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.
Short Sleeved Shirts for Men
While they do work, and can work, any time of the year, it is the short sleeve shirt that summer practically insists that a guy wear. And because tartan — oops, excuse me — because plaid short sleeve shirts for men are so cool, it’s one of the best ways to comply with summer’s directive. There are as many different fabrics and styles of men’s summer shirts as there are sleeve lengths. But if you just take a quick look around as you’re headed to the grocery store or the mailbox or the gym or work or the donut shop, you’ll see that short sleeve plaid shirts are on-trend and a great look. While the origins of the pattern are Scottish (those fashionable clans!), the plaid short sleeve shirt for men is decidedly universal.
Plaid Short Sleeve Shirts for Men: Some Go-Withs
There are any number of ways you can wear a plaid short sleeve shirt. It can be tucked in — but that has to be done right. Dark jeans would work, with a belt, and if you want to tuck with shorts, you’ll probably want to make sure you’ve got some nice walking shorts on, as well as some great casual shoes that are a bit nicer. So, yeah, tucked works with short sleeve plaid shirts for men, but the usual style is untucked. For that, a nice pair of jeans can’t miss, so take a look at our list of the Top 20 Best Men’s Jeans: Skinny, Slim or Relaxed Fit. If you really want to throw the casual vibe, some casual shoes from our list of the Top 10 Best Men’s Summer Shoes would work very well.
Plaid Shirts for Men: How the List is Put Together
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, but the list is separated into two categories:
All Cotton – From #1 to #5
Blends – #6 to #10
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. But because the collars are smaller, it’s not that many people who will even notice. Besides, the pattern of the shirt is so prominent, that’s where the eye will go.
Men’s Summer Shirts
Of course, the ubiquitous Hawaiian shirt is another essential for a guy’s wardrobe, so you may want to check out our list of Big Men’s Hawaiian Summer Shirts: 10 Must Have Styles. We’re of the firm conviction that you should definitely have the aloha shirt and, even more so, a plaid short sleeve shirt. You’ll find just what you need in our list of the Top 10 Best Summer Shirts for Men: Plaid Short Sleeve.
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. Shown in dark crimson, the shirt is available in eight different colors. As an option, the Carhartt Force Ridgefield has quite the skater vibe going.
Price: $24.99 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Buy the Carhartt Men’s Essential Plaid Button Down Short Sleeve Shirt here.
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: $14.04 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Buy the Kenneth Cole Reaction Men’s SS Plaid here.
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. It’s shown in bijou blue but the shirt is available in nine different colors. For another Wrangler option check out this canvas plaid.
Price: $11.96 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Buy the Wrangler Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Woven Shirt here.
4. Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Short Sleeve Plaid Shirt
Goodthreads is Amazon’s proprietary brand and, as such, is almost always offered at a great 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 three 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.
Buy the Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Short Sleeve Plaid Shirt here.
5. Pendleton Men’s Short Sleeve Tennyson Shirt
Pendleton has long been known for its blankets but as you can see with this plaid short sleeve shirt for men, the Oregon company’s got its stuff 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 two snap front pockets.
Price: $28.86 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Buy the Pendleton Men’s Short Sleeve Tennyson Shirt here.
6. 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. (Think how easy off this shirt would be after a long night “celebrating.”) It’s a 60 percent cotton, 40 percent poly plaid shirt for men and it’s got some numbers going for it: 1) it’s super popular, with 600 reviews and a 4.1 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)
Buy the Gioberti Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Shirt with Pearl Snap Buttons here.
7. 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. 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 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: $14.44 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Buy the Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Camp Shirt here.
8. 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, 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.
Buy the Nautica Men’s Short Sleeve Plaid Linen Button Down Shirt here.
9. Under Armour Men’s Fish Hunter Plaid Short Sleeve
There is actually a lot going on with this men’s summer shirt — besides being good looking. Like most Under Armour products, there’s a technical side to this shirt: 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: this plaid shirt for men features a larger plaid pattern and is shown in white/graphite. It is available in 13 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: $25.01 and up (depending on size/color selected)
Buy the Under Armour Men’s Fish Hunter Plaid Short Sleeve here.
10. 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 this plaid shirt for men. 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 14 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 240 reviews with a 4.4 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: $13 and up (depending on size/color selected)