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When and How to Wear Short Sleeve Button Up Shirts

BY Buffalo Jackson Insight
BY Amanda Uher

Revised 10/26/20

Business casual short sleeve button-up shirts: they seem fairly innocent, but they sure do stir up a lot of questions. Here, we’ll address when to wear them (are short sleeve button ups business casual??) and how to wear them (but really, can I wear a tie with this?)—plus a few more commonly asked questions.

Are short sleeve button up shirts business casual?

This depends on how your particular workplace defines business casual—and that can actually vary quite a lot depending on the industry you’re in. A good rule of thumb is to remember that a short sleeve button up shirt is not a replacement for a long sleeve button up shirt. Instead, think of it as an alternative to a polo shirt. If a short sleeve polo shirt is accepted as business casual in your office culture, then you should be good to go with your short sleeve button up. (But if khakis and a blazer are the norm on casual Friday, you’d better save your short sleeves for the weekend.)

Can you wear a tie with a business casual short sleeve button-up?

You can, but that doesn’t mean you should. There is a very fine line between doing this fashionably versus looking like you got picked last for dodgeball. Proceed with caution.

Can you wear a short sleeve button-up with a suit?

This is highly debated, but we don’t recommend it—unless you don’t plan to take off your jacket. On the other hand, you’re a grown man and you can do what you want.

Do you tuck in a business casual short sleeve button up shirt?

This depends on the cut and fit of the shirt. A slimmer fit is always best for a short sleeve button-up, but the hem length will determine a lot. If the shirt is made to be left untucked, by all means, leave it untucked. But if you do tuck in your shirt, go for a casual tuck and be sure to wear a belt.

Bottom Line

The secret of how to wear business casual short sleeve button up shirts is to start with choosing one that fits your body well. (We recommend a slim fit. And be sure the sleeves don’t flare out.) Everything else will depend on when and where you’re going—and whether those “rules” matter to you anyway. In the meantime, check out our collection of men’s business casual short sleeve button up shirts, designed for the rugged gentleman. While you’re at it, swing by our collection of men’sleather briefcases orleather messenger bags and see which style best fits your occasion.

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