From "Hot Dawgs" to "Babar Paris" to "Kimono Camo," this season's conversation-starting shirts in myriad patterns
Last year as the weather warmed up, it seemed like NYC—if not much of the Northern Hemisphere—had tropical fever. The Hawaiian shirt was visible in a variety of styles and patterns, but almost always kept to a palm tree or flamingo print. This season seemingly builds off those good vibes, and takes color and theme a step further with a range of modishly bold shirts. While all-over patterns are a streetwear linchpin and a look that cyclicly resurfaces among the sartorially inclined, S/S 2013 is taking the "party print" by storm. Here are nine shirts sure to start colorful conversations and add a little personality to your wardrobe.
Gitman Vintage "Tijuana Pinup"
Gitman Vintage is steering the season's party patterns with a range of vibrant motifs. The tailored "Tijuana Pinup" shirt captures Mexican hedonism in all its historical glory, recalling the days after WWII when Americans would flock to the city's Avenida Revolución and beyond for a carefree weekend of drinking and gambling. Get your hands on this nugget at Hickorees ($185).
Lazy Oaf "Hot Dawg"
Nothing channels the fun of a backyard barbecue like a hotdog-themed shirt. Masters of covetable kitschy style, Lazy Oaf doesn't disappoint this season with a casual cotton print that features an Underdog-like character covered in ketchup but holding strong between a pair of buns. Get it while it's hot at Lazy Oaf (£60).
Soulland "Babar Paris"
When Babar author and illustrator Jean de Brunhoff died unexpectedly at a mere 37, his brother, editor of French Vogue, took over to complete the series. Copenhagen label Soulland is giving the adventurous elephant even more fashion cred nearly 80 years later (or just a few decades for fans of the animated cartoon) with a collection of Barbar-themed duds, from shorts to graphic tees in varying styles. Pick up this charming short-sleeve shirt from The Goodhod Store (£160).
Raf Simons + Fred Perry "Pieced Bottom"
Technically only the bottom portion of Raf Simons + Fred Perry's "Pieced Bottom" shirt brings the funk, but that's all that's really necessary. With a plaid, a check and a multi-color animal-esque pattern comprising the lower half, the shirt remains statement-making even when balanced by a solid black upper half. Five years after the now Christian Dior creative director began collaborating with Fred Perry, it's still as fresh as day one. Buy it from Barneys($250).
Kapital "French Linen Peasant Aloha"
The Japanese obsessed can avoid a summer of sweating it out in raw denim with Kapital's beautiful "French Linen Peasant Aloha"—a 100% linen shirt dyed with natural indigo. The amalgamation of patterns harmoniously combine for a more monotone take on a standout shirt, and the high quality of fabrics only adds to its enduring appeal. Available from Unionmade ($490).
Huf "Fuck It"
Huf's "Fuck It" shirt is a trick of the eye. From far away it seems like a patriotic tribute in red, white and blue, but closer inspection reveals the San Francisco skate shop's brazen outlook on fashion. The single-pocket button-down is one of a range of goods sporting the mantra from Huf this season, and when the sun is shining, there's no fitter phrase to live by. Pick it up from Hypebeast, one of the last remaining stores still with inventory ($60).
Garbstore "Map Pocket"
Printed on Japanese cotton, Garbstore's long-sleeve "Map Pocket" shirt features an oblong front pocket for travelers who like to stick with a classic fold-up map. The easy-breezy pattern plays with Hawaiian surf themes while keeping to a subdued color palette. Grab it from Couverture and The Garbstore (£137).
Uniforms for the Dedicated "Listener Print"
The Stockholm-based collective behind Uniforms for the Dedicated lends the all-over pattern a sophisticated European sentiment with a color scheme that speaks to 15th century paintings, but keeps with Scandinavia's subtly eccentric style by depicting traditional figures in odd scenarios, like a rooster carrying a flowerpot and a man holding an old horn up to his ear. Buy it from Asos($166).
Gitman Vintage "Kimono Camo"
The "Kimono Camo" from Gitman Vintage is the epitome of both this season's intrepid patterns and the aloha spirit. A bright blue background lays the foundation for repeating squares that say everything from "Pua ho`ohihi na`u" (which means my flowers entwined in Hawaiian) to "She has ridden the wave" to "A fresh wind." Grab this perfectly zany shirt from Oi Polloi (£145).
Check out the slideshow for details of the prints. Images from the individual online shops.