Have you been noticing a lot of nature themes in menswear lately? From earthy motifs like toads and mushrooms to vintage botanical prints, it seems like every designer t-shirt we’re seeing in 2022 has some sort of nature theme. We’ve seen enough to declare this an official trend.
Menswear has seen a definite “green thumb revival” over the last couple of years. T-shirt enthusiasts know of the steady rise of graphic wear that draws influence from or pays homage to the great outdoors. We’re seeing graphics pop up everywhere featuring the likes of national parks, earth-conscious messaging, botanicals, fungus, animal friends and other nature scenes, with brands like OnlyNY, Saturdays New York City and Online Ceramics at the forefront.
While trends come and go, this feels different, as more people are getting outside these days than, say, at any point during the modern video game era. In our recent men’s fall fashion guide, we noted that hiking apparel is one of the top trends we’re anticipating, and it’s no surprise guys are looking for t-shirts and accessories that speak to their love of the great outdoors.
This nature trend might also stem from the rise in environmental awareness and climate activism among millennials and Gen-Z. The number of brands in the earth-conscious space that seek to use their platforms and revenue to bring awareness and contribute to environmental causes is part of the draw. Maybe people are just tired of streetwear being so dang serious. Whatever the case, this wave of outdoor-inspired graphics in menswear has been a refreshing change of pace for longtime streetwear heads.
Here are some of the best ways to get in and get out.
1. Saturdays New York City T-Shirts
Head to Saturdays New York City and check out their new lineup of men’s t-shirts. Virtually everything they have on sale features some type of garden, flower or geode. We’ve included a couple of our favorite designs below, including the romantic “Secret Garden” shirt.
2. Cariuma x National Geographic Sneakers
Cariuma is the ultimate eco-friendly footwear brand, and they’ve partnered up with National Geographic for a new sneaker collaboration. Currently available for pre-order, these canvas sneakers feature geckos and turtles in either black or white colorways. The shoes are available in both high-top and low-top designs. As per usual, Cariuma will plant two trees for every pair of sneakers you buy.
3. Madhappy Summer Outdoors Heavy Tee
BEST HEAVY TEE
Madhappy has made a name around its focus on positive mental health messaging. Knowing that, it’s no surprise they’ve also found their way into the positive outdoors messaging space. One of their more recent collections features this understated number, perfect for people who dig Online Ceramics’ whole aesthetic but maybe find it (understandably) a little off-putting. Finding yin yang in trees is something we’re trying to do every weekend, and now we have the right nature T-shirt to remind us.
4. Life Is Good “Take It Outside” Mountains Crusher Tee
Sup, dad? If you’re looking for a fit with a green thumb, there’s nothing wrong with going straight to the source. We’ve all seen a Life is Good stick figure or nature T-shirt on somebody with farmer’s tan and Keen sandals. But somehow, after reaching the boundaries of the multiverse, the brand is really, really hot. Did we get old? No, we just want to get outside and share our deepest feelings on T-shirts.
5. Online Ceramics’ I Admit, I Have Hugged Trees Tee
BEST CUSTOM DYE
If you hugged a tree, would you admit it? This nature T-shirt from Online Ceramics speaks to us personally. Our favorite thing about the Online Ceramics design ethos is its underlying tone of menace. Their nature shirts are like acid trips – focus on the wrong part for too long, and suddenly you’re gonna see something you feel like you’re not supposed to see. This Tree Hugger joint is that energy perfectly encapsulated with a hand-dyed earthy beige tint that screams, “Take me back to the woods.” Pro tip: Their website looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1996, so you may have to use the “Find” function on your keyboard for this shirt. Worth it.
6. Parks Project Catskills Flower Patch Long Sleeve Tee
You may have to save this one for cooler weather, maybe in the Catskills, but boy, it’s gonna elevate your fits come that time of year. Featuring flowers and foliage native to the Catskill Mountains, this nature T-shirt is the perfect tribute to a special part of the state of New York, let alone the country. Spun with 100% heavyweight cotton, this outdoor T-shirt captures that vintage look and feel that’s very right now. Parks Project recommends sizing up for that extra cozy fit if you’re into the boxy life.
7. Tentree Smokey Bear Please Folks T-Shirt
This shirt is lit – good thing our guy Smokey has things under control. Nature T-shirts like this make us happy because with increasing amounts of people heading outside, many of them first-time campers, safety is something that needs to be stressed. Wildfires have been, excuse us for saying, but catching on over the past few years like they’re trendy. We’re here to say they very much are not cool, but outdoor T-shirts like this can help remind people to be careful. Also, for every Smokey Bear Collection purchase, Tentree will plant 10 trees. It’s not too early to think about Christmas gifts, especially when they give back new trees.
8. OnlyNY NYC Parks Logo Tee
OnlyNY has been working with the New York City Parks Department for a while. They’re churning out thoughtfully-designed gear that pays homage to New York City parks and the people who make them so special. We love most of what its site offers, but you can’t beat the classics like this simple NYC parks logo leaf T-shirt. Available in four vibrant colorways, the shirts are also made in the USA.
9. Prospect Park Alliance x Parks Project Nature Club Pocket Tee
In keeping with OnlyNY’s ethic, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Alliance has joined forces with Parks Project on this stunner of a nature T-shirt. Prospect Park is a green space for play and learning in the heart of Brooklyn. The design here is killer, but so is the trendy fit. It’s boxy with a drop shoulder, which is incredibly on trend and has that vintage feel you can only get after putting it through the laundry for a good decade.
10. Mushroom Hiking Club T-Shirt
FOR FUN GUYS
We love everything about this t-shirt, which comes from Altru Apparel by way of Urban Outfitters. The anthropomorphized mushroom is enjoying the great outdoors, and you can too with this tee.
11. Coney Island Picnic Home Sweet Home Graphic Tee
Some brands are highlighting some of the more eclectic aspects of the outdoors. Enter Coney Island Picnic. Born in Los Angeles, this brand is the product of designers worldwide who each bring a unique influence into the fold. Part of a wider net of trippy and psychedelic-inspired streetwear, this nature T-shirt flows in the river of modern-day “flower power,” with positive messaging on the back. Positive vibes and outdoor-inspired menswear seem to be a thing these days, but we aren’t complaining.
12. Saturdays NYC Summer Bloom Canty Short Sleeve Shirt
BEST COLOR BLOCKING
It’s not just T-shirts drawing inspiration from nature; it’s everywhere you look. Saturdays NYC gave us this banger over the past season. This camp collar shirt is soft to the touch with a comfortable drape. It’s sort of an artsy, elevated take on those Hawaiian shirts your dad used to wear. The best part? It comes in three colors to find the right vibe for your wardrobe. If not, make this abstract floral nature shirt your new staple because it’s got vibes enough for everybody.
13. Threads 4 Thought Slub Jersey Desertscape Graphic Tee
Since 2006, Threads 4 Thought has been working on teaching consumers the value of using less to get more out of their apparel. Already earth-conscious, T4T has launched a line of nature T-shirts to match its message. This shirt depicts the global renown Joshua tree, commonly found in, you guessed it, Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Insert obligatory U2 reference here. According to the product page, and thanks to the brand’s sustainability focus, this shirt helped save over 95 days of drinking water, almost a whole mile of driving emissions, and nearly 25 square miles of land farmed without pesticides.
14. Mushroom Crew Socks
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters, these mushroom socks are perfect for outdoor adventures in the fall.
15. Bonobos Bear Sweater
Who doesn’t love an adorable brown bear? The classic Bonobos animal sweater is back for Fall ’22 with designs featuring bears, red pandas and other four-legged friends. This handsome sweater features a rich embroidered pattern in the shape of a bear, and we’re obsessed.