Short-Sleeved vs. Long-Sleeved Casual Shirts

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Short-Sleeved vs. Long-Sleeved Casual Shirts

There is a huge selection of colours, textures, and styles of men's casual shirts, leaving it necessary to choose between short-sleeved and long-sleeved versions. Understanding what is considered appropriate for different occasions, how shirts should fit, how to choose colours and patterns, and the fabrics available, simplifies the buying process a great deal.

Casual shirts are more relaxed versions of formal shirts, but they are not as relaxed as t-shirts. They feature buttons and collars, and are generally more structured than polo shirts. They are a versatile addition to any man's wardrobe, as they can be worn with anything from shorts to chinos. Men's casual shirts are available from clothing and department stores, designer boutiques, and online from eBay.

Choosing a Short-Sleeved Casual Shirt

In most cases, short-sleeved casual shirts are considered more relaxed than long-sleeved shirts. They come in a variety of styles and designs, including baggy, fitted, checked, plaid, solid, and patterned. For a smart casual look, choose a fitted short-sleeved shirt in a solid colour or subtle pattern. For all other occasions, throw caution to the wind and choose colours and patterns that add a dash of pizzazz to the wardrobe. Look for micro-check, gingham, or plaid shirts in contrasting colours. Add texture by choosing an interesting fabric.

Fit for a Short-Sleeved Casual Shirt

The shirt should fit across the chest and body without being too short or too long. Some shirts should be tucked in, while others should hang out. For a fitted look, pay attention to the sleeve width and length. The sleeve should sit at mid bicep level and the wearer should be able to insert a finger between the sleeve and his arm. With baggy casual shirts, the sleeves can be wider and longer.

Finally, consider the wearer's tastes. Some men simply do not like wearing short-sleeved shirts and prefer rolling the sleeves on long-sleeved shirts. However, this is not always a practical choice, especially when the sleeves are a narrow fit.

Designers of Short-Sleeved Casual Shirts

There are many brands of casual shirts that come with short sleeves. When dressing to impress, consider one of these popular designers:

  •     Ben Sherman
  •     Ralph Lauren
  •     Armani
  •     Lacoste
  •     Calvin Klein
  •     Yves Saint Laurent

    Choosing a Long-Sleeved Casual Shirt

    Like short-sleeved versions, long-sleeved casual shirts come in a variety of styles, from very casual to smart casual. For a smart casual look, choose a solid colour or conservative pattern and pay attention to the type of fabric used. For example, cotton, linen, and silk are smarter, while flannel is very casual.

    Fit for a Long-Sleeved Casual Shirt

    The shirt should fit across the chest and shoulders, without pulling tight. Choose a fitted or tailored cut for a neater look. The sleeves should end at the wrists. If they are longer, the shirt can appear to be a poor fit, while shorter sleeves can be uncomfortable and awkward.

    The wearer's personal preferences are important when choosing casual shirts. Some men prefer short-sleeved shirts, as they do not like fabric covering their forearms or prefer adding another layer that they can remove easily. Take the type of fabric used to make the shirt and its appropriateness for the season and occasion into account before buying.

    Fabrics for Casual Shirts

    Casual shirts come in a wide range of styles, so it is only to be expected that they come in a vast selection of fabrics. The table below lists and describes the fabrics used to make men's casual shirts.




    Natural fibre

    Popular choice

    Breathable, soft, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive

    Easy to wash and washing machine safe

    May shrink in the wash

    Good choice for short or long-sleeved shirts

    Casual to smart casual, depending on other design factors, such as the colour and pattern


    Synthetic fibre

    Does not breathe as well as cotton

    Relatively inexpensive

    Stains are difficult to remove unless the fabric is treated

    Easy to wash

    Used for short and long-sleeved shirts

    Casual to smart casual, depending on other design factors, such as the pattern and sheen


    Made from cotton or cotton blends

    Easy to wash

    More common in long-sleeved shirts, but also found in short-sleeved versions

    Very casual


    Soft woven fabric

    Made of wool, cotton, or synthetic fibre

    Brushed or unbrushed


    Easy to wash

    Typically used to make long-sleeved shirts

    Very casual


    Natural fibre from the flax plant

    Luxury fabric, so can be expensive

    Cool and fresh in hot weather

    May require some additional care

    Used to make both short and long-sleeved shirts

    Casual to smart casual


    Fabric made of twisted fibres that form a distinct pattern or cord

    Multiple cords lie parallel to each other

    Durable and warm

    Often used for shirts, trousers, and jackets

    Easy to wash, but should not be ironed

    Used to make long-sleeved shirts

    Very casual


    Natural fibre

    Luxury fabric, so can be expensive

    Breathable, soft, and comfortable

    Beautiful sheen or lustre

    Warm in cool weather and cool in warm weather


    Some garments are dry clean only

    Should not be machine washed or hung in direct sunlight

    Used to make both short and long-sleeved shirts

    Casual to smart casual, depending on other design factors, such as the cut, pattern, and colour

    Cotton is the most popular choice for men's casual shirts. The fabric is comfortable, relatively inexpensive, and easy to care for. Always take fabric care into consideration when buying a shirt, whether for personal use or as a gift. Although a high-maintenance item may look good, caring for it can become a chore.

    Some shirts are available in fabric blends, with two or more fibres mixed in order to create a shirt with qualities that are characteristic of both. When choosing this fabric, check the ratio of fibres in the blend, as the shirt generally has the main characteristics of the dominant fibre. For example, a 90 percent cotton and 10 percent polyester blend breathes well, as it is closer to cotton than polyester. However, a 10 percent cotton and 90 percent polyester blend does not breathe well, as it is closer to pure polyester.

    How to Buy a Short-Sleeved or Long-Sleeved Casual Shirt on eBay

    To find the perfect short-sleeved or long-sleeved casual shirt on eBay, look for a specific item by using the search field, which you can access from every page on the site. Simply type a phrase, for example "cotton short-sleeved casual shirts", into the field to see the items available. Visit eBay Deals for great offers on men's clothing.

    Before buying on eBay, check the item and seller details. Always read the full item description and add postage and handling fees to the item's selling price. Check the seller's feedback score to see what others think about his or her products and customer service. If you have any questions about the shirt, contact the seller directly by using the "Ask a question" feature.


    One of the greatest deciding factors when it comes to choosing between short-sleeved and long-sleeved casual shirts is the wearer's preferences. Some men simply prefer one over the other. The climate and weather also play a part. Short sleeves are cooler in summer, but do not offer protection from the sun. For hot weather, choose comfortable breathable fabrics that keep the wearer cool.

    When choosing a casual shirt, consider the occasion and which colours and patterns are most appropriate. Solid colours, subtle patterns, and fitted cuts are suitable for smart casual wear. In addition, take the type of fabric used to make the shirt into account. Flannel and denim are very casual; silk and linen are usually smart casual; and cotton can be either, depending on other design factors. eBay sellers offer a wide range of short and long-sleeved casual shirts.

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