12 Men’s Summer Style Essentials

Great summer style doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, but given the temperatures, sun, and range of occasions, you’re going to need some summer style essentials to have you looking your best. Don’t worry though, we did the heavy lifting for you and put together a list of go-to items that are going to make this summer your most stylish one yet! If you’re looking for some more summer style tips make sure to check out our in-depth Summer Essentials E-Book (free download) and our Summer Style Do’s and Don’ts.

We’ve got a ton of picks below plus some features on key items we’ve covered before so make sure to check out all of our picks!

 

Polo Shirts

Polos shirts are an absolute summer essential because they’re so versatile and great for the hot weather. Wear them with everything from shorts to chinos to swim trunksH&M polos are a longtime favorite of ours, they’re budget-friendly and come in a ton of colors. We also love Uniqlo’s polos as well. Look for the basic colors like white, grey, black, and navy and wear them with everything from shorts to chinos. We’ve got a few tips to consider in terms of choosing the right fabric and style for your body type too.

Picks:

H&M

Uniqlo

Additional Picks

Chino Pants

A tried and true workhorse for your summer style, chino pants are lightweight and super comfortable. These pants look great with everything and can be dressed up or down for daytime or evening. Our favorites from Uniqlo are stylish, versatile, and budget-friendly. The fit is excellent and they even offer in-store hemming for free. They come in slim and straight fits. For a few other options, check out our Budget-Friendly Chinos rundown.

Picks:

Uniqlo

The Tie Bar

Additional Picks

 

NATO / Perlon Watch Straps

Switching up your watch band is a small, subtle style move that can add a little bit of extra personality. NATO and perlon straps are super affordable, come in a range of colors, and can be worn in and out of the water.

Picks:

Nato Straps

Perlon Straps

 

Stylish Swim Trunks

We recently picked our favorite swim trunks for the summer and the right pair is and an indispensable item for the weekend or any trip. Stick to options that resemble shorts and don’t be afraid to try a fun pattern or bold color.

Our picks for the best swim trunks of 2019

 

Sunglasses

Another must-have item, they’re going to add an extra dose of style while protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays. We’ve talked about finding the right sunglass frame shape for your face in the past, so consider that before making a purchase.

Picks:

Warby Parker

Ray-Ban

Salt

Oliver Peoples

Barton Perreira

Additional Picks

 

Hats

Speaking of sun protection, having a stylish hat is key when you’re spending extra time outdoors or at the beach and pool. We recommend a simple, casual ballcap or something more seasonal like a wide-brimmed Panama-style hat for style and sun protection.

Picks:

Brooks Brothers

Stetson

Scala

J.Crew

Herschel

Espadrilles Or Tennis Shoes

We discussed these shoe styles in our top 3 must-have shoes for the summer in a previous post and for good reason, the right casual shoe option that’s both stylish and affordable is important. Solid colors like white and navy are super versatile but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a fun pattern or some bolder color.

Picks:

Sneakers 1

Sneakers 2

Sneakers 3

Espadrilles 1

Espadrilles 2

 

Long-Sleeve Linen Shirts

One of our favorite summer style essentials, a linen shirt looks as good casually with shorts as it does with something a bit more dressy like chinos or cotton slacks. They’re always a great move during the warm weather and our favorites are very budget-friendly. Stick with the classics like solid white or light blue or try some bolder colors like olive, royal blue, or a fresh striped pattern.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Brooks Brothers

J.Crew

 

No-Show Socks

A key accessory in the summer, no-show socks can be worn with all types of shoes whether it be casual shoes like sneakers, boat shoes or driving loafers or dressier options like oxfords, monks, or penny loafers.

Picks:

Uniqlo – our favorite!

Bombas

Mack Weldon

H&M

 

Sunscreen

We can’t stress enough the importance of sunscreen, whether you’re at the pool or beach or just out and about. Don’t forget proper lip balm with sunscreen too!

Picks:

Anthelios

Neutrogena

Jack Black

Burt’s Bees

Jack Black

 

Weekender Bag

The importance of the right weekender bag for summer travel (and beyond) can’t be overstated. You want something sharp and durable with the right amount of space for a few days worth of clothing. We recently picked all of our favorite weekender bags for 2019, so check them out!

The Best Weekender Bags of 2019

 

A Good Book

Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or beach or on a flight out of town, a great summer read is definitely essential. We’ve picked our top 5 books every man should read previously, and our friends at GQ put together a pretty great list as well.

Dorian’s Current Pick 1

Dorian’s Current Pick 2

Top 5 Books Every Man Should Read

GQ Recommendations

 

Best Men’s Swim Trunks | Swimsuits For 2019

It’s peak swim trunk season and we want to help you look your most stylish at the pool or beach. There are a ton of different styles out there, but generally-speaking we always lean towards swimwear that can also look like you’re wearing shorts. That way you look great in and out of the pool.

Fit-wise, as we talked about in our swim trunk fit guide, you want to look for inseams around 5″ as they will hit around mid-thigh for most men.  We also recommend versions that have fabric on the thicker/stiffer side as they’ll look less clingy and keep their shape.  All our picks are below and Ashley chose her favorites at several different price points.

Here are our picks for the best men’s swim trunks for 2019!

 

H&M – $25

These floral print shorts have a 5″ inseam and come in a cotton blend, The fabric is going to be on the thinner side but that’s okay because the design is of a more runner-style with the elastic waistband and drawstring. Ashley chose this because this is a design that will hide any fabric sticking to you when you get out of the pool.  We love a fun pattern and the price is very affordable. They also come in a range of solid colors too.

 

Hill City – $68

Clean, simple and ready for anything, we love these basic swim trunks from Hill City thanks to their high-quality material and minimal design.  They’ve got a comfortable drawstring waist and handy pockets that will keep them looking sharp enough to be worn outside of the beach or pool.  The 6″ inseam is a nice middle-ground for guys of any height and they come in a range of basic colors.

 

Banana Republic – $98

We love this retro-inspired print and the zip fly and snap closure style. It really does look like a pair of shorts and will have you looking sharp in and out of the water, that’s why this style of trunks are our favorite.  The polyester material is durable and a little bit stiff so they will lay nicely against the body with a trim fit.

 

Saturdays NYC – $95

Another classic, minimal design, these trunks from Saturdays feature a fixed-waist boardshort design and a 6.5″ inseam with a nice trim fit.  We loved the streamlined design and very minimal branding.  The shorts also feature very nice, thick material with a bit of stretch for comfort and movement in and out of the water.

 

Onia – $140

We’re huge fans of the shorts from Onia, a luxury swimwear company from New York. They feature a really sharp and summery blue color with just a hint of pattern.  This pair of shorts comes in a nylon blend that’s nice and thick but with a hint of stretch so it will lay flat against the body. We like this version with a 5″ inseam best but there’s a 7.5″ inseam version for you taller guys too.  It has two front pockets and a handy rear pocket plus a thin mesh lining.  The snap closure and zip fly meet a fixed waistband in the front but the back portion of the waist has some elastic for added comfort, a really cool feature. As with anything you invest in, these shorts will last you a long time.

 

Orlebar Brown – $195

Orelebar Brown is another luxury swimwear brand and they’re known for their retro prints and photo print shorts.  We loved this retro-style version because it’s got a fun pop but it’s not overwhelming.  The quality is really excellent and the material is both durable and stretchy but also very comfortable. They have a snap waist and zip fly and a nice 5.5″ inseam that’s perfect for a range of heights. The design also features adjustable waist tabs, a very cool feature that not only gives you a precise fit but is s a nice detail you don’t normally see on swim trunks.

How Should Men’s Swim Trunks Fit?

Just because swim trunks are a casual item doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider their fit just like you do the rest of the items in your Essential Wardrobe. Like with anything else in our Fit Guide, a few missteps here or there and you could really not be doing your physique any favors.

So, now that you’re probably in the mindset for beach and pool time we thought we’d cover how your swim trunks should fit in our latest episode of 2 Minute Tuesday.

 

 

Length

Proportionally and visually, this is what looks best on men and as a basic rule, no matter how tall you are, your trunks should always above the knee by at least 3” above your knee.

Shorter Men

The length should hit at mid-thigh, at the longest. This proper length will make akes you (and your legs) look longer. 

Taller Men

For the right proportions, you can go a little longer between 3” above the knee to mid-thigh, at the shortest. 

Average Height Men

Go with the same guidelines as a taller guy, otherwise, your proportions will look off. 

 

Fit

Ideally, you want to be able to pinch between a 1/2″ to 1” on either side of your thigh. You can go up a little bit if you must but any more and you’re right on the edge of looking a little bit baggy and sloppy.

The waist should fit perfectly around without too much sagging or tightness.

 

Should You Tailor Swim Trunks?

You can shorten them, but we don’t recommend trying to get the legs slimmed, because there’s usually pockets and other things in the way and it can get expensive. There are enough styles out there for every man to be able to find a good fit.