Monday, March 22, 2010
Sh*t I Don't Understand: The Short-Sleeve Dress Shirt
With this entry, we inaugurate a new series and finally write on one of the topics I have been promising to our loyal readers for weeks. For anyone who has known me for longer than this blog has existed, you know that I do not comprehend the short sleeve dress shirt. If you're a woman, it's permissible, but if you are a man who picks out his own clothes, and you still somehow arrive at the decision that the best thing for you to wear to work today is a short sleeve dress shirt, then you are literally wearing your cluelessness on your sleeve (or lack of sleeve).
It's goofy. It's antiquated. It's loose in the spots you'd want it to be tight and tight in the spots you'd want it to be loose. It draws attention to your gut (if you have one) more than a long-sleeve shirt would. It will make your arms look like toothpicks if you're anything short of a Mr. Olympia winner. It accomplishes nothing in the way of keeping you cooler in the summer because you're (hopefully) still wearing long pants to work anyhow. It's the same as wearing a shirt that says "Don't take me seriously!"
The only place you would be taken seriously in a short sleeve dress shirt is an audition for a movie or TV show set in the 1960s. And speaking of movies and television, doesn't it seem to you that whenever a director wants a male character to appear chronically awkward or uncomfortable, he has the costume people put him in a short sleeve dress shirt? If you've ever seen Arrested Development, take a gander at that picture of Michael Cera's character below and you'll know exactly what I mean. George Michael Bluth wears a short sleeve dress shirt in almost every episode, and the fact that the character's niche is his extreme awkwardness is hardly a coincidence.
Now that I've written this, I'm sure the short sleeve dress shirt will make some sort of comeback like long hair, skinny ties, and above-the-knee plaid shorts, if for no other reason than for Abercrombie to try to sell the shit for $80 a pop. But do America a favor and don't give in to trying to look like a Jonas brother, because 99 times out of 100 you'll end up looking like Milton up there at the top hanging onto your Swingline for dear life.