Hawaiian shirts are no longer reserved for embarrassing dads on vacation. In 2020, Hawaiian shirts were one of the most popular men’s summer style trends, part of the larger dad core fashion movement. In 2021, their popularity has gone nowhere and the best Hawaiian shirts for men are still in heavy rotation this summer. This trend has also evolved, and camp collar shirts have also become one of the most popular menswear trends of the year.
Stylish dudes no longer need to metaphorically (or literally) raid their old man’s wardrobe, stealing these summer shirts for themselves. If you’re looking to upgrade your warm-weather look with a great Hawaiian shirt, we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll cover the following:
- What are Hawaiian shirts?
- How to wear a Hawaiian shirt
- The best Hawaiian shirts to buy right now
What Are Hawaiian Shirts?
The loose definition of a Hawaiian shirt (sometimes called vacation shirt, aloha shirt or resort shirt) is a short-sleeve button-up with a colorful print and a camp collar (meaning the collar folds down to lay flat on the chest). Obviously, this criterion is interpreted quite loosely by fashion labels, especially when it comes to the print. Traditionally, a Hawaiian shirt has some type of floral or marine theme. The particular motifs and colors may change over time, but the core idea of Hawaiian shirts always remains the same: a super comfortable button-up that can be worn while lounging by the pool or drinking at the bar.
Hawaiian shirts, originally called aloha shirts, most likely originated from Honolulu-based dry goods store Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker in the 1920s. “Aloha shirt” wasn’t coined until 1936 when Hawaiian shirts started to take root. US troops started wearing the shirts while stationed in Hawaii during WWII and subsequently brought them home, introducing mainlanders to the ultra-comfy button-ups.
Although Hawaiian shirts are now back in style, they’ve undergone some changes to fit modern tastes. Hawaiian shirts used to be long and flowy, verging on dress-like cuts. Not any more. Most modern brands that offer Hawaiian shirts have altered the classic in a few ways. While we still prefer slightly over-sized Hawaiian shirts with a looser fit, brands like J.Crew and Topman are now making more slim-fit Hawaiian shirts, too. We’re also seeing surf and skate brands like Vans sell Hawaiian shirts that abandon the traditional camp collar for a more modern look.
First, the fit of a modern Hawaiian shirt is slimmer and more cropped than its older iterations. Second, brands are now more experimental with prints than they used to be. You’ll find some Hawaiian shirts with minimal black-and-white prints, others with nods to recent pop-culture and some with designs that look more like modern art than a Hawaiian flower print.
How to Wear a Hawaiian Shirt
The second best thing about Hawaiian shirts (after comfort, of course) is versatility. You can rock them with everything from swim trunks at the beach to jeans on the weekend to a blazer at a work barbecue. The only loose rule that we follow is pairing Hawaiian shirts with other low-key pieces. Vacation shirt prints are typically quite loud, so something more minimal will balance the outfit. Think, slim-fit blue jeans and white sneakers, black slacks or chinos. And if you’re itching to wear your Hawaiian shirt when the temperature dips, a white tee under the shirt looks fine, too.
Of course, Hawaiian shirts are supposed to be a little tacky, any laid-back outfit will do. Plus, you can always lean into the dad-on-vacation aesthetic.
Don’t you wish you were having this much fun?
Below, you’ll find our favorite Hawaiian shirts for Summer 2021 and beyond. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, check out our guide to the most stylish camp collar shirts for men, which offer a slightly less loud alternative to the classic Hawaiian shirt.
1. H&M Patterned Resort Shirt
H&M has become one of our go-to stores for wardrobe essentials and the latest trends, as the brand offers a good balance of affordable prices and quality. The new H&M Hawaiian shirt for summer is a muted modern oversized floral print. The boxy fit gives you the option of wearing it open over a tank top or bare chest, or buttoned up and worn loose over shorts. It comes in three different colorways, and for the price, you could buy all three and wear them throughout the spring and summer.
2. Tommy Bahama Hilo Hibiscus Floral Short Sleeve Silk Button-Up Shirt
Tommy Bahama is like your best friend when it comes to the best Hawaiian shirts. Your pops, your grandpa and now you have been rocking these babies on vacations near and far for like, ever at this point. With that said, it’s impossible to not include a stellar pick from your favorite island-esque brand in one of our top spots. This silk button-up is one of our favorites for a number of reasons. It’s handsome, lightweight, breathable and last but absolutely not least, it dressed none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins a few months back in one of our favorite TikToks to date.
3. AllSaints Lanai Shirt
EMO MEETS HAWAIIAN
Hawaiian shirts are traditionally loud and island-inspired. That’s great, but many guys are now opting for a more minimal look. This shirt offers a more low-key vacation shirt vibe. The shirt features a button-down collar and a regular (yet slightly tailored) fit. The minimal look works better if you intend to wear your Hawaiian shirts in more formal settings, or just lean towards a sleeker style. Technically, this resort shirt doesn’t have the trademark camp collar, but we’re counting it as one of the season’s best Hawaiian shirts all the same.
4. Johnston & Murphy XC4 Printed Performance Polo
BEST GOLF SHIRT
Made for the links and beyond, this Hawaiian print short sleeve shirt has 50 UPF sun protection. Don’t worry about sweating or feeling sticky when hanging out in the hot sun wearing this shirt. The fabric is a fast-drying poly blend that has built-in antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. It also comes in Hawaiian floral and parrot print too.
Read More: The Best T-Shirts for Men
5. Everlane Linen Camp Shirt
MAKE IT FASHION
This linen camp shirt from Everlane is on the classier side of things. It features a light blue floral print on a navy background to give a subtle yet exciting look. The fabric is linen, making it perfect for warm weather. One try-on will have you realizing the breathability is incomparable. We recommend wearing this shirt as a statement-maker with slacks, a jacket and loafers for weddings or dressy parties.
6. Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve Print Shirt
BEST BUDGET BUY
If you’re on a tight budget this summer, you can still score a great Hawaiian shirt. This print shirt comes from Amazon Basics, offering more style than you’d expect from the retail giant’s affordable essentials collection. You get four print options, and at just $18, we’re tempted to pick up a few.
7. UO Daisy Print Button-Down Shirt
You’re likely not living in Bikini Bottom, but this button-down shirt from Urban Outfitters might help you live out your SpongeBob fantasy. Here, Urban uses a vintage-inspired print and sewed it up into a bright Hawaiian shirt. The result is a subtly sexy, urbane and versatile shirt. The print’s wild shades make slightly harder to match the shirt, but we’re sure you’ll have no problem.
8. Vans x Chris Johanson Hawaiian Shirt
BEST VANS HAWAIIAN SHIRT
Here’s another classic Hawaiian shirt, this time from skate and surf brand Vans. This summer shirt is made from a blend of cotton and linen to keep you cool and was designed in partnership with Chris Johanson, a West Coast artist known for his meditative paintings and sculptures.
9. Ted Baker London Kardoor Floral Short Sleeve Button-Up Shirt
Hawaiian shirts with a more modern print are great statement-making pieces for nights out or next-level weekend wear. We like this floral shirt from Ted Baker London because it takes the most iconic print (floral) and tweaks it slightly for a definitively up-to-date look. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most modern Hawaiian shirts we’ve seen. Wear it casually with sneakers and khaki shorts, or dress it up with black slacks and a leather jacket.
10. COOL.TM Tropical-Print Hawaiian Shirt
This 100% viscose shirt with a wowser of a print reminds us of Miami’s South Beach, so count this Hawaiian shirt as a must-have for all grant entrances and exits. It features one whole scene unlike a lot of the best Hawaiian shirts and really has a cool factor that’s hard to come by. And, yeah, it makes it totally fitting that it’s made by COOL.TM.
11. Todd Snyder Italian Camp Collar Shirt
Todd Snyder is a designer that should be on any dude’s radar. Just check out this camp collar shirt to see what we mean. This floral and pineapple-clad Hawaiian shirt gives a new twist to a classic style. At once urbane and holiday vibe, this is a Hawaiian shirt that wouldn’t look out of place at a rooftop bar or backyard barbecue. Plus, in comparison to a lot of designers, Todd Snyder isn’t too expensive, either.
12. SHEIN Leopard Print Shirt
SHEIN takes the ethos of the classic Hawaiian shirt and gives a super cool twist. Yes, calling this leopard print a Hawaiian shirt is a bit of a stretch, but we’ll allow it. Made of polyester, this is an excellent shirt to throw on at pool parties, concerts and barbecues this summer.
13. Amazon Brand Goodthreads Standard Fit Hawaiian Shirt
BEST FOR TIKI PARTIES
Goodthreads is one of Amazon’s fashion brands, and like all of their brands, you get a lot of quality for a decent price. This Hawaiian shirt is a standard fit, roomy in the chest and then tapering down to the waist. Plus, that blue-all-over color with the use of leaves instead of flowers will set you apart in a sea of petal-clad Hawaiian shirts.
14. APTRO Casual Hawaiian Shirt
BEST FOR SHARK LOVERS
Though Shark Week is well over for another year, there’s never a bad time to rep the baddest sea creature of them all: the shark. This gorgeous purple shirt is covered in various sharks to help you stand out from the crowd. No flowers here, just sharks. What else could you need?
15. UO Painted Animals Camp Collar Shirt
GREAT FOR MEETINGS
Somewhere someone decided that all Hawaiian shirts had to be a mélange of bright contrasting colors that could occasionally create an eye-watering print. Yeah, that might have worked for Grand Dad or any guy who wants to scare people with their clothing, but Urban Outfitters knows better. They’ve created a Hawaiian shirt for the modern man. The print’s comprised of reds and beiges and looks great for wearing in the office this summer.
16. ASOS Bershka Hawaiian Print Shirt
Like your shirts oversized and relaxed? The Bershka Hawaiian Print Shirt from ASOS is the best oversized to fit your style. Boxy and long, the shirt has Hawaii-inspired graphics from overhead views of the islands, Hawaiian women, flowers and more.
17. Levi’s Classic Camp Shirt
You’ve been wearing Levi’s forever. They’ve been your favorite jeans since childhood and even your dad’s favorite jeans since his childhood. But, have you ever considered a Hawaiian shirt from the classic jean brand? Probably not. Lucky for you, now you can with this classic camp shirt. Each has a relaxed fit and is made with cotton and viscose. There are tons of style options to choose from, too.
18. ASOS Tom & Jerry Relaxed Revere Shirt
BEST NOD TO THE PAST
Ready to rep your favorite cartoon from childhood? This Tom & Jerry Hawaiian shirt will help you achieve just that. This revere shirt features your favorite cat and mouse duo all over the place where flowers typically are on Hawaiian shirts. So, yeah, it might not be a super close replica to the majority of Hawaiian shirts in your closet, but it’s still a total must-have.
19. Two Palms Julia Black Rayon Men’s Hawaiian Shirt
Plumeria flowers bloom against the background in this Hawaiian Shirt from Two Palms. Made from Rayon (toss in the washer and go), the shirt features coconut buttons and a relaxed fit.
20. End Clothing Paul Smith Leaf Print Vacation Shirt
BEST FOR NIGHTLIFE
When you think of Hawaii, you think of beaches and surfing. Daytime things. But, what if you want to wear a Hawaiian shirt at night? Well, you’re going to have to snag yourself this vacation shirt from End Clothing in order to pull it off the right way. This cotton shirt has an all-black consistency and radiates neon seaweed through to create a shirt perfect for wearing once the lights go out.
21. Lands’ End Traditional Fit Short Sleeve Camp Collar Hawaiian Shirt
BEST IN PINK
Feeling pretty in pink? Every dude needs a pink shirt in their repertoire and this Hawaiian shirt from Lands’ End makes a stellar pick. It’s got an easy fit that will feel loose and cozy on and looks great worn just about wherever.