Short-sleeve shirts aren't for everyone. But two recently launched menswear labels have taken on the summer staple and are making a case for adding them to your wardrobe. Following in Double Rainbouu’s footsteps, local labels Kerrin and Charlton are reinventing the short-sleeve shirt with contemporary cuts, luxurious materials and fresh patterns, alongside other elevated separates. Their shirts will take you from the barbeque to the city.
Charlton was launched in Sydney in November 2018 by Henry Cousins and Huw Bennett (founder of the now-closed Vanishing Elephant). Designed for the travel-savvy man who wants good quality separates that can be easily layered and repurposed for different occasions, this label fills the middle ground between high-street and high-end designs. With premium fabrics and beautiful construction, this exciting new label is worth watching.
The double-stripe short-sleeve shirt is part of Charlton’s spring/summer 2018 collection. It’s made from a textured cotton and also features a Columbian-style camp collar for a relaxed effect. “[This style] has been around forever. But there’s been a movement and definitely a calling for menswear labels offering better cuts in some more interesting fabrics that aren’t just standard short-sleeve shirts,” says Cousins.
The oversized, boxy fit (and elongated short sleeves) delivers a clean but causal look that can be easily elevated at night with a pair of crisp white trousers and matching sneakers.
The Transparent Woven Shirt is another short-sleeve variation to consider. It's crafted in a gauzy fabric that would look right at home in a rocky Italian beach club or on Bondi Beach.
Keep an eye out for their upcoming winter collection (due to launch in the next couple of weeks), which will introduce another short-sleeve design in a cotton-waffle fabric.
“There’s an irreverent nature to short-sleeved shirts,” says Kerrin Schuppan, the designer-founder behind this Melbourne-based menswear label. “You either love them or you hate them.” But he’s a fan and decided to introduce his take with the Holiday Shirt as part of his debut collection, which launched last month. Inspired by the great outdoors, Kerrin's contemporary line specialises in sophisticated basics. After honing his design smarts as head of menswear at Country Road, Schuppan has filled an important gap in men’s wardrobes for enduring, functional items that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Designed in Melbourne and made in Portugal from 100-per-cent Italian linen – and featuring buttons made from South American corozo nuts – Kerrin’s short-sleeve button-up channels a 1950s style. Available in a muted parchment or ocean blue colour, this lived-in look nods to Australia’s beach culture, while also looking to Europe.
“We believe in short-sleeve shirts so much we have not even bothered with long sleeves in our opening range,” says Schuppan, who is busy designing a short-sleeve utility shirt for the upcoming collection. “Plus they’re more put together than a T-shirt. They’re also a fun vehicle for print and pattern.” Schuppan says he’s noticed a comeback in the style, driven by a renewed interest in retro, resort-style shirting featuring camp collars, which are made in a one-piece construction.
The airy, open-to-the-wind cut of the Holiday Shirt means you can wear it untucked to lunch with matching shorts, or tucked into chinos to a formal dinner. Throw over a Kangaroo Pocket Sweat when warm afternoons give way to cooler nights, and cap off the look with a soon-to-be-released olive-green corduroy bucket hat.