summer days: the sleeveless shirt


I used to find this a rather mumsy item of clothing, but I've come to see that a sleeveless shirt is a true friend of the tropics. It keeps one cool and comfortable while retaining the tailored elements of a classic shirt, so the overall feel is still smart. It's light and easy under jackets and sweaters, which is perfect for staying fresh in our humid weather. It works for the beach or a professional meeting. The trick to not looking like my mother is to size up for a slouchier fit and look for something without darts at the waist.

This is an old shirt I bought on ASOS. From time to time, I have been tempted to trade it up for a nice, luxe silk version from Adam or Joseph, but I've come to be very fond of this old workhorse and in the end I saw that it would have been wasteful and pointless to replace it. So here's to a real wardrobe hero, and I look forward to many more years of staying cool in the heat in you.


Pret a Porter P said…
Your casual and office looks both work perfectly on you. I like the shirt's over-sized pockets. I'm casually looking for the right sleeveless white shirt too.
jennifer said…
These two outfits look great and very modern. I used to find sleeveless shirts very mumsy too. But you're right, they *are* so practical. I love how easy they are to much more comfortable than bunched up shirtsleeves underneath sweaters.
S said…
I think both of your outfits are so practical and very chic, not mumsy at all! They actually more remind me of the '90s, I used to wear a lot of these types of shirts back then when I lived in a more desert climate. I think they can look very clean and modern, as you've styled them.
Joy said…
Love how practical these are.
Anonymous said…
I love the first outfit very much! That sleeveless shirt is definitely a classic workhorse. The one from ACNE is on my want list:) What do you think of equipment shirts?

Sorry to sidetrack, are you still looking for a 2.55? Prices in Singapore are way beyond what any sane average working Singaporean is willing to pay now:(

You can reach me at

yanqin said…
Pret a Porter P: Thanks! I think they still have this shirt on ASOS, thought I saw something like it. I also loved a linen version by Adam, but it was from SS11, not sure where you might still find one. Sometimes I wear this with a black velvet ribbon tied loosely under the collar.

Jennifer: Thanks! I agree, pulling a sweater over a shirt can be such a pain, especially since women's sweaters have skinner armholes and sleeves.

S: Thank you! I think I thought them mumsy cos I always saw them in shops like Liz Claiborne, and always with darts, so was quite intrigued when I started seeing them without.

Joy: It is very practical. I wear it more often than any of my sleeved shirts....good thing it doesn't look too worn out yet.

Eil: I feel like Equipment shirts, at least the one a friend of mine has, isn't quite worth the money, since I can buy shirts with the exact same quality of silk at Massimo Dutti, but they do make them in great cuts and colours. I suppose the price is not exorbitant but I still wouldn't plunk for them.

I'm more keen on a re-issue actually, and I have a rather specific colour preference: navy, burgundy, or camel - none of which are available new or second-hand at a price I like, haha. You're right, it's ridiculously expensive now, and I can't bring myself to buy a bag that cost exactly half the price just 3-4 years ago, hyperinflation!
hannah-rose said…
so good! so good! my favourite ever store has the most beautiful acne one, and the sales assistant was wearing it with some black pants and APC ankle boots like it aint no thang. perfect outfit.

Anonymous said…
I have read several feedback on the shirts that grease/water leaves marks on the fabric so that's making me apprehensive. Tks for the tip, will check out Massimo Dutti when I have the chance.

Yes the 2.55 reissue! I have been in love with it since Karl re-issued it in 2005. Those that are pre 08 are the best! In recent times, we are seeing a decline in quality while prices keep going up! If you are open to a preloved one, they do pop up every now and then. There has not been any camel but definitively seen them in burgundy and navy.

yanqin said…
hannah-rose - I love how you just described an outfit has an edgy feel, and you can wear the exact same shirt in a preppy way... it's definitely a versatile piece.
Lapin de Lune said…
Now it is my turn to mention how well you suit wearing pants/trousers! You seem to have really located your 'niche', sartorially speaking, and it shows. I particularly like the black pants/shirt here, a combination that I have never really considered, and the sleeveless option is certainly a great option for the warmer months - and creates less bulk beneath sweaters and cardigans. There's something essentially so fresh and together about these outfits - possibly helped by the lack of accessories, and the perfect choice of footwear!
Human Racing said…
This post has absolutely convinced me to try and find a sleeveless shirt for next summer. You're correct about the trick being in its silhouette and I love the one you have here. There's absolutely no need to upgrade until it begins to fall apart!
Anonymous said…
Wisdom and beauty!
miss sophie said…
i can't deal with restrictive sleeves or even short sleeves when it gets really hot and humid. you look great in yours - and i agree; sometimes it's best to cherish the excellent workhorse favorites.
yanqin said…
Lapin de Lune: *blush* thanks! I highly recommend a sleeveless shirt if you regularly layer sweaters over shirts, I've always hated fussing with the bunched up sleeves under sweaters.

Austere: It's a good investment for me since I can wear it year round. And yes, hopefully I won't need to upgrade for some time!

editor: Thanks!

miss sophie: Hot and humid...story of my life! Thank goodness for clothes that make life easier.

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