Above Photo Credit: Dan Taylor
Summer just isn’t the best season for dressing well. Mainly because it’s too damn hot to wear much. Your fabrics and colors better be light, because if you’re living this side of Yellowknife, a charcoal wool suit will turn you into a puddle of sweat. That doesn’t mean there’s still not plenty of opportunities to look and feel great. These are a few of the best, not too expensive options that’ll help you survive the heat in style…
The Versatile Loafer: Sebago Classic Penny in Dark Brown – $90.00 (reg. $135)
The dark brown, light brown, and sand color options are all built from mind-blowing soft leather. Extremely well constructed too. Sebago welt, leather sole, beef roll stitching, and made in the Dominican Republic. More versatile than a boat shoe and just as comfortable if not more so.
The Lightweight Patterned Blazer: J. Crew – $149 | Banana Republic – $150
Too bad they all can’t be as inexpensive as the pretty much extinct INC ultra light. You want something that’s cotton, linen, or a blend of the two. It should work with lighter chinos during the day, and jeans when the sun goes down. Both of these have extremely fine stripes so they look solid from a distance. A full review of the Banana Republic option to come post-tailoring. Since it’s B.R. it’ll be on sale quite a bit.
The Album: Black Keys “Brothers” – $9.00
The fact that it took over a year to get Brothers on this website is a bit of a crime. Here’s to hoping your pool party looks something like this.
The not quite white jean/chino hybrid: B.R. 5-Pocket pant – $69.50 (but goes on sale plenty)
Not nearly as heavy as denim but with more texture than a standard cotton chino. Will work with everything from t-shirts to sport coats. For those who want lighter colored non-khaki pants, but don’t like white jeans.
Non Staining Sunscreen: Banana Boat Titanium Dioxide Sunscreen – $7.99 for three
Yes it’s kids sunscreen. But what’s more important is what it says on the back of the bottle. The sun ray blocking ingredient is good ol’ Titanium Dioxide. Unlike the widespread sunscreen chemical Avobenzone (which goes by many names) Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide doesn’t turn to rust when washed in hard water. And that means you have no excuse not to wear it. Skin cancer isn’t anything to screw around with. If you’re fair skinned and pale, embrace it.
The Stand Out Polo: L.E.C. Jersey Stripe – $24.50 | Slub Contrast Placket – $39.50
Sure a well fitting solid polo is a can’t miss. But having one or two that are just slightly different is a good way to break up the monotony. Both are jersey (not pique) cotton, and both are from Lands’ End Canvas. Which is odd considering one is almost twice the price of the other.
The Rubber Strap Watch: Victorinox – $274.90 ($550) | Seiko – $155.15
Striped watch bands are fun but a slick watch rubber strap watch is just as casual and can go from yard work to blazer + drinks on a restaurant patio in a snap. Bright dials like these might be a bit tougher to wear, but they deliver the summer color punch easily. Seiko Photo Credit
The Uber-Relaxed Summer Suit: L.L. Bean Sig. New Twill – $129.98 ($194)
Our summer suit search is still ongoing, but it’s worth pointing out that a light cotton/linen summer suit won’t do you any good if it doesn’t move well. A lot of the inexpensive options can feel stiff. You want one you could feel great in while flopping down on a couch, or climbing into a hammock. The L.L. Bean Signature New Twill is precisely one of those, and the jacket and pants just got a hefty discount. Full review here.
The Meal: Gruyere Turkey Burgers (Originally from Everyday Food)
Take a break from the beef. These use the buttery, nutty white cheese Gruyere in the mix to bring the fat (and frankly, a lot more flavor). Really let them sear up for a minute or two at the beginning then move to a not as red hot part of the grill. Make em’ for your significant other. They should be impressed.
The Vacation Duffel: Duluth Pack Large Duffle – $265.00
Made in the USA and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Available in eight different colors including this vintage luggage looking khaki. Will at least triple the attractiveness of your car’s trunk.
The Sunglasses: Polo Ralph Lauren Cut Out Bridge Sunglasses – $112.00 ($140)
Just a bit sleeker than the still honestly preferred $75-$100 Ray Ban New Wayfarer. The Key-hole cutout on these gives them a hint of retro-feel, but doesn’t go all the way to costumey googly lens levels. Expensive even on sale. Made in Italy. Available in black too.