Help me pick long-sleeved weekend shirts
December 3, 2011 10:56 PM   Subscribe

What should I wear as a nice looking, long-sleeved "weekend shirt"?

I feel like I have a gap in my wardrobe for this time of year, and I'd like your help.

I am a man in my 30s, average height and weight. I live in Southern California. This time of year, the weather can get down to the 40s or 50s. So cool, but not really cold. I wear long sleeved dress shirts to work, but I have a hard time with what to wear outside of work when I want to look nice but not "dressed up."

I have a bunch of sweaters, but they tend to be too warm for the weather here most of the time. I have a few long sleeve polos and rugby-style shirts, but they just don't seem quite right in a way I can't describe (I know this isn't that helpful). The rugbys seem a little "young" for me, I guess, and the long sleeve polos can look less "sharp" than I'd like. I have a few long sleeve button up shirts that I can wear untucked, to make them more casual than a dress shirt, but I need more options.

My goal is to be comfortable, not look like I'm going to work, but also to look like I'm making an effort and fit in at, for example, upscale casual restaurants in the fancier parts of town. Price isn't particularly a concern, and I'm ok with things that need specialized care, as long as the result is worth the cost/trouble. I can potentially do layering, but it has to not be too hot, which rules out most options in that vein I think.

Any suggestions?
posted by primethyme to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Long sleeve guayabera? That reads sharp but casual and upscale all at once.
posted by Gilbert at 11:18 PM on December 3, 2011

Henleys and crewnecks don't have the floppy polo collar.
posted by brujita at 11:19 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think cardigans can look good, a little more casual over a nice t-shirt or slightly more formal with a collared shirt underneath.

Examples - 1 2 3

You can typically find thinner ones, so not as warm, and they'll unzip or unbutton partially/all the way if you still find them warm.
posted by empyrean at 11:22 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Western shirts.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:33 PM on December 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

Maybe something like this?

You can also throw on a blazer to dress up a casual outfit just enough for an upscale casual restaurant in the fancier parts of town, and wear it with a nice pair of jeans.
posted by wondermouse at 12:01 AM on December 4, 2011 [5 favorites]

If they're not too warm, corduroy and chamois could fill the bill -- less casual than T-shirts or Henleys, less dressy than office wear.

You could wear them by themselves or unbuttoned over a nice T-shirt.
posted by maurreen at 12:15 AM on December 4, 2011

James Perse and/or Alexander Wang make a lot of shirts that are upscale-casual-- especially Henleys that look good anywhere.
posted by devymetal at 12:21 AM on December 4, 2011

My favorite shirts have always been the long-sleeved corduroy button-ups I've had from various places. Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Land's End, wherever it's from—just so long as it's soft. They're perfect in the LA winter, un-tucked with a solid-color tee underneath. With jeans for weekend bbq-ing, and can be layered with a scarf and some nice shoes over chinos for the restaurants.
posted by carsonb at 12:21 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Target has a bunch of light cotton sweaters. No way they're going to be too warm.
posted by victory_laser at 5:05 AM on December 4, 2011

A solid-color brushed flannel shirt or a chamois-cloth shirt are good options to have.
posted by drlith at 5:48 AM on December 4, 2011

Oxford cloth button-down. It's an absolute staple. Soft, comfortable cotton, and a bit thicker than a typical broadcloth shirt. They dress up, they dress down. You can't go wrong.
posted by The Michael The at 6:14 AM on December 4, 2011

Also, a hat. If the goal is to stay comfortably warm without a lot of fuss, it's hard to go wrong with a good hat.
posted by carsonb at 6:24 AM on December 4, 2011

mrgood does well, in my opinion with this look using sweaters, cardigans and vests over nicely checked or plaid woven shirts, or plain, quality white tees in this look, for example (though not necessarily this brand) - the key being extra fine merino wool (and cashmere, when I can find it for him). It's a three-season fabric around here, perfect for the temperatures you're describing. It breathes, it's not bulky, and I think what you're saying by "to look like I'm making an effort and fit in at, for example, upscale casual restaurants in the fancier parts of town" is that it looks expensive because of how it drapes and has a nice hand (to tell if you've got something of quality, crumple it in your hand, then shake it out - if the wrinkles fall out quickly, it's of better quality). We've found nice ones everywhere, from Sears to Ben Sherman to vintage stores. It's finding one that fits well and hits in the right places. What you want is a layer of wool over cotton for the reasons listed, other than style.

He also has a collection of vintage shadow plaid and gabardine sport shirts from the fifties. These are designed for being worn untucked, as the hem is straight, and should be worn over an undershirt. There are pretty good reproduction ones out there, such as Nat Nast shirts, with nice straight hems, good fabric and good design. They fit a bit large, though and if you're not careful, they can look like cartoon clothing.

The bottom half is part of this - dark jeans, crisp work pants or gabardine trousers, and shoes or boots - not sneakers. If they're sneakers, they're Jack Purcells rather than Chucks, for example - cleaner, and "dressier".

These all suit his body type, and his need to cover his arms for work and some occasions. The Art of Manliness is a great resource for what you may be trying to accomplish. Finding celebrity you want to emulate is great too, though I admit, mrgood is a fan of retro style and not everyone should go for "What would Eddie Haskell wear?"
posted by peagood at 6:56 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

Long sleeve thermal Henleys or tshirts? It could be the Dexter effect but I find the style shirts he wears in the show every attractive on a guy and they are a nice filler between daggy/casual and dressed up.
posted by wwax at 6:58 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

A casual blazer over a plain t-shirt is a great look.
posted by bluedaisy at 7:33 AM on December 4, 2011

Casual button down shirts. Go to the Gap and try some on.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:11 AM on December 4, 2011

Long sleeved mock turtle crew necks in rich colors always look nice alone, tucked in, or worn with a blazer. You can get them in many weights, from t-shirting to worsted. Look for trim details like wide ribbed collars and cuffs or inset collar pieces that add enough uniqueness that they don't look like standard tees or sweatshirts. Can be worn over t-shirt or dress shirt when you need a light layer in there. Usually kind to both athletes and expanding waistlines, but less good if you have a twenty inch neck.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2011

AXIS menswear practically invented "California casual" back in the sixties and seventies, and they stay pretty relevant. QuikSilver Edition is a line that is more put-together than their normal surf wear.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:31 AM on December 4, 2011

Great ideas, everyone. Thank you!
posted by primethyme at 10:59 AM on December 4, 2011

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