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How to Wear a Short-Sleeve Button-Up

LATimes has a piece about how to wear the short-sleeve button-up, a fashion item that is becoming increasingly popular as summer approaches (DISGUSTINGLY CLICHE!!!)

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[Image by Soul Brother / FilmMagic]

This comment made me laugh…

When they played on “The Today Show” last summer, Levine rocked a white, short-sleeve button-front by APC, a skinny black tie by Dior Homme and black YSL trousers — on most people, that would add up to standard-issue Geek Squad. Not with Circa’s touch of the ironic.

When did being dressed in $300-$400 worth of clothing become standard-issue Geek Squad?

Here’s all the tips by Aristotle Circa

When it doesn’t work, the short-sleeve shirt look screams “nerd.” What does it say if a guy can pull off the look?

You like looking good and you take care of yourself, but you have a sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously.

What about wearing a short-sleeve shirt with a tie or a vest?

I personally pair one with a vest, but sometimes it runs the risk of looking like you’re trying too hard. If you do wear a vest, it should be one that looks like it was part of a three-piece suit and paired with jeans and a nice button-front. And a black, skinny tie is a bit cliché, but if you are younger and going for a mod look, then do it.

Is there anyone who should avoid this look altogether — certain age groups or body types?

I’m a firm believer in trying everything. First, buy a less expensive shirt, try different fits and cuts and see how you look, wear it around and see what kind of reaction you get. Men have more of a sense about these things now — they’re becoming more intuitive. My rule is: If you think you look like a clown, you probably do. Then you can invest in more expensive pieces that will last.

If a guy wants to add just one short-sleeve button-front to his wardrobe, what would you recommend?

I don’t think any man can ever go wrong with Ralph Lauren. It may not be the most contemporary, but it is classic American men’s sportswear.

But good short-sleeve button-fronts aren’t particularly easy to find, so what I do is take some of my favorite dress shirts that I’m sick of to my tailor. I mark where I want the sleeves to end — about the middle of the biceps– and have them made into short-sleeve shirts. You can also pull in the armhole a little bit, add a cuff, a button on the outside or even a notch to make it fun in a Ben Sherman sort of way. For $15 worth of alterations, you can turn a $250 shirt you don’t wear anymore into something new.

[Taken from LATimes]

Let me just sift through all of my old $250 shirts that I don’t wear anymore and pay someone $15 to cut it up and then I will totally fall in love again with my $250 shirt that I did not used to wear anymore. 🙂

Like mentioned in the article, the short-sleeve button up is a very difficult look to pull off. Although I have seen it done right before, it seems to be too much trouble for the time invested to find a shirt that will work for your particular body type. And I wouldn’t say that anyone who tries and fails at wearing a short-sleeve button-up usually looks dorky like the article suggests. It’s more like boring (boring and dorky are not the same thing.) Also, a short-sleeve button-up could never look as good as a well-fitted long-sleeve button-up with rolled up sleeves.

They kept trying to make a 1993 Michael Douglas “Falling Down” reference, but I don’t think it really hit the nail on how bad a short-sleeve button-up could look. Plus no one in my generation remembers that movie.

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[Image by Warner Bros.]

If you wear a short-sleeve button-up the wrong way, then you basically SCHRUTED IT! © Andy Bernard

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