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Why The Short-Sleeved Shirt Belongs In Your Wardrobe Once More

The shortcut to easy warm-weather style is via Remi Relief, Mr P. and AMI

If the “short-sleeved shirt” was a person, who would it be? For better or worse, individual items of clothing become associated, sometimes inextricably so, with certain sub-sets of characters: corduroy with natty professors; leather jackets with biker types, and so forth. The same is true of short-sleeved shirts, which variously bring to mind IT guys, tourists and, less than ideally, your father’s sartorial ineptitude.

The good news is that these connotations have largely evaporated, partly thanks to the wholesale embrace of the camp collar (or Cuban) and partly because of the rise of the normcore movement, which has actively encouraged dressing like the IT guy, a tourist or your dad. And so, in anticipation of our summer holidays, we’ve put together a compilation of our favourite short-sleeved shirts on MR PORTER’s shelves. Here are the best of the bunch.


Remi Relief specialises in vibey, surfer-inspired wares, the side-effect being that all of designer Mr Yutaka Goto’s collections are extremely comfortable. Exactly what you want when your collar gets a little hot. This laid-back shirt is made from airy linen (note the nonchalant rumpling) and two oversized, safari jacket-style pockets. What’s more, the presence of buttoned pocket flaps suggests their placement is more than a decorative addition – that’s right, you can actually carry things in them. Who knew a shirt could be this practical?


You may have noticed we’ve spent a good deal of time talking about pastels recently. After all, washed-out colour is one of this season’s key trends. But the main reason we’re championing paler palettes this season is far more straightforward: they have a unique capability to “summerify” whatever it is you happen to be wearing. For instance, a pair of chinos with a black T-shirt hardly screams “holidaying in the Italian Riviera”, but switch out the tee for this sky-blue Alex Mill shirt and you’re in business. Special mention goes to the button-down collar which is subtly preppy in a pleasing Call Me By Your Name way.


We’ve seen various iterations of this Wes shirt from CMMN SWDN come our way and have proceeded to fall deeply in like with each and every one. The first thing to note is that it is striped with flashes of fluorescent yellow, which makes it inherently summery. Secondly, it’s knitted, a property that, while normally best avoided during the warmer months, is a big plus in this instance – the loose knit and relaxed fit allows air to flow around your body, ensuring that it’s light enough for the balmiest of days. In our experience, these shirts never tend to stick around for long, so if you harbour feelings for it, we’d recommend being quick off the mark.


Proving that logos needn’t be loud is this stealthily minimalist shirt from Parisian design house AMI, which is embroidered with the brand’s moniker in retro script. The callback to classic bowling styles is pleasing, as is the lightweight fabric. Viscose (also known as rayon) is one of those fabrics that gets a bad rap for its synthetic-sounding name. In reality, though, the cellulose-based fabric has many desirable properties come summertime, one of which is just the right amount of drape to give the impression you’re breezing effortlessly about.


Men’s silk shirts have also been subject to derision in the past. There seems to be a misconception floating around that wearing one will result in some nasty name-calling from your mates. Our advice if this happens? Don’t change your shirt; change your friends. It’s 2019 and you can wear a silk shirt if you want to. And we suspect you will, when it’s as good-looking as this one from the New York-based brand You As. The geometric motif and piping along the collar and edges imbues it with the rakish air of a gentlemanly pyjama shirt. The bonus? It’s every bit as comfortable as one, too.


As a rule, the arrival of summer tends to widen the colour options available to men. After an autumn spent in top-to-toe neutrals, it can be freeing to dabble in brighter or softer hues. Then again, there are those of us who take comfort in the status quo. If you’d prefer to stick to what you know, this Mr P. shirt in a classic tartan check should suit you nicely. Think of it as a more seasonally appropriate version of your favourite flannel – it’s made from lightweight Japanese cotton, so it won’t leave you sweating poolside.


The popular rise of the Hawaiian or Aloha shirt in recent years has had a sizeable effect on the male summer wardrobe: pattern and print, once in short supply, are now gladly considered commonplace. For anyone who ever wanted to emulate Mr Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet (all of us then?), this is decidedly good news. This kitschy number from RRLRalph Lauren’s vintage-inspired offshoot – is made from a patchwork of postcard-style holiday vignettes. We can already picture (wink) ourselves wearing it.


Sadly, the trusty denim shirt that’s been hanging in your wardrobe for years is likely to cause overheating during spells of warm weather. To achieve the same casual effect but without the health scare, trade it in for this less stuffy alternative from Frescobol Carioca, the Rio-inspired swimwear and beach accessories brand with a remarkable aptitude for making insouciant summer style look easy. Besides having short sleeves, it’s made from a Tencel chambray, a thinner, more breathable denim substitute which gives the look without any of the sweaty side-effects.


If you, like us, have come over with a serious bout of tie-dye obsession – symptoms of which include the onset of a free-spirited demeanour coupled with a sudden desire to listen to the Grateful Dead – then there’s really only one remedy that comes to mind: immersion therapy. This course of treatment should be easy enough, given the breadth and width of MR PORTER’s selection on offer lately. It includes this marbled Aimé Leon Dore shirt, a smarter step up from a T-shirt but every bit as carefree and summery.