18 short-sleeved button-down shirts

14

crew stripe

Most all of my button-downs are long-sleeved, which gets hot this time of year, so I’m looking for some short-sleeved options, and I fear I have nothing more exciting to say on the topic than that. They’re just good basic pieces and I need them. This striped number is so excellently menswearish.

joie top

I like the drop shoulders and all-around slouchy vibe of this option from Joie.

madewell top

A good, crisp, white choice from Madewell that is nice and blousey.

rails top

I’m always a sucker for a good rainbow stripe.

treasure top

So excellently tomboyish.

scotch top

The flare sleeves and tiny hearts make this one standout.

central shirt

A super-cute chambray number.

rails shirt

This has subtle metallic stripes, which is fun.

equipment shirt

This short-sleeved version of Equipment’s classic Slim Signature blouse has those great front pockets.

gauze top

The styling here makes this gauze top look kind of dorky, but I actually think it’d be aces half-tucked (yes, I am still half-tucking).

wang top

I dig the black-on-black stripes on this silk option.

madewell top

Another chambray shirt, this one with a nifty tie-front.

fisher top

Maybe I’m nuts for thinking this, but the exaggerated sleeves here would make your arms look skinnier, I’m pretty sure.

floral top

This floral is like a classed-up version of a Hawaiian shirt.

dahl top

I like the raw hems and variegated stripes here.

double shirt

A really graphic choice.

theory top

A very elegant and structured silk top.

popover

And this popover doesn’t technically belong in a button-down category, but it’s new (and well-priced) from Everlane and I like it.

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14 Thoughts on 18 short-sleeved button-down shirts
    c.w.
    25 Jun 2018
    9:16am

    These are such a great alternative to the usual short-sleeved tee. I spend most my waking life in tee-shirts and jeans so something different is welcome. Although the weather here on the east end is still cool, I’ve got my fingers crossed there will be a few warm days in our future which is my excuse for ordering!!!

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    Elisa
    25 Jun 2018
    9:40am

    When I was in college in the late 70’s, we used to call short sleeve button down shirts “Ernie Douglass shirts,” in reference to the youngest son on “My Three Sons,” who was a classic nerd. Most of the GOCA readers might not remember him or the show, but it gave me a chuckle–and a reason to text some old friends…

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      EW
      25 Jun 2018
      12:41pm

      I totally remember Ernie Douglas! I can still hum the theme song
      but, who was the best Uncle Charlie??

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        Elisa
        25 Jun 2018
        6:33pm

        William Demarest!

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    Mimi
    25 Jun 2018
    10:38am

    I warm to anything that looks like a Hawaiian shirt, the more retro the better. But all my button downs become short sleeved in summer. It just takes a few rolls of the sleeves. (But no buttons and tabs on sleeves. I cut those off immediately.)

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      KimFrance
      25 Jun 2018
      1:40pm

      Somehow, a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up never feels as cool to me as these do. But that’s just me.

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    Also Jennifer
    25 Jun 2018
    11:38am

    I’m wearing a split back cotton button down with tiny pinstripes in my office with the malfunctioning AC. I usually live in popovers because I have trouble keeping shirts tucked in, but this one was made to be untucked – or perhaps half tucked? (I can never manage that either).

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      Mamavalveeta03
      26 Jun 2018
      4:50pm

      Or “French tucked” as the Fab 5 from Queer Eye call it!

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    Kathi
    25 Jun 2018
    3:22pm

    I especially like the ones with the longer short sleeve, helps hide those silly somewhat jiggly upper arms!!

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    Mary
    25 Jun 2018
    7:19pm

    Thank you for this! I also wear tee shirts and jeans and often feel like a slob.

    But my options are limited – everything out there is sleeveless! I’ve never been a fan of my arms.

    And yes, way too hot for long-sleeved anything.

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    Caryn
    25 Jun 2018
    8:43pm

    I own the J. Crew striped number, and it is all kinds of cool with my R13 grey skinny jeans and No. 6 New School Clog. You’ve clearly had a major impact on my closet!

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    Sam Mac
    26 Jun 2018
    1:07am

    Another purveyor of uncomplicated short-sleeve shirts and good neutral colours is Uniqlo.

    They’re not particularly unique style-wise, but the fabric washes like a dream and looks brand new after each machine wash. The side splits also allow for the (mandatory!) half tuck.

    I have black / white / khaki on high rotation

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    Mamavalveeta03
    26 Jun 2018
    4:47pm

    The J Crew
    The Joie
    The Madewell

    I’m in need of some up-to-date summer tops and these look nice and breezy, and reasonably priced for me. Thanks, Kim! (I thought the fantastic Nili Lotan Normandy would appear here, but then I realized it’s a popover.)

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    AmyM
    28 Jun 2018
    2:39pm

    I’ve never especially cared for how buttondowns looked on me, then I tried the Madewell Central Shirt. Game changer. It has just the right structure-to-slouch ratio. I have acquired 4 and don’t see myself stopping any time soon.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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