Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

Stealth Seersucker

Gitman Seersucker

Now that the season of the short-sleeved button-down is in full swing, we thought we’d pass along one of our latest favorites.

It comes from Gitman Brothers Vintage (who have been killing it on the S/S/B/D front), with a secret weapon: seersucker. You might not notice without the telltale stripes, but it’s made from the same piped fabric as the more traditional version, and it’ll wear just as cool. The fit here’s close to perfect too, particularly the shoulder seam. Once things heat up, it’ll be a safer bet than your tee-shirt.

You have our permission to untuck.

A Light Touch

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Now that we’ve staked our claim as short-sleeved button-down experts, we thought it was only right to let you know: a pretty good one hit the market as of this morning.

It comes from the latest batch of L. L. Bean Signature gear, a feather-light linen version designed to get you through the most sun-baked days in July. The Bean makes their fits pretty roomy, so you may want to size down, but otherwise it’s one of the better-cut items we’ve seen.

And as you can see, it plays pretty well with a military watch.

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

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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»

Hemless Summer

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You’ve already seen a lot of short sleeved button-ups, on Kempt and elsewhere. Just a hunch, but we’re guessing that you’re finally warming up to the notion. If it’s all the same to you, we’d rather skip all of the do’s & don’ts and point you to a shirt that should do the trick: LL Bean Signature’s madras s/s/b/u.

It’s plenty lightweight, cut from cotton madras—which should give you all of the benefits of a fabric historically known for being ideal attire in less-than-ideal heat, without having to deal with its more polarizing iteration, GTH patchwork. And there’s no need to quibble over sleeve-length because the sleeve has been cuffed at the hem and sewn in place—the imposed cuff. It’s another example of the no-fuss staples that LL Bean's known for.

Well, that and whittling.

Cut Short

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The short-sleeved button-up has been getting a lot of attention now that it’s too muggy for oxford shirts, but it’s a remarkably tough shirt to wear. Play it too safe and you’ll end up looking like an accountant. Our suggestion: get adventurous.

This Native Son shirt does it just about perfectly, with oversized stripes to elevated it out of CPA territory into something a little bit riskier. The box pleat in the back and generally shrunken cut keep things slim, and the button-down collar means you’ll emerge with your preppy cred intact.

It’s the rare class of shirt you can wear under a suit or above a bathing suit, which should be a pretty useful trick once July rolls around.