Just when you thought summer was coming to a close because July 4th has come and gone, think again. There are still plenty of warm weekends on the calendar, even after the end of meteorological summer. In terms of summer shirts, you may still sport the same go-to’s as a few years ago. Or you’re rocking that old sweat-stained graphic tee. We’re not here to judge. But it’s time to make a change with some of the best men’s summer shirts across the web. Whether it’s men’s button-ups, polo shirts, or the best linen, we’ve got you covered. (Or, if you’re looking for versatile plain t-shirts, you can find those here.) The range of styles is huge, as is the array of fabrics that qualify for hot-weather duty. We’ve selected the best shirts in each category, so you can wear them to BBQs, block parties, nights out, or just lounging on your own deck with your significant other.
The Best Short Sleeve Button-Ups
Proper Cloth Red and Navy Ecru Indian Madras
A great Madras pattern can strike the right balance between laid-back and put-together. And Proper Cloth’s version has the right details with a soft spread collar that keeps its shape, cuffed short sleeves, a rounded chest pocket, and Roma buttons. The muted colors are subdued and classic. And the 100% Indian Ecru Madras is appropriately thin for the dog days of summer. With Proper Cloth’s near-finite sizing options, you’ll find it’s pretty much as customized as shirts can get at this price.
Faherty Brand Knit Seasons Shirt
Blue never goes out of style. But sometimes it needs a dose of drama. One of Faherty’s latest offerings combines thick 100% cotton that’s still highly breathable and very soft. The subdued floral pattern and the contrasting Corozo buttons make it noteworthy in a sea of solid navy would-bes. And it looks equally good with shorts or slacks.
Marine Layer Short Sleeve Selvage Shirt in Warm Ombre Stripe
This shirt’s affordability comes from its textured slub selvage fabric that otherwise would’ve been tossed were it not for its relaxed and stylish horizontal striped pattern and warm hue. The Warm Ombre Stripe gets a patch chest pocket, a locker loop, and even an interior lining. It’s just the kind of summer button-up that begs to be paired with a good brew.
The Best Polo Shirts
OAS Company Dusty Plum Terry Shirt
How do you retain the traditional shape of a polo shirt while imbuing utter relaxation and great color? This terry cloth polo uses a medium-thickness 100% cotton terry fabric and eschews placket buttons completely for total laid-backness. The detailed pocket is its only dressy detail. The Swedish-made shirt is ready to go straight from the pool and straight to the backyard cookout without skipping a beat.
Mack Weldon SILVERKNIT Polo
The SILVERKNIT might look like a traditional polo shirt, but it’s ready for action, as well as inaction. The stretchy pique fabric is actually made with 87% Supima Cotton, 10% ionic+ Polyester, and 3% Lycra for excellent breathability, wrinkle-resistance, odor-repelling power, and freedom of movement. You can easily do a round (or two) of golf and then head to dinner without looking (or smelling) all sorts of wrong.
Arc’teryx Captive Polo Shirt
For another fresh take on the polo shirt, the Captive has a more athletic shape and uses performance fabric to keep you cool and ready for more active endeavors. DryTech keeps you cool with its cotton and poly blend, and the Captive remains light and stretchy, too. The simple chest seams and brand tag are just enough to set it apart, and the four classic colors should suit virtually anyone.
The Best Camp Shirts
Drake’s Ecru Crab Print Viscose Camp Collar Holiday Shirt
You don’t have to love seafood or live near the ocean to pull off this playful camp shirt. The archival design sports playful crabs on soft, textured viscose. The open collar allows great ventilation, and the straight hem should always be untucked.
Bonobos Relaxed Fit Camp Collar Shirt – Tea Dreamy Palms
This one has summer vacation written all over it with its cream cotton and linen blend fabric peppered by tan palm trees. The full-cut shirt is roomy and relaxed, and there are zero pockets which means you might just have to leave your phone in the hotel room.
Todd Snyder Italian Black Dobby Stripe Camp Shirt
Not only does this camp shirt have a textured Italian dobby fabric, but the machine-washable cotton-linen blend is also cool on the skin. The vintage print is multifaceted with alternating black and dark green stripes. And the multi-colored dots add even more personality to this laid-back shirt. It’s cut slim but not tight, so it will still look relaxed but not sloppy. This one has summer streetside cafe written all over it.
The Best Linen Shirts
J. Crew Baird McNutt Slim Irish Linen Shirt
If you’re going to long-sleeve it in hot weather, linen is the answer. And every guy should have at least one linen shirt in his array of the best men’s summer clothes. This one uses high-grade Irish linen that’s soft and highly breathable. You can choose your cut, but our vote for color is the deep blue Ink hue that, paired with khaki shorts and white sneakers, could just be the perfect summer outfit. And if you are considering ironing it, just don’t.
Wool & Prince Wool Linen Short Sleeve Button-Down Shirt
Wool and linen might seem like strange bedfellows for summer. But they’re actually a solid combination that keeps you cool while repelling odors. The linen provides a textured look and feel, while the merino wool keeps the stank out and also has cooling properties. The button-down collar and chest pocket add contrast nicely with its slightly curved hem. You can choose from among five colors and either regular or slim fit. Two of nature’s best-performing fibers meet for the first time. Adding linen to the mix gives the fabric a beautiful “slubby” texture (as our designer likes to say), which also creates an airy, light feel.
Amazon Essentials Regular Fit short Sleeve Linen Cotton Shirt
You can be on a tight budget and still look primed for the rest of summer with Amazon’s surprisingly solid linen-cotton short sleeve that comes in a whopping 23 colors/patterns. The lightweight fabric will keep you cool on the hottest of days, and the tapered body means you won’t look slovenly as you down more than your share of cold ones as the summer wanes. The curved hem says never tuck it in, and at these prices, you can buy more than a couple.