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Sometime when you weren’t looking, the Hawaiian shirt went from “Margaritaville” to chic AF, as demonstrated by the gorgeous Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello version David Beckham was spotted rocking in Miami recently. Bright and over-the-top is kind of the point when it comes to this colorful classic, and the style offers unlimited opportunities for creative patterns and luxe fabrics. But whether haute couture or a hidden gem found on the racks of a local vintage shop, we think the Hawaiian shirt looks best styled casually the way Beckham models here, unbuttoned and layered over a plain white ribbed tank.
Long before the Hawaiian shirt took over men’s fashion runways, Leonardo DiCaprio rocked this style as Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, the perfect look for a young Californian in love, really. Brad Pitt also made the look iconic first as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, and more recently in the Quentin Tarantino flick Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, playing DiCaprio’s stuntman while rocking a sunshine yellow shirt over a period-appropriate Champions tee.
First among the other high-fashion kings who have made the Hawaiian shirt their own include the incomparable Harry Styles of course. The “Watermelon Sugar” singer has made the tropical button-down something of a signature look, layered over tees or loosely buttoned. And considering that Styles would never be constrained by something as silly as gender, we think these looks work as well for women as they do for heartthrobs.
Here are some of our favorites for all the guys and girls this summer.
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1. Saint Laurent Hawaiian Shirt
Designer Anthony Vaccarello unveiled the shirt Beckham wears so well back in September as part of Saint Laurent’s Men’s Spring 2021 collection, so you know it’s still totally fresh.
We can’t get over the rich red and blue hues and unique bold pattern, which says something like “couture mechanic from the ’50s,” a statement we can get behind.
2. Banana Republic Rayon Camp Collar
For a slightly preppier (and less extravagant) option, we like the way this Banana Republic shirt keeps it simple with a classic pattern in tropical teal green.
3. Celine Tyson Reeder Camp-Collar Shirt
If you’re still leaning designer and you want to switch up the basics only slightly, we’re loving this offering from Celine. The rich palm tree scene, a fun twist on the classic, was designed in collaboration with Chicago artist Tyson Reeder, as part of head designer Hedi Slimane’s latest collection for the legacy fashion brand.
4. Nudie Jeans Arvid Lilies Shirt
If a floral pattern could be aggressive, it would probably look like the bright orange lilies on this Nudie Jeans button down — which we’re totally into. This shirt hits all the right notes, from the eye-catching pattern to the bold colors that are doing so much they circle all the way back to laid back.
5. Onia Woven Button Up Shirt
Though a slightly more subdued take, we like that the dark mauve color keeps this shirt from fading into the background. The simple pattern sticks to white palm trees, making it dinner-date appropriate.
6. Gitman Vintage Floral Voile Shirt
You certainly wouldn’t call this Hawaiian shirt bright, but the burnt orange and dark blue color-combo absolutely gives off beachy Maui vibes. Think of it as the thinking man’s Hawaiian shirt, the kind that trades a Mai Tai for an old-fashioned daquiri.
7. Tommy Bahama Monterosso Beach Silk Camp Shirt
Tommy Bahama is an obvious go-to if you’re looking for a really classic Hawaiian shirt. We like this one’s rich blue color and simple vintage pattern. We’re also fans of the 100% silk material which you can still safely wash in the machine.
8. Jogal Men’s Flower Casual Hawaiian Shirt
If you’re planning on making the Hawaiian shirt a signature look this summer and you want to stock up without spending a paycheck and a half, we like this simple cotton and viscose version, which comes in nearly two dozen colors and patterns. We’re partial to this navy and pink pattern, but do you.
9. Aptro Men’s Casual Hawaiian Shirt
Another great stock-up choice, we like options from this brand if you want to get a little weird with the patterns. In addition to standard florals, styles include cartoon sharks, doughnuts, and hula dancers.
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