How Important Are Short Sleeves For SS2018 Mens’ Shirts?

Something really interesting is happening!

Worldwide ‘Mens Shirts’, no matter how it is searched has grown in consumer trends by +25% since LY Summer. Whereas, in India, the trend has reversed. Compared to 2016 Summer, this year 2017 Summer resulted in -27% demand in shirts for men. So, what’s next for shirts?

Stylumia studies brand and consumer research that captures key trends across Style, Graphic, Fabric & Detail through data from Catwalk, Socially popular, search analytics and Stylumia retail intel.

Let’s deep dive into data to see what is the trend graph for Short Sleeve shirts like for the coming 2018?

From the Shows

Fashion on the Runway for Spring 2018 Mens collections was dominated by Short sleeve variants. Boxy drop-shoulder, slim turn up hems, cap sleeve lengths and more were seen across fashion week collections. Evolved from the last seasons Bowling shirt, short sleeve shirts still retain a retro look, continuing in strength.

Street Style shows off

Doesn’t look like the short sleeve shirt was photographed much in the International and Indian Celebrity crowd. We saw only a handful of celebrities dotting the retro short sleeve shirt. Justin Beiber from Hollywood, whereas Bollywood saw limited actors sporting this shirt trend. Popular Model Nicolas boasted the trend during vacations.

On the other hand, Top Fashion Influencers and social bloggers freely adopted this trend and are making it big. From regular Summer street style to Fashion week shows, Scott Schuman, Nick Wooster, and Justin were seen wearing the short sleeve trend in different shirt versions.

Fashion week street style from NewYork, Paris, London and Milan showcased Retro styles – 50’s look of tucked in shirts with short sleeve detail. The new style trend spotted is a front button open, or wide chest/open chest detail. Printed versions were more popular than yarn-dyed.

Solid shirts are seen in season’s key colours, White is a must! Knit, ruffle & placement prints are of specific attention here!

Consumer Search trends

As per Google search trends at Global level, US & UK have seen a growth in demand by +54% in SS17 for Short sleeve shirts, the strongest market is the UK.

In India, long sleeves have been most sought after by volume, however, the trend has changed since Mid 2016. There has been a decrease of -17% since Mar’17, compared to same time LY. Short sleeve(s/s) shirts, on the other hand, remain constant with no sign of decline, making it a perennial consumer trend of sorts. This creates an opportunity for Short sleeve styles, also seen in Stylumia Retail Insights further.

Stylumia Insights

A Validation of the above with retail insights from Stylumia Intelligence helps track the rise and fall of this product among consumers real-time. Internationally, short sleeve shirts are very popular and trending in the top-ranked across UK and US brands.

Off the top-ranked, 32% comprised of Short sleeve versions. In the fashion of it, trends like band collar, Colour blocking, fabric play and more. Short length and boxy sleeve classics were seen from H&M, which was missing in India retail.

Top trending looks are casual and resort with nautical details. Camp Shirt continue to rule the runway in prints that are seasonal year after year. So while Placement prints, abstract geometric are new, Floral and tie-n-dye effects are the most popular from international brands.

Short sleeve styles from Indian retail had top performers detailed with value-adds like patchwork, print, colour blocking or prints and contrasts. Only cotton handloom shirts were ranked high, in seasonal colours. The market may not be ready for basics yet. Resort collar was missing by large, however slim collars did well.


Spring Summer 2018 Shirts has trends that provide an opportunity for brands to growth with. Owing to the rise in Shorter length sleeves Internationally and the consistent demand for the same in India, Short sleeves in retro styles and look are a definite trend to bet higher on.

More than just a perennial trend, Indian brands can leverage this feature owing to demography and countrywide tropical climate. Key differentiator in the coming season will be the way one renders these Short Sleeves shirts. Casual and Trendy look rather than just Functional in nature are the kinds that will rule the game.

Blog by: Pooja Saraf