Men's Summer Style: Where to Invest and Where to Save

11 ways to maximize your wardrobe

As someone who effectively tossed $200 into the ocean last summer after a barely functional bikini (read: world’s worst tan lines) fell apart after one vacation, I quickly waded into a save and invest mentality when it comes to summer essentials. Did you happen to notice the invest aspect? Because these, my friends, are not splurges. Investing in pieces that you’ll be able to use for multiple seasons is both cost efficient and time saving when it comes time to shaping up your closet next season.  

Warm weather staples are put through the ringer: sweat, heat, multiple washes, and maxed out outdoor activities. To get the most out of each piece, strategically save on items that endure the most wear and tear while investing in items that will work hard for you. 

Maximizing men’s summer style:

Sunglasses: Jeepers Peepers, $26 

R.I.P. to every pair of sunglasses I’ve worn into into sea because “this time I’ll obviously hold onto them”. While shades attached to higher end brand names will often have iconic designs or innovative materials, it’s also just short of earth shattering if said shades are harmed or lost without a warranty. Luckily, it’s easy to score a stylish pair for prices well below $50 that will last you all season…if you hang on to them. 

Get the best pair of shades for your face shape.

Summer Weight Suit: Suit Supply, $499 

We know, we know. It ain’t easy being breezy. It IS easy, however, to feel a much needed breeze in the sweltering months with a light weight suit. A breathable suit is absolutely worth an investment for spring, summer, and autumn (well, and a Floridian winter). By opting for a blend versus a pure wool or linen suit, you’ll get all the benefits without having to worry about excessive wrinkling. Pro tip: Choose a pattern and color that will serve you outside of the summer months.

Weekend Bag: Old Navy, $35 

Upgraded luggage is integral to stylish travel – even when you’re not taking to the skies. If you’re moving up from using a gym bag or simply trying a new style, you can save on a handsome weekend bag that will also last you a season or two. When saving on a weekend bag, look for sturdy materials like waxed canvas or treated cotton but stay away from all leather bags that will likely peel or crack after a few uses.

Shop Style Girlfriend favorite leather brands.

Denim jacket: Saturdays NYC, $175 

Don’t mind us while we sing sweet, sweet praise for a denim jacket during any – and all – season. Whether you pair this workhorse with Breton stripes and chino shorts in June or with corduroy pants and chukkas throughout autumn, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

Towel: Target, $10

Towels take a beating in the heat. From tackling sand and saltwater to the pool and beyond, you’ll likely retire a towel or two each season. Instead of reaching for a sturdier bath towel – and ruining it – seek out a beach towel that’s affordable with a slick design.

summer scent: The Motley, $105

One of the first things women notice – in any time or place – is your signature scent. So let’s make it a good thing. Spritzing on a cologne with light notes in summer won’t battle with your body wash or the heat like a heavier winter scent might. A citrus or earthy blend will be hardworking without overpowering. Why invest? One scent for warm months and one scent for cool months will keep you covered all year.

Minimal sneakers: Adidas, $75 

Style Girlfriend HQ loves, I mean loves, a minimal white sneaker. They fit seamlessly into your casual wardrobe and are easily dressed up with a sharp suit or fitted blazer. But here’s the thing: they get dirty, fast. If you’re not committed to consistent shoe care (aka washing these bad boys after every other use), they’ll start looking dingy in a hurry. Moral of story: realistically assess your shoe care habits. Are you hard on your sneakers? Save on a pair that looks just as stylish but won’t break the bank to replace.

How to wear white sneakers two ways.

Loafers: Beckett Simonon, $180 

On the other end of the footwear spectrum: quality dress shoes. An elegant pair of loafers can – and should – last a few seasons. Investing in well-made leather dress shoes will allow you to get the most wear out of any given pair. Ready for an added bonus? Higher end dress shoes are often more comfortable and offer restoration warranties.

The full breakdown on men’s dress shoes.

Chino shorts: Gap, $45

You have staple chino shorts that you’ve been wearing for many moons, but don’t discount a few seasonal pairs just yet. A micro pattern, seasonal fabric (ahem, hey seersucker), and vibrant color are all worth grabbing in the summer months. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about sticker shock with the multitude of accessible brands offering fashion conscious selections each season.

5 ways to wear your staple chino shorts.

Linen shirt: J.Crew, $80 

Nothing screams summer quite like a long walk on the beach (or down the office halls) in a linen shirt. This is the kind of seasonal item to invest in because it won’t get worn out after a few washes or go out of style by next summer. Even beyond that, linen shirts know no age. Meaning: you can sport this warm weather MVP for years to come.

Swim trunks

Rhythm, $36 | Assembly, $70 | Orlebar Brown, $230 

Swim trunks are a wardrobe wildcard depending on your personal use cases. Let’s breakdown the considerations:

  • How often are you slipping on swimwear? If you find yourself only hitting the beach or pool once or twice a year, then this is a great place to save.
  • What’s your activity level? When you’re constantly on-the-go surfing, swimming, chasing kids around, investing in a high-tech fabric that can withstand intense activity will save you from burning through your swim trunk collection.
  • Tackling trends? As with any trend, if you’re on the fence about committing to a neon yellow or themed conversational pattern: save.
  • Sticking with the staples? Once you know that you’re likely staying the same size, opt for a classic color and style that will hold it’s hue and stay in tact for years.



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