We are in the midst of a terry cloth revival.
Look, if a year and some change of quarantines, lockdowns, minimal capacity, and staying the heck at home has taught us anything, it’s taught us that good times shouldn’t be taken for granted.
In other words, we’re all ready to get back to the party—but we’re not ready to get back to stiff, uptight clothing.
Instead, we’re entering a new era of ultra-comfortable fashion.
Sure, athleisure has been around for over a decade, and the idea of incorporating pure comfort into your wardrobe isn’t new. But after bumming around the house in sweatpants and workout clothes for 14 months, we’re ready to put on something that feels a little more luxurious—and what feels more luxurious than wearing terry cloth? (hint: the answer is nothing).
In 2021, terry cloth is no longer reserved for towels, bathrobes, and luxury spas. And frankly, we’re bored of wearing straight-up cotton and linen blends when the summer sun gets baking anyway. So we’re glad to see terry cloth making a comeback.
You don’t have to dive in headfirst and remake your summer wardrobe either. Terry cloth is easy to work into your current rotation, and adding a couple of shirts is a great way to dip your toes in and break up the monotony of your day-to-day summer garb.
Terry cloth does have a vintage vibe to it, so if you’re unsure about where or how to wear it, just think of it as an acid trip—set and setting are crucial to having a good time.
If you’re on the fence, keep your terry cloth reserved for the pool, beach, and tiki hut. But if you’re feeling confident, you can expand on that list and wear the terry cloth shirt anywhere. Just keep it paired with lightweight pants, dock shorts, or swim trunks, and you're golden.
Below are nine terry cloth shirts (in no particular order) that we hand-picked as the best of the best for your summer of leisure.
Note: Beardbrand is not affiliated with any of the brands listed below, and we don’t receive any commission from them. We love helping men look and feel their best, and we love brands that make high-quality gear, clothing, and accessories that can help you elevate your style.
THE TROPEZ TERRY CLOTH SHIRT IN BURNT SIENNA - DANDY DEL MAR
Photo courtesy Dandy Del Mar
Dandy Del Mar has only been around since 2018, but they’ve placed themselves at the forefront of the leisurewear niche—because they do it exceptionally well.
Pulling inspiration from the most iconic resort destinations of the 1960s and 70s—think Saint-Tropez or Mallorca—Dandy Del Mar is more of a total vibe than a clothing brand. Or, to borrow from their own words, Dandy Del Mar is “reviving the art of leisure.”
That’s a movement we can get behind. And when it comes to terry cloth shirts and robes, Dandy Del Mar makes some of our favorites.
The Tropez Terry Cloth Shirt in Burnt Sienna is soft, lightweight, and incredibly comfortable. We love the burnt sienna color—it’s got an authentic 1970s feel.
Pair it with the matching Tropez Shorts and a mustache, and you’re ready to go.
THE GAUCHO TERRY CLOTH SHIRT IN VINTAGE NAVY - DANDY DEL MAR
Photo courtesy Dandy Del Mar
Another offering from Dandy Del Mar, The Gaucho Terry Cloth Shirt in Navy, takes everything we love about the Tropez Shirt above and adds some equatorial cowboy flair with embroidered flower patterns and white piping.
For most people, navy is a little easier to wear than the more adventurous burnt sienna. And like the Tropez, you can pair the Gaucho Terry Cloth Shirt with matching shorts or pants.
Another thing we dig about the Dandy Del Mar terry cloth shirts is the back pleat, allowing you to transition seamlessly from pool to bar—and preferably back to the pool again.
What do the reviews say?
“I recently purchased the Gaucho shirt and matching shorts to get some solid leisurewear while stuck at home due to COVID. Great quality and very comfortable. I love the 1970s aesthetic.”
TERRYCLOTH POLO IN CABANA STRIPE - CRIQUET SHIRTS
Photo courtesy Criquet Shirts
Specializing in golf apparel, Austin-based Criquet Shirts has the polo down to a science.
But they go comfortably off course with the Terrycloth Polo in Cabana Stripe. It’s 100% Cotton Terrycloth and 100% timeless cool.
The Cabana Stripe is a nice touch that we don’t see in too many terry cloth shirts, and Criquet pulls it off without making this shirt look like a bath towel.
We love that there are no buttons on the collar—just pull it on after hopping out of the pool, and you’re ready to swing by the bar, cabana, hotel lobby, or anywhere really.
TERRYCLOTH POLO IN NAVY - CRIQUET SHIRTS
Photo courtesy Criquet Shirts
Horizontal stripes aren’t for everyone—that’s where Criquet’s Terrycloth Polo in Navy comes in. It’s everything we love about the Cabana Stripe but in a timeless, solid navy.
Have we mentioned the shirt pocket yet? Don’t sleep on shirt pockets—they’re essential.
What do the reviews say?
“Every time I put on one of these terrycloth polos (of which I now own 3), I feel like I’m instantly on vacation. Plus, it’s just the right amount of extra to make a standard polo stand out.”
Yeah, vacation mode engaged.
WHITE MACHU TERRY SHIRT - OAS
The Swedish resort brand, OAS, has been churning out warm-weather staples for nearly a decade. In other words, they’re well-versed in the art of relaxing in style.
When it comes to terry cloth shirts, OAS gives you more options than any other brand. And we love that they aren’t afraid to be loud and vibrant with their designs.
The White Machu Terry Shirt is the perfect example of this.
We love the Central American vibe of this shirt, and apparently, we’re not the only ones that feel this way—this shirt is currently sold out on the OAS website. But, you can still find it at certain boutique stores like Stag Provisions in Austin, TX.
TURCS TERRY SHIRT - OAS
renwejules; photo by Linda Tol
Earlier, we alluded to the Criquet Terrycloth Polo in Cabana Stripe doing a great job of not resembling a bath towel.
The Turcs Terry Shirt by OAS does the opposite—it looks exactly like a bath towel, and—call us hypocritical—but we love it. It's terry towel chic.
Maybe it’s the color combination, the width of the stripes, or the fact that it’s a camp collar shirt that makes wearing what looks a towel feel so damn good.
Pair it with swim trunks or light-colored shorts, and you’re set. Just make sure that if you bring a towel, it doesn’t look exactly like this shirt.
SOLID TURQUOISE TERRY SHIRT - OAS
In the 1960s, no one made terry cloth cooler than Sean Connery as James Bond.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go full one-piece terry cloth romper as Connery did in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
Instead, you can opt for the Solid Turquoise Terry Shirt by OAS. It’s a similar shade of blue to the Bond playsuit but without the attached shorts.
And shouldn’t your resort wear match the color of the water, anyway?
Go turquoise or go home.
MEADOW CUBA TERRY SHIRT - OAS
Floral print and Hawaiian shirts may have hit their peak popularity a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon flowers altogether. You just have to find more creative and original flower designs.
That’s where the Meadow Cuba Terry Shirt by OAS comes into play. The flower stencils give just enough of a tropical feel without making it seem like just another floral shirt. It’s a perfect mix of flora and modernism, and the cream and green colorway lends itself to plenty of outfit options.
We like it paired with light-colored pants, as shown in the photo above, or black swim trunks.
TERRYCLOTH POLO IN GREEN - TOMBOLO
Photo courtesy Tombolo
Tombolo, a word for spit of sand that connects two beaches, has been credited for helping to revive Hawaiian shirts over the past decade.
They call their gear “escape-wear” and welcome you to your imaginary grandpa's imaginary seaside cottage. In an age of minimalist activewear, Tombolo brings you maximalist inactivewear.
Tombolo specializes in “kinky” (as they call it) designs, they nail the terrycloth movement with the Terrycloth Polo in Green.
The color combo of seafoam green and off-white collar makes for the type of shirt that Don Draper would wear to the beach while playing hooky from the office (for months at a time).
What else do we dig? Lightweight 100% organic cotton terry cloth—check. Chest pocket—check. Boxy cut that is extra forgiving—check and done.
Keep on Growing.
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