5 Best Short Sleeve Work Shirts for Hot Weather

Yes, short sleeve shirts have made a comeback, and yes, they are stylish. Short-sleeve work shirts are undoubtedly considered casual but for professional tradesmen or laborers, this doesn’t present a problem when on the job. For management, however, it may.

Best Short Sleeve Work Shirts

Since the short sleeve dress shirt doesn’t exist, and we can’t imagine a short sleeve shirt with a tie, top management will have to wait for casual Friday to wear one. Unless of course, they want to wear long-sleeved shirts and roll them up.

When temperatures are high, a good short-sleeved cotton shirt can be a lifesaver. Naturally, short-sleeved well-fitting tee shirts are a different case. Good quality and well-cut t-shirts can look very attractive and chic at work just as short-sleeved polo shirts will afford a nice, polished look.

In a Hurry… Check out the Comparison Top Work Shirt

Work ShirtsMaterialSizingPocketsExtras
Wrangler Authentics Short Sleeve Classic Woven100% cottonSmall to 3XLarge or 2X TallTwoSpread collar
Dickies short Sleeve Button-Down65% polyester, 35% cottonSmall to 4XLargeTwo18 color options
Red Kap Industrial Stripe Short Sleeve Shirt65% polyester, 35% cottonSmall to 6XLargeTwoPocket pencil stall
Red Kap Industrial Short Sleeve Shirt65% polyester, 35% cottonSmall to 6XLarge TallTwoTwo-piece collar with stays
Bulwark Flame Resistant Short Sleeve T-Shirt100% CottonXXSmall to 8XLargeoneFlame resistant, Meets safety requirements

Short-sleeved cotton shirts may bring to mind the science nerd, however, we have good news! Nowadays short-sleeved cotton shirts thanks to new designs and fabric mixes, can show off a nice muscular silhouette.

Advantages to wearing a short sleeve shirt on the job are abundant. If your profession allows this option, you can keep cooler, and be bold with your look. No need to wear white or blue, you can add in bright colors, checks, stripes, gingham, and any number of designs to express your personality. Nonetheless, best to leave the Hawaiian palm trees, florals, and polka dots to the teenagers.

Fabrics should preferably be high-quality and for those that can wear a slim fit, short sleeve shirts will last find a place permanently in your wardrobe. Paying attention to the fit of the sleeves is important for your look. No flaring sleeves. The sleeves should fit comfortably, giving you a clean professional look.

Our Best Short Sleeve Work Shirt List

The Classic White Short Sleeve Work Shirt

This is really a no-brainer! A white button-down classic shirt is never a bad choice. You’ve probably been wearing one since your earliest school days. You’ll want to keep in mind fabric quality because a transparent shirt on the job is inappropriate.

Our Choice

1. Wrangler Authentics Short Sleeve Men’s Classic Woven Shirt

While many short sleeve work shirts are made in a fabric that is a blend of cotton and polyester, this Wrangler shirt is 100% cotton for those who prefer or need a natural fabric. 

It may not be as lightweight as some of the poly-cotton mixes. It features a pretty straightforward design with chest pockets that have button closures. The fit is relaxed.

It is available in a total of nine different colors including white. Sizing ranges from Small to 3X-Large and 2X-Tall. Affordable. 

Pros

      • 100% cotton
      • Nine different color options
      • Relaxed fit
      • Two button-flap pockets on chest
      • Affordable

Cons

      • Sizing considerations
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A Navy Blue Shirt Will Always Look Good

Navy blue is a color that flatters just about every figure, so why not add one or two to your selection of short sleeve work shirts.

Our Choice

2. Dickies Short-Sleeve Button-Down Work Shirt

Dickies is a renowned name in men’s workwear since 1922. One of their most popular is the short-sleeve button-down.

While this shirt is available in well over a dozen various colors, we really like their shade of navy blue. It’s made in a blend of cotton and polyester that is moisture-wicking and wrinkle resistant.

It features a relaxed fit in the shoulders so as not to limit the range of motion. The shirttail is square to help with tucking in, although it looks great out too.

Sizing is from Small to 4X-Large. Two button up chest pockets offer convenience for carrying documents or accessories.

Pros

      • Machine washable
      • Wrinkle resistant
      • Many color options
      • Relaxed fit shoulders

Cons

      • Sizing considerations
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The Striped Short Sleeve Work Shirt

While many bold designs whether floral or geometric may not look great on a short sleeve model, stripes are the exception. A subtle stripe can give a short sleeve shirt that something extra in design.

Lighter color combinations are optimal for giving you that neat professional look and a classic blue and white stripe is a perennial that can’t go wrong.

Our Choice

3. Red Kap Industrial Stripe Short Sleeve Men’s Work Shirt

Here, Red Kap gives you another option in design. This shirt which is available in seven different color stripe combinations offers a classic professional look.

The fabric used is a poly-cotton blend with 65% polyester and 35% cotton, which makes the shirt both moisture-wicking and stain-resistant.

It has two chest pockets and the left pocket also has a pencil stall. A seven-button front includes a button at the neck. It is machine washable. The sizing ranges from small through 6X-Large.

Pros

      • Machine washable
      • Moisture-wicking
      • Stain-resistant
      • Chest pocket with pencil stall
      • Budget-friendly

Cons

      • Sizing may run large
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The Bold Single Color Statement

Since short sleeve shirts will be worn predominantly in the summer and in a professional environment that is appropriate for casual dress, why not experiment with bold color?

You can always opt for a solid neutral like tan, beige, or even black, however, you can also try a vivid orange, green, rust, or even red. Solid colors look great paired with chinos or denim.

Our Choice

4. Red Kap Industrial Short Sleeve Work Shirt

This famous brand in workwear rarely disappoints and this short sleeve work shirt is no exception. This is a classically designed work shirt with a button-down front that gives a clean professional appearance on the job.

Made in a poly-cotton blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, the shirt is moisture-wicking, stain-resistant, and breathable.

This lightweight shirt features pockets without a flap closure and the left pocket has a pencil stall. We love the bright orange! Sizing ranges from Small to 6X Large Tall.

Pros

      • Machine washable
      • Two-piece Collar with stays
      • Touchtex Technology
      • Soft fabric
      • Great Colors
      • Budget Buy

Cons

      • Sizing may run small
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Safety in Short Sleeves

If you work in an environment that exposes you to flame or fire, a short sleeve work shirt is a terrific option to resist the heat, particularly if you’re working around flames in the summer or in warmer climates.

If your job requires safety certification for your attire, you’ll need a short sleeve shirt that can guarantee what it claims to do.

Our Choice

5. Bulwark Flame Resistant Short Sleeve T-Shirt

Bulwark is a company that is well-known for making workwear that is flame resistant. If you work at a construction or industrial site where safety precautions include wearing a flame-resistant shirt, this t-shirt is a really nice-looking option.

It is produced in seven-ounce 100% cotton. If your profession has safety requirements, this shirt may be for you. It comes in a choice of navy or grey and sizing ranges from XXSmall to 8XLarge.

Machine washable, it meets or exceeds CAT2, ARC ATPV 8.9 and is compliant with NFPA 2112 requirements. One chest pocket, and tagless, it has a crewneck collar.

Pros

      • Great sizing options
      • Fire-resistant
      • 100% cotton
      • Machine washable

Cons

      • A bit more expensive
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A Good Fit Can Be Everything to Your Professional Look and Comfort

Nothing is more important than a good fit. If you require good physical movement to perform your job, keep this in mind when selecting.

The Shirt cannot be so tight that your range of movement is limited or somehow restricted. Breathability should be considered when choosing also, in order to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your entire work shift.

The Quality of Shirt Construction 

Work Shirts, whether short-sleeved or long-sleeved, can be made from any number of materials or fabric combinations. Undoubtedly, the quality of the fabric used in making the shirt will also influence its price.

Shirts today are available in cotton, silk, linen, lycra, and polyester. Sometimes a manufacturer will use a combination of these fabrics or perhaps technical fabrics or combinations of new synthetics. Both function and comfort will be the goals of serious manufacturers, but durability will be a goal for manufacturers trying to win customers’ approval.

A high-quality fabric will be able to maintain its structure for many years, in spite of tough working conditions. Low-quality materials will probably cost considerably less but they may not last for extended work periods.

The shirt material should feel soft to the touch should you have any skin sensitivities that can be exacerbated by perspiration or in the event you choose not to wear an undershirt.

Budgeting: How Much Should I Spend for a Short Sleeve Work Shirt?

This will depend entirely on your budget. You’ll need to purchase more than a single shirt, so you should be looking for shirts that give you your money’s worth for your hard-earned cash.

If you are not able to spend a lot and have a tight budget, don’t choose the cheapest work shirt just because it’s cheap. Durability must enter into any cost considerations. There is no point in buying a shirt that is cheap and then having to replace it a few months or even weeks later.

You also can’t run up debt for work shirts. Avoid any expensive features you don’t need. Always compare the quality to the cost.

If a more expensive shirt will satisfy your work needs and guarantee long-lasting durability, it will be worth a little extra expense particularly if this saves you from spending more money later on.

Imagine buying seven shirts that last a full two years as opposed to but twenty-one shirts in the same time period because the shirts didn’t last.

Do I Need Special Features on my Work Shirt?

This will depend on your profession. Pockets for accessories or documents, bright colors for safety visibility on the job, or maybe a flame-retardant treatment could be necessary when doing your job. 

Easy-care features are a time saving plus that you may want to keep in mind such as machine washability or non-iron fabrics. These may save you or whoever does the laundry quite a bit of time.

FAQs when shopping for a best short sleeve work shirt

Does my employer have a dress code or requirements for work clothing?

Many businesses may have rules or uniform requirements for safety considerations. Always check with your boss or union representative before buying.

Does my profession require specific safety clothing such as a fire-retardant or flame-resistant treatment?

All types of work attire should meet the minimum safety requirements established by the competent authority.

What fabric has been used in the construction of the shirt?

Materials should ideally be durable and functional as well as comfortable while you are on the job. Common materials used in work shirt making include cotton or polyester or a mix.

How much should I spend?

Rather than how much should you spend, it’s how much can you spend. Establish your budget before you even look at shirts.

Avoid overspending for features you don’t need, or that your job doesn’t require. If you plan on purchasing a number of shirts, ask if a discount is available for larger purchases.

Should I buy my work shirt at a store or online?

It is better to try on your selected shirt before buying it. This way, you can avoid any unpleasant sizing or uncomfortable surprises.

If you cannot try on the shirt you want to buy, or perhaps it’s just more convenient to shop online, make sure you can exchange or return any unsatisfying purchases for a refund.

Read any reviews and as much client feedback about the shirt that you can find before purchasing to get an idea of which seller may give the best offers for the work shirt you want. Look for sizing availability, delivery time, better prices, discounts, and sales. 

We hope this article has been helpful in assisting you in the choice of a best short sleeve work shirt for your professional activities.