20 Summer Shirts That'll Keep You Cool in More Ways Than One (2024)

20 Summer Shirts That'll Keep You Cool in More Ways Than One (1)

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The best summer shirts aren't one size fits all. They come in a range of cuts, prints, fabrics—what have you. It really depends on what you’re going to be doing, where you’re going, and who you’re going with. To wit: If date night for two is in the cards, you might want to bypass a white tee. In the same vein, playing ball in the park need not require a designer short-sleeve button-up. Not even A-Rod would do that. Like all things, the right shirt for the sunny months is all relative.

Still, every ideal summer shirt should have certain qualities. First and foremost is a lightweight material. Avoid wool, cashmere, and any heavy, insulating knits; that’s a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. Think cotton, linen, and even terrycloth. Natural fibers are best, because they allow for maximum breathability and feel better on the skin in the sweltering heat.

Next on the docket is the sleeve length. What characterizes a summer shirt over, say, a shirt for any other season is the fact that the sleeves are short. Sure, you can opt for something that offers full coverage—and if you choose to roll it up, great—but a shirt for summer it is not. It’s really about showing off your forearms and, let’s be real, the new watch that has been lying dormant underneath your cuff for longer than it should. It’s time to let that bad boy shine.

Last is color. Dark hues attract light and, by extension, heat, which is why it is best to stick to a lighter palette. A great tropical or floral pattern will also help you get into the summer spirit. (More about that here.)

Once you factor in these three essential traits, the best shirt to wear in this post-pandemic world is yours for the picking. If you need some help (I mean, you clearly do; you found this story), we got a nifty variety for ya. From the of-the-moment camp shirt to the classic polo, nothing on this list will steer you wrong this summer.

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best basic linen shirt

Everlane Linen Short-Sleeve Standard Fit Shirt

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Light, easy, and breathable, linen is the perfect material for too-hot-to-handle days.

best basic t-shirt

Lululemon Fundamental T-Shirt

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best basic t-shirt

Lululemon Fundamental T-Shirt

The name says it all.

best stylish t-shirt

Scotch & Soda Embroidered Jersey Artwork T-Shirt

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best stylish t-shirt

Scotch & Soda Embroidered Jersey Artwork T-Shirt

Now 30% Off

A regular T-shirt is a must-have for hot weather. An embroidered T-shirt as cool as this one? Well, that's a must-have in general.

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best casual shirt

Bonobos Stretch Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt

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best casual shirt

Bonobos Stretch Riviera Short Sleeve Shirt

Perfect for a yacht—beer in one hand, canapé in the other.

best basic polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Solid Cotton Polo Shirt

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best basic polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Solid Cotton Polo Shirt

When it comes to polos, it doesn’t get any more classic than the brand with "polo" right there in the name.

best stylish polo

Todd Snyder Italian Cotton Ribbed Polo Sweater

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best stylish polo

Todd Snyder Italian Cotton Ribbed Polo Sweater

If you want to try a polo with flavor, this guy—with some Italian seasoning—is mighty tasty.

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best minimalist linen shirt

Ben Sherman Linen Shirt

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best minimalist linen shirt

Ben Sherman Linen Shirt

Easy, breezy, lightweight—and under $30.

chicest linen shirt

Banana Republic Castelleto Untucked Linen Shirt

20 Summer Shirts That'll Keep You Cool in More Ways Than One (20)

chicest linen shirt

Banana Republic Castelleto Untucked Linen Shirt

Now 38% Off

Banana Republic makes a shirt that's simultaneously relaxed and classy, breezy and polished.

best go-to shirt

Saturdays NYC York Camp Collar Short Sleeve Shirt

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best go-to shirt

Saturdays NYC York Camp Collar Short Sleeve Shirt

With shorts or jeans, this is your summertime staple.

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best printed shirt

Uniqlo Open Collar Short Sleeve Shirt

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best printed shirt

Uniqlo Open Collar Short Sleeve Shirt

Breathable and stylish, Uniqlo puts their best foot forward with this easy basic.

best seersucker shirt

Abercrombie & Fitch Camp Collar Seersucker Shirt

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best seersucker shirt

Abercrombie & Fitch Camp Collar Seersucker Shirt

Seersucker! For summer! A classic!

best summery shirt

Alexis Zambrano x Tombolo Martini Cabana

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best summery shirt

Alexis Zambrano x Tombolo Martini Cabana

I mean, doesn't this martini shirt just scream "summer"?

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best elevated shirt

AMI Paris Bicolor Ami de Cœur T-shirt

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best elevated shirt

AMI Paris Bicolor Ami de Cœur T-shirt

In a light rib knit, AMI takes a ringer tee up a notch in both style and construction.

best luxury shirt

Loro Piana Regatta Stretch-Cotton Piqué Polo

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best luxury shirt

Loro Piana Regatta Stretch-Cotton Piqué Polo

Take a page out of Kendall Roy's book, and add some Loro Piana to your summer rotation.

best sweat-wicking shirt

Cos Toweling Polo Shirt

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best sweat-wicking shirt

Cos Toweling Polo Shirt

This summery polo is made from absorbent organic cotton, so when you sweat, it wicks it away for you. Exactly what the season calls for.

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coolest shirt

J.Crew Wallace & Barnes Camp-Collar Shirt

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coolest shirt

J.Crew Wallace & Barnes Camp-Collar Shirt

In a groovy as hell patchwork print, this shirt will have you feeling as cool as you look.

best everyday t-shirt

Nautica Short-Sleeve Pocket T-shirt

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20 Summer Shirts That'll Keep You Cool in More Ways Than One (30)

best everyday t-shirt

Nautica Short-Sleeve Pocket T-shirt

Now 27% Off

A simple summer crew neck, with a pocket for your small essentials.

best simple linen shirt

Wellen Easy Linen Short Sleeve Shirt

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best simple linen shirt

Wellen Easy Linen Short Sleeve Shirt

Now 41% Off

Linen is a staple for hot weather. This relaxed short sleeve button-up does it with a simple chicness.

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best breezy linen shirt

Lucky Brand Short Sleeve Linen Camp Shirt

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best breezy linen shirt

Lucky Brand Short Sleeve Linen Camp Shirt

Your khakis' new best friend.

best striped linen shirt

Oliver Spencer Havana Camp-Collar Striped Linen Shirt

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best striped linen shirt

Oliver Spencer Havana Camp-Collar Striped Linen Shirt

Stripes and linen are a match made in heaven.

20 Summer Shirts That'll Keep You Cool in More Ways Than One (2024)
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