Short-Sleeve vs Long-Sleeve Dress Shirt: Which Is Best?

When shopping for a men’s dress shirt, you’ll have to choose between either a short-sleeve or long-sleeve shirt. While men’s dress shirts are available in a nearly unlimited number of styles, they can all be categorized as either short-sleeve or long-sleeve. Short-sleeve dress shirts, of course, have partial sleeves, typically extending halfway to three-quarters of the way down your biceps, whereas long-sleeve dress shirts have longer sleeves that completely cover your arms. So, which type of dress shirt is right for you?

Choose a Long-Sleeve Dress Shirt When Wearing a Suit

Although there are exceptions, you should typically wear a long-sleeve dress shirt with a suit. Short-sleeve dress shirts can look somewhat awkward if you wear them with a suit. Assuming you’re wearing a two- or three-piece suit — meaning it includes trousers and a matching suit jacket — the lack of sleeves will leave your wrists exposed. For a more complete outfit that enhances your appearance, choose a long-sleeve dress shirt when wearing a suit.

Shrinkage: What You Should Know

Long-sleeve dress shirts are more likely to shrink than short-sleeve dress shirts. After all, they are designed to completely cover your arms when worn. Therefore, even small amounts of shrinkage may result in a long-sleeve dress shirt no longer fitting properly. As the long-sleeve dress shirt shrinks, the sleeves may fail to cover your entire arms. Normally, a long-sleeve dress shirt will extend all the way to your wrists when worn. After shrinking, though, it may stop several inches shy of your wrists, resulting in an unflattering appearance that’s not particularly attractive or stylish.

Short-sleeve dress shirts can still shrink, but they are less susceptible to the effects of shrinkage than their long-sleeve counterparts. Since the sleeves only extend partially, they are less likely to shrink than long-sleeve dress shirts. With that said, you can find both short-sleeve and long-sleeve dress shirts in high-quality materials that are naturally resistant to shrinkage.

Consider the Weather and Temperature

You should consider the weather, as well as the temperature when choosing between a short-sleeve and long-sleeve dress shirt. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that a short-sleeve dress shirt is a better choice when it’s hot outside, whereas a long-sleeve dress shirt is a better choice when it’s cold outside.

With a long-sleeve dress shirt, you’ll have greater protection against the cold. They will cover your arms completely, thereby protecting your arms — as well as your body — from the otherwise cold weather and temperature. A short-sleeve dress shirt, on the other hand, will leave your arms exposed. During the winter, a short-sleeve dress shirt may lack the warmth needed to protect you from the cold. During the summer, however, it may offer a higher level of comfort by keeping you cool. The bottom line is that you should consider the weather and temperature when choosing between a short-sleeve and long-sleeve dress shirt.


Choose a Short-Sleeve Dress Shirt When Wearing Shorts

If you’re planning to wear shorts, you should probably stick with a short-sleeve dress shirt. The combination of shorts with a long-sleeve dress shirt just doesn’t look right.

Of course, long-sleeve dress shirts are better suited for long pants or trousers. If you’re planning to wear full-length pants or trousers that completely cover your legs, you may want to choose a long-sleeve dress shirt.

Always Get the Right Size

Whether you choose a short-sleeve or a long-sleeve dress shirt, you should get the right size. You can’t expect to create a flattering and attractive outfit unless your shirt properly fits your body. If it’s too big, it will look baggy — and oversized dress shirts are also more likely to develop wrinkles due to their excess and loose material. If your dress shirt is too small, it will look awkwardly tight while also restricting your ability to move and turn your body.

You can wear either a short-sleeve or long-sleeve dress shirt, but it needs to be the correct size. How do you know if a dress shirt will fit exactly? You can always press your luck by purchasing a dress shirt in your “normal” size. Unfortunately, though, not all brands and designers use the same measurements for their respective sizes. You may wear a medium in one brand and a large in another brand. To ensure your dress shirt fits, order it from StudioSuits. We offer custom sizing on all short-sleeve dress shirts, long-sleeve dress shirts, suits and other garments at no additional charge.

Cleaning Short-Sleeve vs Long-Sleeve Dress Shirts

Most men will agree that short-sleeve dress shirts are a little easier to clean than long-sleeve dress shirts. After all, short-sleeve dress shirts only have partial sleeves, so they have less material to clean and maintain than their long-sleeve counterparts. With a long-sleeve dress shirt, you’ll have to clean and maintain the sleeves.

You can check the care tag on your dress shirt for more information on how to clean it. Depending on the type of material it’s made of, you may be able to wash and dry it. Alternatively, you may have to get your dress shirt dry cleaned. Whether it’s a short-sleeve or long-sleeve dress shirt, it should have a care tag that contains instructions on how to clean and maintain it.

Choosing Between a Short-Sleeve and Long-Sleeve Dress Shirt

Now for the million-dollar question: Should you choose a short-sleeve or a long-sleeve dress shirt? Well, there’s no easy answer to this question, as each style offers its own unique advantages. Some men prefer short-sleeve dress shirts, whereas others prefer long-sleeve dress shirts.

With that said, it’s important to note that long-sleeve dress shirts are significantly more formal than short-sleeve dress shirts. If you’re planning to wear a suit or any other formal outfit, you should probably choose a long-sleeve dress shirt for this reason. As long as it’s made of a high-quality material and features the right color or colors, it will play a key role in creating an attractive formal outfit.

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