The look is in stark contrast to the lumberjack and preppy styles from recent years. “It’s less about that log-cabin and hiking-in-the-mountains kind of guy,” says Eunice Lee, founder and designer of Unis, an understated men’s label which “did an explosion” of short-sleeve woven shirts this season. “That NASA engineer, this is the modern version of that,” Ms. Lee says.
The shirts’ heyday was the ’50s and ’60s. Manufacturers ramped up production during World War II to outfit the increasing number of workers in military-related businesses, as long sleeves could be dangerous if caught in machinery, says Mark-Evan Blackman, menswear specialist at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In the post-war years, madras short-sleeve shirts tucked into brightly colored trousers was a popular country-club look.
Part of short-sleeve woven shirts’ attempted comeback is due to menswear’s continuing obsession with style from the late ’50s and early ’60s, especially as seen on the TV show “Mad Men,” says Michael Fisher, men’s editor at Stylesight, a fashion-trend research firm. “That pressed, polished, clean-cut look from back then seems to be really appealing right now,” he says.
- Ray A. Smith for the Wall Street Journal
I’m in full support of the nerdy short-sleeved shirt. I only have a few but I do like them. A big thumbs down to that Michael Kors shirt featured in the article, though. The sleeves are too long and the pattern…blah.