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The Best Camp Shirts Make Every Day Feel Like Vacation

5 min read
The Best Camp Shirts Make Every Day Feel Like Vacation

If you were to power-rank clothes by their DGAF-ness, the best camp shirts would land near the very top. Partly, that’s because they’ve been donned by a certain type of nonconformist poster boy for going on 60 years now: Hunter S. Thompson, Elvis, Russell Westbrook, Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites, just to name a few. But mostly, it’s because that’s precisely how these camp shirts were designed to look. The two-tiered camp collar (hence the name) is meant to lay flat and open at the neck—no ties allowed. (It’s no wonder some folks call ‘em “vacation shirts.”) Right-now versions trade a muumuu’s airiness for a more boxy silhouette, delivering  a shirt that’s inherently nonchalant, and all kinds of cool.

At the moment, we’re partial to raucously patterned camp shirts—we’ve been championing floral-print Hawaiian shirts and bold-striped bowling shirts for a minute now. But, as you’ll see among our cream-of-the-crop picks below, designers are making them for all tastes and budgets. Try one tucked into highwater trousers, unbuttoned over a T-shirt (or if you’re really on one, over nothing at all), or lapels-out with your best off-duty suit. Whatever you decide, just make sure you try one. Here are the 23 best camp collar shirts worth slipping on right away.

The Best Camp Shirts Shopping Guide

Don’t Think Too Hard: This Is the Camp Shirt to Get

Bather traveler shirt

$150.00, Bather

For one GQ contributor, the quest to find the perfect camp shirt was fraught with peril. Until he stumbled across Bather’s Traveler button-up, a boxy riff on a classic Hawaiian shirt cut from an airy cotton-viscose blend. The Traveler shirt was always excellent,  but last year the brand added two additional pockets to the equation, a Guayabera-esque flourish that takes the whole shebang to the next level. Its breathable construction makes it ideal for warm weather layering, and those nifty trio of pockets offer a level of functionality you never knew you were missing.

The Pared-Down Pick

Everlane “The Relaxed Linen Short-Sleeve” Shirt

$78.00, Everlane

The name implies that you’re going to be 1) outside and 2) doing some sort of activity that requires you to be moving around, so naturally you want a camp shirt that not only looks good but is extremely comfortable. Everlane’s version is 100% linen, meaning it’s breathable and will only soften over time (it also looks good rumpled up, which is great since you probably won’t have an iron on-hand). The loose, boxy shape pairs well for the outdoors or a super-casual get-up while the double chest pockets scream “utility,” making it, yes, an all-in-all no-brainer.

The Museum-Worthy Pick

Bode “Fruit Bunch” appliqué shirt

$550.00, My Theresa

Sometimes, art imitates life—and sometimes, you stumble across a shirt that rivals any blue-chip impressionist grail in its sheer mastery. Bode’s still-life-inspired beaut is an easy way to refine your style palette, sure, but it’s cotton-linen construction will also keep you cool when the charge hits your credit card bill. It’s not everyday that we recommend walking around with a bowl of fruit splashed across your lower torso, but art has a way of messing with your mind like that.

The Shirting Specialist Pick

Portuguese Flannel “Dogtown” camp collar shirt

$135.00, No Man Walks Alone

Portuguese Flannel’s Dogtown shirt boasts the simplicity of your soon-to-be favorite button-down with a design powered by four generations of shirting experts. Based in Portugal, a city renowned for its textile mills, the brand churns out an elegant array of camp shirts that straddle the line between stylish and functional. This one is a prime example–crafted from cooling Lyocell and kitted out with mother of peal buttons, it’s lightweight, breathable, and easy to layer, perfect for your day-to-day affairs or special occasions that require a little more polish.

The Old-School-Meets-New-School Pick

Gitman Vintage Japanese ripple jacquard camp collar shirt

$165.00, End.Clothing

If you feel like they just don’t make ‘em like they used to, they do—as long as the “they” in question is Gitman Bros. Since 1978, the shirtmaker has been churning out quality button-downs, including a superlative collection of Oxford and chambray shirts, made entirely in the US. Gitman Vintage, its retro-inspired sub-line, pays homage to the brand’s heritage, reintroducing archival designs with a fresh, contemporary twist. This camp shirt is crafted from a silky cotton-poly blend that features a distinct ripple effect. It’s wavy without being too on the nose, classic enough to make a statement today and several decades down the line.

The “European Summer” Pick

Todd Snyder short sleeve summerweight shirt

$138.00, Todd Snyder

Few things beat a pre-washed shirt with that worn-in feel. It’s like skipping ahead a couple weeks—months, even—and getting to enjoy the best version of your garment immediately. Todd Snyder’s primo summer button-up is made from 100% cotton sourced from Portugal, so it’s buttery soft at first touch. The slim fit makes this shirt more suited for leisurely outdoor activities than, say, scaling a mountain, but the lightweight fabric is guaranteed to make however you spend your time outside infinitely more stylish.

Plus 17 More Camp Shirts We Love

Harago Floral-embroidered cotton-blend shirt

$352.00, MATCHES

Andersson Bell “Bali” Shirt

$340.00, SSENSE

Vintage 1970’s Cotton Patterned Shirt

$98.00, Front General Store

Officine Générale “Eren” Camp-Collar Cotton-Blend Seersucker Shirt

$285.00, Mr Porter

J.Crew Piqué Camp-Collar Shirt

$85.00, J.Crew

Marni “Magic Garden”-print cotton-poplin shirt

$690.00, MATCHES

Dickies “Westover” Stripe Short Sleeve Button-Up Camp Shirt

$70.00, Nordstrom

Percival Cuban Linen Shirt

$165.00, Percival

Jacquemus Le Raphia ‘La Chemise Cordao’ Shirt

$565.00, SSENSE

NN07 “Julio” camp shirt

$185.00, Nordstrom

Story Mfg. “Greetings” camp-collar shirt

$495.00, Mr Porter

Casablanca tennis club-print silk-twill shirt

$959.00, MATCHES

Corridor “Hamsa” floral linen shirt

$235.00, Corridor

Gap linen-cotton “Vacay” shirt

$50.00, Gap

Madewell Boxy Short-Sleeve Shirt

$98.00, Madewell

Todd Snyder Japanese piped rayon lounge shirt

$228.00, Todd Snyder

Paul Smith “Hot Summer” shirt

$450.00, SSENSE

Abercrombie & Fitch camp collar linen-blend shirt

$60.00, Abercrombie & Fitch

Originally Appeared on GQ

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