How to Pull Off Long-Sleeve Shirts with Shorts

Autumn is here, and that means a lot of change is headed your way. Leaves will change color, and so will the outfits. Temperatures will drop. People will wear thicker clothing and add more layers to stay warm. And if you’re like anyone else, you want to feel as comfortable as possible when the temperature dips.

There’s just one problem: despite the presence of fall, you’re not so willing to give up your shorts without a fight.

We’re right there with you. Shorts are comfortable, and they have more seasonal staying power than you might think. A simple solution: add layers up top and keep wearing shorts until it’s so cold that you finally have to wear pants.

Here’s a guide to doing that while keeping your sense of style intact:

Seasonal Color Codes Still Apply

Although it’s tempting to think that the long-sleeve/short-pants combination will allow you to skirt several sartorial rules, it’s no excuse to ignore some basic fundamentals like color combinations. Put simply, seasonal color codes still apply, which means that if it’s cold enough to wear long-sleeve shirts, you’ll generally want to avoid wearing lots of summer colors like white.

But that doesn’t mean you should abandon some of your favorite summer shorts. Consider this Sahara Twill Flat Front Short in Charleston Brick. The Charleston Brick color is light enough for summer…but can you still wear it in fall? Sure. Just combine it with a more fall-appropriate color that complements the Charleston Brick, like a Navy blue sweater. You’ll look every bit the “autumn dresser” while still getting away with wearing a summer piece.

Ditch the Short Shorts for Longer Pieces

We know that shorter shorts are all the rage; heck, we love short shorts. But as the temperature goes, so should the shorts. That’s why we offer 9" shorts as well. Plenty of these shorts are summer-appropriate, of course—you can tell that just by looking that the colors available. But many of them, including “Dusty Blue,” or “Stone” or “Dusty Khaki” are perfect to wear in the autumn as well.

Not only will these shorts look more autumn-appropriate, but they’ll actually do a better job of keeping you warm thanks to the extra fabric. You might call it a compromise; we just call it dressing smarter.

Tops to Wear with Shorts

It’s only fair to admit that some tops pair better with shorts than others. If the top half of your body is dressed in a tuxedo and the bottom half is dressed in a bathing suit, then you’re going to look a little out of place.

If, however, you wear any of the following, you should have no problem matching long sleeves with shorts:

  • Sweatshirts
  • Long-sleeve tees
  • Rugby shirts
  • Long-sleeve polo shirts
  • Button-down shirts including our Shirt Jackets

Shorts can be dressed up in the summer because they’re something of a sartorial necessity; in cooler months, they lean more to the casual side, which is why you’ll want to pair them with casual tops.

But “casual” doesn’t have to mean sloppy or poorly dressed. Casual can be sharp; as long as you stick to good color pairings, a comfortable fit, and, of course, a high-quality pair of shorts. Shop all your fall apparel at Vintage 1946 and start prepping for the cooler autumn weather.