A Man’s Guide to Summer Dress Part II

by Antonio on June 24, 2010 · 136 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

Welcome to Part II in our hot weather dressing series.  In this article we’ll cover general guidelines to remember when dressing for the heat and specifically get into hot weather headwear, footwear, and lower body clothing.  If you haven’t read it already, please make sure to read A Man’s Guide to Summer Dress Part I before diving into this article.  Although I try to make these articles capable of being stand alone pieces, they do build off each other and are best read in order.

Starting Where We Left Off

In Part I we spoke about the three things that you should remember when dressing for hot weather: 1) keep it clean, 2) keep it light, and 3) keep it understated.  Building off those three guidelines, we’ll expand with two more.

4) Natural Fibers – When selecting the clothing you’ll wear in hot weather, always check the label to see what the garment is made from.  Despite all the advances we’ve made over the last one hundred years, we have not yet developed an affordable alternative to nature’s cellulose based fabrics.  Quality plant fiber fabrics, with cotton being the most popular, have for over a millennia successfully wicked away heat and provided protection from the sun.   The natural properties of plant fiber fabrics allow them to dissipate heat and pass moisture through – exactly what you want when the temperature rises.

5) Loosen-up – Please note that I do not advise you to wear your clothing two sizes too big.  What we are aiming for is enough room to allow air flow as you move about normally.  Tight clothing that hugs the body, especially if closely woven, will not allow air to flow over the skin.  You want to encourage airflow so that the sweat on your skin evaporates.

Typically when I wear a sport jacket and dress shirt, I’ll unbutton my cuffs to allow more airflow up into the sleeves.  I’ll also refrain from wearing a tie and instead wear a v-neck undershirt with one to 2 buttons left undone.  FYI, this is where a pocket square comes in very handy as it adds a bit of color and lets others know you chose not to wear a tie, not that you forgot one.

Hot Weather Clothing Specifics

Lower Body Menswear – Shorts, Jeans, Chinos and Dress Slacks


Shorts are casual-wear, period.  No matter how you dress them up they are not in the same league as trousers made from a similar fabric.  Outside the US they are not universally accepted as appropriate for wear in public; many still view them as children’s wear or suitable only when worn for sport.  Looking to make a strong first impression? Think twice about wearing shorts.  That being said, shorts are not going anywhere and are accepted as casual weekend and active wear throughout the US.

How should shorts fit? – For summer wear anything that sits 3 inches above the knee (give or take 2 inches) is perfect – higher it starts to enter the territory of gym shorts, lower and they begin to look like capris…..which along with jean shorts men should always avoid.  Shorts should fit with two to four inches of room in the hips depending on personal preference.

What fabrics? – Short fabric should be cotton; not only is it the perfect fabric for hot weather, but its durable properties allow you to wash it a bit rougher in order to remove any grass or food stains.  As for summer colors, think light and airy.  Light khaki, tan, and even white if you’re not attending a bar-b-que are fine.  Madras, a summer staple with Indian origins, is a multi-colored patchwork fabric made from very lightweight cotton. It was introduced into the US market over 50 years ago and has established itself as colorful but safe summer classic for the younger man.

Short style – The simpler the shorts, the dressier they will look.  Hence cargo shorts with their oversized pockets, logos, and loops are the most casual and best reserved for the young man.  On the other end of the spectrum are the sleek dress shorts you see for golfing – complete with belt loops and pleats; these are meant to be worn with shirts tucked in and are made from tighter woven cotton fabrics.

What to wear with shorts – Shorts naturally are at home with t-shirts and sandals.  Most of us consider it dressing them up when we wear them with a polo shirt, so pairing them with anything more formal than a short-sleeve button up sport shirt requires a bit of sartorial sophistication.  Be very careful when looking to pair shorts up with garments such as a blazer – it’s a look very few can pull off.  Better to move up and put on a pair of trousers.

A quick note on Jeans, Chinos, and Trousers – since we just covered these in the wardrobe series part II, I’ll simply focus on these clothing articles as they pertain to hot weather wear.

Denim Jeans & Heat

Blue jeans are not my first choice when it comes to lower body wear on a day exceeding 90 degrees.  Although normally made from cotton, their extremely tight weave and treated fabric inhibit much of the positive attributes of the fabric and with no vents they can trap in heat and cause excessive sweating.  The only exception would be very lightweight denim that has been washed extensively.

Cotton Chinos & Heat

Often a better choice than jeans as cotton chinos have a looser weave that allows more air to flow between the fabric and your legs.  A gentleman who finds he’ll need to be wearing these throughout a hot summer would be well advised to ensure the length of his chinos are hemmed with no break.  This slightly short length may not be “sartorially correct” to some; however, it will promote airflow when he walks, separating the pant leg from the shoe.

Dress Trousers & Heat

Tropical wools or high end cotton weaves should be the fabrics you look for in a good pair of summer dress trousers.  By far these are some of the best lower body coverings for summer; lightweight and breathable, they promote proper airflow and resist trapping heat.  Wool will drape better and resist wrinkling but is more fragile and less breathable than equivalent weight cotton.  Cotton is usually less expensive, more durable, and found in more lively colors, but unless custom made, is often less flattering to a man’s figure due to the stiffness of the fabric.

Hot Weather Footwear

Sandals – One of man’s oldest forms of footwear, they are nonetheless a very informal type of footwear and should be worn accordingly.  Coming in a wide variety of styles, they range in their level of casualness based on the extent they show the feet and from what material they are made (leather being dressier than synthetic materials).  Hence a pair of plastic flip flops are laid back pool-wear, leather flip flops could be worn to a beach party, while strapped leather sandals are fine for a casual summer get-together with good friends. Keep your toenails clipped and clean when out and about in sandals. Wearing socks with one’s sandals is almost universally considered a faux pas and rather defeats the purpose of wearing sandals in the first place.

Canvas Sneakers – A casual choice perfect for hot weather.  These shoes are often made from natural fibers and are light enough to allow your feet to breathe.  They go great with shorts, especially when paired with low cut socks, and are even better for wear with jeans and chinos.

Canvas Sneaker

Summer Canvas Sneaker

Boat Shoes – Boat shoes serve a practical purpose – their soles are cut to help you avoid slipping on and marking the delicate surface of watercraft.  And like many practical tools, they escaped their natural boundary years ago and have established themselves as a piece of classic summer footwear, due in large part to their variety of color and that they can be worn sockless.

Italian Loafers & Moccasins – I specified the Italian Style here as typically you see these dress shoes made with lighter and more delicate leathers than their English or American counterparts.  Designed for wear in a Mediterranean climate, you’ll find the thin subtle leather very comfortable despite the heat.  However, be careful as this type of footwear is very susceptible to damage from the elements.  Perfect to wear with dress slacks.

For other dress shoes such as spectators or saddle shoes, make sure to check out these classic AoM articles Dressing for the Kentucky Derby and How to Build Your Wardrobe Part II.

Hot Weather Headwear

The first step in selecting a hot weather hat is to understand your personal headwear needs. Ask yourself under what conditions you are going to be using the hat and whether you are concerned with style, function, or both.  Functional hats that simply protect you from the sun are cheap and easy to find; stylish hats that double as functional hot weather companions are more difficult to track down.  However the rewards far outweigh the time spent researching and locating the perfect piece of personal shade.

Panama Hats

Panama Hats - Photos Courtesy of Brent Black Panama Hats

Styles & Shape – Panamas, Straw Fedoras, Tilleys, and Linen Caps are great options available to the man interested in wearing stylish headwear that serves the purpose of protection from the sun.  When you have to stand in the Arizona noon sun on a 100 degree day, the right hat can help you shave 10 to 20 degrees off by providing you a personal section of shade over your body’s most exposed area.  Depending on your needs, the brim’s size can vary widely; my advice here is that you should ensure the brim is large enough to keep the sun off your face and neck when the sun is at its peak.

Material & Weave – The best summer hats are made from plant fibers and woven in a way that they can block light, retain their shape, and allow airflow.  Usually this is why you see such a wide range in price – a panama hat woven from a low quality fiber in one day will cost 1/100th that of a hat woven from a quality fiber that takes a full month to weave and and shape.

Difference in hat weave

This difference in weave is what separates a $20 hat from $200 one.

Airflow – Beware of gummed-up straw hats that do not allow airflow through the crown.  Despite feeling lightweight in build, they are like wearing a plastic bag on your head and more suited for show than function.  Vents are a good thing, mesh crowns are even better!  High quality Panama hats use a weave pattern that although appearing solid does allow airflow – however, be prepared to pay for this mix of style and function.

Fit – You have to get your hat’s fit right.  Anything too tight and you’ll be feeling light headed before noon; too loose and the hat will be resting on the wrong areas of your head and will not promote proper airflow. Look for a quality tanned leather sweatband; fabric sweatbands are OK but will need replacing after extended wear.  Elastic sweatbands are found on lower quality hats – however for a first time price sensitive buyer they are an acceptable compromise.

Other Hot Weather Tips

Don’t forget the handkerchief – It’s not just for your nose, and the handkerchief does a much better job of cleaning off sweat than your shirt sleeve.  Visit this AOM classic article on handkerchiefs.

Bring a change of clothes – Although it requires a bit of forethought, bringing an extra set of clothing to change into can enable you to look your best as the day’s events unfold.  There is nothing like breaking up a hot day with a cool shower and then changing into a new set of clothing.  You’ll be refreshed and reinvigorated.

What are your tips on how to stay cool in hot weather?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Written by
Antonio Centeno
President, A Tailored Suit
Articles on Mens Suits – Dress Shirts – .
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{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

101 BenR June 28, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Great article, with lots of interesting info. I have to admit, though, that I only loosely follow some of this advice. As a young person working in the non-profit world, and as someone who enjoys the bulk of his free time in the outdoors, some of these conventions are either unnecessary or simply unrealistic for me. My workplace, for example, is very casual and I typically wear shorts in summer, though always “dressier” shorts, not ones with holes, cargo pockets, etc. But I always wear a collared shirt, usually a button-down and occasionally a polo, unless I’m wearing one of our corporate branded t-shirts for an event. For summer footwear, I love my simple leather flip flops. But just as often I end up wearing my Keens or Chacos, which may not be as stylish as some sandals, but are far more functional for my active, outdoor lifestyle. I think that’s where I draw the line as far as fashion goes: If I can have high fashion and high-performance function at the same, that’s ideal, but if I can only have one or the other, I usually go for performance over style. Of course, in the world of outdoor performance gear, there’s also a whole set of definitions of what is stylish and what isn’t (in that crowd, Chacos are high fashion), and in any case I bring my own aesthetic values to all the stuff I choose to wear.

This post has inspired me to invest in a pair of boat shoes, though, since I really don’t own any “dressy” summer shoes, outside of my normal dress shoes (and I can’t wear those with shorts without looking like a tool). I had to search around a while for a decent pair, because I find the classic Sperrys too chunky and dated. I found this nice, modern-looking, streamlined style from Timerbland. And not only are they good-looking, but friendlier to the environment than your average shoe. Huzzah!

102 Shane Long June 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Nice advice. Summer is not an excuse to sport your ratty t-shirts and ripped denim shorts. Have a little class people!

103 Hugo Stiglitz June 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Nothing looks more ridiculous than seeing anyone over the age of 25 dressed up like a frat boy. If you are 30 years old, you look like an idiot walking around in shorts, flip-flops, a backwards baseball cap and some lousy t-shirt. Grow up already. I really cannot understand the idea of a grown man wearing an athletic sports jersey. Why a man would want to put on a piece of clothing with another man’s last name on the back of it is beyond me.

The Panama hats cited in your article are very nice, but a bit pricey — the ones I saw on the website started at $500 and went beyond $2000. Needless to say, I think those hats are a bit above most of our budgets. Does anyone else know of decent, similar hats in the $100 – $300 range?

One last thing, I can’t understand why some guys are so “anti-handkerchief.” What is the alternative, wiping your face with your shirt or some napkins which fall apart after one use???

104 BenR June 28, 2010 at 3:37 pm

@ Hugo
I also don’t understand why people are against handkerchiefs. I can understand from a practical standpoint why you might not carry one… between my house keys, work keys, bike lock key, wallet, pocket knife, and lip balm, I feel like I’ve already got a lot of bulk in my pockets, so stuffing a wad of hankie in there too feels like overkill. But I think the general idea of a handkerchief is a good one, and I have occasionally found myself wishing I carried one on me.

I also have to note, in response to the article and some other commenters, that I agree with those who advocate for non-cotton fibers in high heat circumstances. Cotton is great for a lot of things, but when you’re out and about in 90 degree, 75% humid weather, cotton feels burdensome and is too easily soaked with sweat. Unlike some synthetics and other natural materials, like lightweight merino wool and bamboo fibers, cotton absorbs perspiration without allowing it to evaporate and perform its natural cooling function. In cotton, you basically end up sitting in your own sweat and stink, while high quality synthetics and non-cotton natural fibers allow your perspiration to escape from your body and keep you cool and relatively dry (not to mention less odorous once you stop sweating). In my experience, high heat is more tolerable in a high-quality synthetic garment than in a cotton one.

105 Rich June 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm

If your shorts touch your knees and you are neither a 14 year old boy or a hip hop artist, you look like a fool. If your knees are that ugly, wear pants.

106 Tony June 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Jeans and a t-shirt, if it’s hot I wear cargo shorts and flops. BTW if you wear a hankie you automaticaly lose your Man Card. Some of you “guys” have me wondering

107 Mr. Write June 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Tony, he didn’t say to WEAR a hankie, he said to carry one. Would it be “manlier” if it were a bandana? What’s so “unmanly” about carrying a piece of useful cloth to wipe your sweat/nose/mouth on? What do you use, your sleeve? The bottom of your Metallica shirt?

108 BenR June 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

Why buy separate pairs of canvas sneakers and boat shoes when you can get both in the same package?

109 Nathan Gilmer June 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I totally agree about the handkerchief! I sweat like crazy so I always have one in the summer to keep my face from looking shiny and wet.

@Ryan: Maybe its time to get one. I am only 23 and use one every day.

110 Ryan H June 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Like all sorts of fashion, it’s different strokes for different folks. A lot of men look very good in a pair of cargo shorts and a t-shirt (especially higher quality ones without logos or print) if they fit appropriately and aren’t ragged. Which would you rather see, that or some guy in ill fitting pants and a ragged shirt?

By the way, when people throw around the above/below the knee thoughts, which part of the knee is used as a starting point? Knee caps are probably 3-4 inches long so which end or the middle is used?

111 BenR June 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

@ Ryan H

I guess when I think of shorts length, I think of a pair of shorts that ends right in the middle of your kneecap as knee-length, shorts that completely cover your kneecap as below-the-knee, and shorts that end just above the top of your kneecap as above-the-knee. Above-the-knee shorts can still be pretty long by my definition, and I disagree with the author in that I think a pair of shorts that hits just above the knee, rather than 3-4 inches above, is the most flattering and versatile length (for me).

I think my biggest problem with shorter shorts is not how short they are when you’re walking around, but the fact that they tend to bunch up quite a bit when you sit down. Unless you’ve got quads of steel and you use a tanning bed, odds are your pale and squishy thighs aren’t exactly your best feature, and not what you want people looking at while sitting down. Long shorts that still hit just above the knee are flattering not only when you’re up and about, but also provide good coverage for sitting.

And now I feel distinctly unmanly because I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve heard “sitting” and “coverage” discussed together before has been in reference to skirt length! But I guess the issues are sort of similar anyway.

112 Christopher Hunt June 30, 2010 at 10:58 am

Great article Antonio, there’s only one thing that I think this 2 parter was lacking, and that’s a discussion of sunglasses. A man could read this article, go down the list and completely rework his wardrobe according to your advice and TOTALLY ruin it with the wrong (and most likely ridiculous) pair of Oakley’s. Many men it would seem simply walk into a store and buy the most expensive pair of sport oriented glasses they can find since they don’t know any better, but what they really need is a pair of Persols, or Ray Ban Caravans. In fact I’ve found with the right pair of shoes and the right pair of glasses, a man can get away with a lot in terms of the clothes he is wearing. You can’t underestimate this fashion accessory.

113 Nataraj Hauser July 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I’ll chime in as the third voice for wearing a kilt. I have several: A duck cloth Amerikilt for casual wear, a lightweight wool plaid for somewhat dressier but still cool, and a heavy wool “winter weight” plaid. And yes, I have great legs. My women friends *love* kilts.

114 Ryan Waldron July 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Great read. Don’t forget, seersucker is a great material for shorts also.

115 Ryan Griffis July 2, 2010 at 1:40 pm

The majority of guys (in our twenties) I hang out with generally wear shorts (pants and jeans are generally out of the question outside of work. Oklahoma summers = 100+ degrees and 80%+ humidtiy)… most of us wear them at, or above the knee. There are quite a bit of younger guys starting to do so again. Just thought I’d throw that out there. My personal favorite shorts are my seersucker shorts. I generally wear canvas shoes (http://tinyurl.com/3y8a2kw & http://tinyurl.com/2f3rcwh) or Sperry Top Siders (Boat/Deck Shoes)

116 Robert Bobby July 2, 2010 at 4:26 pm

“Jeff June 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

This article is a little over the top but enjoyable. Some of comments that followed were pretty good too. I also saw a funny article on Affliction t-shirts and wear at rebel4men.com that you guys might appreciate. It was 3 women sharing their take on Affliction wear and guys who wear it. It really puts it in perspective from the female point of view. A quick, funny read. A must read if youre wearing Affliction. Keep up the good work…”

I saw the same article, what a great article it was, I found this link, http://rebel4men.com/articles/lifestyle/women-men, where you can read it, lucky us they have a online magazine, http://rebel4men.com/current-issue, where you can read the whole issue for free!

check out there site it has some great feedback from more girls on guys that wear affliction, and to my surprise they didn’t say exactly what I thought they were going to say, it was real good.

bob bob

117 Charles July 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Can we be clear on one thing here. The short sleeved shirt with tie and suit is an absolute no, no. It simply doesnt work on any level. Please can we stop any encouragement of this and realise that elegance and pride are sometimes painful.

118 Jason July 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Ok, I have several issues with this article but I will only comment on the Panama hat thing. I have been selling and wearing hats for the past 12 years, so I know my stuff. #1, Panama is not a style of hat. Panama is the moniker for any hat woven of toquilla straw in Ecuador. Thus a panama hat can be of any style or shape as long as it meets those 2 criteria. #2, If you are going to spend money on a hat to keep you cool in the summer DO NOT skimp on the price. Don’t get a cheap hat because it is cheap, spend the money on a quality hat and it will last you many years. When it comes to hats you really do get what you pay for. In the same breath ordering hats online is incredibly difficult to do because of fitting. Search for a full service hat store in your area, like Salmagundi in Boston (I do happen to work here). Where we not only size you, but find you a hat that suits your personal needs. In addition we educate our customers on the care of their hats and we offer minor shaping and re-blocking AND we have an outside source that can do major reshaping and re-blocking. If you absolutely must order a hat online, order from hatsinthebelfry.com, they are a quality and reputable retailer.

Once you find the right hat, one that compliments you, you will become determined to wear more and more hats!

As far as handkerchiefs and pocket squares and shorts being casual and all that hoopla, I suggest everyone spend some time pouring over the photographs of the sartorialist: http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/
Here you will find people that have enduring style. Yes some of it is crazy fashion stuff, but a lot of the regular joe types have great style. Great style comes from bending the rules and doing it well!

119 Jason July 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Also, be a man goddammit! Use a handkerchief! I have been carrying them for 15 years and let me tell you it sure does look a hell of a lot better than pulling a nasty kleenex out of your pocket! It is handy for all situations, cut yourself open? Use your handkerchief! Hot and sweaty? Handkerchief! Don’t want to touch the nasty handles in the public bathrooms? Handkerchief! Anyone who says they are un-manly is a moron. They are one of the most iconic manly accessories! Next to a hat of course!

120 Roland July 6, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I appreciate the attempt to class us up. I see so many guys who are fashion disasters that it hurts to watch, yet you just can’t look away. Most guys are too casual, and look to wear the minimum level of “niceness” these days.

That being said, you really have to live in the right crowd or region to pull of a hat. At the mall, the park, the beach, or out in the neighborhood, a baseball cap is okay, but that’s not a hat. Most guys simply can’t pull off a hat hat. It’s out of the norm, these days. Sure, why cave into the peer pressure of the masses? Wear a hat, but bottom line is that most onlookers think you look silly, trying to be someone you’re not, living in the past. Maybe someday hats will take off again. I like hats, but you really have to be awesome in a certain way to wear one well.

Boat shoes are also on the edge of “county club guy” looks. Some guys can pull it off, and some guys actually do want to look like a country club guy.

I understand the roll of AOM to bring back the values and valuable traits of manliness that have been lost, but sometimes there needs to be a strategy. In this day and age, we are more casual, but if we are just a little less than those around us, good for us. Maybe it will rub off, then we can take our own look up a notch. (repeat).

For guys who love casual, but want to look better than most guys around them, leather flip flops or off white or white canvas shoes, a pair of drawsting linen or nicer cotten pants, and a plain, but colored, t-shirt from Banana Republic or J-Crew will set you apart. Most of the guys around you will be wearing jeans or their year-round Dockers, sneakers or their business casual shoes, and an ugly shirt that’s too big or a t-shirt with a dumb slogan on it.

A note about flip flops. Women tend to think they look best in nice leather and with long pants, like loose linen or cotton. …and if you’re the kind of dude who bounces or toe walks when he wears them, don’t wear them. Period. Ask a friend of video tape yourself.

Know your audience… mine is my girlfriend, her friends, and my friends. If I think I look great, but they, and the general public, don’t, I’m giving in and changing clothes.

121 Jason July 6, 2010 at 10:57 pm

That is 100% not true about hats. Period. What is true, is not everyone looks good in a certain kind of hat. That is why there are full service hat stores still in existence, to find the hat that looks best for you. The same way you don’t go into a fine men’s clothier and just attempt to throw on clothes that don’t fit you properly, you let the professionals fit you. There are a plethora of styles and shapes of hats out there, just like suits, jeans, under garments, socks, shoes, etc… it is merely a matter of finding the hat that fits you best.

As I used to tell all the men that I have dressed over the years, who is going to wear the clothes, you or your girlfriend/wife? Wear stylish clothes that make YOU comfortable. Would you wear an evening gown if your wife or girlfriend thought you look best in it? No? Then why the hell are you letting them decide which clothes you should wear? Do yourself a favor and take a trip to your local high-end men’s clothier, talk to the sales people, let them show you some things and put some things together for you. In other words, get educated on the long history of men’s fashion and start learning how to dress yourself so you don’t have to rely on others to do it for you.

122 Roland July 7, 2010 at 4:17 am

I’m not saying “not look good in a hat,” I’m saying “can’t pull off a hat.” It’s different. You can find a hat that looks good on you, but for many guys, it’s the fact that they are now wearing a hat that’s the problem.

An evening gown is a pretty extreme example, isn’t it? Would you wear a dickey if the guys at your shop thought it looked good on you? Maybe a monocle?

I don’t let my girlfriend decide what I wear, but I dress to look good to people, her included. Most people do pick clothes that make them feel comfortable and look good, but it’s not in a vacuum. Sometimes you need a second set of honest eyes. For some it does help to have a place to shop where there are sales people they trust.

123 Goglu July 7, 2010 at 10:09 am

Ultra light weight merino wool tops are actually amazing for summer (YES WOOL!). It got the wicking ability of synth but the difference (in my case): it does not make stink as soon I start perspiring a little! It’s soft, dries fast and the texture is quite elegant.

Look for icebreaker of NZ for application example.

There’s summer dress code and heat-wave Armageddon dress-code… You may do some style compromises for you don’t look like melting mess.

124 Alan O July 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm

shorts should come to your knees. Anything higher than that looks bad

125 Evan July 11, 2010 at 1:58 am

Most important summer dress item: GOLD BOND – FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT. Seriously. How did I survive without it?

Oh yeah, and anyone who thinks an adult should wear shorts that reach the knee is crazy. BTW, I finally found a good swim suit at Land’s End with a 4″ inseam – the board short look is childish.

Summer =
Khaki pants
long sleeve oxford cotton button down shirt, sleeves rolled up, tucked in
broken-in boat shoes, no socks. DONE.

126 Caleb Gardner July 11, 2010 at 9:38 am

No, no, no to sandals. So overdone in the US. I’d rather go with the boat shoe, or even a pair of TOMS.

127 OmniSwami.com July 11, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Don’t forget… When wearing shorts and gym shoes, wear clean gym shoes and ditch the tube socks for ankle socks.

128 David V July 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Honestly guys!
It does not look good on anyone to wear your shorts below the knee. Really. It doesn’t.

I’m not a sandals guy. Too many sunburned toes! My summer casual shoes are canvas and boat.

129 Alan July 17, 2010 at 6:18 am

Having moved from the UK to Borneo, where it’s always hot and humin, I figured this would be a useful article. In fairness I think I gleaned more from the comments… ;o)

Yes, I can vouch for the fact that no T shirt will ever match the cool factor of a plain short-sleeved shirt. They’re typically lighter, more breathable, looser fitting, and you can undo as many buttons as necessary.

Out on my boat I’ll even use the collor, raising it up, to protect my neck when the sun is at a certain angle, creeping past the brim of my Tilley Airflow


130 Matt July 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Shave or trim body hair. For some people, that’s the first layer of clothing. lol

131 Mike July 18, 2010 at 10:33 am

VESTS VESTS VESTS. What about a man’s bare arms and shoulders? In summertime, especially in the evening, a man in a leather or fabric vest (with or without an undershirt), can often upstage nearby women and quickly turn heads. We are forced to looks at women’s arms and shoulders constantly, while men with good skin and good muscle definition hide their arms and shoulders (which is one area of the body where men can upstage or outclass women).

132 Craig August 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Regarding shorts, it is definitely acceptable to wear them out-with sports in the UK. Shorts below the knee is not a good look wherever you are.

133 ZZ August 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I have to humbly disagree with you on the universal nature of the sandals with socks thing. In the vien that shorts and t-shirts are more accepted in the US than some parts of the world, light socks and a classic sandle are not that uncommon in other parts. Having been born in eastern europe, I’ve seen people from my father to family friends to vacationers on the Riviera all indulging in this practice. As for whether it defeats the purpose or not think of it this way: in the Mediterranean climates the combination of heat, humidity and soft leather can result in a great deal of sweat. While not a problem on the sides and top of the feet, the dampness can be uncomfortable on the soles; not to mention quickly ruining a good pair of sandals. An appropriate light pair of socks will wick moisture up the sides to be evapourated by the breeze while still allowing air movement through the sock and can actually feel cooler than going without.

134 Raylen September 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I just read your article where boat shoes are mentioned. I have a terrible time keeping my laces tied. Any suggestions?

135 OLDTOOT November 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

being old this how it was 50years ago
for 100+ and hi hum….
1. bath
2. anti-per deorderant
3. just a hent of old spice or english leather
4. put un sented baby power in cloth
bag an tie it off…not apply to body
under arms , on sides , crouch, uper legs, chest and stomach.
5. shorts always above knee
below knee looks heavyand hot..to long looks like ladies coolocs
6. t’s or polos only with shorts
cotton t’s should be fited…never
ware under shirts..verry hot.
7. shirts should be fited…no side bulges or humps behind also no short sleve shirt with wings for sleeves or come down to elbow.
8. we only has hi top t-shoes, deck shoes and loafers white deck shoes with slacks with white socks..no socks with shorts…loafers with no socks with shorts…sandles sometimes but tend to pick up rocks and backing up is differcult when playing.
9. hanky great for tying around head to prevent swear from eyes.

136 Ortzinator June 23, 2013 at 12:29 am

Another downside of cotton is that it chafes when wet.

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