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Camp Collar Shirts

Camp Collar Shirts


Elvis Presley. John F. Kennedy. Martin Luther King Jr. Gigi Hadid. What do all of these people have in common? Their love for the camp collar shirt, a shirt that has been worn by the chic and effortlessly cool for decades.

But what is a camp collar shirt? Where did it come from? How do you wear a camp collar shirt? Where can you buy one? These are all questions to be answered here and now.

What is a camp collar shirt?

The camp collar shirt is a shirt of many names: Cuban collar shirt, bowling shirt, safari shirt, lounge shirt, and aloha shirt, among others. But we will call it the camp collar shirt (or KAMP Shirt) today. Sometimes called a “good time” shirt, the camp collar shirt is that and so much more.

A shirt of the summer, the camp collar shirt has a structureless collar that is sewn directly onto the shirt. Because of this, the collar will lay flat on your collarbone. Unlike traditional collared shirts, like the Oxford shirt, the camp collar shirt typically lacks a top button, creating a natural open collar and V-neck look.

While long sleeve camp collar shirts are available, the classic shirt is short-sleeved. The cut is drapey and relaxed due to a straight hem. The camp collar shirt design makes it a naturally breezy, cool shirt that is often worn in the summer or hot climates and without an undershirt (but you will see later that it can be worn in many other ways).

You can find linen camp collar shirts and silk camp collar shirts, as well as shirts made from cotton, rayon, or various fabric blends. The material of a camp collar shirt should be lightweight and breathable. This is because one of the common traits of this shirt inspired by the Cuban camp shirt is that you can wear it in hot climates and stay cool. Think of the camp collar shirt as wearing a layer of air that happens to be attached to your body.

A short (sleeved) history

The history of the camp collar shirt is a little fuzzy, but it appears to have gotten its start way back in the 18th century, either in Mexico or the Philippines (people can’t seem to agree where). In more recent history, Cuban farmers wore Guayabera shirts to help them stay cool while working in the hot summer sun. The Guayabera shirt is said to have inspired what is now known as the camp collar shirt.

The camp collar shirt really started gaining popularity sometime in the 1950s when immigrants from Cuba came to places like Miami wearing a Cuban collar shirt. Americans liked what they saw and latched on (as we always do).

Initially, the shirt was popular among those looking to get a break from stuffy work clothes and gain a little more airflow in their daywear. The traditionally loose cut of the shirt was particularly attractive on those hot summer days, but people soon started to realize how versatile a camp collar shirt could be and learned how to wear it both day and night, year-round.

Certainly, the popularity of the camp collar shirt was elevated when stars and characters like Elvis Presley and James Bond were seen wearing one. The shirt has reemerged more recently and is being worn in new ways. Camp collar shirts now come in a range of interesting prints and new designs, which means you can find the one that you’ve been searching for.

Camp collar shirts are for everyone

If you do an online search for “best camp collar shirt” or something along those lines, you will mostly see pictures of a certain type of person wearing the shirt. But anyone and everyone can wear a camp collar shirt and wear it well.

The comfortable design of the camp collar shirt makes it attractive to all people. Plus, it looks good on everyone, making it an extra desirable piece of wardrobe. And once you know about all the ways you can wear this type of shirt (more on that next), you may start picturing yourself walking down the street or lounging by the pool in a camp collar shirt of your very own.

All that to say that all people can wear a camp collar shirt…and own it. If you’re not convinced, check out the Kaftko Instagram page for more fashion fluid pictures.


How to wear camp collar shirts

One of the great things about a camp collar shirt is that you can wear it in multiple ways and for multiple occasions.

Camp collar shirts are not meant to be tight on the wearer, but you also don’t want them to be too big. Sounds confusing, right? The best advice to take when looking for your first camp collar shirt is to go for a fit that is flowy, comfortable and sits well on your chest and shoulders. With Kaftko KAMP Shirt sizes ranging from XS to XXX, you’re sure to find the fit that makes you feel like you’re relaxing while on vacation in Miami.

The traditional way of wearing a camp collar shirt is untucked, buttoned, and without an undershirt, but you are the creator of your own destiny, so you do you!

Maybe you want to wear your shirt tucked into slacks or KAMP shorts. Or maybe you prefer to wear your buttoned-up camp collar shirt under a killer blazer or jacket. You could even wear it alone and completely unbuttoned to show off that six-pack you have or have not been working on (or with a shirt underneath). You might even consider tying the bottom ends for another fun, flirty look.

Now, how about where to wear a camp collar shirt?

At first glance, the collar and buttons of the camp collar shirt may make it look like work attire, and while you may be able to wear one to work if you have one of those laid-back jobs that we all want, the Cuban collar shirt is more like a vacation or fun shirt. It is the perfect choice for daywear during the summer or on a trip to the beach. But the camp collar shirt can also be worn at night when hitting the town with friends. It all depends on how you wear it.

This brings us to the look of your chosen camp collar shirt. The pattern is everything. Sure, you can find a solid color camp collar shirt, but you’ve come to Kaftko to get your camp collar shirt, which means you are looking for a bold, fashion fluid design that makes you feel great.

If you’re looking for a red camp collar shirt, we’ve got you. Want to feel like you’re on vacation when you’re not? We’ve got that, too. Whatever you are wanting, we have a camp collar shirt in the print you are looking for so you can wear what you want when you want.

Kaftko KAMP (camp) collar shirts

Let’s get into our KAMP Shirts a bit more, since that is probably why you are really here.

We don’t make “men’s camp collar shirts” because we make clothes for all at Kaftko. You are sure to love our take on the camp collar shirt no matter who you are. The drapey fit of all of our KAMP Shirts is designed to make anyone feel great while wearing one.

Kaftko KAMP Shirts are a little bit of the classic camp collar shirt mixed with a little bit of the kaftan style and design. And with six camp collar shirt prints (and six matching KAMP short prints), you can have an elevated look for all occasions, from relaxing by the pool to going out with friends.

Plant ladies can show off their love for a green thumb with the paradise print, while animal lovers can rep with pounce. For a take on traditional stripes, our brown eyed print will draw the eye of an intriguing passerby. We love that the six prints for our camp collar shirts are unique to our KAMP collection, as you will not find these prints in our kaftans, accessories, or swim collections.

But wait, there’s more! Our camp collar shirts can also come in a KAMP set. If you know you’re ready to rock a full look with a KAMP Shirt and KAMP Shorts, a set is for you.

Of course, we had to do our take on the classic camp collar shirt and try to incorporate our beloved Kaftans. The sleeves of our KAMP Shirts are kaftan-like, and the overall fit is flowy and drapey, just like both our original kaftans and V2. Not only that, but our KAMP Shirts and our kaftans also have an always-flattering, always-flirty V-neck.

The sleeves have button-roll tabs that will help you achieve the perfect fit for showing off your guns. We also added a single chest pocket to the front of our camp collar shirts. You know, for treats.

All of our KAMP camp collar shirts are made with 97% rayon and 3% spandex. Rayon is a great warm-weather fabric because it is cooling and breathable. The rayon material mixed with the flowy, dreamy cut of our six camp collar shirts means you can forget about sweating through them in the summer sun.

The wrap-up

Phew. That was a lot of information. Let’s recap:

  • Camp collar shirts have been around since the 18th century and have been re-designed to create the effortlessly cool shirts you see around town today.
  • The relaxed, breezy cut paired with breathable fabrics like rayon or linen typically used to make the camp collar shirt makes it the perfect daywear top.
  • The shirt is typically short-sleeved and worn untucked, but these are not steadfast rules. You can wear the camp collar shirt in a way that makes you feel best.
  • Kaftko KAMP Shirts are all of the above and come in six dreamy designs.

Even though summer is almost over, you can still rock a camp collar shirt on your next vacation, on your next night out, or anywhere you want if we’re being honest.


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