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The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016

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Chris Sayer
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It’s almost here. It’s really almost here.

With lighter evenings, warmer temperatures, festivals in the diary, and the promise of weeks and weeks of epic international sport on the horizon, it’s impossible not to be feeling those golden summer vibes right about now.

That’s precisely why we needed little to no excuse to bring you this – a big fat roundup of the finest, coolest and down-right partyiest tees you’ll want to don when the sunny season gets into full swing.

We’ve tapped into plenty of must-know trends to prepare you for the season, from ‘surf rat chic’ to retro sportwear, reanimated vintage logos to timeless quality staples. You’ll find it all here, and more.

We sincerely apologise for what this is about to do to your credit card…

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016

    Levi Vintage White Baseball

    Heritage clothing brands don’t get much bigger than Levi’s, which is probably how they’ve come to make the finest vintage Americana tee we’ve seen all year.  

    £80, liberty.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 1

    Paul Smith Surf Riot Print

    Never has big and bold 1970’s typography emblazoned across your chest looked so good.

    £45, paulsmith.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 2

    Nike Kyrie Peace Bones

    Part of basketball hero Kyrie Irving’s collection with Nike, and part of our new summer tee wish list.

    £25, store.nike.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 3

    Puma x Alife Olympic Logo

    Sportswear giants Puma have reignited their relationship with NYC streetwear big shots Alife this year, combining American heritage with a sporting twist. What the heck is Fear City, you ask? It was the name given to New York in an utterly bonkers NYPD tourist leaflet that was distributed when crime levels soared in the 1970s.

    £39, endclothing.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 4

    Armor-Lux 1524 Loctudy Tee

    Breton stripes have been the go-to for pop culture’s wildest for years, with The Ramones, Kurt Cobain, James Dean and Pablo Picasso all hanging them in their wardrobes. Want a piece of the action? Of course you do. French brand Armor-Lux is the way to go.

    £39, endclothing.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 5

    Champion Chenille Logo

    One of the brands that must’ve rubbed its hands together when the whole the-90’s-is-cool-again thing happened last year, Champion’s ‘moment’ is showing no signs of ceasing just yet.

    £38, size.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 6

    Le Coq Sportif Palavi No.2

    The French sports brand has dusted off its history books to reanimate a classic and high-quality tee. 

    £30, lecoqsportif.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 7

    Jungmaven Pocket Tee

    Robert Jungmann, Jungmaven’s founder, has one simple but pretty bold mission statement – to get everyone in a hemp t-shirt by the year 2020 in a bid to slow climate change (farming hemp is way better for the environment than cotton, see). His eco-friendly tees will not only make you look good (especially in this colour), but help you feel good about yourself, too.

    £50, oipolloi.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 8

    The Quiet Life Goalie Soccer

    Los Angeles streetwear meets retro football in this ace sports top. Buy this up just in time for the Euros – it’s perfect for wearing while catching the games in your local.

    £65, flatspot.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 9

    Stussy World Tour

    A streetwear staple that shows absolutely zero signs of losing its cool.

    £35, mrporter.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 10

    Mollusk Dip-Dye

    Straight outta California, this lazy beach tee has been dip-dyed by hand and comes in a super relaxed fit. If your summer is all about keeping it chill, get this on. 

    £50, mrporter.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 11

    Out Of Print Joseph Heller

    Out Of Print has a whole range of t-shirts featuring iconic, rare and decommissioned book covers, with everything from Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea to Richard Adams’ Watership Down getting a run-out. If we had to choose one though, this US edition cover of Catch-22 would make our cut.  

    £30, thebrokedownpalace.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 12

    Drop Dead Peace Off

    The brainchild of Bring Me The Horizon’s lead singer Oli Sykes, Sheffield-based Drop Dead is the choice of some of modern rock music’s finest.  This trippy tee will go perfectly with the long and hazy summer days we’ve got around the corner. No, they’re coming. Really. We promise.

    £30, dropdead.co

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 13

    Adidas Originals Retro Linear Logo

    Adidas are partying like it’s 1989 here, using bold graphics from that era to create a vintage-looking beauty you’d be crazy not to don with shorts.

    £28, boredofsouthsea.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 14

    Edwin Terry

    Thicker than your average t-shirt, and guaranteed to be more comfortable than anything else you own, this tee is exactly what you’ll want on your back when the sun drops, taking the temperature with it.

    £45, edwin-europe.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 15

    Poler 35MM

    Poler makes garms for “travellers, couch surfers, regular surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, bicyclists, parents, kids, car campers and anyone else looking for something that looks good, is good value and is all about having fun on road trips and in the outdoors.” You must be at least one of those things, right?

    £30, thebrokedownpalace.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 16

    Obey Don’t Talk To Cops

    Reeks of punk attitude, this one does. Street artist extraordinaire Shepard Fairey’s throwing that middle finger up to The Man once more.  

    £28, shop.obeyclothing.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 17

    Saturdays Surf NYC USA Bars

    We’d happily replace our entire wardrobe with one of everything made by this brand’s trio of New York beach bums.

    £30, thehipstore.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 18

    Urban Outfitters Metallica Tee

    No matter what you think about old-school band tees in high street stores, there’s no escaping the fact that everyone wants one. You can thank the likes of Kayne, Bieber and Harry Styles for that. We suggest swotting up whichever band’s tee you’re about to rep though, so to make it through the awkward “so what’s you’re favourite song, then” question alive.

    €35, urbanoutfitters.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 19

    Quiksilver Paradise

    The heritage surf brand has taken inspiration from Rio De Janiero for their Summer ’16 collection, just in time for this year’s Olympics. We’d do almost anything to be able to rock this while sunning it up on Copacabana beach right now.

    £25, quiksilver.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 20

    Soulland Miles

    This great Danish brand has teamed up with artist Charlie Roberts to make a tee that looks far more expensive that it really is.

    £59, goodhoodstore.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 21

    Sunspel Long-Staple Cotton Classic

    When it comes to that essential wardrobe addition the plain white tee, you can’t go wrong with Sunspel.

    £60, sunspel.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 22

    Patagonia Legacy Label

    Need a little more convincing that Patagonia is more than just the brand that makes your dad’s fleece? Check out 180 Degrees South, a documentary inspired by the label’s dead cool founder Yvon Chouinard’s trek to Patagonia in 1968.  It’s on Netflix now, and is amazing.  

    £25, Patagonia.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 23

    Uniqlo x KAWS

    Humungous contemporary artist KAWS has lent his pencils to the Japanese staple stop for arguably the most anticipated high street collab of 2016. Right at the centre of the capsule is ‘Companion’, KAWS’ most famous character, and one you’ll recognise from his super sought-after range of vinyl toys.

    £12.90, uniqlo.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 24

    TSPTR Grey Peace

    Drawing influence from the style of American college kids in the late sixties, with all the student rallies, anti-war demos and drug use that came with the flower power era, TSPTR have knocked it out of the park with this number.

    £40, liberty.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 25

    Topman Grey Salt and Pepper Longline

    We get that longline (slightly longer in length) tees may not initially seem like your thing, but you don’t have to drop three figures on Kayne’s frankly ridiculous clothing range to test it out. Hop over to Topman to pick one up for a tiny fraction of the price, team it with a slim or skinny pair of jeans, and try telling us it’s not a flattering silhouette.

    £12, topman.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 26

    ASOS Denim Tee

    A t-shirt? Made from lightweight denim? The world’s gone mad…but we like it. The frayed hems and washed-out colour suit this summer’s up-coming ‘surf rat’ trend real nicely. 

    £22, asos.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 27

    Wood Wood Savages

    Alright, black isn’t exactly an ideal colour to wear when the sun is beating down on your back, but just think about all the posi summer vibes you’ll be giving off if you endure the heat in this happy chap.

    £43, goodhoodstore.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 28

    Velva Sheen Narrow Wave Stripe

    Cut and sewn in Cincinnati Ohio, and crafted from US slub cotton fabric, these guys have been at the pinnicle of American-made athletic wear for 84 years. When you put this on, you’ll know why.

    £50, oipolloi.com

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 29

    Volcom Resin Swirl

    Make sure there’s room in your festival bag for this spaced-out hippy number from one of skate/surf’s finest.

    £25, volcom.co.uk

  • The 31 coolest t-shirts for summer 2016 30

    Alpha Industries for Present 71st

    When we saw that Alpha Industries, a 57-year-old Tennessee-born label that makes proper US military flight jackets, leather bombers and field coats, had teamed up with one of our favourite London menswear stores, Present, we knew we’d want a slice of the action. And we do, in the shape of this little treat.

    £35, present-london.com

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Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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