Summer style is all about looking like you are either going to or coming back from an incredible vacation, even if that vacation IRL means a midday trip going to grab your second coffee of the day.
Like any other season, the key to looking fresh in the summer is to start with the best quality staple items you can afford, and then pepper those looks with flavorful and colorful statement pieces. For example: chinos plus canvas sneakers, topped off with a bold camp shirt. Or a simple pocket tee and jeans paired with some loud retro kicks. Easy. And if you need some solid warmer weather shoe suggestions, you can find them here.
Check out our roundup of seven summertime essentials, and let our picks serve as inspiration for your own sartorial adventure.
Lovingly bid farewell to your inner frat boy by upping your polo game. Sure, Ralph’s horsey shirts will always be kind of cool, but exploring other, equally iconic polos, like the classic twin tipped ones from mod figureheads Fred Perry, will definitely keep you looking sharp and a few steps ahead of the pack. Plus, if you want to jazz yours up a bit for a night time event, these always look great with a fitted blazer and dark jeans.
If you want to start introducing some rich graphics and prints into your summer repertoire, there’s no better place to start than with a camp shirt. Equal parts Tony Soprano and retro rocker, a fresh print shirt is badass in all the right ways. Just remember to style yours with very mellow pants and shoes so things don’t get too costumey. Or ignore my advice and wear yours with some ridiculous madras shorts, it’s all good, I promise.
Summer dressing means ditching those thick, heavy leather belts and getting yourself a sensible webbed belt. Not only do they provide a nice pop of contrast to your chinos and jeans, they can also help bridge the gap between last year’s pants and your new spring/summer beach bod. Try this Gucci belt (you will never regret buying a Gucci belt) or grab a military surplus joint for the cheaper route. Both will be great investments.
Not matter how much you dig looking dapper, wearing a thick wool blazer in the summer will take the wind out of your sail real fast. The solution? Get an unlined, unstructured cotton blazer and pair it within anything from graphic tees and Vans to a crisp oxford and woven loafers. Once you start thinking of a cotton blazer as a pair of khakis for your arms, it’s easy to style it up or down like a boss.
The beach is no place for dressing modestly. Attract the right kind of attention this summer by rocking a pair of bold printed swim trunks. So long as they hit right above the knee (which makes you look taller and fitter, btw), you can wear any pattern that catches your eye and walk around confident that you are the sartorial sultan of surf.
Dressing is not only about looking fly for the life you have, but also for the life you want. Having one high quality, lightweight sweatshirt in your rotation will come in very handy when you are packing for a weekend away with cool summer nights. Look for one with raglan sleeves (that’s where the sleeves attach to the collar, rather than the shoulder) for a more upmarket look, perfectly in line with your (real or imagined) fabulous, cozy lifestyle.
POCKET TEE GAME
It’s hard to quantify exactly why adding a pocket to a normal t-shirt makes it more dressy, but it definitely does. Add in a subtle pattern, like indigo stripes, and some cool details, like a contrasting solid blue collar, and your humble t-shirt is suddenly way more gourmet. Pair your pocket tee with olive chinos and white sneakers for a universally dope everyman look that any guy can pull off.