Words by Keanu Adorable
For some unknown reason the bowling shirt has had a bad rep for a while now. Similar to the Hawaiian shirt, the item has been associated with interesting personalities— from Charlie Sheen’s rude and crude character from Two and a Half Men (who had a whole collection of atrocious tops) to the eccentric crew from The Big Lebowski who are synonymous with short-sleeved embroidered button-ups.
Loose and easy, with a casual spread-collar, the bowling shirt sums up the relaxed, sleazy-chic is making a strong comeback this summer, with the 1950s trend that seems to be everywhere for spring, bowling-style shirts have been hugely popular on the streets of Milan and Paris during the SS17 fashion weeks.
Bowling shirts are typically cut wide and boxy but don’t let that put you off, oversized fits are a solid style move. Lightweight fabrics and a breezy, open cut make the shirt a great choice for hot spring/summer weather, hopefully, which explains the popularity with the fashionistas… and also tourists, two demographic you don’t often associate together. They’re traditionally produced with drab colorways and team embroidery on the chest, but most people seem to be going for nostalgic oriental designs — orchids, tigers, dragons, etc — and many contemporary labels are producing minimal versions too.
The fashionista illuminati has, naturally, splashed out on luxe garms from the likes of Gucci, Prada and Valentino. More accessible labels have hopped on to the trend too, and there’s nothing stopping you diving into your local charity shop/thrift store or eBay if you’re feeling sensible, financially.