What To Wear Today: Beat the Heat

Ernest Alexander

Editor’s note: For more posts covering #WTWT (What to Wear Today), click here.

When it’s hot out, there’s the temptation to stray from dressing well and move towards dressing more basic – less layers equals less heat, right? As with any pursuit though, hot weather shouldn’t equal less attention to detail – and it doesn’t have to mean that. Certain staples can carry you through the season while still keeping you looking good.

Just one way to beat the heat in style -- a polo from this year's Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collaboration.

Just one way to beat the heat in style — a polo from this year’s Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collaboration.

Starting up top, while a stylish T-shirt isn’t  a problem in and of itself, on some occasions a polo looks more crisp – and unlike a T-shirt, it can work more readily on its own at the office, too. You could also put forth a more fashion-forward take on the T-shirt though, as style legend (and Esquire Fashion Director) Nick Sullivan does here.  It’s a look that simultaneously casual and cool, but not sloppy in the slightest  (the key is the fit of the blazer, along with its more rumpled texture – a jacket from this list might do the trick while also working in spring and even fall if layered correctly).

Another versatile layering option that could work in the heat. Pocket T-shirt by Everlane. Unconstructed blazer and pocket square by J. Crew Factory.

Another versatile layering option that could work in the heat. Pocket T-shirt by Everlane. Unconstructed blazer and linen microdot pocket square by J. Crew Factory.

Those who prefer a more tailored look would be wise to reach for a linen buttondown, something with some cooling texture but in the traditional shirt structure  – Stock Manufacturing Co.’s shirts are made in America and hit the mark perfectly (a price is paid for that quality, though). On the budget end of things, the versatile Oxford-cloth button down can be worn with almost anything and can be picked up for a positive steal from Uniqlo, although sizing is somewhat scattered at this point.

A pair of crisp, tailored, go-anywhere chinos like these from Apolis are equally wearable in the summer as in the fall and winter.

A pair of crisp, tailored, go-anywhere chinos like these from Apolis are equally wearable in the summer as in the fall and winter.

And in the summer months as well as well as the rest of the year, the ever-versatile chino is your friend – traditional dress pants here could be a little too insulating if you need to be out and moving. If a dress pant is unavoidable, plenty of brands stock suit separates that combine lighter colors and textures with a slimmer cut (J. Crew’s Bowery line accomplishes this task phenomenally). Shorts worn in a more daring fashion are also on the table for the everyday now as well – believe it or not! Check out ways to style this bolder move here.

Just one shoe option to make things more bearable on a hot summer's day. White sneakers by GREATS Brand.

Just one shoe option to make things more bearable on a hot summer’s day. White sneakers by GREATS Brand.

If you simply can’t put away dark denim and don’t mind the heat, a classic pair in a straight or slim cut with a dark wash is never out of the question, although light-wash jeans still have business-casual potential as evidenced by this look here.  Footwear is another area that’s going to really make or break both the versatility and the overall “cooling” factor of an outfit. Think leather loafers, crisp white sneakers or even runner-style sneakers in a neutral color. Any of those three options could work seamlessly with slim chinos and a polo, or a well-fitted T-shirt and blazer combo.

And because socks are really a prerequisite for extending the life of your shoes, a set of stylish no-show socks from a brand like Richer Poorer could work exceptionally well – the brand’s no-shows in particular are well-priced, well-designed and very comfortable. Wearing no-show socks with dress shoes is a move that’s oft-debated, but if the shoe is comfortable in that instance and the move isn’t too attention-grabbing,  it could absolutely work (wearing that look to a boardroom meeting might not go over too well though, the thought goes!).

The Sturhling Original Asoct Agent is a crisp, classic option for both casual and dressy summer wear.

The Sturhling Original Asoct Agent is a crisp, classic option for both casual and dressy summer wear.

Unlike socks, other accessories are dependent on the situation to some degree – but keepings minimal and crisp with a trim leather watch is always flattering to any pared-down look  (I.e. the T-shirt and blazer combo mentioned here).  In sportier situations though, a NATO strap is both functional and can still be swapped without too much work into a shinier steel dive watch dial or even that leather dress watch.

This shot offers a look at the versatility of a classic braided leather belt (this one's from Target's Merona line).

This shot offers a look at the versatility of a classic braided leather belt (this one’s from Target’s Merona line).

More casual belts are going to be your friend as well – think something with the same texture as a fall belt, like this functional and inexpensive braided leather option  from  Target, or this cotton braided belt from J. Crew Factory. A two-sided reversible belt could also pull double duty if a middle-of-the-road option is needed.
Ultimately when it comes to summer style, it’s a matter of choice –make the choice to keep things tailored, crisp and put-together despite the heat, and a world of style possibilities will open up from there. Crucially, items that work throughout the year – that slim T-shirt under sweaters in the winter, those chinos during transition times in the fall – can still work here when mixed the right way.

Let me know – how are you beating the heat? What combos or items from this list would you try out? Which ones would you leave in the closet? I’m always open to questions – hit me up via beauhayhoe@gmail.com or on Twitter @BoKnowsClothes.

Ben Sherman US

The Product Review: GREATS Brand Wilson Sneakers

In-person with some clean kicks from a "great" brand. T-shirt by American Apparel. Shorts by Banana Republic. Watch by Timex Ameritus and patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

In-person with some clean kicks from a “great” brand. T-shirt by American Apparel. Shorts by Banana Republic. Watch by Timex Ameritus and patterned watch strap by The Knottery.


Finding a great pair of sneakers for the spring is a move that can make it a lot easier to shop around for the rest of your gear. An awesome pair of well-made sneakers have tons of styling potential — jeans, chinos and shorts can all be worn with ease with some simple shoes. GREATS, out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a brand that’s been featured a few times in recent weeks on this site (and elsewhere lately) for delivering innovative, modern sneakers at outstanding prices. They seem to be launching new models every couple of weeks, and they’ve also partnered with menswear luminaries like Nick Wooster on various designs.

But it was the brand’s simple Wilson silhouette that first caught my eye. This pair of sneakers made my spring style wish list a few weeks ago, and I was lucky enough to pick up a pair before jetting off to Florida recently for a weekend vacation (a few more photos of that trip can be seen on my Twitter and Instagram feeds).  The Wilson is available in quite a few colorways — and in both canvas and suede options — but the all-white pair was my first pick, namely for versatility and crisp style potential.

A look at the Wilson sneakers in all-white right out of the box.

A look at the Wilson sneakers in all-white, fresh from the box.


The sneakers arrived in what you might call the brand’s signature blue-and-white packaging. Notably, they didn’t have any scuffs or marks on first inspection — sometimes tricky to do with all-white items. Out of the box, they came with thinner ripcord laces, in addition to a handy backup pair of thicker white cotton laces — although I found the hint of stretch in the ripcord laces to be a nice bonus.

Not a ton of branding on these sneakers other than the blue-and-white "G" logo on the heel.

Hardly any logos on these sneakers other than the blue-and-white “G” on the heel here. Pull tab is a handy addition for slipping them on.


The Wilson features metal shoelace eyelets, a canvas upper, pull-tab heel and captoe construction, which adds a nice bit of durability in a mold similar to the Converse Jack Purcell — no need to worry about the toe giving out on these bad boys. The branding on these is thankfully minimal, with only a blue-and-white Greats “G” logo placed on the back heel and the middle sole.

Plenty of styling potential with these sneakers. Buttondown shirt by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Plenty of styling potential with these sneakers. Buttondown shirt by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.


These sneakers feature sturdier construction and a thicker heel than other models of white sneakers I’ve had, which is a definite plus (no knock on those Tretorns, though). They felt comfortable with a pair of no-show socks when walking for several hours, and they broke in right away — no crazy stiffness or toughness to the canvas upper or heel. And as far as styling potential goes, these sneakers have definitely got it. On my Florida trip, I threw them on with both a charcoal pocket tee, khaki shorts and a white watch/patterned watch strap, as well as a patterned short-sleeve buttondown and lightwash jeans (as seen above). The clean white color would also work with dark denim or olive chinos, and I plan to try them out with a casual blazer & light grey chinos in the coming weeks, too. Standard khaki chinos would also work well.

Relatively minimal shape and a durable-looking captoe complete these kicks.

Relatively minimal shape and a durable-looking captoe complete these kicks. Ripcord laces add some nice stretch, too.

As always, price was a big factor in my decision to pick these up; other minimal sneaker models are out there (and in more luxe materials like leather), but these are far and away the best bang for your buck at $49. For spring and summer style versatility, these are great to have on-hand — if you catch my drift.

Editor’s note: Get $10 off a pair of GREATS sneakers using the code ROOKIEX.

Do you have any experience with GREATS sneakers? What do you think? And how would you style them a pair like this?

Spring Style Wish List

It might not feel much like spring yet around these parts (or elsewhere for that matter), but rest assured — it’s on its way. That probably has lots of us plotting and scheming how to get our hands on product geared toward spring weather. (Just picked up one of these in white earlier this week, in fact). Whereas fall and winter dressing centers around layering up, spring style is about using crisp, lighter-weight basics combined with transitional pieces to bridge the gap between seasons. That most likely means taking a few items and using them consistently for weeks on end. And that means reaching for quality essentials that gel with the rest of your wardrobe. Read on for my take on a few spring must-haves.

#1. GREATS Brand Wilson Sneakers — $49

Classic-looking sneakers from the Brooklyn brand GREATS.

Classic-looking sneakers from the Brooklyn brand GREATS.

There’s a reason these shoes made the top of this list — an awesome pair of white sneakers can be a great workhorse piece all through the spring and summer months, pairing with everything from dark denim and a colorful V-neck tee to more polished get-ups, like a slim blazer and khaki chinos. And these kicks from GREATS (based in Brooklyn) are redefining the standard for what a sneaker can be. They look tremendously well-made, they feature classic lines and relatively minimal branding (aside from the blue ‘G’ on the heel), and the price is enough to make you spit out your morning coffee. Heck, buy those and a pair in light grey (or maybe navy) and you very well might set for spring and summer sneakers. It’s also worth noting the brand has some stellar-looking new releases launching on the site soon. (Note: Use this link here and get $10 off when you buy a pair of GREATS sneakers!).

#2. Bonobos Striped Jersey Crewneck — $98

Yet another piece that Bonobos is doing extremely well, from construction to the slim fit.

Yet another piece Bonobos is doing extremely well, from construction to fit.

Bonobos does an awful lot more than pants well these days — that much becomes apparent by the season. Here, they’ve taken a traditional nautical look — the Breton stripe — and slimmed down the fit, bulked up the neckline and cuffs and added some nice-looking shoulder detailing. The cotton fabric should be nice and soft, ideal for layering over a white OCBD or crewneck T-shirt. Combine this crewneck with another neutral staple (like an olive chino) and those GREATS sneakers above and you’ve got a casual outfit ready for a boat ride and drinks at the marina after (or just a regular day away from the water, your call).

#3. Combatant Gent Khaki Slim Fit Travel Jacket — $70

A warm-weather staple from a relatively new online retailer.

A warm-weather staple from a relatively new online retailer.

Compared to some of the other options on this list, this khaki blazer from Combatant Gent is a steal for your wallet. Combatant Gent has received what seems to be a positive reaction  in terms of quality and fit from the digital menswear community, a bonus given that products with low, low prices can often be poorly made and even more poorly received. This khaki “travel jacket” features large patch pockets and is allegedly made with 100% cotton twill — no mention however, of whether the travel jacket name comes from the fact that it’s made with stretch fabric, a la J. Crew’s Traveler suiting line. Regardless of that, it’s time to take the plunge on Combatant Gent — for the price, this blazer should be a nice spring and summer change of pace over casual OCBD’s (and maybe even white sneakers).

#4. Welcome Stranger Stadium Jacket – $149

The Stadium Jacket from San Francisco's Welcome Stranger.

The Stadium Jacket from San Francisco’s Welcome Stranger.

This piece makes a triumphant return to the blog this week following its inclusion as a Style Pick of the Week last weekend. This lightweight jacket is made in the U.S. with lots of attention to detail by San Francisco boutique Welcome Stranger. The lightweight heather grey cotton-blend gets a lot of things right – bomber-inspired construction, a slim fit and the ability to be dressed up or dressed down. And because it’s a neutral color, it wouldn’t look out of place with pants in nearly every shade imaginable – practically anything besides light grey, unless you’re into the monochromatic look that seems so in vogue nowadays. So it has all that going for it — that price is another thing entirely, however.

#5.  Michael Bastian x UNIQLO Polos 

A washed cotton polo from the Uniqlo x Michael Bastian collection. Jeans by J. Crew (484 fit). Belt by Merona. Desert boots by Clarks. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

A washed cotton polo from the 2014 Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collection. Jeans by J. Crew (484 fit). Belt by Merona. Desert boots by Clarks. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

There hasn’t been any official word yet as to whether the famed American menswear designer will be back with a third iteration of his fast-selling collaboration with, appropriately enough, fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo. If last year’s success is any indication though, odds are definitely looking up for another run of well-designed, comfortable and ridiculously affordable polos. Last year’s offerings served up some unique, more fashion-forward designs that some liked and some didn’t, so we’ll see if this year’s collaboration yields a return to more classic styles (think bold, Americana-inspired rugby stripes and ’70’s vibes, perhaps). If they’re priced as last year’s styles were — roughly $29 on-sale — these pieces will likely fly off the shelves in good time.

What’s on your spring wish list? What picks do you like from the list above?

Show Time: Packing for a music festival in style

This weekend, I’m heading to Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco. Along with being excited to see some great music (including personal favorites like The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Haim, CHVRCHES, Local Natives, Bleachers and Lucius) I’m also excited to get out of New York City and experience all that San Fran has to offer alongside my lovely girlfriend, Liz. This, of course, presents a pretty neat opportunity to hit the road in style! And while what I’m wearing certainly won’t be a central focus of the trip, it’s always nice to be dressed appropriately for any situation, including festival-going.

While that could quickly devolve into wearing clothes more suited for a rave than being out among real people, for instance, it’s my goal to not let that happen. That’s why I’ll be bringing the following assortment of clothing on the road with me, packed into my Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag (look for a full product review on this piece in the coming weeks).

Most of the spread for the weekend.

Most of the spread for the weekend.

Chambray shirt (J. Crew)

Short-sleeve geometric popover (J. Crew — similar here)

Striped tank top (Bonobos)

Charcoal pocket T-shirt (American Apparel)

White V-neck T-shirt (Not pictured — similar here)

Dark denim (Uniqlo)

Black denim (Not pictured — American Apparel)

Khaki shorts (Banana Republic — similar here)

Braided leather belt (Target)

White sneakers (Tretorn)

Brown desert boots (Steve Madden)

Two pairs of patterned socks (Similar styles here)

Brown leather watch (Stuhrling)

Black Timex Weekender watch with patterned strap (The Knottery)

Light charcoal cardigan (Frank and Oak) — similar here

Black Harrington jacket (Not pictured – -Ben Sherman)

Now, when packing for a trip like this, I took care of the obvious first — checking the weather. The forecast in San Francisco through the weekend calls for temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70’s, with partly cloud skies — ideal weather for escaping the sometimes-crushing heat of NYC and also a nice, temperate way to spend some time outdoors. Of course, being on the water and all, I expect it’ll get chiller at night and potentially rainy (genius thinking, right??). So with all that in mind, here’s more on what I came up with.

Blue on blue on blue.

Blue on blue on blue.

Yes, the popover, chambray shirt and tank top all feature shades of blue. Like others, I have a bit of a thing for that color — but I’m breaking away from it, or trying to, at least. I plan to wear the chambray shirt with dark denim and desert boots for travel. as the desert boot is polished and yet sturdy enough to allow me to get through the airport, and around the city, in style. And the great thing about the chambray shirt is that I can definitely see myself pairing it with black denim and sneakers to head to the festival, or wearing it with khaki shorts elsewhere.

The popover serves much the same function — if it does heat up, I can turn to a short-sleeve option and pair it equally well with black or blue denim, and sneakers or desert boots in turn. The breezy tank top is yet another option to turn to if it gets warmer than expected — the stripes are bold and bright, perfect for a summer festival without straying too far into neon territory. And in case I feel like a change of shirt in between the festival and dinner, I wanted to have a couple versatile extras on hand — the charcoal pocket tee is just different enough than a regular T-shirt, and a white V-neck is simple and straightforward.

On the accessories front, a pair of patterned socks in a relatively neutral grey or black can work interchangeably with the desert boots, blue denim and any of the tops. And because my black jeans are slim enough to wear sans belt, a braided brown leather belt will work the rest of the time with my dark denim and brown leather strap watch. The brown watch is dressy enough to wear out to dinner, but clean and minimal enough to wear at a show, while the Timex Weekender with interchangeable straps creates another set of colorful, coordinated options. To top it all off, if it gets chilly or rainy (or both), I can throw on either the black Harrington jacket or the charcoal cardigan and still look polished and crisp. At least, that’s the plan anyways.

Look for a recap next week of what worked (and what didn’t work) with this packing plan!

What’s your go-to festival get-up and what’s in your bag to get there? Leave it in the comments below.

The Product Review: Tretorn Nylite Canvas Sneakers

A great pair of white sneakers. T-Shirt by Bonobos. Jeans by Levi's. Watch by Stuhrling. Sneakers by Tretorn.

A great pair of white sneakers. T-Shirt by Bonobos. Jeans by Levi’s. Sneakers by Tretorn.

Nothing beats a crisp, casual sneaker in the summer. Especially when days are hot, the ground is free of crazy winter weather, and you’re in need of something cool on your feet, few things are more ideal than the right canvas sneaker. While styles like the Converse Jack Purcell are plentiful in many places (as well as classic), sometimes it’s nice to change things up a bit with another pair of the best men’s sneakers. Particularly in the past few years, we’ve seen the classic white sneaker get a high-fashion upgrade, popping up outside runway shows and on menswear blogs with alarming regularity and with all different kinds of outfits. Now the great thing about classic white sneakers is that you don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars to snag the perfect pair — variations and price points abound, especially in this category. In particular, Tretorn’s done a great job separating itself from the pack, and their Nylite Canvas Sneaker fits the definition of the ideal pair of crisp, white kicks — all for an astonishingly low price. You can also find other picks for the best sneakers for men right here. Among other white sneakers, I also love the GREATS Royale Sneakers.

The breathable canvas exterior is surprisingly comfortable -- perfect for a day walking around NYC.

The breathable canvas exterior is surprisingly comfortable — perfect for a day walking around NYC. Watch by Stuhrling.

While on a recent spin through the men’s section at Club Monaco (a fun trip all on its own), I stumbled across just the pair of shoes I’d been looking for this summer. Tretorn’s canvas sneakers have gotten a lot of play across the Web recently for their clean styling and versatility (for more on their other sneaker offerings, see this review from Dappered). And this pair certainly meets my expectations. The sneakers are incredibly lightweight and breathable, perfect for strolling around sans socks.

Sneakers by Tretorn. Jeans by Levi's. Holding up very well so far.

Sneakers by Tretorn. Jeans by Levi’s. Holding up very well so far.

For being a low-cut sneaker, they wear very comfortably — they don’t feel flimsy at all, unlike other types of ankle-high canvas sneakers. The solid rubber sole seems pretty durable, something you’d expect from a company that originally started making car tires. After three consecutive days of wear across the past weekend and into the week, the shoes have held up quite well. And surprisingly for being all-white, they seem to resist dirt and stains pretty well. Stylistically as well, these sneakers are on-point. Without the clutter of additional colors or lines, they’re totally streamlined. Unlike a higher-cut sneaker (like the ALDO Gia), these pair more naturally with cuffed chinos or jeans and without socks. And they add a casual, yet crisp, flair to other outfits, too. The sharp white color helps ground more outlandish prints, including that shirt in the link from Saturdays Surf NYC (a personal favorite).

On top of their casual versatility (wearable with T-shirts, polos, printed short-sleeve shirts and shorts alike), these kicks could more than hold their own with something like an unstructured navy blazer (like this one seen here) and perhaps some light grey washed chinos and a heathered oatmeal henley. While that outfit might seem a bit odd at first thought, the surprising thing about a clean pair of white sneakers is the flair they lend to any outfit — sharp, and sophisticated … yet they’re still a sneaker — a nice sneaker, at that. When seeking out some new kicks, there’s no need to spend lavish amounts on a luxury brand. These Tretorn sneakers (and other ones in that range), are the ideal white sneaker for the price.

Again, if you’re still looking for suggestions for the best sneakers for men, click that link or check out GREATS sneakers.


Style Suggestion: Fourth of July

With everyone’s favorite patriotic holiday quickly approaching, I’m sure you’re wondering what to wear (or at least, I assume you’re planning on wearing some form of clothing for the holiday!). Around special events like these, there’s always the option to wear things with a full-on Americana tilt. In situations like this however, there actually isn’t a ton of need to go all out and wear, for example, an actual American flag print pair of pants. Keep things simple, stylish and classic — as well as well-fitting.  American-flag pants aside, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your outfit while still sticking to a patriotic color palette.

The Shirt

Chambray at an affordable price.

Chambray at an affordable price.

This shirt knocks out the blue portion of the outfit right off the bat. Assuming it’ll be hot where you are on the 4th, or at the very least a pleasant temperature, a shirt with short sleeves loses the added bulk of a long-sleeve shirt. And if short sleeves get too chilly when the sun goes down and before the fireworks start, a lightweight cotton sweater or cardigan in a neutral color could be handy to have near you. The above option pictured above from Old Navy is inexpensive and (from personal experience), just the right quality for the price point — not paper-thin, not too heavy either. It’s also available in a lighter-color wash, in case you feel the need to lighten things up a bit.  And perhaps most importantly, in an all-season fabric like chambray, this shirt is highly versatile (for more options on what to pair it with, see a recent post by yours truly on Effortless Gent).

The Shorts

J. Crew's Stanton short.

J. Crew’s Stanton short.

Directly on your lower half, we now see the red portion of the outfit. Without going full-on red, white and blue pants, a nice washed red shade will do the job nicely while losing the extra fabric of pants in the heat. In particular, these shorts from J. Crew have a stellar washed feel to them, without burning your eyes in terms of intense color. As with every other item in your closet, keep an eye on fit — the proper pair for your wardrobe  should hit above the knee and fit trim (stay away from cargo shorts!). If your plans call for something more dressy and you’d like to keep going with red bottoms, reach for a washed chino in a similar color. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a PR intern with Bonobos — I can say without bias that their pants really do fit as well as advertised!). Conversely, if the situation calls for some dark denim, reach for a slim, inky blue pair like these.

The Shoes

An All-American classic.

An All-American classic.

And here we have the white portion of the outfit. The key to keep in mind with this combination is that while it nods to the colors of the holiday, it doesn’t go overboard. Particularly, a subtle, classic canvas sneaker can be worn nearly anytime of the year, and so it just seems like a natural choice — especially in the heat of the summer. Additionally, it pairs equally well with colored shorts because of the stark white color, and it also wouldn’t look out of place with some cuffed denim or rolled chinos. If the bright white is too much, a simple grey pair could work, too. Keep in mind that the collared shirt up top helps you go more casual with your shoe choice. But, if it gets fancier on you and plans change, some polished-yet-casual loafers would be perfectly in order. And when going sockless with these shoes, keep in mind these tips about proper shoe (and foot) care.

The Rest

A simple summer belt.

A simple summer belt.

Although it’s assumed that your pants or shorts could most likely rest just fine without a belt based on proper fit, it’s always a nice fundamental touch to wear a belt (let’s say you get the urge to tuck in your shirt, or attend a gathering that’s a bit more dressed up). In the summer, keep things casual and don’t overdo it — avoid the shiny leather dress belt you might reach for with a suit, and go for something lighter-weight, like a cotton option with a hint of stretch. The above option from Club Monaco  is decently priced, available in most sizes and, more importantly, epitomizes summer casual, especially with the D-ring loops.

A clean and classic Timex.

A clean and classic Timex.

Adding in a watch can go one of two ways — if you stick with the largely casual version of this outfit and go with shorts and sneakers, something like a sturdy yet still-polished rubber strap watch could blend in perfectly with the rest of the casual outfit. And since the outfit and watch are both casual, there’s no need to worry about matching the black rubber strap to the leather on the belt. However, if you go with the dressier version of the outfit (denim or chinos and loafers), a stainless steel dive watch would be an excellent, versatile accent to the ensemble. Given the ability to go either way on this occasion, this Timex Easy Reader watch hits both points of the dressy spectrum. It’s well-made for the price point and can do almost anything, too. The leather strap is a go-between option to both dressy or casual outfits, yet the crisp, white face (with numerals) is sharp without being crazy minimal or too dressy. And although it wears somewhat smaller than some other brown-leather watches, it’s still an extremely valuable pick-up for the price point.

The biggest key with this patriotic (yet simple) outfit is to nail fit on the shirt and shorts and keep the accessories relatively minimal and simple, while nodding to the colors of the holiday. More importantly, these are just clothes — the biggest thing is to enjoy the day and have fun spending time with loved ones!