Even though we are more than 50% through Summer now, here are my current picks for casual Summer shirts from my favorite custom shirt maker Proper Cloth.
They provide a nice service at a reasonable price and also have a cool option where you send them a shirt, they take your measurements for your custom shirt fit, and send you back your original shirt. I currently have a "Dress Fit" based on a shirt I sent them that I only wear tucked in, and a "Casual Fit" that's less trim in the waist and bit shorter that I only wear untucked. And yes, I am aware that might seem obsessive to some.
All these choices would be paired with:
- Either the Soft Ivy Button Down Collar or the Soft President Cutaway Collar
- Soft One Button Cuffs
- Soft Front Placket
- Standard or Mother of Pearl buttons - perhaps brown horn for the more casual darker colored fabrics.
Lets get started:
Price - $150
A luxurious striped seersucker from Italy’s renowned Albini mill. There’s nothing quite like a fine seersucker fabric to get you through the dog days of summer. Widely worn in the hot, muggy South, seersucker’s special uneven puckering gives it less surface area contact with the skin, increasing airflow under the shirt and allowing heat to dissipate more quickly. This classic version comes to you in a beautiful, seasonally appropriate light blue and white striped colorway, and it’s perfect for everything from the beach to post-work drinks. Wear it as an untucked short sleeve shirt with shorts, or dress it up with a navy suit and tie.
Classic preppy/southern trad shirt for warm weather. Grab one if you don't have any seersucker, this shirt can be paired with almost any pair of pants.
Price - $95
Summer in a shirt. This mid blue has an incredible variety of color hues to it that make the fabric incredibly interesting. Reminds us of those clear tropical seas, which also happens to be the perfect setting for this warm-weather fabric. The airy, open weave of linen pairs with its natural moisture-wicking properties to create an incredibly comfortable shirt on the hottest days. With its dry, textured feel it's very casual and refined. This is woven with a more durable 21/1 x 21/1 pure linen construction, meaning the fabric has body to it and will only improve over time. So grab your Panama hat and hit the beach, because that's exactly what this shirt was made for. We suggest going for soft construction throughout--our Soft President Spread Collar, soft placket, and soft one-button cuff will be a great combo.
This blue is a bit darker than the standard light blue linen shirt everyone else owns. Its shade really brings out the unique look of linen fabrics and elevates its look over a light blue linen or any other solid colored shirt. It will wrinkle quicker than most cotton shirts though.
Price - $125
A relaxed take on a classic gingham. Linen has a slightly irregular open weave that breathes incredibly well, and its naturally cool feel and ability to keep you dry make it a summer essential if there ever was one. This 21s single-ply fabric is incredibly lightweight and features that signature slubby linen texture we all know and love. Keep in mind that linen’s wrinkle-prone nature is part of its charm; don't worry about pressing it—just let it look well-worn and casual. This mid-scale light blue gingham is the perfect hot-weather alternative to your usual business-casual ginghams. The blue has a slightly faded, heathered effect that gives it a naturally lived-in look.
Another unusual linen pick. It's rare to find a gingham linen, and I'm not too sure why honestly. Brings a nice added bit of texture and subtle pattern to a standard set of slacks/linen pants.
Price - $85
A truly beautiful casual plaid with incredible detail the closer you get. It's made with special melange yarns that gives it a unique, irregular color and the large plaid pattern is nothing short of stunning. The pattern will be visible from a distance, but the remarkable color variation will really show through when you take a close look. The fabric is a lightweight 60s single-ply poplin that wears smooth and can be ironed up for a crisp look, or you can let some wrinkling show for a more casual vibe. We think it's an incredibly sophisticated casual shirt that's ideal for the spring and summer. It'll pair great with jeans, and can work under a relaxed sport coat if you want to dress it up. Design this one with our versatile Soft President Spread collar, or the slightly shorter Soft Franklin Spread for a more contemporary, downtown look, and keep it casual with soft cuffs and a French front as well.
A pretty standard but well patterned plaid. Nice and thin so you won't get too hot, will pair with almost any pant option.
Price - $160
One of our most unique linen fabrics to date. This navy circle print from Albini is woven with a 23s single ply plain weave construction. This, along with its linen composition, gives the fabric beautiful slubby texture. This eye-catching print consists of repeating white circles against a rich navy ground color. The circles have a beautiful hand-drawn feel to them that ups the ante on this already stunning print. This fabric makes for a sophisticated patterned shirt that also has the casual appeal of linen. Don't sweat the wrinkles on this one as this is characteristic of linen and part of it's charm. We love this as either a long sleeve or a short sleeve shirt —dressed up or down. We recommend opting for soft details all around.
I'm usually not a fan of prints on shirts, but this is an exception. Nice for a breezy night, looks almost solid from far away, but not too aggressive up close either. A nice change of pace if you only have light-colored linen shirts.
Price - $80
We love plaid linen shirts for summer, so we specially designed this fabric to get the pattern, scale, and colors just right. Linen has an airy, open weave that breathes incredibly well, and its naturally cool feel and ability to keep you dry make it a summer essential if there ever was one. This 21s single-ply fabric is incredibly lightweight and features that signature linen texture. Keep in mind that linen’s wrinkle-prone nature is part of its charm; don't worry about pressing it—just let it look well-worn and relaxed. The low-contrast tonal blue palette of this mid-scale plaid works with just about everything from jeans or shorts to chinos and a jacket.
A simple but very well done linen plaid. Pairs with everything, a true grab and go shirt if you just put on some pants and can't take the time to decide what shirt to wear.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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