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Considering: Square-hemmed Shirts


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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Considering: Square-hemmed Shirts

Square-hemmed shirts....uhmm

I like the idea of square-hemmed shirts.

If you are going to wear your shirt untucked they offer a more finished look than normal curved shirt hems, plus they also feel a little more sporty.

Unfortunately, I think they can make you look a bit....well...square.

Also, I usually see them on short-sleeve shirts and I'm just not a short sleeve shirt kinda guy.

However I like the way this gentleman is wearing the square-hem shirt

First of all, it is a long sleeve shirt!

Secondly, it is cut slim enough but I think a little extra length in the back (like a tennis-tails polo) could help a lot.

This also inspires me to look into those cool Cuban shirts with the squared hem and pleated fronts but the originals seem to fit me a bit funny and the fashion versions are usually a bit over-the-top.

I might have to experiment and take one of my cotton shirts ( not linen because it would curl too much at the hem) to a tailor and maybe they could alter the shirt to a square hem.

Anyone out there have particular success with square-hemmed shirts?

Comments on "Considering: Square-hemmed Shirts"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:35 AM) : 

Tis, tis, "satorialist" you should know that those "cool Cuban shirts" are called guayaberas. Very dissapointed.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:38 AM) : 

This is quite an interesting find - I think the square hem gives a refreshing take to the classic men's staple, the oxford. I do agree that it might work better with long sleeves, a slimmer fit, and a longer tail reminiscent of a polo shirt. It would be very interesting to see it on the courts as a substitute, or even to combine this with another menswear piece that has recently been a hot topic, a khaki short that hits farther above the knee; add a square hemmed oxford, and perhaps a pair of converse or other canvas-type tennis shoe to make it a bit more athletic.


Blogger Alice Olive said ... (10:39 AM) : 

A female perspective - I tailored a few shirts in the past to have a square hem. I did this mainly in the 90s so I'm biased in thinking it's dated. I also largely incorporated into work-based outfits to elongate a look. ie. a longer-shirt with a shorter skirt. I don't tend to tuck my shirts in and thought the square hem was more tailored than the usual round hem. (Think 20s flapper for the office!)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:43 AM) : 

I find that becasue I'm tall the square hem just cuts me wrong. I'd have to do as you're saying and experiment with a few different variations to see how it would work. Sadly what seems to come to mind when I think of a square hemmed shirt is indeed ugly short sleeved linen shirts, which I never wear. I think on an average height, average build fellow going for a sporty, preppy look, a slim, rolled longsleeve square-hemmed shirt in a crisp light blue or white might work. It's almost although you'd want to drape a light wool swweater over your shoulders tennis-style to really go for it.


Blogger styleandsubstance said ... (10:44 AM) : 


I think all of Charvet's off-the-peg shirts are squared hems. I have two or three of them and they are great but you do have to take them to a tailor because they tend to run a little full through the body.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:06 AM) : 

I love square-hemmed shirts! I am not much of a casual dresser, but they lend a good, finished look to those times when I do want to dress down, lounge poolside, etc. on hot days. I've owned a few great slim-cut vintage ones in the past (long & half sleeves) and more recently picked up a couple of new ones from T.M. Lewin in London. I've also had my alterations tailor square the hem on a half-sleeve madras Ralph Lauren shirt, which looks really nice. I am all for guayaberas as well ( particularly cotton ones) which are very common out here in California.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:08 AM) : 

Hipolito Peña in the Dominican Republic makes arguably the best Guayaberas in the world (short-sleeve and long-sleeved). Also, he has an extensive variety of fabrics (although my favorite is plain white irish linen).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:23 AM) : 

just bought my husband a light blue zegna (linen) and it is square hemmed but has inverted darts on both sides of the back to make it appear somewhat fitted and not so boxy - very handsome. Also - got a white stripe on stripe Ted Baker ss (I know but this one seemed cool) and it is square hemmed - but again - more fitted so less capelike at the bottom.
The whole short sleeve issue perplexes me as I have such a disdain for short sleeves on men - and yet my husband yearns for them as they are indeed cooler? Does everyone out there hate them? I truly think the Zegna/Ted Baker varieties I bought may pass - or is it the 11th commandment?? "Thou shall not wear short sleeves?"


Blogger Laurence John said ... (11:44 AM) : 

i'd recommend shorter than the guy's in the photo.


Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey said ... (12:02 PM) : 

Nice photo. But I think square-hemmed shirts make the wearer look too square and they encourage men to wear their shirt untucked, which is an ugly, sloppy habit, IMO. Long-sleeve shirts should not be worn untucked under any circumstances. Apart from the obvious such as polo shirts and t-shirts, certain short-sleeved shirts (e.g., madras, seersucker, etc.) can be worn untucked, but that's about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:15 PM) : 

my take on square cut sport shirts, dart them in the back thus offering a little more fitted and less boxy look. at least this is what I do, and it works for me.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:21 PM) : 

ii've been looking for some nice square-hem shirts ever since i saw this photo:


Blogger B. Llewellyn Shepard said ... (12:24 PM) : 

I get my shirts made in Honk Kong, and they are all square-hemmed (even the linen ones.) I often wear them untucked. The real trick is getting them cut juuuust long enough so that you can wear them tucked in with slacks or untucked with jeans.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 PM) : 

Personally, I love the look of guayaberas. I agree with herringbonekid that they should be worn a bit shorter, just at the hip. And I think that they almost always look better with a pant that is a similar value--a light-colored guayabera with dark pants or jeans does emphasize the boxiness too much. But with a lighter pant, it looks fresh, and has that Caribbean feel that is both laid back AND (socially) formal--chill and traditional. A quick Google search for "cotton guayaberas" got me lots of potential sources for long-sleeve 100% cotton and 100% linen shirts. Most of them look like they might have to be tailored to slim them down through the body.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:01 PM) : 

Shirts with the 'Chelsea collar' from the great British store Hackett come with a square hem. I like to roll up the double-cuffs and go untucked for a casual look. However, I find the square hem a bit troublesome when tucked in - the tendency is for it to become untucked. Beautiful shirts though. I love Hackett, particularly the shop on Sloane St.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:10 PM) : 

Along the same lines of the "Short Shorts Debacle of 2007" here's a woman's perspective.

If you're to wear a shirt outside of your pants, please ensure that they enhance your bum in some way. Men's bums ESPECIALLY are already (to use a fun word from the debacle) "obscene."

This example does the man's bum area no favors but that's more to do with the pants than the shirt, which actually looks like it would fall in the right place if he had on a proper pair of trousers.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:11 PM) : 

Hey Sart,

My husband is the king of the square hemmed shirt. He's kind of long and lean, so they fit his body type and his style. He gets a lot of them from surf catalogs like Swell (a lot of the surf companys like Rusty and O'Neil make them). He has them in cotton, linen and I think maybe even hemp. I like how they look on him, though on some of our not-as-tall-and-thin friends, they look more frumpy or bulky. From what I've seen of you in your pics, I think the key is making sure they are slim enough. But I have no doubt you'll be right on top of the cut!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:11 PM) : 

This is the same guy with the black double monks, short-ish khaki pants, rolled sleeves and aviators, no?


Blogger dnqcnn said ... (1:15 PM) : 

the sunglasses,
oh so very good!


Blogger jakubowski said ... (1:28 PM) : 

I remember seeing a nice square bottomed short sleeved button down shirt in the duty free Thomas Pink shop in Heathrow a few years back. I was thinking about picking one up earlier this summer but the US Pink shop I checked did not carry it... : (


Blogger Butch said ... (1:43 PM) : 

You can't blouse them if they're tucked in--so they can't really be tucked in. Or their relative shortness will have them half-out of your trousers after one good stretch.

The key, as so often, is correct proportion. Straight from the store, the length is almost always wrong, especially for guys five-seven or shorter.

So, to all those contemplating such a shirt--buy your size and get thee and it to a tailor.


Blogger Velizar Iordanov said ... (2:16 PM) : 

My wife used to run this vintage/young designer boutique on ludlow - and i remembered she got in all those 70's fitted shirt. she would instruct the customer to square off the hem from the side seam all the way around and bounched up thee sleeve for the look - and it only costed $5 to do so by one of many tailor shops on essex or stanton - i really never got into the style, but it really looked great some of them......


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:28 PM) : 

I'm with Alice Olive on the "dated" thing. Square hem shirts (particularly the cuban kind) were a staple of the L.A. man's wardrobe for so long after the movie Swingers that I'm just not ready to go back.

I like the idea of the 'tennis hem', though, espescially with a long sleeve and a slim shape. It might, *might*, not look like you are trying to cover up you post collegiate beer gut while trolling for 'babies' and calling everything 'money'.


Blogger Butch said ... (2:34 PM) : 

Mltt, men's bums are "obscene"? I really want an explanation of this.


I's bums are "obscene"?


Blogger Jingoist said ... (2:40 PM) : 

I have a couple square hemmed shirts that I "get away with" wearing very casually, but usually with shorts and not pants and I try to keep the hem/waist shorter, not longer.

What happens is when these shirts, on a man, go past your waist and start covering your derrière, they look ill-fitting (same thing with a rounded hem sport shirt- not that i recommend wearing one untucked unless on vacation on a beach).

Most do not come fitted, but I'm a little broader up top so I keep the shirt shorter while having an upper body to carry it helps me, as I said, "get away with it" casually. I guess, as often is the case, it comes down to fit on the individual.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:25 PM) : 

George Cortina no? He is such a confident dresser. Even in a photo like this where his back is facing you, he has such a commanding presence.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:45 PM) : 

La police du style dit NON!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:08 PM) : 

Ya but pleated shorts, not working for me sorry.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:43 PM) : 

Butch, the food writer, as you can imagine this is more my issue than anyone else's.

Blame lays solidly on my having accidentally taken in a minute too many of an amateur male strip tease show a few years ago.

(Shudders, tears then runs away...)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:18 PM) : 

my ex favored a rockabilly look and all of his square hemmed shirts were called shirt-jacs.
they were shorter than the cuban style-above the bum (his was quite fab) and with a wide-ish leg trouser it was a great retro look.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:09 PM) : 

I love the square-hemmed shirt with the right style of pants & shoes, the length has to be just right though. Is this the same gentleman you photographed for "How I Would Wear Thom Browne p.1"?


Blogger Three Repute said ... (8:14 PM) : 

today i wore a square hemmed shirt by jil sander, which also happened to be short sleeved. i think it works when cut short and very trim.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:11 PM) : 

Untucked curved hems - noooooo! (Unless you're in a Harry Potter movie.)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:17 AM) : 

The best guayaberras are made at Ramon Puig on Calle Ocho in Miami. They will custom make one that will fit the right way and in white Irish linen it will be stunning.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:01 AM) : 


I'm surprised you're not a fan and don't think they look good on you (as a shorter person?). Why would you want the tail to be longer? If anything, as several other posters have said, shorter is the way to go.


Blogger said ... (6:54 AM) : 

I just love your commentary. when are you going to do a book? I want it to include all your insider secrets like how you approach people, and how you ask them to pose.

That's all.


Blogger Butch said ... (7:39 AM) : 

Mltt, I feel your pain--all those that hypertrophy, all those thongs...

...but may I suggest rehabilitation? A sunny walk on a tree-lined city street in summer with an open mind and a wandering eye?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:47 AM) : 

I'm a little confused by this thread. Square-hemmed, short sleeved shirts have been around for ages. I wear them all through the summer. I'm wearing one today.

I've always heard (through Glenn O'Brien) that a square hem is the sign it is meant to be worn un-tucked. It isn't a matter of being sloppy. The square hem gives it the finished look it needs to be shown off.

But, they do make you look boxy. And they look particularly bad if they are too long.

On the other hand, they can afford a very sporty look. As others have said, they look good with trim pants, I think.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:01 AM) : 

I too prefer shirts and knitwear with long sleeves.I believe that if you are tall and have long arms and legs short isn´t a good choice.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:07 AM) : 

my father, and old Cuban man, used to have my mother tailor his regular shirts into square hems. She would finish some with a waist band made of the same fabric, so it looked like a 50s bus driver shirt. I used to think it was strange of my pops to want that, but looking back... he rocked it out. I wish I had a photo to show you.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:39 PM) : 

I agree with you about the short sleeve shirts on men. I find they make men look a bit like they should still be at primary school. This could just be me though? Not so sure about the square hem although I like the idea of it for leaving the shirt untucked.


Blogger Ravages/CC said ... (3:07 AM) : 

I wear square-hemmed shirts all the time. I really do. Full sleeves, half sleeves. I think I got that from my father, along with a lot of his shirts too. Plus, tailors in India don't do the curve much, at least not the ones I go to.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:13 AM) : 

Ascot Chang does square hems with their linen shirts (deliberately, so that they can be worn untucked at the owner's discretion), and they get it right...key is slim fit, and agreed on the long-sleeved comment - looks much more put together...I don't think it would work in the typical off-the-rack linen shirt, which seem to always be cut very large


Blogger Gian said ... (2:22 PM) : 

I have found this really cool guayabera by Marc Jacobs. I think what makes it look stylish is not only the style of the shirt per se, but the color which is a dark purple.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:58 PM) : 

Square-hemmed shirts miss the whole point of an untucked shirt: to show what isn't meant to be shown. It's the guy equivalent of a gal's camisole poking out from under her cashmere sweater--so sexy.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:58 PM) : 

My husband, who might be described as Fat Hairy Man (FHM), just bought a lovely bunch of guayaberas made in Panama from a company in San Antonio, TX ( They have a variety of colors in Pima cotton, linen and, for a little extra, Irish linen. He looks great in them and they don't lead to the dreaded "square man" look.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:44 PM) : 

I have all my shirts that I plan to wear untucked cut with a square hem, or at the very least have the tails in front and back severely softened. Otherwise, it looks too unconsciously sloppy... I've got a white and green paisley Dunhill with double cuffs that is square cut, and it looks stunning- I get comments on it often because people realize it's a very intentional style, and they want to know where it's from.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:48 PM) : 

Hippolito Guayaberas are the best in the world! They are exceptional to others since the stunning materials applied are unique in design, duration, cuff square and superbly styled! They are hard to find and expensive but worth the investment. I own 6 of them!
Charles Del Campo
Miami, Florida


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