Answering Life’s Great Questions – Should I Wear A Short Sleeved Business Shirt?

No, you shouldn’t. “But what if”-“No”. “But what about when”-“No”. Never. Let me explain why short sleeved business shirts are the stupidest idea ever.

Now, for the sake of this article, I’m going to assume that you aren’t a manager at a fast food ‘restaurant’, and that your name isn’t Dilbert. First of all, short sleeved shirts are perceived as lower class apparel – Short sleeved business shirts (SSBS’s) are for people who have to wear a uniform, people who don’t have a choice in what they wear. Fine if you are a manager at McDonald’s, not so good if you want to convey a professional image.

Second, they provide absolutely no tactical advantage over a long sleeved shirt. For some reason, people seem to think that they need to be wearing short sleeves because it’s hot, well, a few years ago there was this marvelous invention known as the Air Conditioner. The Air Conditioner is this fantastic device which regulates the temperature in a room, and I have found that most offices have them so SSBS’s are completely unnecessary; and if you are going to be working outside in the sun for some reason, (first of all, Slip-Slop-Slap) then there is a reason that people in the desert wear full body covering; it protects you from the sunlight, and helps evaporate sweat quicker, making you cooler. If, for some reason, your office doesn’t have a/c then you can roll up your sleeves. You can’t roll down the sleeves of a short sleeved shirt when it gets too cold, can you? So the argument that short sleeved shirts are cooler is completely invalid.

Third, there is a complete lack of versatility – you can’t wear a tie, or a suit jacket/blazer/sports jacket with a short sleeved dress shirt. I don’t know if I have said this here before, but you shouldn’t wear a tie without a jacket of some sort, you just look ‘unfinished’ for lack of a better word, like you left the house and forgot your jacket (that’s not to say you can’t take your jacket off briefly, just that you should have it on most of the time. A great article about this HERE); and you can’t wear a jacket because the proper (and best looking) fit for a jacket is for the sleeves to show that 1/2″ of shirt cuff, which SSBS’s don’t have.

Finally, the best, and greatest reason to not wear a SSBS is that you don’t want to look like this:


Also, if I see you wearing one, chances are I am going to call you ‘Dilbert’ at some point.

Do you agree? Disagree? Could you not care less about the topic? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the subject, as well as any other topics you may want me to cover, or questions you may have.


8 thoughts on “Answering Life’s Great Questions – Should I Wear A Short Sleeved Business Shirt?

    • Thank you for your comment.
      Do you mean what is the difference in length? If so, then a long sleeve shirt is one that ends at your wrist, and a SSS is one that ends before your elbow.
      If that’s not what you meant, could you please clarify your question.

      • I saw this picture, it’s on facebook:, I don’t know if you able to see it or not, but I think it’s a good look, clean and quite professional. I think if replace the SSS he’s wearing (the model in this picture) with a long sleeve one with same checkboard pattern, same color and ask him to roll up his shirt, I think it would be the same, don’t you agree?

      • That is definitely a casual look. It may be appropriate depending on the job field, or how casual the workplace is, but I see that as more of a weekend look. It would definitely look better with a long sleeved shirt. As a personal opinion, I always prefer the look of long sleeves rolled up, instead of plain short sleeves, its just a more flattering look for most men. Not too sure about the shoes though…

      • I see, just don’t know how exactly a long sleeve rolled up different from a SSS, and the shoes definitely a big no, just the shirt, I like the pattern, but if it’s a long sleeve, I don’t know if it still have that strong clean look or a long sleeve look will be more messy.

      • I’m not saying that there is a lot of difference, just that I prefer the look of neatly rolled up sleeves over plain short sleeves. As for it being messy, if you do a good job, it should look more deliberately casual than sloppy. It can be a good look if you do it right. If you prefer to wear a short sleeved casual shirt, go for it.

      • Real Men Real Style put out a video that I think covers it pretty well. I know that I sometimes have trouble rolling up my sleeves neatly, but practice and patience are both going to help. If you need to, do what my brother does, and ask someone to help you. Two hands are better than one.

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