown on how to pick the right style, fabric and colour for your summer shirt, as well as tips on how to style it. Whether long-sleeved or short-sleeved, plain or patterned, paired with shorts or jeans… One thing is for sure – your shirt is guaranteed to smarten up your summer wardrobe and will serve you well during the warmer months! If you’re looking for further summer holiday outfit inspiration, make sure to check out our Guide to Men’s Summer Beach Style.

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