The short-sleeve button-down is making a comeback this summer. The traditional nerd vestment is rapidly becoming a stylish way to keep you cool through Labor Day, thanks to narrower cuts and more attractive patterns. In an effort to make sure we look less like a 1960s NASA engineer and more like a 1960s Italian movie star, we asked for some tips from Seize Sur Vingt's Karim Fresno on how to pull off this new breed of stylish short-sleeve collared shirt.
"The key reference is to match your bottoms," advises Fresno. If you're wearing baggy cargo shorts, you should have a baggy top – just remember than once you're tucking baggy into baggy, you're headed into Parrot Head territory, so, as a rule, if it has flowers on it, don't tuck it in. Likewise, fitted bottoms should be paired with a fitted top. "When fitted, it's okay to tuck it in or leave it out," says Fresno, whose label is pushing this look with refined Beasts of No Nation shirts. "Base it on what you're doing. Tuck it in for a formal dinner or leave it out for a seaport stroll."
When it comes to sleeves, Fresno recommends that men avoid letting fabric hang. Give it a roll instead, but be careful not to go past midbicep or you'll find yourself showing off your guns, Johnny Bravo style. And if you're going to wear white, then stay away from cotton and a single pocket. Looking like Michael Douglas in 'Falling Down' is not a good thing. Instead, pick a lightweight and breathable fabric – linen, seersucker, or chambray – and stick to double-pocketed, military-style shirts like the Theory version, the one Jay-Z always seems to be wearing.
"If you need to spice up your wardrobe, try using patterns," Fresno suggests, "Plaids, stripes, and checks are all good these days."
We always encourage going bold, but since patterns are more challenging to pull off, ease into it with a simple, attractively-colored shirt. We love the plum Carhartt Work in Progress button-up with intricate polka dot detail. The shirt is a mature reflection of classic skater style that's not too baggy or too narrow. The shirt is basic and that is exactly the point. Less is more. [$59.50; carhartt-wip.com]