How to Pick a Summer Shirt You'll Wear All Season Long

If we were to ask you to look through your closet right now, what might we find? We’d probably find the 10-20% of items that you actually wear on a regular basis. But we’re willing to bet that unless you cleaned it out recently, a vast majority of those items are clothing articles that you don’t wear on a regular basis.

Don’t fret. Most of us make the same mistake, buying clothes that we like at the point of purchase without giving much thought to how often we’ll actually wear them. With summer just around the bend, we thought it would be a good time to offer you a guide to summer shirts that will give you a few things to think about before buying. Our goal? Providing you with a shirt you’ll actually wear all season long.

First Things First: Versatility

Versatility is the key to adding a summer shirt that you’ll wear. Sure, the occasion-specific outfit is nice…but they also spend most of their time simply taking up space in your wardrobe. Let’s look at some ways you can sift for versatility in the next summer shirt you buy:

  • Summer shirts are generally lightly-colored so as to reflect most of the sun back to where it came from. Lightly colored shirts tend to be versatile all summer, as well, which means that light blues, whites, yellows, and more can blend seamlessly with the shorts, pants, and other items already present in your wardrobe.
  • What kind of shirt are you in the market for? We think a button-up like our Authentic Madras Navy, looks good on a breezy day at the beach just as it does in more formal occasions and casual get-togethers.

Pick a shirt that combines versatile colors with a versatile style and you’ll have something that you can wear casually or dress up with pants for the more formal occasions. Versatility like that will help you get the maximum value out of the shirt, and pairing it up with different clothes will keep your wardrobe fresh.

Fabrics: Staying Comfortable in the Sun

Just as important as how the shirt looks is how it functions in the summer heat. We mentioned that lighter colors are the obvious choice here, but let’s not ignore the quality of the fabric itself.

Cotton weaves like seersucker are great for pants, but what about shirts? You’ll do well sticking to cotton. The Authentic Madras Red shirt is 100% cotton, for example, helping it to feel every bit as light as it looks.

Effective insulators like wool are to be avoided in summer. Polyester is a lower-quality fabric that has some advantages in terms of weight, as well. But cotton is generally accepted as the go-to fabric of choice for when you need an open, breezy shirt that will help keep you cool.

With a versatile, comfortable shirt added to your wardrobe, you should have no problem finding a summer shirt that will suit your needs whether you’re headed to the beach or preparing for that summer internship.