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A Gentleman’s Guide to the Short-Sleeved Button-Down

  • Najib Benouar


First, the good news: it’s almost warm again.

And to aid the monumental wardrobe shift you’ll be undertaking over the next few weeks, we’d like to reintroduce you to an old acquaintance: the short-sleeved button down.

It’s the nerdy younger brother of the polo shirt, and a surprisingly difficult piece to pull off right. In theory, it’s your office-appropriate answer to summer’s unforgiving heat, but since too many gentlemen end up resembling Dwight Schrute, we thought we’d put together a modern guide to the S/S/B/D.

Here's what you need to know»

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We doubt any of you are having trouble finding a chambray shirt, but this one from Crate comes with an interesting detail worth applauding: back darts.

It’s an Italian tailoring trick for getting rid of the excess fabric in the back of a button up—a reliable problem for anyone on the svelte end of the spectrum. In fact, it’s so reliable of a problem that we're surprised more shirts don’t come with darting built in.

Of course, the best example is always going to be custom, so you may want to try the term out on your tailor next time you’re having a shirt made. If you’re feeling particularly handy with a sewing machine, you can try putting them in yourself, but it’s not for the faint of heart or the delicate of finger. Consider yourself warned.