10 Best Short Sleeve Button Up Work Shirts [2021]


When choosing a short sleeve button up work shirt, probably the biggest thing to consider is the type of material. Most of these shirts have a classic design, but some will use a flexible material for added range of motion, and some even offer a breathable mesh back for extra comfort in the heat.

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These are our choices for best short sleeve button up work shirts:

  1. Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Button Up Work Shirt (click here to view)
  2. Red Kap Men’s Short Sleeve Breathable Back Work Shirt (click here to view)
  3. Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Rigby Short Sleeve Work Shirt (click here to view)
  4. Wrangler Men’s Western Short Sleeve Snap Work Shirt (click here to view)
  5. Red Kap Short Sleeve Shop Shirt w/ OilBlok Technology (click here to view)
  6. Carhartt Men’s Fort Short-Sleeve Shirt Lightweight Chambray (click here to view)
  7. Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s Chambray Work Shirt (click here to view)
  8. Key Apparel Men’s Short Sleeve Western Snap Chambray Shirt (click here to view)
  9. *Big & Tall* Boulder Creek® Short-Sleeve Button Shirt (click here to view)
  10. *Women’s* Dickies Women’s Short-Sleeve Work Shirt (click here to view)

You’ll also want to consider what type of buttons you need. Do you want traditional button, or would snap buttons make more sense? Snap buttons can make life much easier on you if you wear work gloves on the job.

If you are buying a work shirt for the middle of summer, the Red Kap shirts on this list have breathable mesh paneling which can provide some relief in the brutal summer heat. We also included a lightweight Carhartt chambray shirt that works well in the heat.

In this article let’s take a closer look at the best short sleeve button up work shirts so you can find a style that fits your needs. Let’s also discuss a few things to consider when buying these types of work shirts.


Best Short Sleeve Button Up Work Shirts

Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Button Up Work Shirt

Dickies is a well-known name in workwear, and they offer a wide variety of work shirts. This is my favorite short sleeve button work shirt because it has a clean, classic design.

Here’s what this Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Work Shirt looks like:

This is the current price of this Dickies work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:

  • Material – The 5.25-ounce, 65% polyester/35% cotton twill construction of this shirt is both wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking. The moisture-wicking capabilities help pull sweat away from your body and can also help pull heat away from the body.
  • Pockets – Two chest-flap pockets and a pencil division provide the perfect place to store essentials that you may need to keep close at hand.
  • Tucked – Although this shirt can be worn tucked or un-tucked, it does have a square-tail hem design which helps it stay tucked.
  • Fit – This shirt has a relaxed fit through the shoulders. In my experience, this shirt runs true to size. It has a standard fit that isn’t too loose or too baggy. I would recommend ordering your normal sizing.

Here’s a look at me wearing this Dickies Button-Front work shirt (size medium 6’2″ 190):

dickies-button-front-shirt

Overall, this has become my go-to short sleeve button work shirt because it just has a clean, classic design. In my experience, these shirts hold up well over time.

Click here to buy this Dickies button front work shirt at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This shirt is machine washable.


Red Kap Men’s Short Sleeve Breathable Back Work Shirt

Red Kap is another popular name in workwear, and they specialize in making button-front shop shirts perfect for mechanics. One thing I like about this shirt is it has a breathable back panel that can provide some relief in the heat.

Here’s what this Red Kap breathable back work shirt looks like:

This is the current price of this Red Kap short sleeve button down work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:

  • Material – This shirt is made with a 4.25-ounce, 65% polyester/35% cotton ripstop fabric blend. The back mesh paneling is makde with 3.8-ounce, 100% polyester MIMIX™. Fabric is moisture wicking to keep you dry and cool.
  • Back Panel – This shirt is unique because it provides MIMIX™ back paneling that increases both flexibility and breathability. Perfect for those who are constantly bending, twisting, and reaching on the job.
  • Full Mesh Back – This shirt has a breathable mesh panel on the back, but Red Kap also offers a short sleeve button up work shirt that has a full mesh back for even more airflow. Click here to view the full mesh back Red Kap work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • Design – This regular-fit shirt features a button-up front with seven buttons, including a neck button. It has two button-thru, hex-style chest pockets that feature a pencil stall on the left chest provide ample storage.

Click here to buy this Red Kap work shirt avaialble at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This shirt is machine washable.


Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Rigby Short Sleeve Work Shirt

It’s hard to discuss workwear and not discuss Carhartt. This shirt is made with a flexible fabric blend that allows the shirt to stretch and twist with you as you work.

Here’s what this Carhartt Rugged Flex Rigby Work Shirt looks like:

This is the current price of this Carhartt short sleeve work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:

  • Material – This shirt is made with a 6.5-ounce, 98% cotton/2% spandex stretch fabric blend. This stretch blend provides you with superior range of motion so you can move freely throughout your day.
  • Triple Stitched – This shirt has durable, triple-stitched main seams to help it hold up over the long haul.
  • Pockets – Whatever tools your day calls for, you can keep them at your fingertips with two chest pockets as well as a left-chest pocket panel.
  • Fit – This shirt features a button-down collar and front as well as two-button adjustable cuffs with extended plackets. A drop-tail hem provides extra coverage where you need it.

Click here to buy this Carhartt stretch work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This work shirt is machine washable.


Red Kap Short Sleeve Shop Shirt w/ OilBlok Technology

As I mentioned earlier, Red Kap is well known for making shop workwear, and this short sleeve button up work shirt is made with their “OilBlok” technology that helps resist oil stains. This shirt also has breathable stretch side panels for extra comfort and freedom of movement.

Here’s what this Red Kap work shirt looks like:

This is the current price of this Red Kap work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this shirt:

  • Material – This shop shirt is constructed of a lightweight 4.25-ounce, 65% polyester/35% cotton ripstop fabric, while the stretch-knit panels are comprised of 3.8-ounce, 100% polyester. Perfect for the busiest shop, it is 75% stronger than traditional poplin workwear. A wrinkle-resistant finish will save you time with minimal ironing needed.
  • Stain Resistant – Treated with Touchtex™, its stain-resisting and color-retaining properties will keep your shirt looking newer longer while Red Kap’s “Oilblok” technology repels auto fluids like oil and transmission fluid.
  • Design – This shirt has a button-thru right chest pocket, a left chest pocket with pencil stall, and a left-sleeve utility pocket. This Red Kap shirt is made with Zeroskratch™ which minimizes exposed scratch hazards to help protect paint jobs.
  • Flex Panels – Red Kap makes a lot of flexible shirts since they know shop technicians are constantly bending, twisting, and reaching. This shirt has vertical stretch panels on the sides of the back, and also has underarm mesh gussets that increase reach. These panels also add breathability.

Click here to buy this Red Kap work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This work shirt is machine washable.


Other Short Sleeve Button Up Work Shirts to Consider

  • Wrangler Men’s Western Short Sleeve Snap Work Shirt – This western-style work shirt has a snap button front. One thing I like about snap buttons is they are much easier to deal with if you where work gloves. This shirt is 100% cotton with two chest pockets, which include a pencil slot. Click here to view this Wrangler work shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
  • *Big & Tall* Boulder Creek® Short-Sleeve Button Shirt – If you need extended sizing for your button up work shirt, this Boulder Creek shirt is made with durable cotton has that a breathable feel to give you some relief in heat. Made with a relaxed fit that won’t hug tight against your body. Two chest pockets for storage. Click here to view this Boulder Creek shirt (affiliate link takes you to Kingsize.com).
  • *Women’s* Dickies Women’s Short-Sleeve Work Shirt – If you are shopping for a women’s short sleeve button up work shirt, Dickies makes their classic work shirt in a women’s version. Just like the men’s version we discussed earlier, this shirt is made with a durable poly/cotton blend that is wrinkle-resistant. Two button-flap chest pockets for storage. Click here to view this Dickies work shirt (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).

5 Things to Consider When Buying Button Front Work Shirts

Weight of Material

The weight of the material is usually what impacts the durability of a work shirt the most. Most short sleeve button up work shirts will be in the 5-7 ounce range, but some shirts may be even lighter to provide breathability.

Obviously, the tougher your job, the tougher you will need the material to be. But I would caution against overkill. Heavy duty work shirts can add toughness, but they can also feel heavy and stiff, and can trap extra heat.

The Dickies work shirt I use is a 5.25-ounce material and it gives me the durability I need. If you prefer denim, visit our article about the best denim work shirts.

Stretch Material

Do you want a work shirt that moves as you move? You basically have two different types of options.

First, you can buy a shirt that is made with a stretch fabric blend. A good example of this is the Carhartt shirt on our list that has spandex worked into the material blend, which gives the shirt the ability to stretch as you stretch.

Second, you can buy a work shirt that has flex paneling built in. This shirts are made with a non-stretch fabric, but the paneling itself is flexible, and provides you the range of motion you need. The Red Kap shirts on our list are a good example of this.

Ultimately, if you are doing a lot of bending, twisting, and reaching while you work, wearing some type of flexible work shirt may be best.

Length

One thing you’ll want to consider about sizing is the length of a work shirt. Many work shirts have extra length so that they can be tucked in. I prefer a squared hem which, in my experience, is a little easier to keep tucked.

But if you plan to wear your shirt untucked, just make sure to consider the length when choosing a size, because many of these shirts are made with extra length so that they can be tucked in if needed.

Stain Resistance

It is quite common to find work shirts that have some sort of stain-resistance worked into the fabric. But if you work around automotive fluids like oil and transmission fluid, the Red Kap shirt that has their “OilBlok” technology might be a nice option to help keep your shirt clean over the long haul.

Buttons

One thing that gets overlooked at times are the buttons on a work shirt.

Traditional buttons can be hard to button, especially while wearing work gloves. If you wear work gloves a lot, a snap-button front will make it easier for you.

If you are looking for a short sleeve button up work shirt that has snap buttons, the Wrangler Western Shirt and the Key Apparel Shirt on our list have snap button fronts.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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