Summer is finally here. That means it's time to break out the chino shorts, striped t-shirts, and sandals, right? Wrong.
Ask any stylish man, and he will tell you he wants to look great and stand out. But how do you stand out with your summer wardrobe when every guy is wearing the same thing?
That's where I come in. I'm here to give you the 7 best men's summer essentials that no other guys will be wearing.
In this article, I'll be covering:
- Full Placket Polos
- Woven Panama Hats
- Grandad Collar Shirts
- Pink Linen Button-Down Shirts
- NATO Watch Straps
- Seersucker Suits
#1 Full Placket Polos
The Polo shirt is a staple item when it comes to men's summer essentials. It's versatile and easy to combine with multiple outfits.
But everyone and their brother will be wearing a regular polo this summer as it's a great collared alternative to a t-shirt. So how do you take advantage of the versatility while standing out?
This is where the full placket polo comes in.
Full placket polos are similar to regular polo shirts in that they share the same collar but deviate from the standard 2-4 button placket in exchange for a full-length placket.
This gives a more sophisticated and stylish look than its lesser-buttoned friend.
They come in various fabrics but try to opt for a silk-cotton blend versus their wool counterparts to stay cool in the heat.
Full placket polos pay homage to mid-century Hollywood as an iconic and stylish alternative to regular polos. Pair this with your favorite chino shorts for a stand-out look this summer.
When it comes to summer shoes, you want something lightweight and comfortable.
While most men will opt for a pair of boat shoes or sandals, you should rock a stylish pair of espadrilles to stand out from the crowd.
Inspired by 13th-century elegance, espadrilles are softly constructed shoes with a woven-style bottom. They have the breathability of a sandal while remaining a smart shoe that can be worn with trousers.
They offer a classic silhouette that allows you to wear them with shorts and pants alike.
These are a must-have in your wardrobe as they are a fantastic and unique option to add to your arsenal of men's summer essentials.
Wear a pair of these when you want to feel like James Bond in Thunderball.
#3 Woven Panama Hats
Let's face it; summer can be hot. Warm sun and hot temperatures can make for an unpleasant experience without the right accessories to combat the heat and keep you cool.
While most men will slap on the sunscreen and call it a day, you want more than that. But how do you protect yourself from the heat and stay stylish simultaneously?
This is where a great hat can help. But not just any old bucket hat; guys are already wearing those. A woven Panama hat is what you want to stand out.
Panama hats offer the perfect silhouette for something that blocks out the sun but remains small in stature – in contrast to their cowboy hat older brother.
While standard baseball-style caps may work well for casual environments, a good Panama hat classes up your outfit and is the perfect accessory to that short-sleeve button-down on the beach.
While other guys are out on the beach rocking a bucket hat with a drawstring, you'll be sipping your favorite drink with your toes in the sand, looking like an absolute gentleman.
#4 Grandad Collar Shirts
Every guy knows it's time to shed the sweater and slip into a t-shirt for those casual summer days when warmer temperatures approach.
But when you want to stand out and rock an outfit that no other guy is wearing this summer, put yourself into a grandad collar shirt.
What exactly is a grandad collar?
Grandad collar shirts (also known as the mandarin collar or band collar shirt) were popular in the British military uniform during World War I. They were seen as a practical option, less formal than traditional button-downs, yet more formal than a t-shirt.
In modern times, they are a great alternative to the henley as they feature a unique collar that offers a casual experience with the added style of the full placket.
While not on the same level as a polo, these super comfortable shirts are a perfect segway into classier casual wear. They work well in summer as they come in various lightweight materials like cotton and linen.
Grandad collar shirts are best paired with shorts and pants alike but should not be a replacement for a traditional collared shirt. They fit well as the next step from a t-shirt or henley without going too far.
#5 Pink Linen Button-Down Shirts
Wearing button-down shirts in the middle of summer can be daunting.
Most men will wear the regular cotton blend shirts and deal with the heat until they realize they have sweated so much that their armpits are stained.
Don't be that guy. Wear a linen button-down instead. But don't go for just any linen button-down; grab a pink one to really stand out.
Pink is the perfect color to wear in summer because it doesn't absorb heat. Pair that with linen as a fabric and have one of the best-looking, stand-out shirt options.
Pink linen button-down shirts give a stylish and summer-worthy appearance that no other guy will be rocking.
Pair this with your favorite shorts or chino pants, and you'll be sure to stand out amongst the crowd this summer.
#6 NATO Watch Straps
Watches are one of the most worn yet incorrectly chosen accessories in a man's wardrobe.
During the warm summer months, one of the biggest mistakes I see is that men are wearing the wrong style of watch straps.
Warm weather and casual environments don't call for that leather-strapped dress watch; they call for a simple, lightweight alternative like the NATO strap.
Inspired and adorned by their military heritage, NATO watch bands offer the most utility out of any watch strap on the market.
NATO watch straps are offered in various colors and are so versatile that they can be used on your basic Timex watch, all the way to that Rolex Submariner.
While you may not be able to put one on one of your great Casio watches, you can still easily attach them to almost any watch in your collections.
The best rule of thumb here is that the simpler the timepiece, the better the NATO strap will look. These are not meant for your dress watches, but casual timepieces and divers are fair game.
#7 Seersucker Suits
Nothing is worse than being invited to a classy outdoor event in the middle of summer and having to wear your standard black, structured suit.
Most men will throw it on because they have to, and they won't think twice. I highly recommend getting a lightweight suit option for the warmer months to avoid that pain and misery.
Specifically, a seersucker suit.
Seersucker suits stand out for their iconic fabric appearance and famous striping. They give off a country-club level of class and feel great while looking stylish in the summer months.
Typically made of cotton, seersucker suits are a lightweight, breathable option that stands out over your traditional summer suit choices.
Opt for the unstructured jacket as you want this suit to be classy but still stylish. This suit will be sure to make you stand out amongst the other lightweight options you see this summer.
There you have it, gents. These are some of the best men's summer essentials that no other guy is wearing, so you can be sure to stand out this summer with an elevated level of style that no one else has.
If you're looking for more summer accessories, check out this article I did on the 10 must-have accessories for men.