Building A Summer Wardrobe

By | June 11, 2015

We’re just a little under a month away from the official start of summer, even if feels like it’s already been summer for the last month, so that means it’s time be able to look good outside without suffering a case of heat stroke. Building a wardrobe can be hard, and expensive, especially for just one season, but we’re going to give some advice on pieces that’ll stay stylish for a long time that also won’t break the bank.

Our guide is going to start from the ground up with shoes. Summer is bright, hot, and if you share the misfortune of us here at, humid. All of those things can lead to a bad situation inside of your shoes during the warmer months. As good as we look in wing tips and oxfords, save them for the office when it’s hot out. Your goal when it comes to shoes should be light and airy. Since they’re going to be worn with a lot of different outfits over the course of the season, try to pick shoes in a either a neutral color or one that matches a lot of your other clothes. We’d recommend having a pair of sneakers, a casual loafer/slip on, and a pair of sandals for the summer.  A pair of white Chucks are both timeless and go with most outfits. Boat shoes are a great way to look a lot nicer with little effort. And, hopefully, at some point you’re going to be outside in the sand, grass, or water and if you’re not wearing sandals you’re going to look like someone’s grandpa. A quick side note when it comes to shoes in the summer, wear socks. Bare sweaty feet in shoes is simultaneously bad for your feet(Hey there, stinky feet) and for your shoes(Misshapes and wears them out). If you’re worried about how it looks then buy a pair of no show socks, just don’t have gross feet.

Well we’re moving on up, to the front side, to a fashion suggestion for the guy(s), moving on up, to the back side, shorts are just pants but only on the thigh. For anyone born after 1985 who doesn’t get that, we’re talking about shorts. 100 degree days with 95% humidity are just too much for jeans, no matter how cool you look in them. Luckily you can still look good in shorts as long as you take the time to try. Leave the gym shorts at home and burn the cargo shorts, because a pair of stylish should be made out of something like khaki and hit just above the knee. Try grabbing a couple pairs in neutrals and don’t be afraid to throw some color in there either. In true, Socks4Life style, we’re going to go off topic and talk about chinos too. Sometimes you’ll have to go somewhere where shorts aren’t allowed, so we’d recommend grabbing a pair or two of chinos in a neutral color like off-white or navy for special occasions. Or maybe you’re someone who can handle long pants and heat, grab them in some actual colors then. I can’t tell you what colors look good on you, but I can tell you everyone gets out of the way of a man who owns wearing a pair of bright red pants. As always, the key is confidence, and to a lesser extent, friends who will tell you when you’ve achieved pants hubris.

Summer may be the time of year to be shirtless down at the shore, but most places still operate under a no shirt, no shoes, no service mantra so we should probably take a second to discuss them. There’s a ton of variety and choice for shirts in the summer, when it’s hot out the only limitation is your ability to deal with the heat. Personally I’m someone built for winter, so my go to is t-shirts and the occasional button up when I have to look like an adult. T-shirts are cheap and go with everything, so grab a bunch in different colors and use some common sense when it comes to color combinations. Polos are a good way to strike a good balance between formal and casual, just don’t believe their performance claims. Tucked into a pair of decent looking shorts and you’ll be good to go for some country club living or let it fly free while you’re teeing off on the public courses. A lightweight, breathable button up is a godsend when you have to look presentable during the summer months. Ideally made out of cotton or anything else breathable, a button down does a great job from transitioning from put together to letting it all hang out as easily as rolling up the sleeves and untucking it. An oxford collar button down, or OCBD as the cool kids say, is on the casual side of things when it comes to dress shirts for work, but that’s not what we’re focusing on here so go for it. Unless you’ve got the body of a modelling mannequin, we’d suggest getting your shirt tailored to fit you a little better and also to keep it from trapping warm air.

Let’s wrap this up with a discussion on hats and other accessories. The best part about summer fashion accessories is that for the most part they’re all practical as well. Let’s start with hats. Hats are great during the summer, and the rest of the year too, because they keep the sun off of your skin. Our brother blog has actually covered this in fairly deep detail for this summer already. The single most useful summer accessory has to be a pair of sunglasses. From lying on the beach to being in an outdoor wedding, there’s almost no situation where sunglasses are inappropriate to wear. Two aspects to think about when it comes to picking sunglasses, UV protection and style. In regards to the first point, make sure your glasses are UVA/B certified to block the worst of the sun’s rays and if you deal with a lot of glare consider getting polarized lenses to block out reflected light. For the second, the big thing is to pick a pair that fits your face. What this really comes down to is creating contrast. If you have a round face you want frames that make your face look longer and thinner, a long face wants frames that make it look rounder and less pronounced, etc. The last accessory we’ll focus on is belts. Summer is the only time you can really get away with crazy colored belts and we highly recommend it. If you’re sticking with standard light summer colors a lightweight belt in a bright color is a good way to add some flair to whatever you’re wearing. Just remember that summer belts should typically be thinner and lighter to match what you’re wearing.

There we have it. Our quick guide to what you should try to get into your wardrobe this summer.