So here you are reading a story about men’s short sleeve plaid shirts, and we kick things off by telling you that what you’re looking for isn’t plaid. It’s “tartan.” Okay, while that (technically) is the name of this very popular pattern, let’s just agree that everyone on earth says, “I need a KA plaid shirt.” They don’t say, “I would like to procure a lovely tartan shirt.” So let’s move forward with plaid.
Summer Shirts for Men
While short sleeve shirts do work, and can work, any time of the year, it is summertime that practically begs a guy to wear a short sleeve shirt. And because tartan — oops, excuse me — because plaid is so good looking, it’s one of the best ways to comply with summer’s directive.
The key players in the short sleeve game are the polo and the t-shirt. The Hawaiian shirt is often a starter…or one of the first guys off the bench. It’s our contention that plaid shirts should get in the game far more than they do, and not just for the man-buns or skaters (you guys got good taste!).
Because the plaid is, by definition, a somewhat intricate design, it immediately gives some lift to the fashion quotient. It’s got more fashionable DNA in its fabric gene pool. It just looks good just sitting there. While the origins of the pattern are Scottish (those fashionable clans!), the plaid short sleeve shirt for men is decidedly universal.
We’ve composed the list in no particular order — all the shirts are great, and they’re all very affordable. They’re numbered just for ease, and the list is separated into two categories:
- All Cotton – From #1 to #5
- Blends – #6 to #11
Some of the shirts are button-down collar. But since they’re short sleeve casual shirts, the collar is smaller and the button-down looks great. The other collar type is a simple straight collar which, again, because these are short sleeve shirts, the collar is smaller and the straight treatment looks very good. One isn’t better, or more popular, than the other: it’s just a matter of your preference. Because the collars are smaller, it’s not that many people who will even notice which style of collar you’re repping. Besides, the pattern of the shirt is so prominent, that’s where the eye will go.
We’re of the firm conviction that your summer and year-round arsenal should definitely have the polo, the T, the aloha shirt in the line up. And, even more so, a plaid short sleeve shirt.
Short Sleeve Plaid Shirts: Cotton
1. Carhartt Men’s Essential Plaid Button Down Short Sleeve Shirt
This plaid short sleeve shirt for men is from the always on-trend and very popular Carhartt. It’s 4.3 ounce 100 percent cotton, meaning it’s a heavier fabric.
The shirt has been pre-washed to create a soft finish and to reduce shrinkage when you pop it into your own washer/dryer monsters. Carhartt says it’s “tough enough to work in but buttoned-up enough to impress.”
It is, in fact, a button down collar and the shirt features a front left patch pocket with the prominently displayed Carhartt logo, as well as shoulder pleats to increase ease-of-movement.
Price: $24 and up (depending on size/color selected)
2. Kenneth Cole Reaction Men’s SS Plaid
As you might expect from Kenneth Cole Reaction, this plaid shirt for men is a bit on the slim-fit side and is a little tapered. It does feature a rounded bottom hem so it will work very well untucked.
It’s 100 percent cotton and features a button down collar and contrasting trim (but not too contrasting) on the hems of the short sleeves. It’s available in two different colors and is shown in “black combo.”
For a Kenneth Cole option, this checked shirt in “clear water combo” has a great look.
Price: $24.85 and up (depending on size/color selected)
3. Wrangler Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Woven Shirt
Wrangler’s plaid short sleeve shirt for men is, surprisingly for a western wear company, a men’s summer shirt that’s more surfer than cowboy. (If you’re looking for a Wrangler in a decidedly western style, check this one out.)
This 100 percent cotton shirt is a button down and features a patch pocket on the left front. The fit is classic (meaning good roominess, but not baggy) and the hem is slightly rounded, so it is great untucked.
Price: $15.99 and up (depending on size/color selected)
4. Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Short Sleeve Plaid Shirt
Goodthreads is an Amazon brand and, as such, you can count on excellent quality and a great low price. This short sleeved shirt for men is no exception at just $25.
It’s 100 percent cotton and features a very beach-y type of larger plaid. The shirt features a button down collar and a patch pocket on the left front. Goodthreads says its slim-fit is “closer fitting in the chest, slightly tapered through the waist for a tailored look.”
It’s available in four different colors. For an option in a regular fit – also from an Amazon brand – the Amazon Essentials short sleeve plaid is 100 percent cotton and offered in three different shades of blue.
5. Pendleton Men’s Short Sleeve Tennyson Shirt
Pendleton has long been known for its blankets and other western/mountain/rustic stuff, but as you can see with this plaid short sleeve shirt for men, the Oregon company is down with casual wear.
The Tennyson is 100 percent cotton and features one buttonless pocket on the left chest. It’s a button-down collar and features a very slightly rounded treatment at the hem, meaning it will look great untucked.
The shirt is shown in grey/blue plaid (with light orange highlighting) but you have your choice of six different colors. For another Pendleton option, check out the Frontier shirt, this one in a cotton/poly blend and with two snap front pockets.
Price: $27.45 and up (depending on size/color selected)
6. Columbia Men’s Thompson Hill Yarn Dye Shirt
Columbia calls this fit their “modern classic/regular” fit, which they define as “universal, easy fit for comfortable range of motion.” Good thing, because it’s axiomatic that you gotta be comfortable when you’re sporting a plaid short sleeve.
The shirt is 100 percent cotton. It’s called “yarn dye” because it’s made using a process wherein the thread (or yarn) has been dyed before the garment is made — as opposed to the garment being dyed after it’s been constructed.
It’s got a single patch pocket on the left chest (Columbia calls it a “multi-functional” pocket, which we take to mean that you can put pretty much anything that fits into it…into it) and the collar is an open point. The tail is slightly rounded, so it’ll work well tucked or untucked.
Shown in “teal plaid,” the shirt is available in 15 different colors, some of which are a bigger, bolder plaid.
Price: $16.53 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Short Sleeve Plaid Shirts: Blends
7. Gioberti Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Shirt with Pearl Snap Buttons
The Gioberti Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Shirt definitely brings a western vibe with the pearl snap buttons. (Love snap buttons. Think how easy off this shirt would be after a long night “celebrating.”)
It’s a 60 percent cotton, 40 percent poly plaid shirt and it’s got some numbers going for it: 1) it’s super popular, with more than 650 reviews and a 4.2 out of 5-star rating average; 2) it’s available in an amazing 36 different colors.
We’re showing it here in green/charcoal. This men’s summer shirt features two front flapped pockets (with the pearl snap closures) and a straight collar. Another option for a very western shirt is the Wrangler short sleeve plaid, which also features the pearl snap buttons.
Price: $19.99 and up (depending on size/color selected)
8. Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Camp Shirt
Dickies has been on trend and popular for a few years now and this short sleeved shirt for men is a good example of why. Besides being good looking and well made, it’s also a great price.
The shirt is 55 percent cotton and 45 percent poly and features a larger plaid pattern. It’s cut for a relaxed fit and has two front pockets, with the left one featuring the Dickies logo. The horn buttons also feature the Dickies name.
The bottom hem is straight so the shirt works great untucked. The collar is a straight collar. Shown in “black/executive light” grey (“executive light”?) but is available in nine different colors. As another option, Dickies also makes a short sleeve plaid western shirt, which comes in 10 different colors.
Price: $14 and up (depending on size/color selected)
9. Nautica Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Linen Button Down Shirt
This plaid short sleeve shirt is an all-natural blend of 60 percent linen and 40 percent cotton, so it might need a little iron action after machine washing. It’s a classic, traditional easy fit with a relaxed cut.
The shirt features one pocket on the left chest and a button-down collar. Because of the fabric — which is to say, it’s really versatile — it can be worn more casual and untucked or it will work very well tucked in.
Shown in peacock blue, it’s available in two other colors: Nautica red and French vanilla. For another men’s summer shirt from Nautica, this version is offered in 100 percent cotton and comes in six different colors.
Price: $36.94 and up (depending on size/color selected)
10. Under Armour Men’s Fish Hunter Plaid Short Sleeve
There is actually a lot going on with this shirt — besides being good looking. Like most Under Armour products, there’s a technical side to this apparel: it’s meant to be “incredibly stretchy,” according to UA, and it features fabric with built-in 50 UPF (ultraviolet protection factor).
The material, which is 100 percent poly, also features UA’s “stain release” technology. (That’s great for those who hike and those who eat barbecue.) It also features UA’s “moisture transport system” which wicks sweat and moisture away and dries it quickly. Lastly — on the tech side — the fabric features “anti-odor technology” that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes.
Now as for the looks: it features a larger plaid pattern and is shown in white/graphite. It is available in several different colors. It’s got mesh-backed shoulder vents and a button down collar, and two front pockets, one flapped.
Another plaid shirt for men option from UA is the Chesapeake short sleeve, which doesn’t have a button down and the two front pockets feature button closures.
Price: $33.40 and up (depending on size/color selected)
11. IZOD Men’s Advantage Performance Plaid Short Sleeve Shirt
IZOD’s “Advantage Performance” is designed to provide stretch in the fabric and ease-of-movement for the person wearing the top. It’s 66 percent cotton, 30 percent poly and four percent Spandex — the Spandex is where the stretch comes from.
IZOD says this “summer-ready shirt moves with you from the dock to dinner.” Sounds pretty good, and looks great, too. It’s shown in “Deep Blue Radiance” but it comes in many different colors. It’s also considered an “Easycare” shirt, meaning no ironing necessary after machine washing. It’s a button down.
A super-popular plaid short sleeve shirt for men, it’s got more than 260 reviews with a 4.3 out of 5-star rating average. Another option from IZOD, not a button down, is the Saltwater Dockside Chambray Plaid Short Sleeve Shirt for men.
Price: $29.98 and up (depending on size/color selected)
- 21 Men’s Summer Shirts for a Casual Look (2018)
- 15 Best Summer Linen Shirts for Men: A Buying Guide 2018
- 15 Best Mens Casual Shorts for 2018: Khakis & Chinos
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