Not Your Dad’s Hawaiian Shirt: Casual Cool for Summer


Summer is the time to cut loose a little, to step away from monochrome solids and bust out something with a little panache and swagger. But it’s gotta be comfortable, and you can’t look like you’re trying too hard. Tropical print shirts can manage this trick nicely, but you also don’t want to look like an extra from Hawaii Five-0 — a bit of restraint is key. Here are five shirts that manage to celebrate the fun of summer without burning the retinas of everyone you meet. 

Zara Hibiscus Print Shirt in Anthracite Grey

The Spanish fashion brand Zara’s Hibiscus Print Shirt in Anthracite Grey ($36) captures exactly what we’re talking about: a restrained color palette with a bold floral pattern. The bowling-style shirt with a lapel collar is made of viscose (aka rayon), a lightweight semi-synthetic fiber, and has a slightly loose fit.

Outerknown Beach Camp Shirt

From Kelly Slater’s line of sustainable, surf-inspired casual wear, the Beach Camp shirt ($125 from Huckberry) features a gold-on-blue design inspired by vintage Japanese patterns. Made in Portugal from 100 percent organic cotton, it features both chest pockets and lower pockets, like a guayabera

Parke & Ronen Peony Print Shirt

For guys who like a touch of color and a slimmer fit, Parke & Ronen, the New York company best known for its men’s swimwear, has an eye-catching Peony print shirt ($145) in chambray, a lightweight cotton fabric perfect for hot weather. 

Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Slim-Fit Floral Short Sleeve Shirt

The blue on blue tropical flower print of this slim-fit summer shirt ($99 at Macys) is a cool take on a classic style. It’s made of breathable cotton chambray from Italy to keep you feeling as chill as you’ll look wearing it this summer. 

O’Neill Tradewinds Reverse Print Palm Leaf Shirt

O’Neill began life as a California surfwear and surfboard company back in the ’50s (indeed, company patriarch Jack O’Neill passed away just last week), so they know their way around a summer shirt. The Tradewinds Reverse Print Palm Leaf Shirt in black ($60 at Nordstrom with free shipping) has a lived-in feel as soon as you slip it on. 

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