Figuring out what to wear to the beach can be difficult, especially if you’re going once the summer’s over. On the contrary, knowing what to bring is usually pretty easy — after all, you can never forget to bring a towel. That said, your best bet is rolling with a shirt that matches your towel, not necessarily in color but the material. So, if a terrycloth-crafted top hasn’t appeared in your wardrobe over the past few months, then it might be time to consider one.
Sure, you can keep things simple with a plain white tee or go all out with a camp collar shirt, but neither option will offer the same capabilities of anything made from the same material as a towel. In recent years, we’ve seen loungewear, blazers, and polos fall victim to the rise of terrycloth, and we wouldn’t have it either way. Although the summer may be coming to a close, that’s no excuse to overlook the benefits of wearing one of these stylish tops, and we have the ten best terrycloth shirts lined up and ready for your choosing.
Trivia time: terrycloth material can absorb nearly 30 times its weight in water. And while the plush material does not substitute for a legitimate towel, it delivers many of the quick-drying capabilities that the one in your beach bag has to offer. It’s also a very versatile piece, as it has more weight than the average tee but a lighter feel than your favorite sweater, deeming it ideal for warm weather and easy to wear on cooler days.
Another notable element of these tops is their adherence to sustainability, which typically depends on the brand itself. However, the majority of our picks are made using either organic cotton, recycled polyester, or other eco-friendly materials.
Outerknown High Tide Terry Polo
It’s no surprise that Kelly Slater’s brand makes an excellent terrycloth polo, as the iconic surfer knows what it takes to make ideal beach attire. The responsibly-made top is cut and sewn from sustainable terry toweling, giving it the soft, absorbent composition you can expect to see from most options. Moreover, it is made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester that are free of synthetic chemicals and assist in reducing CO2 emissions.
J.Crew Terry cloth four-pocket camp-collar shirt
J.Crew’s boundless catalog has long been the standard for accessible prep-wear, and the same applies to the shopping mall staple brand’s blend of two iconic summer pieces. The brand’s unique Terry cloth four-pocket camp-collar shirt fuses an iconic silhouette with the summer-ready feel of toweling material. It is crafted using sustainable materials and then rounded out with a traditional patch pocket.
ONIA Terrycloth Shirt
ONIA is adept at crafting some of the swimwear world’s most stylish trunks, so it’s no surprise to see it excel at crafting a cool, absorbent top. The brand’s easy-going Terrycloth shirt is finished with ribbed knitted details at the collar and sleeve for an added touch of flair and even comes available in four versatile colors ready to take on any time of year.
Dandy Del Mar The Gaucho Terrycloth Shirt
By fusing the look of a classic Western shirt with the comfortable feel of a terrycloth polo, California-based boutique Dandy Del Mar designed a menswear must-have. The unique top features a sturdy reinforced collar, chic tortoise shell buttons, and embroidered white piping to give it that inimitable sense of Western flair. The brand itself claims it to be “the perfect blend of classy and casual,” and we couldn’t agree more.
OAS Terry Field Polo Shirt
Fashion fanatics are sure to appreciate this unique option from OAS. It features an eccentric color-blocked design composed of uber-soft cotton, so it can go well with your favorite pair of black or white bottoms to help it stand out even more. Like most of its pieces, this top was designed in the brand’s Stockholm-based studio.
MR P Organic Cotton-Terry Polo Shirt
Whoever the real MR PORTER is, he knows style like the back of his hand. The famed luxury retailer’s in-house brand constantly shows its sartorial know-how, but the Cotton-Terry Polo aims for a much more casual spin on your average button-up. It is made using organic cotton-terry material and comes available in a quartet of chic colors — that said, this milky shade of off-white is versatile enough to rock all year round.
Faherty Cabana Towel Terry Polo
A stripe (or two) never hurt anybody, and Faherty is well aware of this. The brand’s fully-sustainable shirt is sewn using organic cotton and recycled polyester, serving as a stylish, sustainable option ready for your next pool party, beach day, lazy Sunday, or all of the above. It’s rounded out with a buttonless placket for freedom of movement and a laid-back look.
Todd Snyder Montauk Polo
This blacked-out pick from Todd Snyder is as stark, stealthy, and, most importantly, soft. The New York-bred brand heralds the standard polo as “an iconic menswear staple,” and there’s no room for argument in that statement. However, we would have to say the same applies to the terry-crafted version, as well. By putting a summer-ready spin on its standard Montauk polo, TS showcases its consistency in crafting premium essentials.
Sunspel Toweling Polo
Sunspel’s iconic Towelling Polo is one of its more popular products, and it even improved the top to deliver a more comfortable feel. The improved iteration sewn using organic toweling fabric is now as light as ever but still equipped with all the standard elements that made it a classic, including the ever-so-stylish open neck and hidden placket. Plus, it’s available in several neutral colors that could bode well in any season.
Orlebar Brown Jarrett Toweling Coconut Classic Polo
Orlebar Brown is one of the most notable brands adept at crafting shoreside attire. The clothier’s take on the terrycloth shirt checks all the boxes: absorbent, traditional, and stylish. It boasts a classic fit, a two-button placket, and a ribbed collar. Above all else, the Coconut Classic Polo is a sustainable option, as less than 4.5 pounds of carbon emissions are offset when manufacturing this lax garment.
The 16 Best Knitted Polos
While a terrycloth polo is versatile to wear on any occasion, the same applies to an ever-so-handsome knitted polo. Find your favorite look with our guide to the retro-styled piece.