Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Oxymoron

There is no such thing as a short-sleeved dress shirt.  Let me repeat:  there is no such thing as a short-sleeved dress shirt.

In a previous post I quoted Alan Flusser in the context of the interplay between the suit jacket, shirt collar and tie.  There are other areas in men's clothing where similar interesing elemental interactions are more visible, and thereby potentially more gratifying, to the wearer himself.  One is the interplay between a man's trousers, shoes and socks.  Another is the combination of the jacket sleeve, a half inch of shirt cuff, and cufflinks or a nice watch.  Of course the latter is not possible if your shirt sleeve is hacked off at the bicep.

I suppose the justification for the short sleeves, especially here in the South, is that it is more comfortable in the heat and humidity.  But to follow that reasoning to its logical conclusion, one should take his favorite summer suit to his tailor and ask him to lop off about eighteen inches from the bottom of each trouser leg and cuff them at the knees.  Angus Young may be able to pull off that look on stage, but I question its feasibility for the office.

The more suitable (no pun intended) alternative is to wear a proper dress shirt made from a summer-weight breathable fabric like voile.  (For more information on fabrics for shirts, read A Discourse on Shirtings by Alexander S. Kabbaz.)  You will remain perfectly comfortable in the summer heat, and you will not risk being mistaken for the Flight Dynamics Officer at Mission Control.

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