While the calendar shows that we’re well into August, the summer heat shows no signs of dissipating — maybe that’s just the unfortunate circumstance of navigating the overcrowded subways, but I think not. And so, that’s what we’re getting into today (if the title wasn’t enough). That crucial-yet-simple question — what to wear when it’s hot out — is still pretty relevant, and it’s a good thought to keep in your back pocket even if it feels like summer’s winding down. Now, the good news is that if you live in an area where it’s ungodly hot all year-round, you’ll have plenty of use for the below style suggestion. It’s partly functional, it’s (hopefully) stylish, and it’s geared toward taking you from Sunday brunch to the park and beyond — you can even repurpose this #menswear look during a casual day at the office. For those who value versatility in style (which should be, well, all of us), that’s a must-have. Got other questions or thoughts on what you’d like to see on The Style Guide? Get at me on Twitter.
The Shirt: Good Man Brand Slub Stripe Polo — $75.98
If you want to look put-together even on a day off, a crisp-yet-casual polo sold via the fine team at Huckberry will set you right. This particular number features a peached slub jersey fabric that’s going to be breathable and move with you. In fact, it should feel every bit like a slim pocket T-shirt, yet it looks that much more polished thanks to a collar that’s hand-sewn by shirtmakers — your average polo, this is not. The trim fit is to be applauded (even in a larger size like XL), and it’ll stylishly complement your choice of pants (particularly the ones below).
The Pants: OLIVERS Apparel 5-Pocket Pant — $168
From stylish-yet-functional essentials like the brand’s Movement Kit to staple pieces like the 5-Pocket Pant, OLIVERS is as solid an option as any if you’re looking for essentials to fight the heat. Although these are, well, pants and not fabric-reducing shorts, this particular pant is made with a nylon-spandex blend for stretch and comfort. Plus, they’ve got the super-crisp look of a classic pair of chinos and comfortable four-way stretch properties built in. Lastly, the folks at OLIVERS make these bad boys in Los Angeles, so you’re supporting American manufacturing while looking great.
The Shoes: Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes — $125
Whether you’re stepping out on a summer holiday or exploring a big city on the weekend, a sharp pair of leather shoes that mix casual and refined style can’t go wrong. With that versatility in mind, Jack Erwin crafted the Cooper Boat Shoe, a favorite set of kicks for yours truly. They feel as comfortable as a pair of sneakers, the Caramel Nubuck is handsome and high-quality, and the elongated loafer last means they have a dressier look and feel than other boat shoes on the market (although you can’t go wrong with something like a refined leather loafer here). An underrated thing about these shoes? You can also rock them with no-show socks for a bit of breezy comfort.
The Socks: Sock Genius Villa Park Stripe No-show Sock — $10
If you’ve kept up with all things men’s style here on the blog, you’ve seen Sock Genius No-show socks around these parts before — and for great reason. Now, if you’re already well-stocked with other comfortable no-show socks, you’re probably fine to pass on picking up this pair. But if not, I’d strongly suggest you snag a set to finish off your outfit. A breathable pair of no-shows will help out your feet and your shoes tremendously in the long run, and the neat color & pattern on these is a small bonus when you kick off your shoes at the end of the day.
The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. Crawford Belt — $36
Sometimes, a leather belt can just feel a bit too cumbersome. Particularly when it’s just too hot out, you want to reduce excess weight as much as possible — and yes, that can even be done by reaching for a lightweight stretch belt. Arcade Belt Co. makes unique-looking belts that blend different materials — in this case, full-grain leather and high-tensile elastic. The result is a stylish belt that, like the polo and chinos above, moves with you as you walk around town or settle in for a relaxing Sunday brunch (also an area where the stretch could help, too). It’s a bit pricey, but it’ll pay off given the potential for mixing and matching with style staples like dark raw denim in the fall, too.
The Watch: Szanto Military Field Watch — $149.98
Now, there are certainly other casual watches that could work here, but the key here is to reach for a watch that’s going to help you fight the heat (in a small way) is a solid move. Although we all love a rich leather watch, the leather strap isn’t exactly the best option when it’s hot — but a canvas-strap watch, with its lightweight material, is much better (to put it simply). A durable field watch might seem an unusual option, so if that feels too casual, you could grab a stylish dive watch instead. Yet, the charcoal strap and dial shown here are understated, the dial design itself isn’t too loud, and the 42mm diameter is just about the right size — it’s a bit bigger in diameter than a classic dress watch, but it’s well short of the world’s largest watch, ya dig?
The Sunglasses: Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses in Dark Stripe Tortoise — $165
You might recognize these Steven Alan Optical sunglasses from this site’s roundup of the best men’s sunglasses for summer, and they’re making another appearance here for good measure. While the military field watch above skews a bit more casual, these sunglasses find that style middle ground nicely — they’re refined and a bit elevated, but they’d still look right at home with a polo and chinos. Paired with the rich nubuck boat shoes, they make this an outfit that’s equal parts ready for casual Friday and a quick pint at the bar thereafter. And, they can even complement a lightweight suit at your next summer wedding.
It can be tough to gear up for a hot day in style — particularly if it means battling a hot commute, for example. But making the decision to dress stylishly and functionally can definitely be done if you know where to look. Fabrics that are breathable and lightweight, but done up in tailored silhouettes like the ones seen here, are the way to go if you’ve got to head to the office and then to a post-work engagement. And if you just want to look a little snappier on the weekend, chinos and a polo with built-in stretch are the perfect anchor for any look. Got other picks, or items you’d replace? Let me know in the comments!
Stay cool out there,