There are dress shirts worn with the sleeves rolled up – usually to indicate intense focus and determination and often accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack- but there are no short sleeve dress shirts. Camp shirts are similar, in the way that a pup tent is similar to an Airstream trailer, but that’s about it.
I don’t often get riled up about these sorts of things, but to put it bluntly, the very formality and purpose of a dress shirt is emasculated once the sleeves are cut off. There is just no way around it.
Additionally, very, very few people can even pull one off. The end result often falls far short of the desired outcome. It is one of those male garments that almost always fails to meet the expectations of both the wearer and the observer.
I know, I know – it’s actually really hot in other parts of the country. And in the Southern states a long sleeve shirt can be seen as a particular hassle in the hot, humid summer. Unfortunately that just doesn’t matter. I mentioned camp shirts earlier; these are a fine alternative to other short sleeved casual shirts, polo shirts in particular. But they are not substitute dress shirts.
When the discussion reaches this point, we have to get down to brass tacks and say, “I need to take a good look at my wardrobe.” Too warm in the long sleeve dress shirts you already own? Chances are you’re wearing oxford cloth shirts and you are correct, they are way too heavy for summer. Try out a couple of nice pinpoint oxfords. They are very sharp looking and much more lightweight.
Even better, how about a few Sea Island or Egyptian cotton dress shirts? While they tend to cost the same a secondhand Volvo, they are very lightweight and feel like silk.
If the whole short sleeve dress shirt issue is more about trying to be “kind of” dressed up, but not too much so, there are many options besides the alleged “short sleeve” dress shirt. Just roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Really, feel free to drop me a line and we’ll sort it out.