Summer is here, which means reducing layers, opting for brighter colors, and above all, having fun when choosing a more casual appearance, but don't go too crazy, and remember to always dress for the occasion.
Depending on where you live, your mileage may vary regarding each of these recommendations, but for most of us gents, arguably everything you could ever need for a stylish Summer will reside in this post. So let's get into it.
1. WHITE TRAINERS
I'm a sucker for a quality white low-top sneaker with no branding and a clean silhouette. This is essential for any man, regardless of age, and their versatility is unmatched. Just look through my style archive, and you'll quickly see what I'm talking about.
If you already have some white sneakers but want to branch out in a slightly different and sportier direction, a pair of German Army Trainers (GATs) can help elevate your looks to a new level. They're equally as timeless and perhaps slightly less versatile than a plain white sneaker, but I can guarantee that most other men won't be rocking these sneakers out in town, especially if you live in the U.S.
2. LOAFERS & DRIVING MOCCASINS
Nothing says "casual but stylish" like leather loafers or suede driving moccasins. These will help you look laid back but not too much so. Just remember to wear no-show socks... seriously, never wear visible socks with loafers unless you pair them tastefully with a formal set of attire (such as a suit), especially during the Summer!
Driving moccasins are essentially penny loafers but lighter and often made from suede leather or canvas. These are even more casual than typical leather penny loafers and can't be dressed up as easily. Wear them with a bright pair of chinos or jeans, but I recommend you abide by the same rule of wearing no-show socks.
3. NO-SHOW SOCKS
These should be worn with most sneakers and especially loafers/driving moccasins, but it also depends on the outfit you're putting together. Regardless, during Spring and Summer, cuffing your pants to show a little ankle is a subtle but charming way to add some extra flair to your look; having no-show socks enables you to make the most of that effort.
You need a few pairs of these socks to look crisp, clean, and refined. When socks poke out of your low-top sneakers, they ultimately distract people's gaze from your footwear and disrupt the harmony in your outfit due to the sharp contrast.
Here are some easy and affordable pairs that I have gotten a lot of use from.
4. CHINO SHORTS
Admittedly, I never liked wearing shorts all too much (look at those pale legs), and depending on who you ask, some old-fashioned men will tell you that you should NEVER wear shorts, but it's the 21st century, and most people love them. So, when it comes to nailing shorts, stick with chino shorts that aren't too short or long. The proper length should usually be somewhere above the knee but below mid-thigh.
Generally, if you have athletic features and your legs aren't too thick or bulky, you can get away with a shorter length. If you're a heftier gentleman, stick with a size that ends just right above the knee, or reconsider wearing shorts—a perfect opportunity to wear the next item on this list.
5. CHINO PANTS
Arguably the most versatile pants, chinos can cover you for nearly any situation. They can be dressed up or down and come in various colors. I advise that you first own a pair of khaki chinos. After purchasing these, if you intend to purchase more colors (an intelligent choice), I recommend olive green, navy blue, or a stone color (light gray).
6. WHITE JEANS
Not everyone thinks about wearing white, but it looks excellent when paired with blue for the Summer. I would consider wearing white denim, especially if you want to work out and have more of an athletic physique. If white isn't something you like or feel comfortable in, try stone (light gray) colored chinos in a straight-slim or athletic taper. If you are a heftier guy, opt for a straighter cut of jeans or chino.
7. POLO SHIRTS
There isn't much to say here. A black or navy polo should be in every man's closet and is a classic staple for the Summer months. Depending on who you are, this might sound a bit too generic, but when your polos fit you well, they can cover you for nearly any occasion. Simply put, having at least one polo in your closet is essential.
8. BAND-COLLAR SHIRTS
The band-collar shirt is a great way to add variety to your wardrobe. Due to the frequency of minimizing layers for the Summer, I find that to stand out, we must find tasteful ways to be different while still being quintessentially stylish. This is not always easy to do, and there is often a lot of subjectivity baked into the execution, but I find that a band-collar shirt looks fresh and different enough to elevate your look for the sunny Summer months.
9. CAMP COLLAR BUTTON-UP SHIRTS
Camp collar shirts are another great way to add variety to your Summer wardrobe, especially when incorporating fun but tasteful patterns. I particularly enjoy a camp collar shirt with geometric and striped designs. While I understand that floral patterns can easily be overdone, if you pair them with a clean pair of white denim or some neutral-colored chinos (or chino shorts), they can be a lot of fun, especially at the beach or, for example, a Hawaiian-themed party.
10. LINEN SHIRTS
Linen shirts are an ideal Summer garment because they are light and breathable. However, be sure to opt for an appropriate color because these lightweight, constructed fabrics are also more accessible to see-through. That said, when you opt for lighter colors, they can look exceedingly handsome when paired with chinos, jeans, shorts, etc. So, if comfort matters a lot to you, try some linen shirts and pants/shorts for the Summer.
Sunglasses not only make you look 100% cooler, but they also protect your eyes from the sun's rays. Research has shown that ultraviolet (UV) light can damage the iris, retina, lens, and cornea, leading to permanent vision loss. It is often recommended to wear sunglasses year-round for this reason, especially during the Summer months. So all the more reason to make a good investment not only for your style but also for your general health.
12. LIGHTWEIGHT JACKETS
Lightweight jackets for the summer? Yes! If you live someplace where it gets colder at night, you should have a functional but stylish piece of outerwear to layer up for warmth while looking dapper.
When it comes to your options, don't overthink them. Go for a nice denim trucker jacket or a lightweight bomber. These are timeless, and you can't go wrong with a neutral color; they'll typically pair well with most other neutral colors. Blues, grays, tans, and olive green can work wonders for you in bombers or shirt jackets, and for denim trucker jackets, stick with something in a medium wash (darker colors are often better suited for Fall and Winter wear), and you'll be all set!