If you were to power-rank clothes according to their DGAF quality, the best camp shirts would end up at the top. This is in part because they have been drawn to a certain type of nonconformist figurehead for 60 years: Hunter S. Thompson, Elvis, Russell Westbrook, and Ethan Hawke on Reality Bites, to name a few. But above all, because this is exactly what these camp shirts should look like. The two-tier storage collar (hence the name) should lie flat and open on the neck – no ties are allowed. (It’s no wonder some people call them “vacation shirts”.) Currently, versions swap the airiness of a muumuu for a more boxy silhouette, delivering a shirt that is naturally casual and cool.
At the moment we are partly interested in rough patterned camp shirts – we have been campaigning for Hawaiian shirts with floral prints and bowling shirts with bold stripes for a minute. But, as you’ll see below under our creams, designers create them for all tastes and budgets. Try a pair of trousers tucked into high water trousers unbuttoned over a t-shirt (or if you really wear one, over nothing) or a lapel with your best casual suit. Whatever you choose, make sure you give it a try. Here are the 20 best camp collar shirts that are worth putting on right away.
The camp shirt from Still-In-Your-Comfort-Zone
Club Monaco abstract floral shirt
Maybe you’re the guy with six pairs of the same black jeans in his closet. The guy who knows his strengths and plays with them and gets a little put off by people like us who are constantly trying to push their limits. Like, slow down your roll, GQ, you don’t know me that much. Listen to us, because we have found a patterned camp shirt that even you will appreciate. This Club Monaco version has the kind of oversized cut and out-there print we raved about in the intro, but it’s done in easy-to-pull, extremely poor black and white. This is the best way to dip your toes into the wider, wilder world of menswear – whether or not you decide to take the plunge afterward is entirely up to you.
The Just-Landed-in-Miami Camp Shirt
Casablanca Kapalia shirt in silk twill with a wave pattern
Are you ready to sit back and wear a shirt that isn’t the least bit restrained? Casablanca turns out to be the sexy, glamorous clothes you’d normally see in a DJ Khaled video: silky and decadent materials abound, as are citrus motifs and lush botanical prints. This is a shirt best worn with pink wraparound sunglasses and an exotic named cocktail in hand – even if you’re just walking down the block to hang a park.
The perfect retro camp shirt
Todd Snyder Plaid Madras camp collar shirt
This camp pick-up shirt is Todd Snyder at his best: he takes one of the most classic prints in the game – in this case a preppy plaid Madras – and updates it just enough in the Fit department to keep both your still dapper grandpa and yours -cool nephew might ask to borrow it. Tucked into roomy cotton chinos with a battered pair of penny foot loafers – and perhaps a navy blazer – you’ll feel like you’ve walked right off Take Ivy’s pages by 2021.
The Buy Two (or Three) Camp Shirt
Dickies Short Sleeve Work Shirt (was $ 33, now 24% off)
Can’t you stop wearing Dickies’ favorite work pants? Also, try taking out one of the damn sturdy button-ups for a spin. Cut from a stiff twill that just gets better with age. With two roomy chest pockets to keep everything you have on hand, your look is enhanced with a touch of greasy demeanor.
The Art Snob Camp Shirt
Endless Joy Romulus and Remus print poplin shirt
If you want your camp shirt to feel like a fever dream, Endless Joy – an up-and-coming British outfit founded by artists Stevie and Alexandra Anderson – spins rich folk tales on its soft and casual menswear. Case in point: that distant button-up bang, inspired by the story of Romulus and Remus. Whether you use it to liven up your chicest suit or keep it completely unbuttoned by the pool, it will add to your warm-weather rotation with just the right amount of old-school bragging rights.
15 more camp shirts that we love
Gitman Vintage Window Batik Block Print Camp Shirt
The folks at Gitman are experts at turning old-school fabrics into casual shirts that feel instantly recognizable in the moment.
Go Barefoot Pidgin English shirt with camp collar
For five decades, Hawaii’s Go Barefoot has hired local artists to create real vacation shirts infused with the indelible spirit of the islands.
Needles Cabana Shirt
Wear this on a flight. Fire a caption with snakes on an airplane. Watch the likes.
Banks Journal “Preview” Shirt
Big top chic.
Story Mfg. Everywhere print greetings vacation shirt
[Whispers to shirt] Hey, my friend over there thinks you’re cute. [Points at himself.]
Universal Works shirt with open collar and Japanese floral print
We have had enough April showers. Who is ready for May flowers?
Undercover Beret Lads shirt made of cotton poplin with watercolor print
Best to combine with a beret – you guessed it.
Nicholas Daley Beach Short Sleeve Shirt
Tired: Batik in every color of the rainbow. Wired: Batik in calming sky blue tones. *
Bather Tie-Dye Camp short sleeve shirt
* And a stroke or two of delicate pink.
Levi’s Made & Crafted relaxed camp shirt
A shirt that is so wavy that you can almost smell the ocean.
Sacai Hank Willis Archive Patchwork Short Sleeve Shirt
Chitose Abe blows up the camp shirt with a little help from installation artist Hank Willis Thomas.
PS Paul Smith casual shirt
A bright and cheerful shirt from the king of all things, bright and cheerful.
Lemaire plaid cotton and linen camp shirt
Pair it with hiking shorts, ragged socks, and sensible footwear. Congratulations: You are now the revamped chief advisor in a summer camp in Poconos.
Allsaints “Marston” shirt
Cop always wear a camp collar top, especially if it’s cut off (slightly).
Saturdays NYC Orchard Flannel Work Shirt
Like your most trustworthy fall flannel – without the sleeves.