Editor’s note: To see another Style Suggestion for Memorial Day, click here.
Just as it’s, somewhat incredulously, nearly time to prep for dressing for a summer wedding so too, is it time to get ready for Memorial Day. There’s often a lot on the table — maybe you’ve got to sort out what to wear when traveling, and more crucially, what accessories to pack for a stylish trip. Hopefully, you’ll be somewhere relaxing, enjoyable and near the water. If that’s the case, we’ll be tackling the standard weekend-casual get-up below, and yet tweaking it for the #menswear fan more interested in looking good than taking it easy when it comes to style. In fact, it’s situations like these where you can set yourself apart (in a good way) by upping the ante just a bit. As it were, small style upgrades can even trickle down to your Memorial Day accessories (we’re talking things like leather coasters and a brass bottle opener from Owen & Fred, for example). But that’s another matter. The ensemble below is what you should keep in mind for a barbeque, an afternoon of patio beers, or just a relaxing day with family and friends around town — it’s got pieces you’ll recognize (the polo among them), but they’re all updated. Curious what I’ll be wearing for Memorial Day? Follow me on Instagram (no pressure, though!). And if you have other gear you’d like to see featured, let me know on The Style Guide’s Facebook page.
The Polo: SWIMS Getaria Polo in White — $90
Slim, stylish and made from comfortable, moisture-wicking fabric.
Is that pricey for a polo? Heck yes, it is. But the SWIMS Getaria Polo is not your standard baggy golf polo, nor is it your spongy, heavy pique polo of days past. This right here is a crisp, slim-fitting, comfortable polo that looks sharp and wicks sweat thanks to the PrimaLoft fabric. Yet, it doesn’t look at all like a sport polo — for one, there’s no pesky logo. And for another, the fit is actually trim, with sleeves that hit about mid-bicep. If it does get chilly, you could always grab a stylish spring jacket, and if a less expensive polo is more your thing, you could always grab one from this site’s guide to the best spring polos.
The Hybrid Short: SWIMS Paloma Hybrid Chino Short — $130
The functionality of a swim trunk, and the look of a tailored short.
Now, some slim chino shorts would work well here, too. And yes, we’re going with another pick from the same brand … why? Well, that’s easy. Memorial Day travel is sometimes all about packing light. And if you’re only taking a day trip or an overnight, you want to maximize space — and the Paloma Hybrid Chino is a ridiculously effective way to do that. They perform like a swim short and they’ve got an inner mesh lining, yet they’ve also got the peached surface of a chino short. And the front tab closure and tailored fit mean they wear like a regular pair of shorts. Take these into the water and onto the dockside patio with reckless abandon (or something like that). Oh, and if you need a belt when you hop out of the water, grab one with a nautical influence.
The Shoes: Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes — $125
A decidedly stylish boat shoe that’s not what your father wore to the beach.
Just when you thought you’d sworn off boat shoes for good, the style comes roaring back — in a very, very good way. Jack Erwin’s new boat shoes are crisp and uniquely stylish, built on a loafer last for an elongated profile that’s far different from more classic styles. They’re available in Navy Leather, Slate Nubuck and the Caramel Nubuck you see here, and they feature a white rubber outsole for sleek styling (again, different than other boat shoes). The great thing is, these would also work just as well with navy chinos and a white Oxford at the office, and in this case, they’ll set you apart from other flip-flop wearing fellas.
The Socks: Pair of Thieves Cool Hand Luke No-Show Socks — $10
Socks that don’t slide up — critical given the type of footwear you’ll be rocking.
So, while you very well might be in and out of the water this Memorial Day weekend, there’ll come a time when you need to slip on stylish shoes (like the Jack Erwin boat shoes above). And in keeping with those sleek shorts and sharp polo, you’re going to want a pair of socks that blends in seamlessly. Pair of Thieves uses designs that don’t look half-bad when worn on their own, and lucky for you and me both, this pair of socks slides nicely into shoes that are fit for the water or the walkway. Plus, the price is very agreeable. So agreeable, you just might be able to use the money you save for another beer.
The Watch: Timex Waterbury Dive Watch — $110
Nothing too fancy or expensive, yet every bit as solid.
It’s not often you’ll find a pair of swim shorts that cost more than a watch, but that’s the case here — yet, you still get quality and durability for which Timex is known. This stainless steel Waterbury is part of the heritage line introduced by the brand to commemorate 160 years in business (yes, 160), and it should reliably do the job as far as dive watches go (although in that sense, it’s only water-resistant to 50 meters). Even still, it’s tough to beat the combo of price, looks and simple style that should fit right in alongside a refined-yet-casual ensemble.
The Hat: Bridge & Burn “B” Flat Wool Cap — $48
No need to go with a Nike cap here, ehh?
Although it’d be easy to throw on a simple athletic logo cap, we’re going for something a bit more stylish today. Bridge & Burn produces essentials that are timeless yet incorporate a rugged, somewhat outdoors-y flair. That’s the case with this neat wool cap, which features classic six-panel design and a simple, smart logo (and if your name happens to start with the letter B…). Like worsted wool found in four-season suits, the wool in this hat should be breathable and crucially, offer protection from the sun.
The Sunglasses: J. Crew The Jack Sunglasses in Silver Navy — $98
A new (yet already-classic) option from a brand that nails all kinds of style staples.
Did you think we forgot these guys? Not quite. If the solid good looks and very agreeable price are any indication, you’ll likely be seeing a lot of J. Crew’s new sunglasses around The Style Guide in the coming weeks and months (including in this site’s recent summer sunglasses guide). The Jack from J. Crew is simple, straightforward and classic in nature, with some brighter blue lenses to amp things up a bit. The frame shape should definitely work with lots of face types, and the color goes nicely with grey chino shorts, white polo and caramel nubuck boat shoes. Not a bad way to finish things off, ehh?
The above outfit certainly doesn’t incorporate a lot of bold prints, crazy styles or even unexpected swerves — yet it’s the colors and textures, from the unexpected boat shoes to the hybrid shorts and deceptively performance-ready polo, that make all the difference. Essentials like a stainless steel watch and aviator sunglasses are going to effectively get the job done no matter where you go. And if you pair these pieces with other must-haves — say, a cool denim tote bag or a nice leather lanyard — you’re going to be set in matters of style for this trip and several to come.
What do you think of the above get-up? What will you be rocking this Memorial Day?