The Compass  /  5 EssentialsStyle  /  Keep These Essential Dress Shirts In Your Rotation All Summer

Keep These Essential Dress Shirts In Your Rotation All Summer

5 Essential Men's Dress Shirts of Summer

It’s hot. Like, midday in the Sahara hot. Summer just got started and you’re already burning up at the office. It could be your shirts that are making you miserable. When it’s hot, men’s shirts, perhaps more than any other item we wear, trap heat and keep us feeling steamy. Why? Men’s dress shirts stay wrapped around the pulse points at your neck and wrists and can work like insulation during the summer. That’s why we suggest adjusting your style to the season with a collection of summer dress shirts.

You can shelve the heavy oxfords and leave the darker colors in your closet. We’re talking summer-appropriate dress shirts here. Nothing too heavy. Nothing too casual, just five essential shirts to get you through even the hottest of workweeks.

We’re not saying to trash all of your dress shirts and start over (though the occasional wardrobe reboot can be a good thing). We are suggesting that you work some lightweight shirts into your wardrobe and we’ve got five good examples here.

Tame Manic Monday
With a White Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

5 Essential Men's Dress Shirts of Summer 1 - White Solid Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

A man can never have too many solid white shirts. Some, are heavy and more appropriate for cooler weather but this one is light enough to wear even through the dog days of summer. In fact, if you just wore a rotation of these all summer long you wouldn’t get any guff from us.

Pair it with…

Whatever you damn well please. This shirt is a true workhorse. We’ve matched it up with a black custom suit and a solid black tie for a super simple minimalist look, but we challenge you to find a suit that doesn’t work with this shirt. It can’t be done.

Tackle Tuesday
In a Purple Grid Check Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

The beauty of a grid check shirt is that it can look like a solid shirt from afar and a patterned shirt up close. This pattern isn’t loud enough to be seen from across the room (instead it’ll look like a subtle lavender), but up close the pattern adds a layer of complexity to your look that will have people thinking, “There’s more to this guy than meets the eye.”

Pair it with…

A solid-mid gray suit, like the Cool Gray Custom Suit, that’s got year-round appeal and is superb for summer.

5 Essential Men's Dress Shirts of Summer 2 - Purple Grid Check Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

Get Over the Hump
In a Navy Gingham Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

5 Essential Men's Dress Shirts of Summer 3 - Navy Gingham Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

This high contrast gingham is a smart way to bring visual interest to an otherwise low-key outfit. It works just as well with a navy suit as it does with jeans but we love it with light colors in the summer. Bonus: this shirt works weekends. Just roll up the sleeves and wear it with shorts for a laid back backyard barbecue look.

Pair it with…

A light suit, like the Light Gray Custom Suit, to really play up the contrast in the shirt.

Thirsty Thursday
Means a Blue Solid Herringbone Weave Custom Dress Shirt

Itching for the weekend? A non-white shirt smooths the style transition from office hours to happy hour and looks great when the sun goes down. Don’t worry, you’ll still look sharp all day in this understated herringbone.

Pair it with…

A solid or subtly patterned light suit like the Sullivan Gray Pinstripe Custom Suit.

5 Essential Men's Dress Shirts of Summer 4 - Blue Solid Herringbone Weave Custom Dress Shirt

(This Gingham Is For Friday)

5 Essential Men's Dress Shirts of Summer 5 - Red & Blue Gingham Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt

Come casual Friday, the tie gets the day off and your shirt gets the spotlight between the lapels. Don’t waste this opportunity to step up the punch in both pattern and color. Now is the time to fire up this All-American gingham.

Pair it with…

A pair of chinos in a complementary color, like the blue you see here, and a neutral khaki sport jacket, like the Khaki Linen Blend Custom Blazer, to balance out the strong colors in this shirt.

Stick with these essentials if you want to avoid getting too hot under the collar this summer. These shirts will keep you looking so good, there will be no doubt what they mean when the ladies say you look hot.

Your Next Move:

Like What You See? There's More.

We'll send you style advice and intel for the modern man.

14 thoughts on “Keep These Essential Dress Shirts In Your Rotation All Summer”

  1. Josh says:

    Great article guys! Any advice for a guy who tends to sweat quite a bit? I feel really hot in a suit. So I sweat but then I can’t take my jacket off because of the stains. So I just sit there.. And melt. Any ideas regarding sweat-stain-proof shirts?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      We do have some advice for you, Josh. In fact, we’ve devoted whole articles to the topic. First we wrote about Avoiding the Summer Pits, then we expanded on that with an entire story about undershirts.

      Just for good measure, we’ve also recommended linen blend blazers and partially lined jackets as further protection against oppressive heat.

  2. Gabriel says:

    Love your site. Quick question: what’s up with the extra long ties on this page? Is that a thing now. I was taught the tie should just kiss your belt.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      You’ve got the rule right. The tie should “kiss the belt.” Of course, that word isn’t really helpful. Is it a kiss like you kiss your mother on the cheek or a kiss of the more passionate French style? As in real kissing, the participants’ height factors in. (If you’ve ever strained your neck making out with somebody who’s a foot shorter than you, you know that it can be difficult.) The models in this shoot are varying heights. That plus variations in tie knots, plus personal preferences leads to different tie lengths.

      The general idea is that, according to some, your tie should touch the top of your belt buckle. We’re not much for rules, but we can get behind this as a guideline. Should the point of your tie land at the exact top of the y-axis of your belt buckle? That would be nice, but you won’t be heckled in the street if your tie goes lower or higher. Don’t take these rules too literally, Gabriel. Or, if you do, get a custom tie from the likes of Peter Field to get the tie cut to the perfect length for your height and knot preference.

      1. Gabriel says:

        Thanks for the response. I’m still learning which rules to break and how to do it without looking silly. Keep up the great work!

        1. Black Lapel says:

          “I’m still learning which rules to break and how to do it without looking silly.” What a great quote! We feel the same way. Never stop learning and challenging, Gabriel.

  3. Xavier says:

    I think the Blue Herringbone would look even better with pants of a darker color, but that would take away from staying cool. Know of any dark color fabrics that would help keep you cool in the summer sun?

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Funny you should ask, we’re working on a story about that very topic!

      We’d suggest the Madison Blue Micro Check suit (or pants). Since the Madison fabric is 100% tropical wool it’s a dark, but lightweight fabric.

      Stay tuned for more on this topic soon, Xavier.

      1. Xavier says:

        Thanks, that would perfect.

  4. Jay says:

    I need to get me a TGIFF shirt!

    1. Black Lapel says:

      Tomorrow, the 4th of July, is the perfect Friday to break that one out, but it’ll work all through the year.

  5. Gene Smith says:

    I am fortunate enough to own all five of these fabulous shirts!
    I adore the way they hug my muscles and keep me cool in more ways than one.

    1. Black Lapel says:

      5 for 5, huh Gene? Nice!

      Consider this a template for next week’s outfits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.