As summertime rolls in, men's styles change from layers to more casual summer shirts. Picking out the most comfortable and stylish shirt for yourself is easy to do with some selective web surfing.
The Spectrum of Summer Shirts for Men
Part of the joy of summer for men's fashion is that the variety in appropriate casual summer shirts spans a huge range, from retro t-shirts through exotic woven cotton long-sleeve tops. The key is first to decide what style you're going for. To put it another way, how casual do you want to be?
Dressing to a Tee
The t-shirt has gradually moved from being considered an undergarment to a key part of a casual wardrobe. The Single Guy Advisor points out that a t-shirt and jeans can be worn either for a night out with "mangy disaffected hipsters" or a night out "partying like a drunken frat boy."
It's a good idea to avoid the clever phrases or sports logos unless you're aiming for the low end of casual. An article in Esquire reinforces this, saying that a man who expresses his opinion via his t-shirt has neither "intelligence…nor common sense." A simple solid color such as those available from Backcountry is a good start, though having some stylish print tees such as the selection on Bluefly can form a good basis, especially when paired with a nice lightweight summer jacket.
AskMen showcases other forms of t-shirts such as the nautical tee and the v-neck that also can add variety to your summer look.
The Polo Shirt
While it's included as a tee shirt in the AskMen article, most fashionistas consider the polo shirt to be a category in itself. According to the Style Blogger, it is an easy way to upgrade your summer shirts. He suggests that the top two buttons stay undone for the best look. Ralph Lauren has a wide collection of polos in many colors, but the price can be prohibitive for summer casual wardrobe. Sierra Trading Post leverages the power of the internet to bring a wider variety of polos at a fraction of the cost.
Long-Sleeved Button Down
For a more rugged, safari-style look you can add a long-sleeve button down shirt to your wardrobe. While it may seem to be too warm, with the right materials (such as the cotton-linen blend from Orvis) it will be a great "casual Friday" look at either the office or out on the town. The "lightweight washed" line of shirts from JCrew have a wide variety of colors and prints to choose from. Lands End also has a line of colorful sports shirts as well as plainer work shirts. Like the plain t-shirt, solid colors will give you the most choice in terms of your ensemble, even if only in the way you roll up the sleeves.
If your casual wear has to make it out to the clubs as well as around your every day life, you can up your style to a glamour shirt. These are usually button-down but are worn loose and untucked (or even unbuttoned). The fabrics are more exotic, such as silk or hand woven cotton. Amazon has the greatest variety of these kinds of stylish shirts, and you're likely to find more unique fashions that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Finding the Best Deals Online and Off
Regardless of the style you choose for your summer casual shirt, you are likely to find the best deals online at sites such as OverStock. The one caveat to this is that you can't necessarily know if a shirt will fit until you get it, and some sites don't have very good return policies. If you want to be sure, you can always go to a retail outlet such as the Men's Wearhouse and try on various styles and brands. When you've narrowed it down, you can then do a search online on sites like eBay and find better deals or online-only sales in the style that you prefer.
The best part about expanding your summer casual wardrobe with shirts is that many of them can be used all year round with layers and other accessories. Enjoy the warm season in both style and comfort with just a few clicks of the mouse.