It’s always been harder for me to dress stylishly in the summer. The winter is easy; you just pile on layer after layer until you get something that just looks really awesome. Summer is the opposite; it’s a minimalist game. After all, when it’s so hot out, you just want to focus on a few core pieces that work really well together.
Summer is a great time to focus on bright colors, bold patterns, and interesting textures to keep you cool when the days are anything but. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with slipping on shorts and a T-shirt and calling it a day, there is some room to experiment and play around with different ideas. But if you’re concerned about where to start, well, we’ve got what you need.
Below, you’ll find 12 of our favorite shorts, shirts, shoes, and accessories to help you tackle this summer in the most stylish way possible. You’ll find quick and easy ways to elevate your wardrobe — while staying as cool in the face of sweltering heat.
The Best Men’s Summer Shorts
1. Patagonia Baggies Shorts
Patagonia Baggies are the best summer shorts, hands down. Originally meant for brutally hot days on the trail, they’ll do just as well as you’re running around town or sitting relaxing at home. The interior of the short has a comfortable liner to keep things breezy and cool, while the adjustable elastic waistband ensures they fit without the hassle of a belt. The actual construction of the sorts makes them great to use a bathing suit and their quick-dry coating means you can go from the lake to a bar without missing a single step. Plus, they come in about every single color imaginable.
2. Tracksmith Falmouth Shorts
While Baggies have been my go-to for summer shorts, these lined Falmouth shorts from Tracksmith are making quite the case for my second pair. Originally meant for running, they work just as well for running summer errands or just hanging out in the A/C. The length is perfect (I wear them up right above my hips) so my legs have plenty of room to breathe. Additionally, the secure side pocket makes it easy to tuck away keys or a wallet while you’re out and about. Also? They’re just supremely comfortable thanks to their lightweight nylon construction.
3. Rowing Blazers Elastic Cotton Shorts
But, if you do need to wear a pair of shorts that, well, looks like a bit more of a standard pair of shorts while still managing to be comfortable, these elastic shorts from Rowing Blazers will do the trick quite nicely. The elastic waist gives the shorts a really casual feel, but the pockets and the cotton construction make them more akin to a standard pair of shorts. In short (no pun in intended) they’re a great hybrid combination of your standard pair of outdoor shorts and traditional shorts. Just be sure to size down from what you’d normally get, as they run a little large.
The Best Men’s Summer Shoes
4. Vans Old Skool Sneakers
I’m a firm believer in the fact that every man should have a really sturdy pair of white, low-top sneakers. I personally like the look of the Vans Old Skool sneakers (the leather trim is an elegant touch) and will buy a new pair right before the start of summer and wear them everywhere. I beat them to hell — seriously, don’t feel bad about giving them a little bit of seasoning so to speak — and then toss them when they’re falling apart. The white goes well with pretty much everything making them a super versatile pair of sneakers.
5. Hoka One One Clifton Edge
If white sneakers aren’t your bag, perhaps you might be in the mood for something a little bit more . . . exciting? This colorway of the Clifton Edge from Hoka One One is a vibrant hue that’s bound to pop with a more natural outfit. While they’re originally meant for road running, they’re cushioned and supportive enough to keep your on your toes all day long.
6. Mulo Suede Loafers
However, not every occasion calls for a pair of sneakers, no matter how cool they may look. If you’re in a position where you’re in need of a dressier set of shoes, these suede loafers from Mulo will absolutely do the trick. The rich, caramel brown color matches well with pretty much everything, while their suede construction is very breathable on your feet. The outsole has good traction, so no need to worry about slipping and sliding around like you might in a pair of hard-bottomed loafers.
The Best Men’s Summer Shirts
7. Uniqlo AIRism Polo Shirt
As much as we’d all like to just live in tees, sometimes you need to raise the bar a bit and reach for something nice. Polo shirts can be a bit stiff on a summer day, but they don’t have to be. For this reason, I’m thankful for Uniqlo’s AIRism Polo shirt. The super-lightweight material makes for a shirt that’s breathable, while still managing to hold a good shape and look stylish. Plus, Uniqlo’s prices don’t break your bank, so feel free to stock up on several different colors.
8. Onia Shaun Terry Towel Polo
No, your eyes don’t deceive you — this polo shirt from Onia is made from a special terry material that mimics a, well, beach towel. Really lightweight with a texture that looks atypical but feels buttery soft, this is a perfect summertime polo shirt. The rich hue adds a burst of color to any outfit you pair it with while the buttonless placket evokes laid-back Miami-like vibes. It’s cooler than cool.
9. The Workers Club Camp-Collar Shirt
If you’re somehow not familiar with the camp-collar shirt, let me be the first person to introduce you to your new favorite style of the short-sleeve button-up. The camp collar shirt was popular back in the 60s and has come to prominence once again. Mostly known for being a style of shirt that workers in Cuba favored, the shirt has fully found a foothold in modern men’s fashion. This particular version from The Workers Club is everything that a camp-collar should be: breezy and lightweight, decked in a fun pattern, and full of fun design details. You’ll be hard-pressed to take this off once you put it on for the first time.
The Best Men’s Summer Accessories
10. Bold Dots Madison Sunglasses
With its rounded frame and striking clear color, these summer-ready sunglasses from Bold Dots are a deeply stylish set of frames. Called the “Madison,” these shades will fit a variety of face shapes, making you look effortlessly suave. The sturdy acetate frame means they’ll rest on your face comfortably no matter how sweaty you may get throughout the course of a day. Plus, they’re even polarized to provide an extra layer of sun protection for your eyes.
11. Miansai Nexus Rope and Sterling Silver Bracelet
Men should never be afraid to embrace a little bit of bling and this rope and sterling silver bracelet from Miansai is a great entry point for those who might be a little tepid to give bracelets a try. The rope construction evokes feelings of camp or friendship bracelets you might remember as a kid while the clasp allows it to be easily removed after you’re done wearing it. It’s a subtle touch that won’t cause too much fuss to your wrist in brutal heat.
12. Nike Dri-FIT Adjustable Hat
This hat from Nike is the go-to hat for a handful of stylish people for many great reasons. Nike is a beloved brand and this simple hat is an easy and functional accessory for summer days. Made from Nike’s Dri-FIT tech, the material is moisture-wicking to keep your dome nice and cool — even when it’s blisteringly hot. Plus, Nike is never not cool, so it’s a great way to stay on-trend.