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

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

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 3 Outfits For Spring & Summer

The warm weather will be here before you know it so it’s time to start thinking about your Spring and Summer wardrobe options. With that in mind, here are my Top 3 Favorite Outfits for Spring & Summer 2018. All of these looks are super versatile and are going to have you looking stylish no matter what’s on your calendar. Don’t forget to check out all the info below for each outfit’s details.

 

 

Outfit #1

For this first outfit, I started with a lightweight blue suit that’s great for summer and paired it with a fun Hawaiian print shirt to add some extra personality. You could also try a floral or botanical print shirt, and it’s a great way to give your suit a whole new vibe. I then added a tipped pocket square that picks up some of the colors in the shirt and finished the look with penny loafers and a cool pair of blue framed sunglasses. For a relaxed suiting look like this, I also like having a slightly shorter hem on the pants to show a bit of ankle.

Outfit Details

Designer Suit: Brooks Brothers Suit

Budget-Friendly Suit: H&M Linen Suit Jacket and Linen Suit Pants

Floral Shirt: J. Crew Shirt 

Shirt Alternative: Topman Shirt

Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Pocket Square 

Designer Loafers: Prada Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafers: Johnston & Murphy Loafers

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sunglasses 

 

Outfit #2

For the second look, I went with an everyday monochromatic look that’s relaxed but still well put-together. This light blue shirt in linen very lightweight and breathable and I paired it with another summer staple, a crisp pair of chinos. I finished the look with grey suede driving loafers to bring it all together.

Outfit Details

Shirt: Uniqlo Linen Shirt

Chinos: J.Crew Chinos

Alternative: Uniqlo Chinos

Belt: Brooks Brothers Leather Belt

Shoes: Tod’s Suede Tie Driving Moc Loafers 

Loafer Alternative in Brown: Tod’s Suede Driving Moc Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafer Options: Zappos

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sunglasses

 

Outfit #3

For the third and final look, I went with another “elevated casual’ outfit that’s great for both the week or weekend. I started with a lightweight, unlined blazer and paired it with a relaxed mandarin collar button up and some green chinos for a splash of color. As I mentioned in my color matching article, I love pairing blues and greens together and the crisp white shirt is the perfect complement. I finish it with some fresh white sneakers to add a relaxed vibe.

Outfit Details

Blazer: Brooks Brothers Blazer

Budget-Friendly Blazer: H&M Blazer

Button Up Shirt: Topman Shirt

Chinos: J.Crew Chinos

Chinos Alternative: Uniqlo Chinos

Sneakers: P.F. Flyers Sneakers

Sunglasses: Tom Ford Sunglasses

2 Budget-Friendly Men’s Summer Essentials

Linen shirts and chino pants are 2 Men’s Summer Essentials that are also great if you live in a tropical, warm climate year-round. I more-than-briefly discussed them in my Summer Essentials Ebook, but since I’m about to leave on a tropical getaway (follow me on Instagram for all the fun), Dorian and I stopped by one of my favorite budget-friendly stores to show you what to get and why.

$20 – Uniqlo Premium Linen Shirt – white, light blue, light grey, and navy
$40 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Flat Front Chino Pants – navy, khaki, and white

Why I love them

  • Their linen shirts are super breathable, well-constructed, have a good, slim fit without being too slim, and they’re budget-friendly. What’s not to love? Be sure they fit according to these fit rules, though.
  • You can pair the shirts with chinos or shorts, either tucked or untucked and throw on some white sneakers, penny loafers, suede driving mocs with a casual belt and you’re good to go for casual or more dressy casual outfits.
  • The chinos have a fantastic slim fit (one of the best I’ve seen, actually) and I love that Uniqlo will hem them for free right after purchasing them in-store. There’s no other budget-friendly brand, that I know of, who does this. Be sure your chino pants are fitting properly before buying, though!

POTW: 2 Summer Items

This week, since I’m in New York, I wanted to feature a few summer items from a friend and one of my favorite New York-based designers. On top of that, I’ve been meaning to hang out with Barron from EffortlessGent.com, so what better way to kill a few birds with one stone?

$148 – Todd Snyder Short Sleeve Navy Floral Collared Shirt
$150 – Todd Snyder x PF Flyers Suede Rambler Lo Sneaker in Beige

Budget Friendly Options

$55 – Topman Navy Floral Print Short Sleeve Shirt
$100 – Adidas Originals Court Vantage Sneakers In Brown BB0128

Here’s why I love them:

  • The 100% high quality linen coupled with the navy and white color palette of the shirt will keep you cool all Summer long for years to come.
  • The champagne suede sneakers are a great way to add a stylish, yet neutral color to your summer wardrobe. Wear with the floral shirt and some white or light blue denim, navy or charcoal chinos or shorts.
  • You get what you pay for. High quality materials and construction coupled with well thought out, sharp designs are hard to come by. Trust me.
  • Did I mention these are neutral items that are easy to incorporate into your existing wardrobe?!

Best Ways To Wear

$125 – J.Crew 484 Slim Stretch Jeans in Whitford Wash
$40 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Flat Front Stretch Chinos in White
$25 – H&M Chino Shorts in Navy