Memorial Day really is one of the first significant outdoor occasions of the spring and summer for many around the country – after a long winter, summer’s imminent, and the holiday might bring with it some travel and time with friends and family. Ideally though, it involves getting outdoors for a little bit of everything — maybe a barbecque, a trip to the water or a little exploring. But what do you wear for such an occasion? Tweaking the standard outdoor get-up doesn’t take that much work — and you can support some quality brands in the process.
The Shirt: Buck Mason Navy Crew Slub Tee — $24
First seen not too long ago on this site’s roundup of the best T-shirts for spring and summer, this pick is much more than just a T-shirt. The deep navy color and slubby texture differentiate it from a plain old tee, and the rounded hem and slouchy collar are added design touches, too. The fact that it’s American-made doesn’t hurt, either. If the situations calls for a polo, you could always pick up a cheap yet well-designed option from this year’s Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collaboration or perhaps a nice short-sleeve buttondown from Ernest Alexander.
The Shorts: J. Crew Factory Stadium Short in Chambray — $29.50
Some might argue that these are just a shorter version of jogger pants – why add in something like a drawstring waistband to a pair of shorts? Well, when you’re out and about on Memorial Day, you might find yourself playing catch, grilling or taking a hike — the elastic waistband adds a casual and functional element to these chambray shorts, while the fabric and construction are a notch above athletic shorts (no belt needed, either). If you find they’re still too casual, you could grab a more refined pair from this list.
The Sneakers: GREATS Brand White Wilson Sneakers — $49
A full review of these sneakers can be found here — but in short, they’re the ideal combination of excellent looks for a stellar price. They’re quite a bit cheaper than a pair of similar white kicks from the revamped Converse Jack Purcell line, they look more crisp than a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars (no pesky logo or side stripe on the sole), and they’re still functional enough to move around in — plus, at that price they can take a bit of a beating without too much worry. If you want a more no-frills option, you could always pick up a leather slip-on (the latest release from GREATS) or a beater pair of canvas Vans sneakers.
The Socks: Richer Poorer Beginner No-Show 2-pack — $15
No-show socks are among those essentials for the warmer weather that can make quite a big difference — they prolong the life of your sneakers and help your kicks fit better while avoiding the foot funk that can come from going barefoot with shoes. The simple design options for Richer Poorer socks mean these are a better choice than no-show or low-cut athletic socks, too.
The Sunglasses: J. Crew Factory Tortoiseshell Sunglasses — $19.50
Some people are all about their sunglasses and really dig expensive pairs – if you’re not one of those people, or if you’re the type to lose them or sit on them throughout the summer, it doesn’t hurt to snag a pair or two of these cheap shades. You still get a unique frame shape, neat tortoiseshell pattern and the confidence of buying from J. Crew Factory — better than a drug store pair, right? You could always spring for a customizable pair of Ray-Ban’s New Wayfarers or an American classic, Randolph Engineering Aviators.
The Watch: Timex Weekender Slip-Thru Strap Watch — $40.45
Timex watches are renowned for the combo of price and durability they provide. The company doesn’t produce anything overly fancy, but its Weekender series works with plenty of NATO watch straps and provides a classic, clean design that’s not too casual or dressy. In this case, the red and blue stripes of the strap play off the blue in the shirt and the grey of the shorts, although a red floral NATO strap would also provide a fun pop of pattern and color. An efficient field watch would also work here.
With some slight tweaks, this same outfit template could work for nearly any warm-weather situation in your future — and either way, I hope your Memorial Day entails great times with friends and family … and maybe a cold beer or two.
What do you think of the above get-up?What will you be wearing (and doing!) for the long weekend?