You’ve likely heard this anecdote about the Hawaiian shirt a thousand times: It was once an item you’d only see on the likes of embarrassing drunk uncles or overeager tourists in the tropics. But then, suddenly, this men’s shirt became a really cool, must-have summer flex.
You’ve heard this story so many times because, simply put, it’s true. Just have a look at HBO’s recent hit show The White Lotus. Have Hawaiian shirts ever looked this good? Though it’s tricky to pinpoint when or how exactly the Hawaiian shirt went from cringy to must-cop, it’s probably got plenty to do with luxury fashion designers at the helm of prestigious brands sending out their meticulously crafted versions of the vacation shirt, and in doing so, giving it the thumbs up.
And we’re glad they did. The Hawaiian (or aloha) shirt – yes, originating from the island it’s named after – features a camp collar, which is flat and open. Together with the lightweight fabrics used to design them, Hawaiian shirts are the perfect summer shirt made to beat the heat.
In case you’re wondering what differentiates your best camp collar shirt from a Hawaiian one, it’s simple: Strictly speaking, a camp collar shirt must include Hawaiian- or Japanese-inspired prints and patterns (the latter due to the nation’s immigrant community having played a major role in its invention) if it is to be named after the Pacific Island state. However, today’s general classification of Hawaiian shirts includes those that feature prints ranging from mere florals and leaves to pretty much any island-living insignia.
Sure, the end of summer might be in sight, but it’s still going to be steamy out there for quite some time. Whether you’re embarking on a late warm-weather getaway, or just hanging by the pool on your staycation, end the season on a style high with a selection of hot Hawaiian shirts.
The American brand gave the world its first taste of what a stylish aloha shirt should look like. This number beautifully captures the waves of Japan’s most famous surfing city. And in classic Reyn Spooner fashion, it incorporates the traditionally print-matched left chest pocket in a sweet nod to a feature of the OG shirt.
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Constructed from cool and comfortable viscose, kick back and let loose in this oversized and flowy offering by the Dutch fashion retailer that’s full of big sea star energy.
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Blending art and surf culture, the Northern California-inspired beach brand brings its unique touch to the Hawaiian classic with a bold blue shirt that includes some sort of paisley-meets-pineapple print that we’re absolutely here for.
The Seattle-based Tommy Bahama philosophy was born of the idea that the feeling of island living should be attainable just about anywhere. Now, who would say no to that? Spruce up your everyday moments with this memorable floral piece in graffiti pink.
Even Carhartt WIP, better known for its more heavy-duty dressings, is getting into the easy-going sun and sand attire. The lightweight voile fabric adorned with tropical scenes will transport you from city slicker to beach bum in no time.
OB’s entire brand identity is based on living your best beachy lifestyle. The British high-end clothing manufacturer is renowned for its tailored approach to laidback summer style, as is perfected in this cotton-terry shirt with palm prints that’ll take you from the poolside to the pub in a pinch.
Fashion designer Simon Porte Jacquemus’s collections are deeply influenced by his childhood growing up in the south of France, so the man knows how to elevate summer-friendly fashion. Team this sun-soaked shirt with popping pink blossoms with a tailored pair of trousers for a très chic night out on the town.
This boxy and breezy cut cotton piece with actual natural coconut buttons belongs nowhere if not the beach. Emblazoned with vintage vignettes by Hawaiian artists, this shirt is what Honolulu dreams are made of.
If you’re the type to eschew bright colors and bold patterns for simpler and more subdued options in your wardrobe, you can still get in on the chest-baring vacation essential. You can do you in this paired back and floaty iteration of the Hawaiian staple.
Founded by Shawn Stussy in the ’80s, the company’s carefree California vibe is very much embodied in this poppy-printed camp collar that’s designed for a more structured fit.
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