The Bowling Shirt Is Summer's Coolest (& Most Unexpected) Staple

Designed by Meg O'Donnell
Remember when boys wore flame-print bowling shirts at the school disco back in the heady days of the '00s? Like its cousin, the tropical shirt, they've had a bad rap over the years. But now they're back and, unlike the gaudy original, 2019's edition is summer's coolest (and easiest) staple.
In the seasons since Miuccia Prada gave the short-sleeved shirt a touch of off-kilter cool for SS18 (there was a mint green number emblazoned with spiders, natch), the bowling shirt has grown in popularity, with Ashley Williams, Balenciaga and Gucci all offering up their take on the style. And best of all, it's proving to be the most versatile piece in our wardrobe.
How so? Well, think of the numerous ways to style the boxy button-down: a French tuck into jeans, worn open over a slip dress, tied at the waist à la Britney in the "...Baby One More Time" video. The possibilities are endless, which is exactly what makes it perfect for summer – when the heat is high and the city is sticky, all you want is an easy, breezy throw-it-on-and-go outfit, without losing any of that sartorial pizzazz.
Our favourites? Burberry's Bambi-print number is cute with ecru denim, Rejina Pyo has numerous versions (but the lime green satin one is the real winner) and, when paired with cat-eye sunnies, & Other Stories' sweetie piece is giving us '50s kitsch.
Ahead, we've found the coolest bowling shirts out there. Now it's just a case of asking yourself not 'which one?' but 'how many?' Strrrrrike!

More from Shopping

R29 Original Series