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.

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

Top 3 Men’s Shoes For Summer

Warm weather and summer events make for special shoe demands, so you want to be prepared with the right summer footwear. You want shoes that are going to keep you cool and also look stylish with your summer looks. One caveat before we jump in though: while you may be tempted to wear flip flops all summer, don’t do it! Unless you’re headed to the pool or beach you should be wearing a proper shoe, so keep them in the closet unless there’s water present.

Don’t forget to check out all of our picks below!

 

 

 

Boat Shoes

A summer classic, these are great all around casual shoes. Stick with the classic style in leather and look for colors like brown, tan, navy, or grey. Despite what you may have seen, these aren’t meant to be dressed up though, only wear these with shorts and very casual chino outfits.

Boat Shoe Picks:

Sperry

L.L. Bean

Rancourt & Co.

 

Espadrilles

A stylish warm weather canvas shoe, espadrilles are very lightweight and breathable. These look great with everything from shorts to chinos and you can get them in solid colors or go for a fun pattern.

Espadrille Picks:

Soludos

Diegos

Castaner

 

Suede Driving Mocs

A great casual shoe with a little more polish, you can wear driving mocs with everything from shorts to chinos and a blazer. I recommend these in suede over leather because in the warmer months leather can just look a bit to heavy and formal. Two rules about drivers I always see guys break: never wear them with a suit (too casual), and always wear them without socks or with no-show socks.

Suede Driving Moc Picks:

Tod’s 1

Tod’s 2

M. Gemi

Budget-Friendly

Dorian’s Outfit

Floral Shirt

Best Budget-Friendly Men’s T-Shirts For 2019

That’s right, it’s t-shirt time again! As we’ve discussed in the past, t-shirts are a critical essential wardrobe item, no matter what time of year it is.  You can wear them on their own, layer them and wear them casually or dressed up. Now that it has warmed up it’s the perfect time for us to share all of our favorite picks for The Best Budget-Friendly T-Shirts For 2019!

For more t-shirt basics, don’t forget to check out our Essential T-Shirt Guide and our T-Shirt Fit Guide.

T-Shirt Picks

Uniqlo – $9.90 or 2 for $17.90

Great fit overall and, like all things Uniqlo, we loved the quality for the price.

J. Crew Mercantile – $14.99

We didn’t really love the overall fit as it was quite roomy in the body and sleeves but for those of you broader guys or those who carry a little bit more room around the middle, this would probably a great option for you.

Topman – $10 or 2 for $16

We weren’t big fans of the roomy fit, which almost fits a size up from what’s listed, and material quality which was quite thin.

H&M – $6.99

An ultra-budget option, the H&M t-shirt was quite thin and had some fit issues in weird places, like a tight armpit and billowy sleeves as well as a very long body.

Zara – $17.90

At almost $18 we weren’t fans of the expensive price and firmly believe that t-shirts aren’t really something men should spend a lot on.  The fit was quite tight around the middle and almost tapered in the body, so not the best fit, even for tall, slim guys. Fabric-wise, it had a weird stretch composition that we didn’t like and, overall, this was our least favorite of the bunch.

Banana Republic – $18

Another fairly expensive option, we did think that this option had a pretty good fit, despite a few issues with the sleeve width.  If you’re a more athletic guy with bigger arms this would probably be a great option for you.

Express – $22.90

While on the trim side, the overall fit was pretty good.  Our biggest problem with this option was the price, at $23, it was just too expensive.

The Winner: Uniqlo

By far our favorite of the bunch, the combination of fit, price, and quality made it tops in our book.

Dorian’s Outfit Details & Sizing

Shirt Size: Medium

Jean Size: 32×32 

Height/Weight: 6’3” 185lbs

Jeans

Shoes

Watch – Rolex Submariner Date

Watch Strap

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