I absolutely love summer. When I lived in the U.K., days that were warm and sunny were savored like nothing else. It was essential that you made the most of them, as you never knew when the next one would come around. Visit a park, beer garden, or beach on a nice day in the U.K. and you’ll see crowds of people soaking up the heat.
Summer is also a great time to experiment with your style. Everything seems brighter when the sun’s out so it’s the perfect season to wear colors or patterns that you wouldn’t normally. The type of pieces that wouldn’t feel right in winter when the sky’s gray and the sun goes down in the late afternoon.
Despite this, it’s also easy to fall into the tried and trusted warm-weather outfits. Typically for men, this means a t-shirt or polo shirt plus a pair of shorts. Maybe a cap or a bucket hat to finish off the look. It’s a look that works, and it’s definitely practical, but it can be nice to mix things up occasionally.
For me, the best way to make the most of the warm weather is to put on a summer shirt. And men’s summer shirt styles have come a long way over the last few years. What started with the gradual reemergence of Cuban collar shirts has exploded into a full-on trend with many different types and styles available.
These summer shirt styles are what I’ll discuss in this article. Most of them are casual styles. Think loose fits, bright colors, and loud patterns. Although, there are also some more formal summer shirt styles you can try out if that’s required.
Men’s Summer Shirt Styles
Loose and Large Fits
Fit is always an important consideration when buying a shirt, or any item of clothing really. But in summer you have an extra thing to think about, as the fit will directly affect how cool you stay. Tight, tailored clothing may look good, but consider going at least a little looser during the warm summer months as this will allow the air to circulate around your body. Why’s this important? Well, it will keep you cool and reduce the chance of the dreaded sweat patch. And larger, oversized fits are also very on-trend this year so it’s something to consider if you want an up-to-date look.
We’re seeing a lot of clothes out there at the moment with big, bright patterns. And summer shirts are leading the way forward. Hawaiian print is an obvious pattern choice for a summer shirt, but it isn’t the only one. Everyone from Gucci, to Dior, to Zara is releasing their own variations on these big patterns. If these are a bit too forward for your tastes—and I wouldn’t blame you if that’s the case—then you still have more muted options. Vertical stripes seem to be a popular choice at the moment, while large checks and tie-die are also showing up frequently.
Summer is a colorful time of year and fashion tends to follow this trend. This makes the season the perfect time to experiment with louder, brighter colors that you would perhaps avoid at other times of year. This could be in the form of blocks of color, or even brightly patterned pieces. If you want to add some color while keeping things toned-down, then consider pastel colors. These are more muted while still bringing a colorful look.
Cuban Collar Shirt
Cuban collar (camp collar) shirts are the men’s summer shirt star of the moment. They’ve been building in popularity over the last few years and are now absolutely everywhere. These shirts are defined by the flat collar that rests on your neck and upper chest. They are perfect for wearing in hot weather as they typically come in super light material and short sleeves.
The other great about Cuban collars is their versatility. Look for ones with bright colors, loose fits, and unique patterns to make a casual summer outfit stand out. Or choose a toned-down Cuban collar shirt in a tailored fit to wear with smart pants or under a blazer for a more formal summer outfit.
Seersucker Shirt (And Textured Materials in General)
Seersucker is a type of cotton fabric notable for its puckered, almost wrinkled texture. The material is super light, breathable, and falls away from the skin. This means it keeps you cool by allowing air to circulate.
It’s the perfect type of shirt for a preppy summer outfit when paired with some chinos, slacks, or smart shorts. Or wear one unbuttoned over a white t-shirt to give your look some edge. Seersucker shirts can be long or short sleeved. They often come with vertical stripes, although they’re easy enough to find in a variety of neutral colors.
The current trend for loose fitting, loud shirt styles means it was only a matter of time before bowling style shirts made a comeback. These are boxier than the above two styles and they definitely stay at the more casual end of the menswear spectrum. But the above features also make them perfect for wearing in summer as the loose fit keeps you cool and the bright colors and patterns fit nicely into your summer wardrobe.
Few shirts bring a casual summer vibe like a Hawaiian one. And current trends mean that now is a great time to add one to your wardrobe. There are many ways you could choose to go when buying one that’s on-trend. I really like the faded colors and simple two-tone design of this shirt from Zara.
Linen is the perfect material for summer due to how light it is. It’s also a good choice if you need to stay formal in the hot summer months—although you’ll also find plenty of casual options too. It’s easy enough to wear linen shirts with tailoring, smart pants, chinos, and shorts. Linen shirts are often long-sleeved, although it’s easy to roll them up or undo a button or two to keep yourself cool. It’s also easy enough to combine linen with other styles on this list. You’ll likely see plenty of linen shirts with Hawaiian patterns or camp collars when shopping around. For a classic version, Uniqlo has a great selection available.
Oxford collar shirts don’t exactly scream “chilled out summer fashion.” But fans of the style can keep wearing them in summer by choosing ones with shorter sleeves. But a tailored fit one in a classic color for when you want to keep things traditional. Or you can up the ante by choosing one in bright colors or summer patterns.