The summer months are upon us, and it’s finally time to toss all those long sleeve shirts in the closet until fall comes around again. Short sleeves to show off your muscles and flex a bit are in, and you won’t want to stop until you’re absolutely forced to.
However, did you know there are different design aspects you need to consider? Not all short-sleeved shirts are made the same, and if you make the wrong choice, your time to flex those bad boys you’ve been working on might not be as enjoyable as you hope.
Today, the team at Combat Iron Apparel wants to run you through some of the T-shirt designs that show off your arms and the key differences between various short-sleeved shirt designs to help you stay comfortable, active, and ready to flex whenever needed.
Let’s get to work!
Sleeve Types and Their Strengths and Weaknesses
Whenever you’re looking at T-shirts, besides long-sleeved shirts, you typically have 3 options to choose from.
There are capped sleeves, ¾ sleeves, and of course, sleeveless T-shirts.
We’re going to cover all three individually and discuss their pros and cons.
1: ¾ Sleeves
¾ sleeves have a pretty self-explanatory name. They’re T-shirts with a reduced sleeve length, but they still cover up a fair amount. Typically, these stop just above or at the elbow. So, they’re not truly “3/4” of a sleeve.
Right off the bat, you know that these are going to cover your biceps, and if they’re not made or fitted properly, they can reduce your range of motion. That usually isn’t a problem if you take the time to buy the right size shirt.
There are some reasons to choose these, even though they cover up the part of your arm you probably want to show off most.
First, a lot of guys have bicep tattoos that are simply inappropriate to show off in specific situations. Whether it’s simply a no-tattoo occasion, or you have some embarrassing ones you’d rather not show off at an interview or while meeting your girlfriend’s parents for the first time, ¾ sleeves can come in handy.
They’re also useful when it’s not quite hot out and you’re still in those spring months that can occasionally get a bit too cool. The extra coverage isn’t much, but it helps.
Also, while your biceps are covered, a ¾ sleeve shirt can help show off their definition if it’s the right color and tight enough. Your biceps themselves might not be visible, but sometimes it’s better to show off the definition of them.
2: Capped Sleeves
It’s hard to call capped sleeves “sleeves”. They don’t actually cover your arms. They’re just enough fabric to go around your shoulders, and they’re usually fitted to be tighter than many ¾ shirts.
Capped sleeves tend to suffer the most when they’re too tight. They can restrict shoulder movement, and if you live an active lifestyle, that’s no good. However, they also look weird when they’re loose, and if you’re trying to show your arms off, you definitely want to make them look as good as possible.
However, if you get perfectly fitted capped sleeves on your shirt, they can look great by highlighting your biceps and adding a distinct color differentiation that really makes them pop. Also, if you get them fitted properly, they won’t restrict your movement.
One thing to look out for though is the fit of the rest of the shirt. Cap sleeves on baggy or overly long shirts can look off.
You’re probably well aware of what a sleeveless shirt is. There are no sleeves. Nada. Zip. There are no shoulder caps, and only the torso is covered. There are some major benefits to this, but there are also some fair drawbacks.
First, sleeveless shirts offer the best range of motion on your shoulders. Your arms are entirely free to move, and that’s exactly what you want from top-shelf men’s T-shirts for gym, especially during training or even when you’re just out doing yard work. This also lets your arms breathe and sweat without fabric sticking to them and getting uncomfortable, and of course, your arms are entirely out in the open. If you have some muscles to flex, these are definitely the best T-shirt designs that show off your arms.
The drawbacks of sleeveless shirts are that they don’t protect your arms at all if you burn easily in the sun, expect to get a full sunburn, and there is nothing to cover up tattoos or add visual differentiation between your muscles and your clothes.
Another drawback is that sleeveless shirts are seen as inappropriate in more situations than capped or ¾ sleeves, especially at professional gatherings.
However, this is also the most versatile sleeve type. It can look good on shirts of all styles without the list of pros and cons changing much at all.
Other Things to Look At
Obviously, a T-shirt is more than just its sleeves. We’re just focused on sleeves for this guide. However, the other parts are important when picking your sleeve style, as well.
Primarily, you want to look at the fit and length. Sleeveless shirts are pretty flexible in both those regards, but capped sleeves tend to look better on tighter shirts that only come down to the waist. If they’re tight down to the waist and then “fan” out, that can also work.
¾ sleeves can work loose or snug, but they usually need to be a bit longer, especially since the added sleeve material makes them more prone to pulling up when you lift your arms. You’re trying to show off your arms. Not show everyone your abs.
Get The Best Men’s T-Shirts at Combat Iron Apparel
If you want to find T-shirt designs that show off your arms, check out our men’s T-shirt arsenal.
We offer T-shirts with all three of these sleeve options, and we offer a variety of designs to let everyone express exactly what’s on their mind while showing off a bit of REAL personality.
Shop on our website, and become unstoppable!