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 27 best camp collar shirts worth slipping on right away.
Don’t Think Too Hard: This Is the Camp Shirt to Get Right Now
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.
Another No-Brainer Summer Pick
Bather’s crisp white joint a touch too tame for you? Relax: Just get this one instead. It’s the perfect color for any palette, it’s got an impeccable cut, and the lightweight linen fabric is ideal for wearing over a ribbed tank right now or on its own next July. NN07 makes a version of this guy every summer for a reason—it’s very, very good.
The Museum-Worthy Pick
It’s giving Matisse in the botanical garden. It’s also giving you your swaggiest era yet.
The Dialed-In Pick
For a lot of people, camp shirts are basically synonymous with OOO style. Stòffa’s impossibly elegant take is a great reminder that they don’t have to be—in the right fabric (in this case, a deceptively lightweight Italian wool), they can help you dress down a blazer with way more pizzazz than a regular ol’ button-up.
The Fall-Ready Pick
Camp shirts shouldn’t always make you feel like you’re on vacation or, uh, in the mob. Pendleton’s iconic Board shirt has been a staple of the label’s rotation for decades (hell, before the Beach Boys were the Beach Boys they dug the brand’s shirts so much they called themselves the Pendletones). The straight fit is perfect as is but also looks incredible sized up and worn as an overshirt, or layered under a scuzzy mohair cardigan.
Another No-Brainer Fall Pick
Like we said, just because we’re entering fall doesn’t mean you have to ditch the camp collars for good. J.Crew’s version is cut from an ultra-soft, yarn-dyed corduroy that packs all the visual wallop of its summer-y counterparts.