The best short-sleeve statement shirts for summer 2021

Richard Brown

26 February 2021

Because, after a year in hibernation, everyone wants to be the centre of attention

26 February 2021 | Richard Brown

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ere’s a prediction. After the washout that was summer 2020, spring and summer 2021 are going to be all about statement prints, bold patterns and attention-grabbing colourways. Why? Because no one’s going to want to be a wallflower during the great rewilding. With the pub garden beckoning, weaponise your wardrobe with one of these short-sleeve shirts, all of which make a statement (‘LOOK AT ME!’, mostly). It’s time to go big or go home – and literally no one's going to want to do that.  

AMI Paris Polka-Dot Shirt

It was an itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie green polka-dot statement shirt from AMI Paris. For summer 2021, the French brand’s signature slouchy sportswear translates into this cotton-poplin, spotlight-stealing short-sleeve number. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?


Kapital Camp-Collar Camouflage-Print Woven Shirt

A camp-collar shirt from Japanese brand Kapital that depicts a Native American camping scene across it’s middle. Meta, kinda. 94 per cent of this camo get-up is made from recycled cotton. The remaining six per cent is woven from silk. So it’s both self-referential and smooth.


Marni Floral Print Shirt

Marni, Marni, give me your answer do, I'm half crazy, all for the love of your brand-new, butter-yellow, floral-print camp-collar shirt. A characteristically whimsical rig from the witty Italian label.


Etro Geometric and Floral-print Linen Shirt

Oversized short sleeves and subtley dropped shoulders lend a relaxed fit to this full-on diamond-and-floral print shirt from Etro. Made in Italy from breathable, vintage Indian linen, the shirt’s intricate pattern will be the talk of the barbecue. Now, careful with that tommy sauce.  


Celine Homme Camp-Collar Contrast-Tipped Logo-Embroidered Satin Shirt

Tapping into everything from TikTok to skateboarding to '50s bowling culture, designer Hedi Slimane’s latest collection for Celine Homme is called ‘The Dancing Kid’. Amid leopard-print hoodies, loopback sweatpants, and acid-wash jeans, this bubblegum-pink camp-collar shirt is somehow both Teddy-boy retro and the right side of e-boy now. 


Jacquemus Jean Bowling Shirt

Black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow, yeah uh huh, you know what it is... it's this ‘Jean’ bowling shirt from Jacquemus, that’s what it is. Weaponise your summer wardrobe with this piece of wearable art from the playful Parisian power label.   


Gallery Dept. Parker Camp-Collar Logo-Embroidered Printed Silk-Satin Shirt

From Los Angeles with love. Gallery Dept. was founded to re-purpose vintage clothes and inject some fun into fashion. Hence this lightweight silk-satin 'Parker' shirt featuring seemingly nursery-school brushstrokes. A fashion statement that looks like a personal art project. All eyez on you. 


Undercover Cupid-Print Two-Pocket Shirt

Jun Takahashi, the designer behind contemporary Japanese brand Undercover, enjoys cult status off the back of his darkly-influenced, cute-but-scary streetwear collections – i.e. Cupid in this two-pocket print shirt. Nope, that’s not a bow and arrow in his hands. That’s a heart ideograph in one, and a biologic human heart in the other. <3 <3 <3  


Pierre-Louis Mascia Aloe Patchwork Print Shirt

As you may be able to tell, fashion designer ‘Pierre-Louis Mascia’ hails from France. As you may also be able to tell, he’s big into his patterns. Mascia uses collage to create intricate designs that he prints on to clothes and scarves made in Italy – such as this 100 per cent-silk, unisex patchwork shirt with notch lapels and contrast panels. For evidece of the level of craftsmanship that goes into Mascia's work, just check the juxtaposing sleeve trims. 


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