Editor’s note: Click here for another look at a casual menswear outfit.
We’re still rolling right on through the hot days of summer here at The Style Guide (and elsewhere) — hopefully by this point, you’ve made it out from the office to a refreshing lake, pool, sprinkler … you name it. If you haven’t and are worried you’re running out of time, fear not! There’s still plenty of time before Labor Day to hit the water in style. Just as with other situations — from Sunday brunch to a first date — there’s a lot to be said for keeping your casual style on-point (especially for that first date). That means paying attention to proper fit and fabric, plus other details — right on down to the gear you bring along in your everyday carry. Even if the pool or beach happens to be a short stroll away from your humble abode, you should still take the time to smarten up — it’s not Jersey Shore out here, right? Grab the gear below, and consider this a full primer on what to wear to the beach this August. To offer up your own suggestions, check out The Style Guide on Facebook, and see what I’m bringing in my beach bag on Instagram.
The Swim Trunks: JACHS NY Circle Print Hampton Swim Trunk — $59.40
Let’s start with what you most need for hitting the water — great swim trunks. While your style-obsessed author is all about sticking with neutral basics, it’s fun to mix it up sometimes. And if we’re talking heading to the beach or pool for the last few weeks of summer, you’ve got an opportune chance to switch up your swim trunks. JACHS NY produces elevated takes on casual sportswear, and these trunks are a refined addition to that assortment. The side fasteners add a bit of a tailored feel, and the trimmer fit should be more flattering than baggier trunks.
The T-shirt: JackThreads The Daily Vee — $15
We’re sticking with just a V-neck T-shirt here, with the idea that you’ll be catching some rays in the meantime. Don’t think of this as just any tee, though — approach it like a style upgrade. On the other hand, it would also be agreeable to rock a slim striped shirt in case after-beach drinks at a nice restaurant are in the mix (that’s also where refined swim trunks will serve you well). JackThreads does just about every #menswear item you could ask for at low prices, and this T-shirt is no different. The fabric quality should be surprisingly high for just $15, and the agreeable price point will leave plenty of room for a few extra brews at the beach.
The Sneakers: SeaVees Hawthorne Slip-on Standard — $78
Why stick with stylish slip-on sneakers here as opposed to flip-flops? Well, style should be all about versatility whenever possible. These particular sneakers give you styling potential ranging from a slim summer polo to your favorite pair of chino shorts — as well as the printed swim trunks seen here. You can slip them off easily when you get to the beach or pool, and then slip ’em back on just as easily (don’t forget no-show socks once your feet dry off). Plus, the price is quite agreeable as far as classic sneakers go, and the folks at Huckberry offer speedy shipping.
The Watch: Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch — $175
The first key when heading to the beach or pool — aside from grabbing a watch that looks reliably stylish — is picking up a timepiece that can stand up to the rigors of the day. In this case, that means the Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch is the way to go. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters, which should be more than enough depth. And it features a slightly beefier 43mm case diameter, perfect for getting beat up a bit. It’s a classic diver style with a sporty face that eschews numerals in favor of clean lines, so it’s as style-ready as it is durable.
The Sunglasses: Knockaround Fort Knocks Polarized Sunglasses — $29.98
How do you meet the dual forces of sand and sun in style? Easy — with sunglasses that are built to take a beating, yet retail for a dirt-cheap price. The Knockaround Fort Knocks gets that balance exactly right, with a model that features injection-molded frames for extra durability, along with a sharp and versatile Tortoise/Amber blend. The frame shape isn’t too sporty or too dressy — it’s right in the sweet spot, making this one pair of frames you can wear at a summer wedding or as a complement to a slim pocket T-shirt and lightwash denim.
The Hat: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap — $39.98
If you’re going to invest in a hat, you might as well reach for one you can wear the rest of the year. The Huckberry Explorer’s Cap is precisely that hat, featuring a versatile navy color and neat touches like a customized compass embroidery on the back. The color plays nicely off the blue print on the swimsuit (and the red of the tee), and it’ll work much more stylishly to shield the sun from your face than a regular athletic logo ballcap might. It’s made in the U.S.A., and the cotton sweatband should ensure your head doesn’t get too hot in the sun.
A high-quality beach towel and sunscreen are the two things that should be in every beachgoer’s bag from the get-go, so it stands to reason that you should reach for quality when on the hunt. The Onia Tilden Towel blends the brand’s signature swim print & fabric with absorbent French terry fabric for a towel that’s at once functional and stylish. The fact that it’s close in color to the swim trunks is another bonus. And an easy-to-carry sunscreen provides the same benefit as a bulkier bottle, but it won’t weigh your bag down. On that note, you would do well to grab a middle-of-the-road option to haul your gear — take the JackThreads Denim Tote, for instance. It looks like your favorite pair of denim but hauls a heck of a lot more than your pockets ever could.
Stylish, smart accessories should be top of mind wherever you’re headed, but doubly so in a situation where others might let their style slip a bit. Slim swim trunks with an eye-catching print — not one that’s too wild — are a great place to start, especially when matched up with classic slip-on sneakers and a simple-yet-stylish V-neck tee. Understated accessories, like a classic ballcap and versatile sunglasses, help complement the rest of the look. And you should never forget tough essentials like a great dive watch when hitting the water — or a nearby bar thereafter. If you’ve got other suggestions to finish off this #menswear ensemble, head over to Twitter to continue the debate.