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Hey, Bro: Your Camp Shirts Deserve a Break

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If variety is the spice of life, your summer button-up rotation is in dire need of seasoning. 

AAP Rocky Tyler The Creator and Keanu Reeves all wearing different button up shirts on a colorful background

Photographs: Getty Images; Collage: Gabe Conte

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Off the wall, psychedelic camp shirts shirts for men are a universal sign of warm weather. Where the gold and amber tones of the changing leaves herald autumn’s arrival, summer’s entrance is marked by palm-tree-printed camp shirts opening up their collars to bare clavicles. Over the last few years, there’s been an unceasing onslaught of spicy camp shirts, and we’re obviously here for it…but we’re also partially to blame for the ludicrous scale of the phenomena. For many, it’s an easy route to a great summer fit. For others, it’s become a fashion crutch. And while we’re not telling you to ditch your camp shirts full stop, we are saying that there’s more to a warm weather wardrobe than buying a handful of them and calling it quits. As a gentle reminder/plea from your fashion confidants, here are four other shirts for men you should consider instead of your trusty camp collar go-tos.

Button-Up Shirts

Remember plain-ass button-up shirts? If you’re forced to wear ‘em to the office, you’re probably groaning. But you shouldn’t be! Because the tried and true button-up shirt is much more versatile than you think—and you can wear one well beyond the cubicle. Buy one in a size bigger than you usually would and wear it with baggy chinos and thrashed sneakers to harness a little bit of prep school dropout cool. Tie it around your waist to summon a grungy ‘90s vibe. Go short-sleeved with it over some splashy swim trunks. Or try wearing it as a lightweight outer layer when the evening cools down. There are untold ways to style a button-up shirt, none of which involve anything close to a camp collar.

J.Crew short-sleeve secret wash cotton poplin shirt

Todd Snyder Summer Weight Favorite shirt

$148

Todd Snyder

Rag & Bone “Gus” shirt

Uniqlo Madras plaid short-sleeve shirt

Sheer Shirts

Good news: the hottest version of yourself is also the easiest way to keep cool. We’re talking about all manner of sheer shirts. Mesh, lace, crochet—we love it all. They’re a great way to show off your body, your tats, or your barely-veiled jewelry or piercings. They’re tantalizing, sure, but the added air flow makes them more than just a sultry swerve.

Factor’s mesh shirt

Auralee dro-shoulder cotton-crochet shirt

$865

Matches Fashion

Dries Van Noten cotton sheer shirt

Stussy cotton mesh zip shirt

$170

End. Clothing

Linen Shirts

A linen shirt might sound purely utilitarian. But beyond the obvious cooling properties, there’s a heap of great options out there (including, yes, plenty of the camp collar variety too). Size up for a roomy, billowy silhouette and pair with some equally baggy, lightweight pants and you’ll look quite at home among the locals at Mykonos.

Polo Ralph Lauren linen shirt

Vince classic fit short sleeve linen shirt

NN07 “Eddie” linen button-up shirt

Madewell hemp-cotton easy short-sleeve shirt

Western Shirts

Thanks to their snap buttons, Western shirts are great way to add some hardware to your fit without donning any jewelry. Pop into a lightweight chambray version for more breathability, or play up the cowboy vibes with some bootcut jeans. But since it’s summertime dressing we’re talking about here, try wearing one with shorts and a pair of mules for a fashion fusion that’s surprisingly cohesive.

Levi’s classic western shirt

Taylor Stitch short sleeve linen western shirt

Brunello Cucinelli Oxford Western shirt

Madewell denim perfect long-sleeve shirt

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