Looking stylish in the hotter months isn't easy. Color, cut, and the potential for excess sweat can all seriously affect whether you look good in your everyday clothing.
Once-stylish men seem to give up and throw on a baggy tank top with unflattering shorts and a pair of dad sandals. It's a tragic sight to behold. Trust me – people are quietly judging those guys.
You don't have to be one of them – there are plenty of ways to up your style game without becoming a sweaty mess! In today's article, I cover 10 awesome accessories every guy must own this summer.
Read on to discover:
- The Perfect Sunglasses For Your Face Shape
- A Stylish Man's Watch
- The Best Hat For Summer
- Lightweight Footwear
- A Quality Backpack
- Aquatic Fragrances
- Seersucker Jackets
- Knitted Ties
- Men's Jewellery
- Light-Colored Belts
#1 The Perfect Sunglasses For Your Face Shape
It's the summer; the sun's out and shining brightly. This time of year, sunglasses are a necessity for men's summer style.
However, it's no secret that sunlight can damage your eyes, and the amount of damage can be catastrophic.
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays that will impair your vision over time. Harmful UV rays can lead to:
- Cataracts – a clouding of the lens of the eye that can lead to partial or total blindness
- Pterygium or pinguecula – grows of fleshy tissue on the eye
- Ocular melanoma – cancer of the eye; there are eyelid cancers that can be caused by overexposure to UV rays as well
With these conditions resulting from overexposure to UV rays, the benefits of sunglasses far exceed any kind of style value that they may provide. So please wear them. Your health could depend on it.
Why not try something new – a fresh pair of shades can change your entire look for the better. To make the most of any new purchase, you want to know the shape of your face (hairline + jawline + chin) to have the proper fit.
Heart Shape Face
Features: Widow's peak or pointed hairline with a sharp chin and prominent jawline.
Recommendations: Wear a type of sunglasses that are wider at the top than the bottom and with polyurethane frames. This will balance out your sharp chin and strong jawline.
Sunglasses: Aviators are your best friend
Features: Widest at the cheekbones but will slightly narrow at the forehead and chin/jawline. Gentlemen who are called cheeky generally fall in this category.
Recommendations: Wear oversized and rectangular frames that will offset the roundness
Sunglasses: Square Aviators, Rectangle-rimless, Wraparound Rectangle, Retro Squared
Oval Shaped Face
Features: This face shape is longer than it is wide
Recommendations: Any round or square frame will work as long as they are proportional to your face. Not too big, not too small.
Sunglasses: Wayfarers, Aviators (all types), Round frames, Clubmasters, Persols, Shields
Features: All features are prominent – broad forehead, wide cheekbones, strong jaw.
Recommendations: Frames should soften the hard/strong features to maintain balance
Sunglasses: Round frames, Aviators (all types), Shield
Do note that these are recommendations. The best thing to do is head out to a quality eyewear store or menswear store with quality items and try them on. It's ultimately what you feel comfortable and confident in. Click here for a more detailed graphic about eyewear.
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#2 A Stylish Man's Watch
A watch is a classic element of men's summer style that should always be adorned. It should be
- Functional: tell accurate time over an extended period
- Durable: should be strong enough to handle your lifestyle
- Stylish: it's simple – your watch should make people think, “Damn, that guy knows how to dress!”
Switch up the style and/or the brand. There are dozens of quality brands available where you will get your money's worth.
Watches are traditionally in two general styles: watches with straps and watches with metal bracelets. We all have our preferences and generally have settled into those.
- Watches with Straps: The straps can vary in material, with the most popular being leather, polyurethane/silicone, Nato thread
- Watches with Metal Bracelets: the options are steel, aluminum, and precious metals
You can upgrade from these watches to watches with woodgrain. Woodgrain watches provide a light change of pace. These watches take center stage as a standout when most other gentlemen wear traditional leather and metal bands.
Your options when it comes to men's summer style may be limited. More style possibilities are available when you adopt a new aesthetic.
Woodgrain watches will pair well with:
- Summer textiles: cotton blends, linen, chambray, seersucker, etc
- Bright colors that are found in the summer
- Day to night look: outfits that can transition from the office to dinner or a night out with friends
- Traditional Metal and Hides to create classic timepieces: Note: Stay away from trendy watches, as classic timepieces will give you the most functionality and are more versatile. As a generalization, fashionable watches can suffer in quality.
#3 The Best Hat For Summer
Headgear has long been a staple in a gentlemen's wardrobe. Men have relied on hats to endure all weather and for various occasions. Dating back to medieval times, hats were worn as a sign of sophistication and culture as well as used for necessity.
Like sunglasses, hats are a functional element of men's summer style and can be a great look. Some practical benefits of hats are:
- Protect the head/eye/ face from UV rays
- Provide shade from the scorching sun
- Shield the head and face from summer rainstorms
When donning a summer cap, it's all about the material. As with shirts, summer hats must be constructed from breathable fabric and have a sweat-wicking or sweat-absorbing headband.
The summer is all about being light and fun, so your hats should follow suit. Common summer hats are:
- Straw fedoras
- Trilby hats
- Straw pork pie hats
- Linen newsboy caps
- Polyester baseball caps
An added benefit of upgrading your headgear is the confidence that it will bring. It's an accessory that draws people and compliments it. When wearing a great hat, it can become the centerpiece of the look. Wear it proudly, gents.
#4 Lightweight Footwear
Footwear is to style as wheels and tires are to cars. The whole look is off when the wheels let the team down.
Summer is a great time to spice up your shoe game. We've discussed at length about understanding and purchasing quality shoes. Quality is determined by the construction and materials (leather). High-quality leather means a high-quality shoe. It also can mean a hot shoe.
Switch it up during the summer with a lightweight shoe that is comfy and breathable. Look to try:
- Espadrilles: Constructed using canvas or cotton for the upper and a sole made of jute rope which is the defining characteristic of the shoe. The upper's breathability is a great feature that keeps the foot cool, and the fabric can hold all types of colors and patterns.
- Lightweight Sandals: The ultimate laid-back summer shoe. I stress lightweight because the leather can still make the foot sweat. Now the key is to get stylish sandals! The hiking sandals are not in that category. You can wear a stylish sandal with nice pair of chinos or linen pants/shorts.
- Canvas sneakers: The canvas upper is the same technology as the espadrilles, but the canvas sneaker is far more casual. Classic gentlemen only pair them with shorts and jeans, but they also work with chinos.
Regardless of the lightweight shoe, you decide to choose, make sure that it's breathable and full of style. It's the summer, so you're going to show some leg when wearing shorts. Make sure that the shoe is worth looking at.
In addition to the lightweight shoe, make sure that you wear no-show socks. The upper of most of the suggested footwear doesn't rise above the ankle. The no-show sock is the most stylish option that's out, and it's functional and can aid in the health of your feet.
Some advantages of wearing socks are:
- Sweat can be absorbed and wicked away from the foot
- Helps to manage and prevent foot odor
- Can prevent fungi from forming
- Protects the foot from chafing due to rubbing on the shoe
#5 A Quality Backpack
Backpacks are a must-have because of their practicality. They're the modern man's day-to-night carry-on. Unlike the fanny pack from days of old, a backpack provides the proper space for all the essentials.
During the summer months, traveling light for leisure or work becomes a priority. Additionally, the warmth of summer is optimal backpack-wearing weather – after all, satchels and holdalls can become cumbersome and exhausting to carry in higher temperatures!
A backpack is an excellent component of men's summer style as it is useful for carrying:
- Notepad for notation or journaling
- Tablet (iPad/Galaxy etc.)
- Small personal items
- Bottles of water (essential in the hot sun!)
- Your lunch
- A good book
The list goes on … the functionality of a backpack cannot be overstated. The key is to obtain one that's well-designed and made by a great company with quality materials.
The options are vast so do your research to find the backpack that fits your needs and lifestyle. Depending on the style, material, or brand, a backpack can cost between $50 -$1500.
#6 Aquatic Fragrances
Have trouble choosing a fragrance?
Let's save you the trouble. This summer, consider an aquatic fragrance.
Aquatic scents are reminiscent of the sea. Picture sitting at the beach, and a subtle breeze comes in from the ocean and grazes your nose.
Perfumers achieve this effect by using Headspace Technology – a method in which the scent molecules around objects are isolated for replication later on.
Popular aquatic men's fragrances include Acqua Di Gio, Cool Water by Davidoff, and Virgin Island Water by Creed.
This is my one and only invisible men's summer style upgrade.
#7 Seersucker Jackets
So you still love suits and sports jackets, but they can't hack the heat.
Seersucker is a thin, puckered cotton fabric sold commonly in a striped pattern. The name comes from the Hindi word kshirsharkara and the Persian shîr and shakar.
Combined, this translates to “milk and sugar,” which alludes to the rough texture and color of the fabric.
Seersucker made it to the US in 1907 through New Orleans, becoming a staple among Southern gentlemen during the hotter months.
As far as men's summer style upgrades go, this is the best jacket for the job.
#8 Knitted Ties
Summer is all about the casual vibe – and for you gentlemen who love ties, smooth silk might be too formal.
This is the perfect time to try your luck with a knit tie. Traditional knit ties have a uniquely flat bottom because they are, well, knit.
To make a pointed knit tie, you'd have to adjust the knots manually – a difficult task, to say the least.
For the more adventurous gents, you could always try a knit bow tie. Bow ties are a great way to add individuality to your outfit because not many other guys are brave enough to style them.
The knit style adds texture to your outfit, and it blends well with most ensembles that use a dress shirt.
Mottled yarn works if you want to double down on texture. A unique pattern is made by mixing untreated parts of the thread to create a highly mottled color effect at the end of the milling process.
This only reinforces the casual texture the tie offers, making it a summer-sporting masterpiece.
#9 Men's Jewelry
Use the summer to break from the norm and mix things up by adding a bit of bling to your outfit. Throughout history, men have worn jewelry to demonstrate power and status.
Bracelets, rings, and necklaces are all great ways to take your summer game to another level and add an extra dimension to your outfit.
Jewelry can have a very personal meaning, e.g. your wedding ring, or it can be purely decorative. It's also a great conversation piece. Find something that works for you but don't go overboard – as always, the ‘keep it simple' rule applies here!
#10 Light-Colored Belts
We all know what a belt is – it stops your trousers from falling down in public. But this highly functional accessory is also one of the most overlooked. Yes, every guy should have a black or brown dress belt – but why not try different colors and materials? Summer is the perfect time to experiment with some bolder color and pattern choices for your belt.
As a rule of thumb, buy a belt 2 or 3 inches bigger than your pants size. If you have a 36″ waist, go for a 38-40″ inch belt.
If you want to try something a bit different in place of a belt, go for suspenders. (Remember, you don't wear a belt AND suspenders simultaneously!) Many men find suspenders more comfortable, and they have the bonus of looking great on the dance floor when you take your jacket off!
Try out different colors and patterns and pair them with your outfit for a fresh summer look.
Sometimes a suit is still a requirement – despite the blazing hot weather. It's no problem – click here to discover my guide to wearing a suit in the summertime.
Secret Summer Accessory? Read our guide on best men's summer colognes
Check out this video: Do Modern Women Prefer Feminine Men Over Masculine Men:
Why wear accessories in the summer?
Wearing summer accessories is a great way to show off a bit of personality in your outfit. Loads of guys will be wearing linen shirts and shorts, so accessorize your outfit to stand out from the crowd!
What's the difference between winter and summer accessories?
Typically, summer accessories tend to be lighter and brighter in color and thinner in fabric (where applicable).
When should I change my summer accessories for my fall/winter accessories?
It seems like summer lasts longer and longer every year - so I can't say an exact month when you should make the change. Instead, you should see when the weather starts to drastically get colder and the nights get longer.