Summer Sleeves

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The sad truth is: summer outfits can be dull. How many polos and tees can you wear before itching to slip something else on? Have no fear, the short-sleeve button-up shirt is here to save your summer style. Sometimes overlooked because they can be written off as uncool or frumpy, short-sleeve button-ups have made a fashionable comeback — you just have to know how to wear them. Below are my four tips to achieving a fresh, trendy summer look with a style that will keep you cool all season long.

1. FIT MATTERS

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The more fitted, the better. For some reason, many brands make these types of shirts far too wide and long. Did you know many companies now create short-sleeve button-up shirts in different sizes like tailored, slim and regular? Find a fit that gently hugs your body. The shoulder seam should hit right where your shoulder ends, not passed it. The sleeve should hit three to four inches below your shoulder, or a couple inches above the halfway point from your elbow to the top of your shoulder. There should only be about an inch to an inch and a half of fabric on each side of your torso, and never button the shirt all the way up. I have two buttons undone in the above photo for a more casual look, but for a more professional appearance, only unbutton the top button. I often wear this type of shirt tucked in for a dressier vibe. 

2. PLAY WITH PATTERNS & COLORS

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Short-sleeve button-up shirts are a great piece to experiment with different colors and patterns. Because there is less fabric (shorter sleeves vs. long sleeves), you can get away with a busier, colorful pattern, and you absolutely should take advantage of that. Some of my go-to patterns include fruits (like pineapples and watermelon), small flowers, animals (like turtles) and polka-dots. My tip when pattern hunting is to look for patterns that are small. This gives the shirt a more mature and sophisticated feel. I don’t wear too many plaids for fear of looking like a picnic table, but if you find a simple, two color max, square pattern, give that a try as well!

3. USE THEM AS BEACH SHIRTS

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To me, one of the most uncomfortable feelings is to put on a tee shirt over my oiled-up, sunscreen-laden skin on a beach or pool day. It feels hot and sticky, and I constantly think about how I want to peel it off my skin. But a short-sleeve button-up is my new go-to beach shirt. It’s lightweight and you can leave the shirt open for a more casual look (if the setting is appropriate), or loosely button it when taking a break throughout the day from the beach or pool. It also gives an elevated look to your swimsuit. Just make sure that if you are wearing a swimsuit with a pattern, you opt for a solid color button-up, or if you’re wearing a solid color swimsuit, choose a fun pattern up top. It’s all about balance!

4. LAYER 

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An easy way to make this piece look different throughout the summer is by throwing on a tee underneath. If I’m wearing a short sleeve button down untucked, I like to pair a tee with it and leave it unbuttoned so that the waistline doesn’t vanish. This creates a nice silhouette and adds another layer to your look. Just make sure the shirt isn’t too wide so that it falls close to your body. A simple boat shoe with this look is a great way to give a dressy feel to this outfit.