Sleeveless shirts: the answer to spring and summer

Last summer, I found that I was always ridiculously cold in the office, so I stocked up on cardigans. This summer, I realized that I don’t have much in the way of sleeveless shirts, so I’m way too warm when I’m outside!

I’ve slowly realized that sleeveless shirts are the solution to my wardrobe problem. So long as the shirt extends out to the edge of my shoulder, I’m comfortable wearing the shirt to work without the cardigan. (This is important because I try not to buy shirts that I can’t wear to work.)

I may have gone a bit overboard and bought 4-5 new sleeveless shirts in May. On the other hand, it’s definitely no longer sweater and long sleeved shirt weather and I have a brisk 20 minute walk to work, so I don’t want to overheat while walking to work.

So why do I think that sleeveless shirts are the answer for spring and summer?

Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters can really only be worn in the winter months, which gives them a pretty small time window of wearability and they really need to last for several seasons for me to get my money’s worth out of them.

Short-sleeved shirts, with cardigans can be worn in the winter, under a nice wool coat.

Short-sleeved shirts with no cardigan are far too cold to wear in the office, unless I’m running around to a lot of meetings that day, which isn’t very often. But in the summer, they tend to be too warm outside.

Sleeveless shirts are perfect to wear outside in the summer. If you add a cardigan in the office, you’re warm enough and if you’re not, you can just add a scarf. Or you use a scarf as a shawl, which I tend to do quite a bit.

So really the difference between short sleeved and sleeveless shirts is that one is better for wearing outside in the summer, making that one more versatile.

I spent about $190 on some new sleeveless shirts in May. I think my stash is sufficient at this point and we’ll see how this summer goes! I really have no idea how I went outside so little last summer because I most definitely envision a lot of time spent outside this summer.

I’m so glad that I’ve been able to find sleeveless shirts that hide bra straps – that’s mostly why I was against them before since I don’t like buying clothes I can’t wear to work when I work 5 days a week and my office is super casual.

Readers, what is your favorite item you’re eyeing for summer this year?


  1. #1 by nicoleandmaggie on June 8, 2012 - 5:54 am

    I always feel uncomfortable in sleeveless shirts (mainly because of the constant worry that I didn’t shave well enough or I’m sweating or there’s deodorant visible etc.). I often wondered who bought them.

    • #2 by Leigh on June 8, 2012 - 6:19 am

      I actually find that I sweat way less with sleeveless shirts than I do wearing ones with sleeves, even if they’re tiny sleeves. People would have to be pretty close to you to see how well you’ve shaved and I don’t know about you, but most people don’t come that closely to me at work!

      • #3 by nicoleandmaggie on June 8, 2012 - 6:20 am

        There’s that whole raising one’s arm to write on the white-board in front of a classroom full of students that makes it a bit more likely.

        • #4 by Leigh on June 8, 2012 - 6:21 am

          You guys have whiteboards? That’s so awesome. We mostly had blackboards…

  2. #5 by Joe on June 8, 2012 - 8:57 am

    Orthotic sandals. Going to need to do it through my benefits though, which will result in a much longer wait.

    • #6 by Leigh on June 8, 2012 - 7:26 pm

      Wait, you can get stuff through your benefits while you’re on parental leave?!

  3. #7 by MutantSupermodel on June 8, 2012 - 9:08 am

    I just went shopping too. I bought three tops and two dresses and paid $85.55 with tax. I might return one of the dresses, it’s a summer dress so it’s pretty and white and cotton but I’m afraid it’s too sheer and too much of a dirt magnet. It fit so pretty though and was so feminine, I’m debating buying a slip for it. Slips are pretty useful anyways. I did my shopping at Marshall’s by the way. I’ve been trying Goodwill but haven’t scored much lately. For summer in Miami I’m eying more of the sleeveless and short sleeve tops, especially sheer ones. I’m also in love with pretty knee-length skirts. For casual, I need to build up my supply of tees, I have NO shorts that fit me, and I’m finding my jeans too hot these days too. Oh and of course, dresses. Summer dresses are my favorite part of the season.

    • #8 by Leigh on June 8, 2012 - 7:24 pm

      That sounds pretty! I’ve actually found that most sheer shirts can be solved with tank tops, which is why I have a pair of them that I cycle through. I love knee-length skirts too :) Now if only I could find one in blue…

      • #9 by MutantSupermodel on June 12, 2012 - 7:14 pm

        Yeah I need more tank tops. It’s hard to find flattering ones. They run so narrow!

  4. #10 by Well Heeled Blog on June 8, 2012 - 9:13 am

    I like shells with lightly capped sleeves – that way it feels sleeveless because the slight cap isn’t constricting, but it’s easier to get away with in a more conservative office environment.

    • #11 by Leigh on June 8, 2012 - 7:25 pm

      I think that’s what most of the “sleeveless” shirts I’ve been buying are. My office environment isn’t very conservative, but I am somewhat.

  5. #12 by eemusings on June 8, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    I’m pretty much perennially cold, so even in summer I never leave the house without a cardigan on! Our office is freezing as well, so even if we were a stuffy corporate office, nobody would ever see my shoulders :)

    • #13 by Leigh on June 9, 2012 - 6:50 am

      I am pretty much always cold too :) Our office isn’t nearly as freezing as it used to be, so I need to be more careful with my sleeveless shirts now.


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