Off the wall, psychedelic camp shirts for men are a universal sign of warm weather. Where the gold and amber tones of the changing leaves herald autumn’s arrival, summer’s entrance is marked by palm-tree-printed camp shirts opening up their collars to bare clavicles. Over the last few years, there’s been an unceasing onslaught of spicy camp shirts, and we’re obviously here for it…but we’re also partially to blame for the ludicrous scale of the phenomena. For many, it’s an easy route to a great summer fit. For others, it’s become a fashion crutch. And while we’re not telling you to ditch your camp shirts full stop, we are saying that there’s more to a warm weather wardrobe than buying a handful of them and calling it quits. As a gentle reminder/plea from your fashion confidants, here are five other shirts for men you should consider instead of your trusty camp collar go-tos.
Our Favorite Camp Shirt Alternatives
Remember plain-ass button-up shirts? If you’re forced to wear ‘em to the office, you’re probably groaning. But you shouldn’t be! Because the tried and true button-up shirt is much more versatile than you think—and you can wear one well beyond the cubicle. Buy one in a size bigger than you usually would and wear it with baggy chinos and thrashed sneakers to harness a little bit of prep school dropout cool. Tie it around your waist to summon a grungy ‘90s vibe. Go short-sleeved with it over some splashy swim trunks. Or try wearing it as a lightweight outer layer when the evening cools down. There are untold ways to style a button-up shirt, none of which involve anything close to a camp collar.
Good news: the hottest version of yourself is also the easiest way to keep cool. We’re talking about all manner of sheer shirts. Mesh, lace, crochet—we love it all. They’re a great way to show off your body, your tats, or your barely-veiled jewelry or piercings. They’re tantalizing, sure, but the added air flow makes them more than just a sultry swerve.
Polos have made an incredible comeback in recent seasons, having gone from exclusive country clubs and retail uniforms to certified platinum. The versions we’re seeing these days are far more sophisticated and sexy than the hyper-technical performance polos with their AI-generated drape. They’re made with loose-knit fabrics that bare a some skin, built with chest-displaying collars not unlike the ubiquitous camp shirts, and while we still love the bicep-busting versions that turn you into a Hollywood hunk, the more louche and loose polos of today are pairing more perfectly with our baggy pants and beachside cocktails.
A linen shirt might sound purely utilitarian. But beyond the obvious cooling properties, there’s a heap of great options out there (including, yes, plenty of the camp collar variety, too). Size up for a roomy, billowy silhouette and pair with some equally baggy, lightweight pants and you’ll look quite at home among the locals in Mykonos.
Thanks to their snap buttons, Western shirts are great way to add some hardware to your fit without donning any jewelry. Pop into a lightweight chambray version for more breathability, or play up the cowboy vibes with some bootcut jeans. But since it’s summertime dressing we’re talking about here, try wearing one with shorts and a pair of mules for a fashion fusion that’s surprisingly cohesive.