short sleeve button down shirts

Meet the Shirt That Practically Shouts “Summer Leisure”

The short-sleeve collared shirt is the "it" item of the season.

Once classified as the uniform of your neighborhood tacky tourist, the short-sleeve collared shirt (often rendered in a loud and wacky print) has evolved into a stylish, seemingly refined summer staple. Ushered in by menswear labels like Bode, now all the cool kids are making one. Over the past few seasons, they've appeared throughout the collections of Dries Van Noten, Casablanca, Bevza, and Mara Hoffman. And though the relaxed silhouette masquerades under a variety of terms—camp shirt, bowling shirt, Hawaiian shirt—the feeling is unanimous: summer leisure.

Instagram favorite Tombolo, who staked the ethos of their brand DNA on this idea of the cabana shirt, as they call it, has captivated shoppers with a variety of styles that appeal to both men and women. "We are absolutely obsessed with the combination of backward-looking nostalgia and forward-looking creativity that a short-sleeve button-down shirt affords," the founders Michael Sard and Chris Galasso tell Coveteur. "There is an unbelievably rich history of these garments and their beautiful and expressive motifs. They transport the wearer to a better time and place."

short sleeve button down shirts

Photo: Courtesy of Mara Hoffman

"This is the hallmark of our cabana shirts," they continue, "where we have basically constructed an entirely new type of shirt with embroidered motifs that interplay with the pockets—yet they are grounded in so much history and draw inspiration from items with a similar ethos from the 1950s, '60s, and '70s." Worn everywhere from the beach to dinner, this is a trend that doesn't discriminate based on gender. Rooted in menswear, the oversized silhouette inspires stylish women to counteract its inherent conservative masculinity with something more feminine or shocking, like a bralette, a miniskirt, or any flash of skin. Regardless, it all ties into that lighter summer energy.

Hand in hand with the island mentality the shirt champions is the idea of slowing down and appreciating the little things. "The other thing about a really beautiful short-sleeve button-down shirt is the ritual inherent in wearing it. Aside from a tuxedo, we can't think of any other menswear item that has such a clear ritual of anticipation as you button it up," Sard and Galasso explain. "It transports you into an escapist mindset and becomes the uniform for wonderful memories. Maybe above all else this is why we are so fascinated with the short-sleeve button-down and think that we are just getting started." Discover how to style the summer staple and shop our favorites below.

Wear Them With:


Corresponding Shorts

A Bralette



Loud Pants

A Sarong

Leather Pants

A Clashing Print

Bowling Shirt

Holiday the Label

Crochet Diamond Blouse

Rebecca Taylor

Duel Short Sleeve Shirt

Martine Rose
$510 $362

Deryn Floral-print Linen Shirt

Faithfull the Brand

Crinkled-satin Shirt

Acne Studios

Comparo Shirt

The Frankie Shop
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