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10 Summer Shirt Styles for Boys

Options Beyond the Standard Tee

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From performance shirts for long days outdoors, to more formal styles that won’t leave him squirming in discomfort at the end of the ceremony, there are many practical and fashionable alternatives to tees that just may become your boy’s summer go-tos.

Get the most wear out of these items by selecting his favorite colors and patterns; each style comes in an array of options. At the same time, encourage your son to explore his personal style by venturing beyond his comfort zone. If your hipster balks at a collar, remind him that style is more about how than what to wear.

Pop the collar on a polo, pair it with roomy shorts and set off with shaggy hair for a look that’s more beach boy than preppy. Spike that hair and trade flip flops for hi-top Chuck Taylors to cross into rocker territory.

Sun Protective Shirt

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Putting on sun protective clothing is much easier (and often more effective) than slather, squirm, reapply. It will also keep him cooler than a clammy cotton tee. Typically rated at 50+ SPF, these shirts are made for hours of play.
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Bug Blocking Shirt

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For long hikes, berry picking and evenings at the lake, save the frustration of smelly sprays and suggest he throw on a repellent shirt instead. Long sleeves offer greater protection from biting insects, including mosquitoes and ticks. Bright colors and bold style make practicality fashionable.
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Performance Shirt

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When SPF and bug repellent aren’t necessary, but your boy is still likely to work up a sweat, performance tees are often a less expensive alternative. Most performance shirts are moisture wicking, fast drying and odor minimizing, making them perfectly suited for endless rounds of flashlight tag.
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Muscle Tank

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When it’s just too hot (or he’s too cool) for sleeves, give him a tank with an athletic fit and sturdy construction that will stand up to hard play. Bonus points for a simple but bold graphic that will suit any style.
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Embellished Tee

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Modern Moppet
Basic tees in solid colors are great wardrobe staples, but boys like to have fun with fashion, too. Look for tees with personality, but keep the accents understated.

Performance Polo

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This sporty standard is modernized for breathability and flexibility, whether your boy is on the course or in the stands.
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Classic Polo

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On cool nights, he’ll love the coziness of a long sleeve cotton pique polo. This shirt looks great layered with an athletic look, and rockers appreciate the irony of pairing a perennial prep classic with edgier items.
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Long Sleeves With Button Cuffs

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Gap Kids
Short sleeves have their place, but convertible button cuffs add a bit of interest, and a lot of versatility. Let the sleeves down for breezy evenings, and layer this shirt under a sweater or zippy come fall. A warm plaid will work through the seasons and do a good job of hiding the stains that seem to go along with summer fun. Think of all those block parties, barbecues and picnics!

Hybrid Button-Down

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Gap Kids
For dressier occasions, consider a linen blend, which is more breathable than standard oxford -- a welcome feature when long sleeves are called for. A narrow stripe reads as formal when necessary, but like the more casual plaid button-down, this print is also available as a convertible. Lose the jacket, button up the sleeves, and it’s beach-ready.

Formal Button-Down

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Brooks Brothers
For even more formality, look to crisp 100% linen. Opt for a light hue to keep the style airy and classic.
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