Now that spring is around the corner it occurred to me that the need to “layer up” will no longer be ours to bear. In a month or so, out will come the polos, the t-shirts and the wife beaters, which, incidentally, have to have the narrowest margin of any garment on earth for fashion success or failure.
Since I’m not a musician or a painter, in the warmer months I’m relegated to the fate of wearing shirts that can balance professionalism and comfort. Which essentially means that I end up wearing my same Fall/Winter shirts, but in a lighter weight, and rolling the sleeves up like Paul Newman (by the way, the only thing I have in common with King Cool).
But then I wondered, is this all there is? Is my rotation permanently set to alternate polos and long sleeve roll-ups, rinse and repeat? I stopped wearing T-shirts to work around the same time President Obama started his first term. So what about the rarest animal of all men’s style…the short-sleeve shirt?
The unfortunate image that comes to mind when one mentions “short-sleeve shirt” is either a socially inept IT person or Milton Waddams, the hapless Initech employee who didn’t actually work at Initech. That said, times have changed and it can be argued, one of the more successful offspring of the tailored fit era is the men’s short-sleeve shirt. Granted, it always helps to have your shit together physically (something I’m working much harder for now that I’m older) but the short-sleeve shirt is not the skinny jean 2.0. Designers like Rei Kawakubo and Oliver Spencer, along with brands such as Prada, J.Crew, Rag & Bone, Paul Smith and Gitman Vintage have been making great looking short-sleeve shirts for years.
As far as conclusions go, perhaps it’s my traditionalism (code word for old-fashioned) but after looking at and wearing a button up short-sleeve, I still give the flexibility and look of my rolled-up long sleeves the edge. As we know, true style is timeless.
But that said, don’t be afraid to be bold, be cool, but for God sakes, no pocket protectors.