Camp collar shirts started trending a few years ago. But unlike most trends, the camp shirt shows no signs of stopping, and it has morphed from a trendy piece to a bonafide closet staple. The reason the style is so enduring is that it’s a classic piece that’s been worn for decades. In the James Bond movie Thunderball, for example, Sean Connery cycles through an enviable collection of striped and solid-colored short-sleeve camp collar shirts. Admittedly, he only did so steps away from a body of water, but today’s camp collar shirts can be worn anywhere.
Just because camp collar shirts are hot now, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own baggage. Just like another classic piece, the polo shirt, the camp shirt lost its appeal for a long time. For many years, the style languished because of its association with loud, loose “vacation shirts,” big on laid-back vibes but short on style. They connoted a dad on vacation, the kind of guy whose relaxed attitude may be worth emulating, but not necessarily his fashion sense. But these days, the camp collar shirt has been updated in fit in and style. They’re more tailored now, but that doesn’t mean they’re all slim. In fact, there are plenty of boxy camp collar shirts worth buying — the difference is that they’re boxy, not slouchy. The designs have also been updated, and you can find subtle patterns, solid colors and bold but fashionable prints.
Before getting to the best camp collar shirts, it’s worth exploring what exactly the style is — it’s not quite as well-known as the polo or Oxford shirt, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a classic. The camp shirt has a notched collar with an outward, instead of a downward, point. The collars are cut in a way to leave the neck open and exposed, making for a laid-back and summery style.
Camp collars are often known as Cuban collar shirts. That name points to their origins in the Guayabera, a shirt associated with Cuba but worn throughout Latin America that has pleated stripes, four large pockets, and of course, an open collar. Even though camp collar shirts are associated with summer, there are plenty of long-sleeve options, and you can find great camp shirts in wintery fabrics like flannel. That means that you can wear a camp collar shirt pretty much year-round. To add to the versatility, many camp shirts have what’s known as a convertible collar. They’ll have either a buttonhole or a loop that allows you to fasten the collar all the way to the top, making them look like a traditional button-up shirt.
If you’re wondering how to wear a camp shirt, its versatility makes it easy. Pair it with jeans or wear it open over a white t-shirt with some chinos. It’s the kind of shirt that looks as good with shorts as it does with a suit. The right camp shirt can go pretty much anywhere, and we’ve rounded up the best ones to buy.
1. Banana Republic Organic Resort Shirt
Banana Republic’s always been your go-to for casual work gear, and they’ve really upped their style game when it comes to their, what I call, “the hell with the work look” wear. This photo print camp collar shirt has that high-end designer look, but it’s under $100. Niiice. Made from organic cotton lawn, it’s silky soft and breathable. Excellent choice for days when the sidewalk’s buckling from the heat. It has a loose relaxed fit, making it easy to wear open over a tee or tank.
2. Bonobos Relaxed Fit Camp Collar Shirt
BEST TONAL PRINT SHIRT
We’re big fans of Bonobos; they understand that guys want clothes they can wear, not clothing that wears them. The brand’s creative use of performance fabrics and a zillion color choices are other reasons why we keep coming back to them no matter the season. When you think of camp collar shirts, you may think of wild prints and colors, but a tonal print one is a classic that you can return to season after season. At first glance, this linen-blend camp collared shirt looks like it’s a solid hue, but as you get closer, you’ll notice that two similar shades (one slightly darker) create a subtle palm tree print. This relaxed-fitting button-up shirt comes in three solid shades and in eight different prints.
3. Scotch & Soda Printed Hawaiian Shirt
BEST HAWAIIAN SHIRT
All Hawaiian shirts are camp collar shirts (though the reverse isn’t true), and this is our favorite Hawaiian shirt of the moment. Scotch & Soda is the Dutch fashion brand that’s making some of our favorite menswear in 2021. While they do offer more formal attire as well, the company is doing summer casual better than anyone right now. Case in point, this printed Hawaiian shirt with a relaxed camp collar and muted color pallet.
4. Stüssy Camp-Collared Print Shirt
BEST RETRO VIBES
Stüssy is a surfwear brand that has elevated itself, via design, aesthetics, vision into an elevated global fashion brand that, pardon the pun, surfs right at the crest of burgeoning trends. Prescient? Possibly, or more than likely extremely observant. Their interpretation of the camp collar shirt marries 60s psychedelia with a 70s Op Art sensibility. Made in lightweight cotton, this slightly oversized camp collar shirt is a bit like the Hawaiian Shirt’s slightly decadent older brother. The print makes it a great companion for long, lazy brunches or sunny summer days spent by the pool.
5. Urban Outfitters Striped Camp Collar Shirts
BEST STRIPED SHIRT
Urban Outfitters has plenty of affordable camp collar shirts for men this season, but our favorite is this striped button-up shirt, which comes in three different colorways. Slightly oversized, this loose-fitting shirt will look great with black shorts or your favorite pair of jeans. This shirt will ensure you stand out from the crowd — in a good way — all summer long.
6. J.Crew Camp Collar Harbor Shirts
J.Crew makes some of the most comfortable men’s t-shirts in the world, and these men’s camp collar shirts are made from the same comfy, stretchy fabric as the brand’s garment-dyed t-shirts. Available in six soft colors that will pair perfectly with your favorite shorts, chinos, jeans or swim trunks, these shirts will be your new summer go-to.
7. Toufguy Printed Cotton Linen Shirt
Reviewers have called this shirt “perfect,” and state that they’re “well made, comfortable and a true fit,” proving that you don’t always have to pay a lot of money for an on-trend camp collar shirt that looks great and feels that way too. The print is woven into the cotton/flax combination shirt, so there’s a slim chance it will fade over time. This regular fit camp collar shirt has one chest pocket and contrast buttons.
Read more: Best Vintage-Style T-Shirts to Shop Online
8. Scotch & Soda Printed Relaxed-Fit Shirt
You can find long sleeve camp collar shirts too. The open collar changes up a button-up shirt, elevating from the classic button with a splash of style. Scotch & Soda’s monochromatic quasi-patchwork print long sleeve camp collar shirt offers up tons of wearable options. Wear it open as a shirt-jacket over a graphic tee. Try it tucked or half-tucked into jeans or chinos, over a tank and shorts, or under a cardigan. So many options, so many reasons to wear it and show it off.
Read more: The Best T-Shirts For Men
9. Land’s End Traditional Fit Camp Collared Shirt
BEST POLO OPTION
Polo shirts and long sleeve polo shirts are a wardrobe essential. The very nature of a polo shirt, be it long or short sleeve is its magical ability to go from sporty to weekend fit to work. The camp collar shirt does the same thing, but its just a tad more sophisticated looking. Want something as easy to wear as a polo shirt, but with a tad more oomph, then snag this long sleeve camp collar. This Land’s End textured cotton solid color collar camp collared shirt is a workhorse; wear it any and everywhere. Land’s End used the Nu Dye process to reduce waste and prevent colors from fading too.
10. Neil Barrett Thunderbolt Relaxed Fit Camp Shirt
BEST SCHITT’S CREEK-INSPIRED
David Rose’s Neil Barrett Thunderbolt sweater probably has its own Insta account, it’s that legendary. Channel David’s style with this warm weather option from designer Neil Barrett. Made in Italy with soft cotton and tonal buttons, this relaxed fit camp collared shirt runs true to size.
11. J.Crew Short-Sleeve Harbor Shirt in Print
BEST WEEKEND VIBES
Give yourself Friyay vibes any day of the week with this garment-dyed camp collar shirt. Garment-dying fabric allows the print to slowly fade and acquire that much loved/favorite shirt vibe. This camp collar shirt has a “tennis tail,” it’s longer in the back, so when you tuck it in, it doesn’t slither out. Made with cotton grown under the Better Cotton Initiative, this responsibly created camp collar shirt will always feel its best, making you feel unconquerable…after all, if something feels incredible against your skin, it gives you a boost.
12. Allbirds Camp Shirt
Allbirds has a rep for creating eco-conscious, eco-friendly sustainable footwear. They’re doing the same with their menswear. Created with a blend of their proprietary tree fibers, hemp, tencel and spandex for stretch, this is one of the lightest camp collared shirts around. Great for travel as it has a hidden interior pocket and is so soft, you’ll feel relaxed even when sitting in a cramped train.
13. Tombolo Cabana
Sustainability-minded label Tombolo focuses on breezy, beach-ready shirts in natural fabrics like linen, Tencel and cotton terry-cloth. They bring an offbeat sensibility to classic silhouettes, with statement-making yet surprisingly wearable prints. This linen camp shirt has a color-blocked pattern with a palm print design, and the two patch pockets at the waist are an added bonus.
14. All Saints Pryde Short Sleeve Button-Up Camp Shirt
Go wild with this shirt from All Saints, which features a literal pride or two of eye-catching leopards and tigers cavorting all over the camp collar shirt. Made with soft, drapey viscose, this camp collar shirt has a handy chest pocket. Try it with indigo or black jeans for a night out.
15. Cubavera Guayabera Shirt
The best way to get a Guayabera shirt is to take a trip down to Cuba, but short of that, this option from Cubavera is a good way to work some classic tropical style into your wardrobe. It’s made from 100% linen, so it’ll be breathable for hot days. The white color makes it a surprisingly wearable option. It has the traditional four pockets, giving you ample storage for sunglasses, snacks and whatever else you can think of.
16. Post-Imperial Ijebu Camp-Collar Shirt
Nigerian-based Post Imperial is a menswear brand that’s blowing up. Helmed by designer Niyi Okuboyejo deftly merges traditional techniques with modern styles. This Broderie Anglaise cotton camp shirt’s design is created with a wax resist technique (adire) utilized by the Youruba. The striking shirt has a traditional fit, looking for an oversized style, go up one size. It has one chest pocket, side slits, and tonal buttons.