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I had strongly chastised Alan Flusser for his answer in the latest issue of Menswear magazine (Spring 2005) in his Ask Alan (clever name!) column that it was OK to wear a short sleeve shirt with a necktie.

We had a discussion about his response previously on this Forum. Here is his response, which he has graciously agreed to let us reproduce. Let’s be kind. You know my opinion! -- Andy

From: Alan Flusser
To: Andy
Subject: Sartorial chagrin

Re - Short sleeves and Four-in-Hands,

Once again, just for the record, in principal, I find nothing inherently unstylish about the wearing of a necktie with a short sleeved dress shirt. Contrary to conventional logic, sporting a necktie with a short sleeve dress shirt demands more, rather than less, fashion savvy to look sophisticated rather than sloppy. I’ve seen pictures of the Duke of Windsor and other legendary swells adorned thusly. As I mentioned in my very truncated opinion in Menswear, such a combination would not be appropriate for all occasions or could be considered equal in dressiness to a long sleeve dress shirt.

But in certain situations, when worn knowledgably, short sleeved dress shirt adorned by a necktie can not only appear more comfortable, but eccentrically stylish. Naturally, to assure sartorial polish, a few points of fashion decorum should be observed. Ideally, the shirt’s collar should be soft and appropriately scaled for the wearer's face.

Its open sleeves should be full and long enough for the wearer's arms. Consider the following: it's the dog days of summer, you're required to wear a coat and tie at work, and that day, no serious business meetings are planned.

Well cut khaki's, blue seersucker/blazer sport jacket, solid yellow, pink, or white turned down collar dress shirt, solid/striped grenadine necktie, and a casually folded white linen pocket square would not suffer at the bare wrists of a short sleeve dress shirt. And if you want to wear your jacket sleeve's turned back, as many of our more sophisticated customers favor on their summer sport jackets, the short sleeved dress shirt seems like a natural, and certainly more comfortable, sartorial companion.

-- Alan
 

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That's interesting, although I don't wear short sleeved dress shirts. I do have a question about part of the article. What exactly is wearing your jacket sleeves turned back? Can someone provide a picture and maybe tell me when it's appropriate.
 

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With all due respect to Mr. Flusser, whom I consider one of the greats when it comes to American style, his answer strains credibility.

Eccentrically stylish? Not bloody likely.
 

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While I would welcome a law forcing all men to wear ties all of the time (Women too) I must politely disagree with Mr. Flusser on this one...

I think many could manage to look eccentric in such an outfit but only if you knew them and knew they knew what they were doing.

Hmmm... back to that law mandating ties... time to write my Congressman.
 

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I am surprised no one mentioned the absolutely essential accoutrement of a short-sleeve shirt and tie: the plastic pocket pen protector.
 

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I agree with Mr. Flusser. My uncle came to visit me from Australia last week and he wore a short sleeved dress shirt with a tie. It looked very...um...Australian and pretty cool. He looked so comfortable in it and had such a demeanor about him that it just seemed like, wherever he was from, wearing that was perfectly natural. It did not look as dorky as I thought a short sleeve dress shirt would look with a tie. Maybe Americans, and especially Brits, are just too stuffy.
 

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In summer in Kazakstan, the most common outfit for men in business is a short-sleeve shirt, a well-coordinated tie, and dress trousers. It looks good if the colors coordinate well (something locals pay a lot of attention to), although it's not something I'm comfortable doing.

Steve
 

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Sure it can work.

It may look nerdy, but this is not a bad thing. Nerdy can be sexy too.

I think it helps if the shirt fits well in the chest and sleeves, otherwise when your arms emerge they are like sticks.

There was a little fashion feature in the NYT a few days ago with contemporary selections of the short sleeve and tie look. They weren't bad at all, except for the prices.
 

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Will said:
If you wear your jacket sleeves turned back, you fold your dress shirt sleeves up. I did it many times at dance clubs in my bachelor days.

But short sleeves? Never.
Well.....i hear that a new fim version of Miami vice is about to hit the streets...
 

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odoreater said:
I agree with Mr. Flusser. My uncle came to visit me from Australia last week and he wore a short sleeved dress shirt with a tie. It looked very...um...Australian and pretty cool. He looked so comfortable in it and had such a demeanor about him that it just seemed like, wherever he was from, wearing that was perfectly natural. It did not look as dorky as I thought a short sleeve dress shirt would look with a tie. Maybe Americans, and especially Brits, are just too stuffy.
Standard summer wear amongst New Zealand country types, too. Perfect for a hot, dusty day at the saleyards where ties are worn but short sleeves are cooler.
 

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I just don't like it, and just because His late Majesty King Edward the Eighth did it doesn't mean it's ok...I have worn short sleeved shirts on very hot days but not with a tie. As I have very short hair as well, it would just make me look like I was working on an Apollo launch. :(
 
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