Gonzo Fashion: The Vacation Shirt

And why it’s not going away anytime soon.

Esther Jordan
2 min readNov 24, 2022


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Image courtesy of GQ

It’s no secret that Gonzo fashion — a style named after author Hunter S. Thompson — has been in vogue for years now, with brands like John Varvatos and Levi’s producing clothing inspired by the iconic writer. But if you’re looking for a way to channel the spirit of adventure without spending thousands on high-end cowboy boots or bespoke suits, consider checking out brands that regularly offer this option, like Forever21 Men (always having some sort of closeout sale whenever I step in) or Urban Outfitters (they always have amazing sales at the in-person stores).

The Gonzo Fashion Bandwagon

The Gonzo fashion bandwagon has been rolling freely for several seasons now, but the trend’s staying power will be supported by newly-reissued pieces from many brands inspired by one of its original masters.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Gonzo” hails from the name of writer Hunter S. Thompson and his famous literary style which championed a brand of journalism that was at once personal, informal and unconventional.

The Gonzo movement was further inspired by an array of creative individuals who adopted this way of thinking as their own — musicians like Kurt Cobain and Johnny Rotten; actors like Dennis Hopper — all pushing boundaries and taking risks in order to create something new. Nowadays designers are enlisting in this same mindset when designing clothes.

Hunter S. Thompson

A lot of people love to channel the style of author Hunter S. Thompson when they travel. He was a writer and journalist known for his eccentric style, who wrote for Rolling Stone and other publications.

He’s best known for his drug use, but not for his fashion sense. Though, many love emulating him on Halloween and carrying on the vacation shirt torch.

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Esther Jordan

Quantumplation. Legal writer. SEO marketer, copy writer & editor of 15 years. High fashion model. Former children and adult special-needs counselor. Risk taker.