Introducing: The striped short-sleeve shirt
“A smarter short-sleeved shirt is not something I ever considered before, but I do actually like it.”
I have to say I enjoyed the process of launching this shirt last year - it’s fun to make something that challenges people, pushing at a few preconceptions.
A short-sleeved smart shirt is not for everyone. A long-sleeved shirt, usually with sleeves rolled up, is a lot easier to wear in summer and it’s what I wear most of the time.
But there is a nice, actually rather elegant look to a short-sleeved shirt with a pair of sharp trousers and shoes. That’s what I wanted to create, and show, and it was nice seeing many readers take that on last summer.
The quote above is from a reader at the time. Another said: “Having worn this for a few weeks, I find myself liking it a lot, which is nice as it was an impulse buy.
"[The fit] makes it not appear as a dress shirt with the sleeves cut off, or as an overshirt. [And the collar] helps differentiate it from an overshirt, which usually has a camp collar.”
Personally, I appreciate the coolness of a short-sleeve shirt on a very hot day, such as in Florence, where the images above were taken.
And especially under an overshirt, so you don't have two layers of sleeves and can push back those of the overshirt. (I’d be wearing the outer layer in the first place for the sake of practicality, and pockets.)
However, I don’t have much experience of living in humid conditions, so it was nice to hear readers adding their experiences there too.
“Short-sleeve linen shirts are an essential working or travelling in and around NE/SE Asia,” said one. “I can understand some people’s reticence, but the practicality and coolness of them in hot, humid summers wins over. Thirty-seven degrees for the past three days in Japan with 60%+ humidity demands short-sleeve shirts.”
I think one reason this style of shirt has a bad rap is that it’s usually unflattering in its design. A tiny collar, square body and large, flapping sleeves combine to drown a lot of guys.
So I worked hard on the sleeve, making something that was more akin to a rolled-up T-shirt than the square sleeve of an Aloha shirt. It’s large in the shoulder, but tapered, so slim but not tight (unless you're particularly muscly).
I won’t go into all the detail on the design again, but if anyone missed it the first time around, it's in the launch piece here.
Today’s article is to let everyone know that we’ve added a blue/white striped version this summer, with a couple of small tweaks.
We’ve made the collar a tiny bit smaller (a half centimetre shorter at the back) and given it a lighter weight lining.
The lining doesn’t feel that different to start with, but it softens after the first wash, producing something that feels almost like an unlined style, but still with good shape. This is still definitively not a soft, camp-collar shirt.
That’s just for the striped option. So you have the choice now between two collars in the two colours. As was the case last year, I’m interested to hear what everyone thinks when they’ve tried them.
All the other details are the same. The same curving, rolling collar of all PS shirts; a longer body length to make it clearly for tucking in, not out; and handmade details (both functional and aesthetic) from Luca’s workshop in Naples.
Available small to extra large, in Spence Bryson Irish linen, which means it keeps it shape better than most Italian linens and isn’t in any way transparent.
Rather attractively, the blue and white stripe shows off the texture of the linen well, as you can see below. That’s something I didn’t really appreciate until I saw a finished shirt, but it’s a really nice feature.
Elsewhere in these shots I’m pictured wearing the pale-olive linen PS Overshirt (below) over the white short-sleeve.
We ordered triple the number of the PS Overshirts compared to last year, as they were so popular. As a result most of the permutations are still available - almost all sizes in the olive and the brown, and the smaller ones in the navy.
The trousers are the brown linen from my Sexton suit here. And the shoes, predictably, are black Sagans from Baudoin & Lange.
Sunglasses, as discussed in the Dege jacket post recently, are the Californian model from Meyrowitz.
The short-sleeved shirt is available from the PS shop now. Details:
- Made in Naples in the atelier of bespoke shirtmaker Luca Avitabile
- Hand-sewn buttons, buttonholes, armholes and collar
- Uses Irish linen from Spence Bryson, and cream mother-of-pearl buttons
- Cut long, like a dress shirt, and intended to only be worn tucked in
- Uses the standard PS button-down collar, which rolls easily and naturally, when undone or indeed with a tie
- Same body fit as the PS denim shirts (and oxford shirts after washing)
- Blue stripe model has a 0.5cm lower collar and lighter weight lining
- Ships from the UK and available in four sizes, small to extra large
- More details on the PS shop here
|Small (37)||Medium (39)||Large (41)||Extra large (43)|
|Sleeve width at hem||17.5||18||19||20.5|
Fast food restaurant managers short sleeve shirts hitting the discerning gentlemen! Short sleeves can be cooler and I do have my share (mostly the camp-collar variety) but for normal wear I still think long sleeve is the way to go for coolness. The UK media is full of this ‘heatwave’ whereas we would call temperatures like that, ‘Wednesday’. In these hot humid places that I call home I still think the long sleeve shirt does its job by keeping the sun from directly shining onto naked flesh, which keeps me cooler in the long term. Even on the hottest of days I normally wear a jacket and shirt (and yes often a tie) and whereas I am not as fresh as an English Autumn day I am also not dying of heat exhaustion. Wearing the correct, lightweight clothing but covering naked flesh is the best way to go I find (think Arabs in the desert, they don’t wear their wife-beaters and shorts, they cover up) I do, however, agree that under a jacket makes sense though.
The shirt looks great mate, I like it and heat should not put anyone off buying or wearing it, I only commented on the heat issue because you asked.
Pleased to hear you think the shirt looks great Gary, despite that opening!
On the UK heatwave, the concerning thing is not really the temperature, but the fact the UK is not set up to cope with it. High heat is never a consideration in building modern houses, no one has air conditioning, and infrastructure like trains and roads are ill equipped. My wife has been stuck in York for three days with our youngest child, because no trains can run.
Unfortunately none of these things are quick or cheap to change, yet this will now happen more, and to a more extreme degree.
On Arabs in the desert, that is a good example and one I refer people to often. However, worth noting that the main reason that’s a good approach is because of the sun on skin, as you say. The priorities aren’t quite the same if you’re somewhere like a city with a lot of shade.
Sorry, I could not resist the ‘manager’ comment 🙂 …. We would wear ‘Red Sea Rig (when in the Red sea area) which was only short sleeve shirts with unfeasibly wide shirt sleeves that could make the biggest of arms look weedy. I agree with you and others that the sleeves are a key issue with a shirt like this.
Hope the wife and bairn get back OK, that’s tragic when UK cant cope but then we are not comparing apples with apples. Boa sorte amigo
Similar issue last year in Seattle when the temperature hit 104 (40C), which I believe was unprecedented. I grew up in Texas used to high heat, but in Texas people have air conditioning and well-insulated houses.
In ltaly 40 is normal . You’ll never see an ltalian in a jacket in that weather or long sleeved . Most in light t shirts
A timely post for sure.
While it is fit that comes first, one of the joys of a bespoke product is quality and how much craft goes into it.
So I was wondering whether you would ever consider a piece on your top 10 of either tailoring house or bespoke items with the best finishing that you have seen.
Sure, so something focusing on finishing primarily – the height of that craft?
Perhaps either the real standout items you have experienced or the producers who constantly provide impeccable garments.
Ok, thanks. I can do a producer and an example I have. But just wanted to check it was a focus on finishing you wanted, the fineness of the craft – because when you add more factors such as fit, or value, or style, it becomes much harder to summarise and much more subjective.
Tucked into trousers or left out ?
I note you favour tucked in, for the photos above, but would love to understand when (if at all) each is best .
This shirt is made specifically to be long, like a regular shirt, as it’s something you can’t normally get elsewhere.
However, I do have another piece coming soon on tucking and untucking generally, usually with shirts are are cut shorter and with a square hem.
Frankly, Simon, I am surprised! To someone who, like me, grew up in the tropics wearing a short-sleeved shirt is second nature. They were always around, and while the rolled-up long-sleeved shirt was also common, the short-sleeved version was generally preferred for most occasions other than the ones that were formal, and required the wearing of a tie. In fact, it was not uncommon to wear a tie sometimes with a short-sleeved shirt, although I am well aware that it is considered bad form in places with more temperate climates.
That said, the critical thing with these shirts is the cut of the sleeve. Getting the sleeve just right is very important — neither overly large (as was the style in the mid-twentieth century) nor too tight (later trends); and neither too short, or too long. For me. the shirt you are wearing in these photographs would be a definite no — the sleeves are too short and too tight. But that, of course, is a matter of personal style. There were also inverted V-shaped notches at the edge of the sleeves and a small button at the apex of each notch, just to be decorative. One of my favourites was a button-down short-sleeve version with the working back button on the collar, box pleat and locker loop. Elegant and comfortable, I would say. Regular shirts were worn tucked in, but Manila shirts with camp collars and square hems were worn outside.
With this week’s weather in England and Western Europe, I can imagine short-sleeved shirts selling out. Stay cool!
Thanks Peter, and nice to have someone who thinks a short sleeve is so normal. Also good to hear we agree on the importance of the sleeve design, even if I had different priorities there.
Personally I liked the notches but never really the buttons – I had an Orlebar Brown polo with one once. It felt like it should have some purpose, but also clearly didn’t.
Hi Peter. In Bermuda it is common to wear a short sleeved shirt with a tie, shorts, knee length socks and formal shoes for business. A blazer then compliments the overall outfit where formality dictates.
Simon a question on how many buttons to do up if I may?
Despite having a relatively shallow chest, you leave many buttons undone. Personally I think this is a better look on the more barrel-chested. Interested in your thoughts.
I leave one more undone than I used to, but it’s also dependent on the situation. I usually only undo the number shown here when the heat clearly justifies it. I wouldn’t do so around London on a normal day.
So standard for me is two undone (actually, as you can see here on the white version) while three is more for the heat (as is the case on the striped version)
Agreed. Sleeves too short and tight. Brutus brand used to offer the v notches with the button at the top. The original American Ivy League shirts which were fairly full cut looked far better.
Normal sized men looked fine. Only very skinny types look nerdy.
Short sleeves with a tie in an office is similar. Ties require long sleeves. Short sleeves is for the man who fixes the photocopier.
Hi ! Nice shirt and look overall.
I realize I dont have any brown trousers. Love the one proposed by Pini Parma. Would you choose coton or wool, considering it would be with shirts, blazers, polos and pull overs. So not on the dressier side.
Regarding shoes, what alternatives to black loafers ?
Wool would probably be better, because it would be easier to wear with jackets and could be worn with the others too. But wool also varies a lot, from fairly casual to very smart. Is it a flannel, a worsted, or anything else?
On shoes, there’s now a specific post because people ask this so much! It’s here
I have the stone trousers Soragna Collection from Pini Parma 70%-wool, 20%-silk and 10%-linen and I can only recommend them. Very stylish trousers and made for hot weather.
May you add the neck size to the measurements?
Sure Henry, let me get them and add in. I’ll reply here when they are
While your shirt is certainly a better example of the species, I am still not sold on the idea. Too deeply ingrained is the understanding that short sleeve shirts are something to be worn only by a certain group of German pensioners on Mallorca with high-white-socks in sandals as a plus.
I am also not sure that there is a market, but this you will have thought about in much more detail. If I want to go short-sleeved in the summer, it will always be a polo (or in very casual settings a white t-shirt) for me.
Cheers Markus. There’s certainly a smaller market than for other things, but that’s kind of what the PS products have always been about. Even if a blue oxford shirt looks universal, one in that cloth is not at all.
I have several of the PS oxfords and the original version of this. Whilst the sleeves are a little tight for my arms, I find it useful under knitwear ,especially in uk spring/autumn cold/not cold days.
Just an anecdote. Following an unfortunate ketchup-mustard incident with my grandson, my original white PS , is now short sleeved(with regulation three finger wide military cuff above the elbow).
Nice adaptation Peter!
I think Markus is right on the money concerning the short sleeve shirt. The fabric of this shirt is fantastic, but I’d like it in a long sleeve. The short sleeve look is best achieved, as Markus says, with a polo shirt. Your design Simon is much improved over its predecessors, but it’s still a short sleeve shirt. Of course in the tropics I can see the practical use, but otherwise no thanks.
I’ve found short sleeves shirts to be a god-send in particularly humid climates – it’s probably no surprise that they are a staple in places like Singapore.
On a slightly tangential note, the buttons are one of my favourite things about the PS shirts, Simon. Their colour really makes the shirts stand out among my wardrobe.
Nice to know Alex, thanks
The size chart in this post is different from the chart in the shop. Which is correct? Thanks.
Apologies Dave, we updated the shop but forgot to do so in the post. Please go off the shop page, and I’ll update the article now
Thanks Simon. And as someone who lives in the sub-tropics I’ve enjoyed your content but the clothes are just too heavy. Nice to see some lighter clothing. I bought a pair of shorts a while ago and just ordered this shirt.
Great looking shirt, Simon! Any plans to add XXL versions to the PS shop for some of your products? (I know it’s hard to make ALL sizes when the production runs aren’t that large.)
You’re bang on the money Drew, it’s tricky in smaller runs, such as we have on the short-sleeve shirt. You’ll see it more on other products, such as the T-shirts or coats, where the volume is higher.
No plans to change that I’m afraid.
Thanks for the response, Simon!
On the theme of shirts, do you know when there will be a restock of the blue oxford one in size Large? Thanks!
It should be in about a month Gabriele, they’re in the workshop at the moment
The collar does not sit right. With two buttons open the tight sleeves draw more attention to this and not in a good way.
Doesn’t sit right in what way? Thanks
The collar looks enormous in the third photo down. Maybe the small sleeves exaggerate this. There are arguments about old school full roll button downs and ‘three finger’ collars. However with a trimmer style shirt then the collar size should reflect the other dimensions, in my opinion. A half sleeve might offset the collar size better.
Thanks, that makes sense. I think that photo exaggerates the size, and of course it’s all proportionate to the person being shot too
Real issue with shirts like this is how the shoulder vents (or whatever they are called) (action back?) work. a short-sleeve shirt without those (center vent won’t do) just makes it uncomfortable to raise your arms more than six inches and induces pitting.
Thanks Joe. I can see how the sleeve opening might be more restrictive, though it’s not something I ever notice to be honest. But the little pleats I assume you’re referring to that go into the back yoke could easily be dealt with by making that back a touch bigger. This is a fairly generous fit, so perhaps that’s why?
Beautiful cool looking shirt Simon. One perhaps difficult question. I keep in decent shape and like shirts to be fitted but never tight. I have found previously that my shirts have excess fabric under the arms which tends to cause folds over the chest area where I want it to be clean. Perhaps the armhole is to too large. The last photo in your post shows a great balance between the crest and underarm areas. Appreciate your thoughts.
Always hard to give advice on these things remotely, but if you think your body shape is similar to mine then the effect should be similar?
Simon, I wanted to pass along that I appreciate the diversity of products offered at PS. While this shirt is not something that those living in London would wear as much as someone living in a tropical climate (but see the record heat in London!), many of your readers living in hotter weather or going on holiday would find this a good alternative to a long sleeve shirt or polo Living in Miami (and having just traveled to Harbour Island in the Bahamas), this would be a nice option. I also like the idea of wearing this with an overshirt and pushing up the sleeves.
I am not too keen on your shirt. I wear linen shirts in the summer but never a short sleeved button down collar. Those are short or long sleeved. A camp shirt is another option of mine worn untucked with the notch showing on either side of the bottom. In the USA Short sleeved shirts with a button down collar are worn by quite a few arcitecs and engineers. They can be seen wearing ties. Most of us have come to regard that look as not very stylish.
Thanks William, appreciate the view, and yes that is the general prevailing opinion, which is why I wanted to push back at it a little
I’m sorry but I just can’t get on with that collar.
It’s seems too big and it gapes to much with the open buttons.
No worries, it’s not for everyone. Though the collar is the same as all the other PS shirts (except with the striped one, now rather softer), and of course you don’t have to open as many buttons
Another quick perspective, just my personal experience. I bought the original white version of this last year. I was a bit on the fence as others have expressed – just wasn’t sure how it would work for me. The only linen short sleeve I previously owned were squared hem versions worn untucked with shorts or casual trouser. I live in an area that does get quite warm for bits of the year, so I took a chance. I found this to be much more useful than I expected and of course the make and fabric is excellent as I have come to expect from PS products. As (I think) Peter mentioned, it’s terrific to wear on a warm day and then throw on a cotton knit if the evening cools. Collar works very well under knitwear or a casual jacket (like navy linen Harrington) and it looks better alone tucked into nice trousers than I would have guessed. The white may prove to be more versatile in that regard, but I already ordered this new stripe also.
Good to hear the experience, thanks Chris
Interesting product and a very interesting discussion! In the picture with olive overshirt, you are wearing an all-linen outfit. Trousers, shirt and overshirt. If I’m not mistaken, It’s something you argued against in the past. If I remember it correctly, you even wrote you wouldn’t wear linen trousers with linen shirt. For someone like me, who loves linen, and when temperature goes above 25 °C basically lives in linen, it’s and interesting topic. Has your opinion changed? Thank you.
I think this advice tends to become oversimplified. What I’ve said in the past usually is that there is a risk in wearing top and bottom in the same material, as here. But it’s just one factor, and if the two are in clearly different weights or weaves which means they don’t look that close as materials, it’s fine.
Thank you. My apologies if I twisted or oversimplified your original reasoning. You arguments about different weights, weaves and finishes are definitely worth considering while thinking about wearing multiple items in linen.
Simon, a mistake most persons make with a short sleeve shirt, is they fit the top of the sleeves too much up on the shoulder, so the sleeves look ill fitting like in your fourth pic.it should be a bit off the shoulder, so the sleeves fall evenly on your biceps. Unlike a polo which is a knit fabric and fits differently, this does not happen with a summer linen shirt. Love wearing my short sleeve linen shirts in very hot Toronto.
Thanks Roger. It’s an interesting area of debate among shirt makers where that seam should sit actually, in terms of pure functionality. I do prefer it a bit lower on my bespoke shirts, but of course this is ready to wear
Excellent addition to the PS wardrobe. Living in Japan means summer months of 35 Celsius and above and strength sapping humidity and short sleeves are an essential item. I live in linen, cotton linen mix or a very airy cotton mesh from June till end of September.
The fit is paramount and just this year I had to buy a ready made short sleeve shirt to wear with a tie for the funeral of a friend’s family member. Wearing a jacket switching to and fro between outside and inside meant the short sleeve shirt was essential.
Being of slim build, it was too big in the body for me so I had it altered afterwards. Still not as good as MTM or bespoke but much better.
The collar looks like it is similar to the PS polo with that beautiful roll. To me that was one of the many, if not the best point of that shirt. Good choice.
How many fingers is the collar
Depends on your fingers! The collar stand is 3.5cm at the back. The collar itself is 4.2cm
The shirts that we do short sleeve are always 4 fingers so you get a superb roll . And lots of back features . I’m
Doing one for myself in ltalian voile in black .
Hi Simon, would you ever wear either PS short sleeve tucked in with jeans or chinos? Or are there details to it that make it an unstylish choice?
Where I’m from, the PS overshirts are a lovely staple. But apart from tees and short sleeve polos, I don’t see any other choice. A long sleeve shirt or polo would be too hot, so do you think the PS short sleeve can be paired with more casual pants on its own and/or with the overshirt as a layer?
I’m also aware that the alternative is slowly acquiring nicer/smarter trousers 😅
Yes, I think it would be nice with good chinos.
Simon, I just received both versions of the short-sleeved shirt, and I have fit, shrinkage, and alteration questions. I ordered XL because with the PS long-sleeved shirts I found myself between L (too tight in the chest) and XL (far too long in the sleeve). I’ve had Luca making PS cloth long-sleeved shirts for me bespoke and we now have the fit dialed in.
The PS short-sleeved shirt in XL fits me in the shoulders but is too full in the body, and the sleeve certainly fits much less closely than yours in the photos. I’m about 6 foot 2 inches, 180 pounds, and my biceps are not small (I do work out a bit). I see the specs take a big jump between L and XL, and I wonder if anyone who is fit and not a bodybuilder finds the XL sleeve as close-fitting as you have in mind. I could order the L but from my long-sleeve experience I think it would likely be too small in the chest and probably the shoulders.
Which leaves me with these questions for you:
Will these linen shirts shrink after washing at 30?
To induce more shrinkage, should I try washing them in warmer water?
If they will shrink a bit but not enough in washing, should I wash them at 30 and then take the shirts to my local (Washington DC) tailor (of moderate skill and experience) for alteration?
If alteration by such a tailor would be risky, should I wash them at 30 and the next time I see Luca in NYC, which might be quite a while, give them to him for alteration?
Final alternative: give up, return the XLs to you, and have Luca make the shirts up for me bespoke. Is that the smartest way to go?
With shirts the important thing is always to get the right fit on the shoulders and chest, because the body can be altered so easily. There should be minimal shrtinkage, but I would wear and wash the larger size a couple of times, and then take it to a tailor to alter the body a little. I’d be careful altering the sleeve – that’s as much about style as fit, so I’d wear it a fait bit before you decide to make any changes
Thank you Simon. I will do that.