9 Best Work Shirts for Hot Weather (Long and Short Sleeved)

If you are a professional tradesman or laborer that works in a warmer climate zone, or if your summers are gruelingly hot, you’ll need and want a work shirt that cools and keeps moisture away from your skin.

Best Work Shirts for Hot WeatherYou’ll want a lightweight shirt that keeps you as fresh as possible during long hours in office heat or direct on-site sunlight and helps you avoid overheating.

Not every shirt available on the market is appropriate for hot weather, so regardless of whether you are in an office or out in the open air, the correct shirt for the heat is a must. 

We hope this guide will assist you in selecting your best work shirt for hot weather.

Comparison of Summer Work Shirts

Work ShirtMaterial SizingPocketStyle
Dickies Temp-iq Performance Polyester/cottonRegular, Small- 2X, 2T-4T, Large Tall-4XYesT-shirt
Carhartt Force Cotton Polyester/cottonS-3XL, Large Tall- 3XTYesT-shirt
Carhartt Lightweight Button-DownChambray cottonS-XL, XLTall, XXL-4XLTwo Button-down
Wrangler ATG Long Sleeve

92% Polyester, 8 % spandexMedium to 4X And Tall sizings availableTwo pockets, one with zipButton-down
Hanes Long Sleeve Cool Dri100% PolyesterX-small-3XLNo T-shirt
Carhartt K87 Workwear PocketVarious options from 100% cotton to ploy-cotton mixes  Small to 5XLYes T-shirt
Fly Hawk Bamboo Fiber25% Bamboo fiber, 40% Tencel, 30%cotton, 5% spandexXXSmall-XLNo Button-down
Hanes X-Temp PerformancePoly-cottonSmall-3XLNo Polo
Van Heusen Big and Tall AirRayon and polyester Regular, Tall and Big sizing available No Button-down

Best Long-sleeved Work Shirts for Hot Weather

1. Dickies Temp-iq Performance Long Sleeve T-Shirt

This is a terrific long-sleeved t-shirt for hot weather and features moisture-wicking and cooling properties. It is made in a poly-cotton mix and is lighter than a traditional heavy cotton t-shirt.

The shirt has a pocket on the front chest with a pencil stall for tradesmen that need a pencil readily at hand.

Pros

      • Moisture-wicking
      • Front pocket
      • Lightweight poly-cotton mix
      • Affordable

Cons

      • Sizing considerations
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2. Carhartt Force Cotton Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

Carhartt is a manufacturer known for its work garments. This long-sleeve T is made in a poly-cotton fabric blend that features moisture-wicking.

It is styled in a relaxed fit guaranteeing breathability. The shirt also boasts stain-fighting technology to keep your appearance clean on the job. This Carhartt also comes with a front pocket.

Pros

      • Relaxed fit
      • Moisture-wicking
      • Stain fighting
      • Front Pocket

Cons

      • Expensive
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3. Carhartt Lightweight Button-Down Long Sleeve Work Shirt

If you don’t want a T-shirt or need a shirt that looks good if you need to run between a worksite and the office, this Carhartt button-down shirt is a great option.

It is made with Chambray cotton that is very lightweight at 4.5 ounces. The shirt features a pleated back in its design for ease of movement and had two front pockets. Shirts and Pockets use buttons.

Pros

      • Various color options
      • Lightweight
      • Back pleat
      • Pockets

Cons

      • Sleeves very long
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4. Wrangler ATG Long Sleeve Button-Down Shirt

This shirt belongs to Wrangler’s ATG or All-Terrain Gear line of clothing. It has a nice look as a button-down shirt but boasts several features that make it noteworthy when looking for a long sleeve work shirt.

The shirt offers UPF 30 for UV ray protection, underarm panels for increased movement range, a sleeve loop for rolling up those sleeves when necessary, pockets, and a vented back for cooling.

A really cool extra is the glass cleaning fabric sewn inside the hem of the shirt should you need to clean glasses or sunglasses.

Pros

      • Breathable
      • UPF 30 protection
      • Two pockets, one with zip closure

Cons

      • Sizing considerations
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5. Hanes Long Sleeve Cool Dri T-Shirt

Hanes sells this long-sleeve T-shirt in packages of two. The T offers a UPF of 50+ to keep you as safe as possible while in the sun. Made from 100% Polyester, the shirt is incredibly lightweight at 4-ounce fabric.

While it has no chest pocket, it is moisture-wicking and quick-drying, an ideal shirt for laborers who work primarily outside in the sun.

Pros

      • 2 Shirt-package
      • moisture-wicking
      • quick drying

Cons

      • no pocket
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Best Short-sleeved Work Shirts for Hot Weather

6. Carhartt K87 Workwear Pocket Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Carhartt is a renowned company for work apparel and this T-Shirt lives up to the manufacturer’s reputation. It is a terrific all-purpose work T offered in several fabrics and some very attractive colors. It can be purchased in 

      • 100% cotton
      • 99% cotton-1% polyester mix
      • 60% cotton-40% polyester mix
      • 90% cotton-10%polyester mix

This T has a chest pocket with the Carhartt label sewn on the front.

Pros

      • Fabric Options
      • Color Options
      • front pocket

Cons

      • Sizing runs larger
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7. Fly Hawk Fitted Bamboo Fiber Short Sleeve Button-Down Shirt

Made in lightweight bamboo fiber and Tencel fabric, this attractive dress button-down shirt has been designed for hot weather.

The fabric is antimicrobial to reduce odor risk and is moisture-wicking with some UV protection. This is a perfect shirt for meetings, office business, or important appointments.

Pros

      • Good Fit
      • Soft fabric
      • Comfortable

Cons

      • Hand wash
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8. Hanes X-Temp Performance Men’s Polo Shirt

This Hanes model features a material called X-Temp which is a blend of polyester and cotton that has been created to adapt to your body’s temperature to avoid overheating.

It has a UPF 40 for UV ray protection and is available in sizes small to XXXL.

Pros

      • Soft Material
      • Breathability
      • No fading
      • True to Size

Cons

      • Some shrinking reported
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9. Van Heusen Big and Tall Air Short-Sleeve Button-down Men’s grid Shirt

The great thing about this classic button-down shirt is that it comes in sizes for tall and big body men.

Made from a lightweight mix of 68 % rayon and 32% polyester, the shirt gives the impression of lasting cool on the job.

Moisture-wicking and quick-drying it features a patch of yarn that is temperature-activated in the sections where you perspire the most to keep you cool.

Machine washable and no-iron means you’re ready to go after drying with no extra hassle.

Pros

      • Moisture-wicking
      • Quick drying
      • Machine washable, no-ironing
      • Tall and Large sizes

Cons

      • Very long shirt tails
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

How Can I Choose the Best Shirt for Hot Weather?

A lightweight breathable shirt is an ideal choice for hot climates. The shirt should be made in a fabric that prioritizes breathability. Many work shirts are available in synthetic materials including 

      • nylon
      • polyester
      • rayon
      • spandex

as well as bamboo fiber, chambray, cotton, hemp, linen, merino wool, silk or a cotton mix.

These fabrics are used for allowing the air to circulate and for moisture-wicking to keep you dry and cool on the job. Some shirts even feature mesh panels.

Others will have odor-resistant characteristics to counteract excessive perspiration. Let’s consider some of the most important qualities to look for when choosing your best work shirt for hot weather. 

1.) UV Ray Protection and Ultraviolet Protection Factor

If you are fair-skinned or sensitive to sunlight, direct sunlight can do real damage and cause disease through a sunburn or even by causing skin cancer. Prolonged exposure without any form of protection will increase your chances of doing real damage to your skin.

For parts of your skin exposed to the sun like face, neck, arms, or hands you can use a potent sunblock creme, but UV rays can penetrate, so if you are working primarily outdoors in the direct sunlight, work gear that offers UV protection is a good idea. 

2.) Fabric Weight

Since the heat will weigh you down, you don’t want a heavy fabric adding to your discomfort, Heavy fabrics may leave you feeling sweaty, sticky, itchy, and generally uncomfortable while attempting to work.

The heavier the shirt fabric, the longer amount of time it will need to dry. Plus, if you perspire a great deal, a heavier fabric will absorb the moisture adding to its weight. Lightweight materials are the optimal choice.

3.) Is It Cool and Does It Breathe?

Many hot weather pieces of attire will come with moisture-wicking features and some will come directly manufactured with a mesh panel on the front, back, or sides of the shirt to enable airflow.

Venting under the arms may be available on some models as well as quick-drying features. Every little bit helps in the war on extreme heat.

Choose work shirts that allow for breathability. You will not want a tight shirt that clings to the skin, but enough material to permit airflow

4.) Do I Need Sleeves?

For some, this may be a difficult decision. Both short sleeves and long sleeves are options. This will depend a lot on your personal preference.

With direct sunlight, the rule is more coverage is better than less, however, some workers just can’t stand a long sleeve because they feel restricted in their movements. 

If you find a shirt that has long sleeves but also features breathability and is really lightweight, that extra layer of protection should not be ignored. 

Workers with sensitivity to sunlight may prefer a longer sleeve as added protection. Long-sleeved shirts in lightweight material do exist for hot weather climates.

If you prefer a short-sleeved shirt, there is always the option of sun protection sleeves. These sleeves will also furnish some protection from UV Rays to your hands.

Long-sleeved work shirts will afford you an added layer of protection for the sun but can also protect you from sand or dirt that may fly in windy conditions, vegetation, and even insects. And if you want, long sleeves can always be rolled up, at least partially.

5.) Color

If you choose a fabric produced with heat-resistant qualities, the color probably doesn’t matter. If you choose a standard lightweight fabric and choose a darker color like black or navy blue, the sun will roast you.

If you are in a shaded area, you probably will not have any problems. Darker colors tend to absorb heat, so white or light colors are probably a better bet for cooling, however darker colors and very vivid colors are able to absorb more UV rays than lighter toned colors.

6.) Style

Again, style will depend on your personal preference as well as your work environment. The three basic styles in work shirts for hot weather are T-shirts tend to be lightweight and casual.

These have a crew style without pockets but may be tighter fitting. You can always go up a size if a looser fit helps you to feel more comfortable.

Polo shirts that are considered casual but under a jacket or blazer can provide a slightly more professional look.

Button-up shirts can be worn at informal meetings, however, they are also perfect for professional business settings. Button-ups may tend to offer a looser fit which is important in hot environments.

The best work shirts for hot weather will be a bit versatile allowing you to move from onsite work to office meetings and even after-hours engagements. 

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, remember these principles when selecting your best work shirt for hot weather:

Select a lightweight fabric by feeling the weight of the material and holding it up to the light. If you can see a bit, it’s probably pretty lightweight.

Breathable fabrics have no competition when you are working in hot weather. Sunlight, high temperatures, and even humidity can really make your workday uncomfortable. select a fabric that breathes.

Protection from sun damage is important and your clothing is your first line of protection against harmful UV rays.

The style of the shirt is just as important as the fabric it is made from. Your shirt should guarantee breathability and not be tight or clinging to your skin.

Lighter colors in garments are preferable because darker colors absorb more sunlight and consequentially more heat. A lighter color will reflect the sunlight as opposed to absorbing it and will generate less thermal energy.

You need to be comfortable to do your best while on the job. If your work clothing is not manufactured for hot weather, you will feel tired in extreme heat and this can eventually compromise your safety.