The Best Printed and Patterned ‘Going Out’ Shirts Are Made for Staying In

Elaine Chung

When’s the last time you felt genuinely sexy? And not just any type of sexy. I’m talking “Late-’90s MJ showing up to practice in a mock neck and a beret” sexy. (Swoon!) A while ago, if I had to guess. (Unless you’re one of those people who decided to get really, really hot under lockdown, in which case you should probably show yourself out immediately. This isn’t for you.)

What if I told you there’s a surefire way to capture that feeling—to channel the magic of Jordan in his prime—in one fell swoop, and it doesn’t even involve a gym or some, I don’t know, newfangled facial peel? All it involves is springing for an updated version of a shirt MJ himself was probably all-too-familiar with. You might remember the “going out” shirt—those printed, patterned shirts of yore—as a stylistic punchline from the rom-com heyday of the early aughts. (A brief list of common offenses: Way too many buttons, way too big of a collar, and way too much sheen.)

Right now might feel like an odd time to be on the lookout for a shirt expressly billed as made for a wild night out on the town. But the biggest difference between the new going out shirt and its predecessors is that it’s not exclusively for going out anymore. Funnily enough, the new going out shirt is also the one you should reach for when you want to spice up yet another night in. Funky prints and patterns, loose fits, and silky finishes abound, making the newest crop a far cry from the type you might associate with any pulled from Richard Curtis-directed days past.

Sure, you could wear a floral one with slim jeans and a big-ass pair of Western boots. Or pair a velvet version with soft, pleated trousers that pool elegantly over a pair of sturdy loafers. But you could also wear a paisley one with slinky track pants, thick camp socks, and sleek, retro-inspired sneakers—an outfit that positively radiates comfort, and doesn’t call for too much effort from wary dressers used to wearing head-to-toe fleece. (Bonus points if you opt to leave a few too many buttons undone and add a gold chain or two.) So with that in mind, here are all the options worth keeping an eye on now.

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Slim Fit Velvet Shirt



The easiest way to imbue any piece ever with a heady dose of louche elegance? Deck it out in velvet, no prints or patterns necessary. 

Morello Print Button-Up Shirt

Allsaints nordstorm


Allsaints turns to viscose to lend its printed, button-front shirt a soft, silky feel. 

All Over Print Casual Shirt



Speckled to perfection. 

Vidar Paisley Vacation Shirt



A paisley print camp-collar even Prince would’ve approved of. 

Liberty Camp-Collar Long Sleeve Shirt

Todd Snyder


Todd Snyder enlists the pattern experts at Liberty to enliven a perfect camp-collar shirt with an exuberant floral print. 

Corbino Print Cotton Button-Up Shirt

Dries Van Noten


Noted gardening enthusiast (and floral print veteran) Dries Van Noten turns instead to the slightly abstract to inspire one of the best button-ups of the season.  

Lagos Adire-Dyed Cotton Shirt



Post Imperial uses a time-intensive dyeing process known as adire to help mark its Lagos shirt with a light blue wave motif. 

Checkered Flannel Shirt



Virgil Abloh, the mind behind Vuitton menswear and no stranger to a rollicking party, comes for the going out shirt. (Spoiler alert: He doesn’t disappoint.) 

Saipen Zebra Print Shirt

Acne Studios


Zig where others zag. 

Abstract Dot-Print Silk Shirt



Flap pockets FTW. 

PJ Cupro Shirt



Cut to fit like a particularly stylish pajama shirt that just won’t stop winning you compliments. 

Louie Camp-Collar Floral-Print Cotton Shirt



Bode doing Bode is truly a beautiful thing. 

Geometric-Print Velvet Shirt

73 London


A pattern scraped right off the side of your dottiest Aunt’s wallpaper, in the best way possible. 

Camp-Collar Printed Lyocell Shirt

Wacko Maria


When you have to meet girlfriend’s parents at 8 and won’t be able to change before practice with your goth-metal group at 9.  

Baroque Print Shirt

Martine Rose


Versailles Lite.  

Floral-Jacquard Shirt



Because if you’re going to sink well over a grand into one shirt, it should probably be from the brand of choice for a master of the new-age going out shirt, Harry Styles. 

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Avidan Grossman is the Style eCommerce Editor at Esquire, covering men’s fashion, shoes, grooming, and accessories.

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Source : Esquire