This "Grandpa" Staple Is Actually Summer's Biggest Beach Trend—Hear Me Out

Floral beach shirts are probably a piece you’ll find in your grandpa’s or dad’s closet. Often called a "Hawaiian shirt,” the tops are well-known for their tourist vacation vibes. This summer, though, the grandpa staple is carving itself out as one of the biggest trends for summer. Fashion insiders have already been wearing printed beach shirts on repeat, so if you’re still on the fence, I have plenty of proof of how chic they can actually be.

Looking to the fashion set, the styling options are seemingly endless. Whether worn as a bikini coverup, styled with slouchy, tailored trousers, or worn as a matching set, beach shirts are a key style to own for summer. It’s no accident that the trend is arriving at a time when vacations and travel are finally coming back onto our calendars, and it’s one of the first pieces you should pack into your suitcase. Ahead, see six cool ways to style the beach shirt trend this summer.

With a Bikini


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

This summer, everyone is styling their swimsuits with a myriad of cool coverups. Beach shirts are just one more option to consider.

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With Matching Shorts


(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

The fashion set loves a good matching set and shorts sets are taking off as one of the top buys for summer. The printed versions take the dad-style beach shirt to the next level.

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With Athletic Shorts


(Image credit: @meccajw)

Who knew that athletic shorts could be such a fashion statement? Choose a nylon pair in a bold shade to really make your look pop.

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With Slouchy Trousers


(Image credit: @pamarias)

Slouchy trousers seem to be the piece to own in 2021, and fashion people are showing endless ways to style them. That includes this stunning look that incorporates a bikini top and a printed beach shirt.

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With Jeans


(Image credit: @bellathomas)

A similar outfit to the one above, this look swaps in jeans instead of slouchy trousers. I have a feeling this exact outfit formula is about to be everywhere.

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With Mixed Prints


(Image credit: @rixo)

Clashing prints are having a moment, and this is a really cool way to pull them off. I wouldn’t have thought to pair an ocean print with an animal print, but it just works.

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Shop More Beach Shirts

Next, read the Who What Wear guide to all things summer fashion.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.