Style Suggestion: What to Wear When It’s Hot Out

Editor’s note: Click here for other #menswear style suggestions.

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.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
The Shirt: Good Man Brand Slub Stripe Polo — $75.98

A polo that hits the sweet spot in terms of lightweight fabric and solid fit.

A polo that hits the sweet spot in terms of lightweight fabric and solid fit.

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

A pant that manages to be ultra-stretchy and yet still sharp.

A pant that manages to be ultra-stretchy and yet still sharp.

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

Just the right shoe to complement an outfit made for movement and comfort.

Just the right shoe to complement an outfit made for movement and comfort.

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

A pair of no-show socks that keeps popping up -- for plenty of reasons.

A pair of no-show socks that keeps popping up — for plenty of reasons.

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

Whereas a leather belt will weigh you down, this number is built with a ton of stretch for lightweight comfort.

Whereas a leather belt will weigh you down, this number is built with a ton of stretch for lightweight comfort.

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.
Florsheim

The Watch: Szanto Military Field Watch — $149.98

The right balance of casual, rugged and stylish.

The right balance of casual, rugged and stylish.

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

Sunglasses that are dressy yet not overly so.

Sunglasses that are dressy yet not overly so.

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,

-Beau

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Style Suggestion: What to Wear on the 4th of July

Editor’s note: Check out the following link to catch last year’s Fourth of July style suggestion.

It seems as if just yesterday we were talking about what to wear on Memorial Day — and here we are, now talking about what to wear on the 4th of July. Time flies, right?? The 4th of July is often a sort of “style perfect storm” of sorts — it’s likely pretty hot out, there’s the potential to be moving from one activity to the next (swimming at the beach followed by patio drinks, anyone?) and  you very well might have to travel just to do all that. So, first things first — cover off on that stylish weekender bag to get you where you’re going. Maybe fill it with some nice men’s grooming products, too? Now that that’s taken care of, we’ll head onto the below outfit suggestion — it’s all about staying cool and stylish, versatile and ready for anything. If you have any other summer style questions or thoughts, let me know via The Style Guide Facebook page. Enjoy the day, and thanks for reading!

The Shirt: American Trench x Good Life Clothing Indigo Dyed Tee — $72

A collab between two brands that emphasize American manufacturing results in one heck of an indigo tee.

A collab between two brands that emphasize American manufacturing results in one heck of an indigo tee.

So, $72 isn’t exactly the cheapest T-shirt on the market. But when you’re going to be rocking a T-shirt in place of a slim polo, you’d better grab one that’s eye-catching, slim-fitting and very well-made. It’s definitely an aspirational sort of purchase, but if you’re able to get your hands one, your wardrobe would be all the better. The indigo dye (a nod to the U.S.A!) is rich and very unique, for one. Plus, it’s actually made in America — something that’s still to be applauded in the menswear manufacturing game. Toss on a lightweight jacket if it gets breezy, but know that this tee has you set in style in the meantime.

The Pants: JackThreads Slim Chino in Khaki — $49

A classic pair of chinos at a tremendous price.

A classic pair of chinos at a tremendous price.

We’re going with the ever-versatile JackThreads Slim Chino here, because it always pays to have a crisp pair of khaki chinos on hand, no matter the style situation. These chinos would work for travel style (whether it’s across the country or just across town), and with a little care, you could probably wear them again in the same weekend — again, watch out as you man the grill. The price is stellar, the fit should be flattering for lots of guys out there, and you can rock that color for months at a time.

The Sneakers: Brooks Heritage Chariot Sneakers — $79.99

Timeless sneakers that work well in terms of color and styling potential.

Timeless sneakers that work well in terms of color and styling potential.

What’s more American than khaki chinos and an indigo tee? A great pair of lifestyle sneakers from an American original, that’s what. Pairing multiple shades of blue might seem like a risky style move at first, but it’s one that pays off when you consider the rich navy’s contrast against the lighter indigo dye. The blue-and-white color is a nice, subtle style nod to the holiday, and having checked out a pair of Brooks Heritage Chariot Sneakers myself, I can tell you they’re every bit as comfortable as the brand’s first-class running shoes — with more style points, too. They work well with the casual chinos, yet you could still class up this combo with a crisp chambray shirt if need be.
Florsheim
The Socks: Pair of Thieves No-show Spelurking Socks — $10

Red-and-blue socks make for a touch of patriotism paired with functionality.

Red-and-blue socks make for a touch of patriotism paired with functionality.

Although these no-show socks are designed to, well, not show, it’s still wise to grab a pair that incorporates seasonal colors and a good deal of comfort. You can read more about these guys in my post on classic no-show socks for summer, but rest assured that Pair of Thieves makes socks that are comfortable, well-fitting and stylish with a bit of an attitude. Even if not many people see your socks, that’s definitely something they’ve got going for them; and at that price, you can pick up a few pairs without straining your bank account too much.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Double-Striped Webbing Belt — $14.50

Just the right weight, color and texture for spring and summer.

Just the right weight, color and texture for spring and summer.

When packing for travel (or dressing everyday), it can be a bit of a practice to take care of things right down to the last detail. In this instance, that means not forgoing a  belt. But we’re not just using any ole’ number to hold up those slim khaki chinos — this J. Crew Factory belt combines some nautical vibes (the D-ring loop and double-striping) with a textured white cotton that looks all kinds of right up against the lighter blue shirt and navy sneakers. It’s simple style touches that make a big difference, and if you’re into that, here’s a spring and summer belt for you.
G-Star Raw 468 x 90

The Watch: Form-Function-Form Horween Leather Timex Chronograph — $129

Premium Horween leather meets a tough, dependable watch.

Premium Horween leather meets a tough, dependable watch.

This superb and stylish watch-and-leather strap combo, sold via the great folks at Huckberry, definitely gets a lot of things right on the dual style-and-functionality front. For one, the watch plays off the classic Timex Weekender by adding in a few more bells and whistles (not a ton, though). For another, the combination of a black dial with a rich brown leather Horween strap is a handsome combination that stands out stylishly with a plain pocket tee and dark blue denim during the rest of the summer. That means in this outfit, it’s a downright stunning accessory.

The Sunglasses: Knockaround Fort Knox Polarized Sunglasses — $29.98

Downright cheap, simple and stylish -- not bad for under $30.

Downright cheap, simple and stylish — not bad for under $30.

If you couldn’t just by looking at ’em, the Knockaround Fort Knox Polarized Sunglasses pack a heck of a lot of style into one exceptionally well-priced package. It’s perhaps one of the accessories for which Huckberry is so well-known; they’re definitely not your average pair of shades, that’s for sure. The lenses are polarized, and the frames are injection-molded for extra durability — that’s exactly why they’re worth quite a lot more than roughly $30. While they didn’t make this site’s list of the best men’s sunglasses to buy for summer, they’re a very worthy honorable mention, and quite the pair to bring with you for the 4th of July.

Meeting such a patriotic holiday in style is a lot like dressing for any other holiday, be it St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas. That means nodding to the time of year — in this instance, mixing some red and blue — while working in both some more forward moves (like rolled chinos) and timeless classics (like a stylish leather watch). Crisp sneakers and durable shades work to finish it all off, too. Of course, this time of year is about more than what you wear — it’s also about taking time with family and friends and being thankful for this great country we live in. However you do that, I salute you and wish you the best in style.

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Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.