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

 

5 Summer Shirts Every Man Should Own

Warm weather is here, it’s time to have a look at your shirt rotation and make some updates. Adding in a few key shirts to your essential wardrobe this summer is an easy, affordable way to bring up your look another notch.  All of these styles we chose are very versatile and will work with everything from shorts to chinos and lightweight denim.  For more tips on all things shirt fit, check out our Fit Guides.

Here are our top choices for the summers shirts you should own! Don’t forget to check out all our picks listed below.

 

 

1. Short sleeve print shirt

A big trend that we’re loving for summer, go for a bold pattern – florals, geometrics, or polka dots- but stay away from jokey/comical patterns.

Picks:

Topman

Uniqlo

Vince

J.Crew

 

2. Linen shirt

A classic warm-weather essential that looks great with chinos or shorts and can even be dressed up with a blazer. Go for long sleeve or short sleeve and look for basic colors like white, blue, grey and simple patterns for maximum versatility.

Picks:

Uniqlo

Vince

Brooks Brothers

J. Crew

 

3. Short sleeve camp collar shirt

Another trend that you’re probably seeing a lot of places, this type of shirt has a relaxed vibe and a flat, laydown-style collar. You can opt for these in a solid color or something with a print or bold pattern. These shirts are a great casual piece, so wear with shorts or denim/chinos.

Picks:

Todd Snyder

Vince

Uniqlo

Mr. Porter

 

4. Striped oxford shirt

Once you have a rotation of solid oxfords in blue and white, you can add in a classic blue striped oxford. This shirt is another staple summer item you can wear dressed up or down.

Picks:

Brooks Brothers

Gap

J.Crew 

Gitman 

 

5. Short sleeved seersucker shirt

Speaking of classics, a short sleeved version in white and blue or a tonal solid is simple and always a good move. Seersucker’s unique texture and weave make it extremely lightweight and breezy, so it’s going to be a great option when it really heats up.

Picks:

J.Crew

Brooks Brothers

Polo Ralph Lauren

Zegna

Dorian’s Outfit

Floral Shirt

 

6 Men’s Summer Style Do’s and Don’ts

We’re in the midst of summer, and the season (and hot weather) present a range of style challenges for you. Whether you’re dealing with your mid-week wardrobe or planning casual looks for the weekend, it can be tough to know how to dress right now.

Don’t sweat it though (see what we did there?), we’re here to help with some basic guidelines for dressing well during the warmest of months, no matter what the occasion.  These are our Summer Style Do’s and Don’ts!

 

 

Summer Style Do’s

 

Wear Color

Summer is the perfect time to inject more color in your wardrobe, both casually and with dressier outfits. So work in some of those summer-ready hues like pastels (pink, blue, green, yellow) and experiment with lighter neutral hues like tan, light grey, and olive with both your dress and casual clothing.

 

Wear Lighter Fabrics

Choosing the right lightweight fabrics like linen, cotton, and seersucker can go a long way in both keeping you stylish and cool in the heat. Cotton is the best option for your suits, shorts and pants and will look both sharp and crisp. Linen is a great option for casual and dressy shirts for staying cool and breezy. A sharp linen or linen-blend blazer looks great for summer weddings or more formal occasions. One warning though, skip linen pants.

 

Ditch Your Socks

Going sockless is not only going to help you stay cool but also give you some “cool” points as well. (See what we did there?). Just make sure you’re doing it the right way. No-show socks are the best way to go, but if you are going barefoot, take some precautions with foot powder. Check out our guide and picks for no-show socks right here.

Summer Style Don’ts:

 

Wear Heavy Fabrics

Skip heavy wools, knits, and tweeds during the summer months. Not only are you going to feel miserable, it just doesn’t look right. Stick to fabrics like cotton and linen, and in light weights; denim or lighter, that’s it.

 

Wear Flip Flops All The Time

If you’re at or on your way to/from a body of water it’s fine, but any other situation, regardless of how casual, is no place for sandals. Opt for canvas sneakers or other casual shoes like boat shoes/drivers or espadrilles. Don’t forget to check out our picks for the best men’s shoes for summer.

 

Get Too Casual

Look we get it, high temps and casual social settings may encourage dressing down but it’s no excuse not to dress stylishly and appropriately. You can always look sharp and timeless simply by keeping a rotation of essential items in the right colors and materials. There’s no excuse for wife-beater tank tops and basketball shorts, no matter how hot it is!

Dorian’s Outfit

Floral Shirt

Style Essentials For Hot Weather

No matter where you live, you’re probably battling some heat right about now. You’re probably also wondering how the hell you’re going to look put-together and stylish in this type of weather.  Don’t worry though, we’re here to help!  We’ve got a batch of easy tips that are not only going to have you looking cool, but staying cool as well.

 

Lightweight Fabrics

Start by opting for breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton (for chinos, t-shirts, and polos) and linen and linen blends (for suits, shirting, and shorts) for hot weather dressing. One warning though, we don’t usually recommend most linen pants as they’re often too thin and sheer (yikes!).

Keep It Covered

A lightweight straw hat is a great way to keep the sun and heat off and give your head and face some protection. Don’t forget to check out my summer essentials e-book for more on what styles we think are best!

Light Colors

As you can probably imagine, dark colors are going to absorb the heat and sun and make you hot, so we highly recommend going with light colors like tan, white, light grey, and pastels if you’re looking for a pop of color.  For more color tips, check out our color guide for details.

Breathable Footwear

Lightweight, low profile footwear is a stylish way to keep your cool in hot weather. I recommend canvas or fabric slip-ons like Toms or Soludos and loafers like driving mocs or boat shoes as casual and dressier options. Unless you’re at or going to some body of water, you can skip the sandals. Real talk, no one wants to see your toes, pedicure or not.

Lightweight Layers

Believe it or not, the right layers, like a linen shirt or polo w/ a linen or lightweight cotton jacket, will actually keep you cooler. There’s a reason nomadic Bedouins in desert countries wear light colors and layers, it actually traps cool air and lets it flow around you. Stylish Italians are also experts at utilizing this method of layering breathable fabrics to look put-together and stay comfortable.

Shorten Up

As I’ve shown you, there’s a right and wrong way to wear shorts, and as long as they fit properly, letting your legs breath can help keep you cool and have you looking casually stylish. One caveat though, shorts don’t transition well from day to night, so default to a lightweight pair of chinos if you’re needing to wear something for the whole day and on into the evening.

With the right choices, looking stylish and staying cool are both well within your reach this season, now don’t forget some sunscreen!

Here are some of my favorite picks for warm weather style; for more, make sure to check out the video!

Linen Shirts:

Uniqlo

H&M 

Brooks Brothers Shirts

Brooks Brothers Dress Shirts

Polo Shirts:

Uniqlo

H&M

Banana Republic

Brooks Brothers

Linen and Cotton Suits/Blazers:

H&M Linen Suit Jacket/Blazer

H&M Linen Suit Pants

Banana Republic Linen Suits/Blazers

Brooks Brothers Cotton Blazers

Linen and Cotton Blend Pants:

H&M Pants

Uniqlo Chinos

Bonobos Cotton and Linen Pants

Hats:

Brooks Brothers Fedora

Stetson Straw Hat

Brooks Brothers Straw Hat

Slip-On Shoes:

Soludos Shoes

Tod’s Suede Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafer Options

Vans Canvas Shoes

Budget-Friendly Shorts:

Uniqlo Shorts

H&M Chino Shorts

H&M Cotton Shorts

Gap Linen Shorts

Gap Embroidered Shorts

Banana Republic Stretch Shorts

Banana Republic Printed Shorts

Surf-Inspired Shorts:

Billabong, Hurley, Quiksilver Shorts

More Shorts:

Bonobos Shorts

Bonobos Printed Shorts

Vince Shorts

Brooks Brothers Shorts

Brooks Brothers Linen/Cotton Shorts

Brooks Brothers Seersucker Shorts

Vineyard Vines Shorts

Top 10 Men’s Spring Essentials

There’s only a few weeks of Winter left, so pretty soon we’re all going to have to start thinking about transitioning to our Spring wardrobe. So in addition to your year-round Men’s Essential staples that are already in your closet, Jordan O’Brien from The Gentlemans Cove and I each came up with a list of 10 Spring Essentials that every man should own.

 

 

My Top 10 Men’s Spring Essentials

1. Lightweight, Spring Suit

Whether you go with a linen, cotton, seersucker, or lightweight wool suit, these options will make a statement and keep you cool throughout the Spring and Summer months.

Lightweight Suit Ashley Weston

$650 – J. Crew Ludlow Geyser Grey Italian Wool Suit
$500 – Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Navy Windowpane Suit 
$300 – TopMan Dark Brown / Burgundy Suit 
$105 – H&M Dark Green Cotton Stretch Suit

2. Linen or Lightweight Blazer

These lightweight blazers are perfect for casual Fridays at work or heading to lunch or dinner with friends. They’re a great way to insert a stylish statement while keeping cool. Linen will wrinkle a bit, but that’s part of its character so embrace it.

Lightweight Blazer Ashley Weston 1

$400 – Suitsupply Havana Green Check Sportcoat
$358 – Brooks Brothers Windowpane Linen Sportcoat
$168 – J.Crew Unstructured Ludlow Cotton-Linen Blazer
$99 – H&M Linen-Blend Navy Blazer  

3. Gingham Button Up Shirt

I love gingham shirts for the Spring because they can be worn dressed up with a suit or blazer or dressed down on their own or underneath a sweater. I included some great lavender, navy, and light grey gingham options below.

Gingham Button Up Ashley Weston

$450 – Ralph Lauren Purple Label Aston Gingham Dress Shirt 
$88 – J.Crew Ludlow Navy Gingham Shirt
$80 – Banana Republic Grant Fit Silver Gingham Shirt
$55 – The Tie Bar Grey Gingham Shirt

4. Silk Knit Tie

There’s no other brand that I love more than The Tie Bar. The quality, construction, and color/pattern choice can’t be beat by any other brand. Like I’ve always said, they’re not paying me to say this.

Silk Knit Tie Ashley Weston

$25 – The Tie Bar Scramble Knit Blue Polkas
$25 – The Tie Bar Knit Strip Brown
$25 – The Tie Bar Knitted Wine
$25 – The Tie Bar Midnight Navy

5. Polo Shirt

Polo shirts instantly make an outfit look more put together and Spring is the perfect time to start wearing them. I like John Varvatos, but be careful if you’re not in shape or have erect nipples because their silkier shirts will highlight these areas. The fit on Theory and Fred Perry polos is excellent and H&M is my go-to when I’m more price-conscious. You’ll need to replace those roughly every 8 weeks though due to fading.

Polo-Shirt-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Clothing-Fit-Guide $198 – John Varvatos Collection ‘Hampton’ Silk & Cotton Polo Shirt
$95 – Theory Cotton Polo
$85 – Fred Perry Navy/White Tipped Polo Shirt
$13 – H&M Polo Shirts

6. Short Sleeve Button Up Shirt

Not only do short sleeve button-up shirts look stylish, but every man (regardless of age or body type) can wear these. There’s currently so many great options from J.Crew and come March/April, Topman will have an equally great selection.

Short Sleeve Button Up Ashley Weston $480 – Prada Slim Fit Star Print Cotton Poplin Shirt
$128 – Todd Snyder Short Sleeve Floral Print Shirt
$60 – J.Crew Short-Sleeve Shirt in Jungle Print
$60 – J.Crew Short-Sleeve Oxford Shirt in Blue
$60 – J. Crew Short-Sleeve Shirt in Striped Heather Poplin 
$55 – TopMan Blue Abstract Print Short Sleeve Casual Shirt

7. Suede Bomber Jacket

I’ve maintained in some of my other videos and articles that you should save your suede for Spring. Well, it’s time to break out those items. I love the options below – you can choose from navy, light grey, and brown suede jackets. The A.P.C. jacket is a BIFL piece and will never go out of style.

Suede Bomber Jacket Ashley Weston$1,455- A.P.C. Louis W Suede Bomber Jacket
$1,085 – Hackett Mayfair Suede Bomber Jacket
$160 – TopMan Light Grey Faux Suede Formal Bomber Jacket
$160 – TopMan Faux Suede Formal Bomber Jacket

8. Penny Loafers

Finally we’re entering ankle season, which means penny loafers can finally be worn. I love Ferragamo’s loafers (I got a pair for my fiance Dorian 2 or 3 years ago) and they’re totally worth the price because they definitely hold up and still look great after years and years of wear.

Ferragamo Penny Loafer 2 Ashley Weston$760 – Ferragamo Penny Loafer Shoe
$195 – Jack Erwin Archie Penny Loafer Hazelnut
$185 – Johnston & Murphy Stratton Penny

9. Suede Monkstraps

Suede monkstraps, whether you get a dark brown, grey, or navy pair, can just take an outfit to another level. It’s such a stylish touch to any outfit and can be worn with a suit, chinos, or jeans. Make sure to Scotch Guard them before you wear them for the first time – always gotta protect your suede items!

BB Suede Monk Straps Ashley Weston$698 – Brooks Brothers Navy Suede Double Monk Strap
$398 – Brooks Brothers Suede Double Monk Strap Shoes
$275 – Crosby Square Conley Double Monk Strap Shoe (Espresso and Navy)
$80 – H&M Suede Monkstrap Shoes

10. Chinos

Chinos should only be worn in Spring, Summer, and early Fall and that’s it. They’re a great alternative for those days when you don’t feel like wearing jeans and when you want to just feel cool and comfortable.

Chinos Ashley Weston$575 – Maison Margiela Cotton-Twill Chinos
$75 – J.Crew Broken-In Chino in 484 Fit
$30 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Chinos
$30 – H&M Chinos Skinny Fit

Jordan’s 10 Men’s Spring Essentials

1. Huaraches

These as well as other great alternatives were included in my Summer Essentials E-Book. A lot of Jordan’s picks I actually included in that e-book so be sure to check it out if you haven’t already 🙂

Huaraches Ashley Weston $165 – Vintage Artisan Classico Brown
$88 – Chamula D.F. Dk. (Brown or Navy)
$88 – Chamula Cancun with Natural Crepe Sole

2. Linen Suit

Linen, as well as the other lightweight fabrics I also included in my list, is very breathable and will keep you cool during the warmer months. Here are some of my favorite items currently available.

Linen Suit Ashley Weston$2,000 – Burberry Slim Fit Wool Silk Linen Three-Piece Part-Canvas Suit
$349 – Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Check Linen Suit
$99 – H&M Linen-Blend Suit Jacket
$50 – H&M Linen-Blend Suit Pant 

3. Panama Hat / Straw Fedora

Whether you need some extra sun protection or want to look stylish while staying cool, straw hats are super breathable and lightweight. Every year I get J.Crew’s panama hat, but it only lasts the season before it starts to fall apart. I’m currently eyeing Loro Piana, Brooks Brothers and Stetson’s hats because I know I can count on the quality and construction.

Panama Hat Ashley Weston 1$735 – Loro Piana Laurence Straw Panama Hat
$298 – Brooks Brothers Straw Fedora
$287 – Lock and Co Napoli Hat
$105 – Stetson Men’s Centerdent Fine Panama Hat
$65 – J. Crew Paulmann panama hat with striped band

4. Basic Striped T-Shirt

Striped t-shirts are super easy to insert into your current wardrobe. They look great with your suits, blazers, bomber jackets or just on their own.

Stripe Tshirt Ashley Weston$90 – Todd Snyder Slim-Fit Striped Cotton T-Shirt
$88 – Todd Snyder Fine Stripe Button Pocket T-Shirt in Maroon
$60 – J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Indigo T-Shirt in Stripe
$45 – J. Crew Garment-Dyted T-Shirt in Microstripe
$35 – TopMan Selected Homme Navy and Off White Stripe T-Shirt

5. Long Sleeve Henley Shirt

I like long sleeve henleys when they’re worn as a layering piece, so underneath a casual button down shirt paired with some dark wash jeans and boots or sneakers. If you’re a slim or wider gentleman, I highly advise against wearing henleys on their own because they emphasize your body size even more (and not in a good way).

Long Sleeve Henley Shirt Ashley Weston$150 – Rag & Bone Slim-Fit Mélange Cotton-Blend Jersey Henley T-Shirt
$59 – L.L. Bean Signature Slub Henley
$39.50 – J.Crew Slim Broken-In Henley

6. Denim Jacket

If you’re new to wearing denim jackets, I suggest going with a black or dark grey version because it’ll be a lot easier to wear, especially if you wear jeans a lot because you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a Canadian tuxedo.

Denim Jacket Ashley Weston$295 – Rag & Bone Standard Issue Washed-Denim Jacket
$195 – All Saints Mens Hockett Denim Jacket
$90 – Levi’s The Trucker Jacket (in rinse or lamar black stretch)
$40 – H&M Denim Jacket

7. Lightweight Jacket

On those windy or rainy days, having a lightweight jacket that can combat the elements while looking stylish is always what I strive to find.

Casual Jacket Ashley Weston$280 – Saturdays Travis Windbreaker (Sage or Clay)
$200 – J. Crew Field Mechanic Jacket
$160 – Under Armour Sportswear Meters Panelled Shell Hooded Jacket
$40 – Uniqlo Lightweight Packable Hooded Jacket

8. White Sneakers

I have a whole video and article dedicated to white sneakers because I truly believe every man, regardless of age or body type, should own a pair.

White-Sneakers-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-EssentialsHeader$100 – Nike Tennis Classic Ultra
$75 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith Sneaker
$65 – Converse ‘Jack Purcell’ Classic Low Top Sneaker

9. Classic Timeless Pair of Sunglasses

Be sure to check out my Sunglasses story for specific options I recommend based on your face shape.

Rayban Wayfarer Ashley Weston$325 – Oliver Peoples L.A. Coen Sun
$140 – Ray Ban RB2132 58 New Wayfarer
$95 – Warby Parker Barkley Sunglasses
$95 – Warby Parker Beckett Sunglasses

10. NATO Strap

Interchanging your watch straps is an easy way to insert some fun and personality into your outfit.

NATO Strap Watches Ashley Weston

Here’s a great place for straps that I love – these are my favorite for Spring:
$8 – Navy Perlon Nato Strap
$8 – Navy and Grey Nato Strap
$8 – Dark Brown Perlon Strap
$8 – Grey Perlon Strap
$9 – Black, Red, And Green “JAMES BOND” PVD Nato Strap

As far as watches go, see my Watch article/video.

Men’s Summer Essentials Ebook

In this ebook, I’ll detail the items you need for summer, why you need them, and where to get them – in designer and budget-friendly options.

These items will work very well with the rest of your year-round essentials, so if you haven’t seen that series, check it out first.

My goal is to ensure you’re comfortable, wearing appropriate colors and items for the season, while looking amazing and not like a douchebag.

So download the book, pour a glass of… something (I prefer rosé) and let me show you the good stuff!