Summertime Swagger: How to Dress for the Heat

Summer Fashion Tips for Men

It’s finally summertime.

Who doesn’t love barbecues at the park, clean beaches, beautiful sunshine, and lush, green grass? It’s a great time of year.

As you know, summer isn’t perfect. One of the most unfortunate aspects of summer is also the best aspect: the heat.

With the increased temperature, dressing your best isn’t an easy task. You have to balance functionality with style. And this can be a difficult.

On one hand, this is the time of year where you are socializing the most. There’ll be your late night parties, road trips, and poolside lounging. At all these events, you’ll no doubt be meeting a bunch of new people…so it’s important to look your best.

The other hand, however, are the (often) uncomfortable heat waves. It would be foolish to ignore the high temperatures and solely focus on your appearance. Do you enjoy sweating like a pig? Neither do we. So it’s important to match your style with the weather.

Functionality + style = summertime swagger success.

Due to summer style being somewhat of a balancing act, we wrote this article for you. We go over which types of materials you should wear, great summer style items, and five summer style mistakes you should stay far away from.

Here we go!

What Type of Materials to Wear?

What’s the worst type of fabric you can wear during the summer? Material that’s stuffy, heavy, and provides no real protection from the sun rays.

The type of fabric you should be rocking during the summer season is breathable, light, and shields you from the ever-beating sun.

There are three choice fabrics that will give you the results you want: linen, cotton, and tropical wool. An honorable mention is silk. A silk shirt can be a sexy, unique piece that’ll make a lasting impression. However, silk is generally expensive and difficult to take care of so it didn’t quite make the cut.


mens linen suit

Linen is one of the most breathable and lightest fabrics on the list…and that’s exactly why it’s on top! It has a distinct summer look to it, especially compared to a popular material such as cotton. It’s truly the key summer fabric.

A great benefit of linen is that is dries extremely fast. This makes it perfect for outings to the pool or beach.

One of the major cons with linen is that it wrinkles easily. If you are absolutely opposed to using an iron once and awhile, and willing to spend a few more bucks, you can purchase linen that’s more tightly woven. You’re going to lose a bit of the breathability with it being woven more tightly, but it’ll still be great summer wear.


mens cotton suit

This is going to be one of your choice fabrics for summer due to one reason: it’s inexpensive. Cotton makes up the majority of most guys’ summer wardrobe. This includes your Levis, chinos, and t-shirts.

Cotton has so many different weave variations. A few of the most popular summer types are twill, poplin, madras, and seesucker. All of these are woven loosely for lightness and breathability. You can go here for a complete list of fabrics made from cotton.

Again, the looser the fabric is woven, the less heat will be trapped to your body.

Tropical Wool

mens suit tropical wool

When you think of wool, chances are you’re thinking of the heavy, itchy suit in the back of your dad’s closet. Tropical wool is different! Not all types of wool are created equal. The type of wool that will provide both style and comfort in the sun is tropical wool.

Tropical wool offers superb ventilation due to how it’s woven together. The type of items you’ll most commonly find made of tropical wool is business wear. Mainly, pants and coats.

A fantastic plus of this material is that it doesn’t wrinkle, especially compared to linen. It’s also great at keeping you cool in the sun. Tropical wool has a unique look to it and you should really consider adding a few pieces to your wardrobe this summer!

Final Advice Regarding Materials

Excluding cotton, it’s important that your outfit is not made up of only one single material. If your outfit is composed of just one type of material, then you’ll be sacrificing both texture and style. Not only that, but it’ll look excessive.

So if you’re wearing linen pants don’t wear a linen shirt. And if you’re wearing a sports coat made of tropical wool, make sure your pants are made of something else.

5 Key Summer Style Items

Layering is something that a lot of fashion gurus push for, but it’s not really an option during the summer. With that being said, the easiest and least expensive way to elevate your style during the summer months is to wear some great accessories.

By donning the proper accessories, you’re visually telling people that you’ve got some serious style.

Here are 5 accessories you should definitely consider adding to your summer style lineup (if you haven’t already):

A Summer Watch

summer mens watch

The right watch can really make your outfit pop. To ensure that your watch will stride with the weather, look for straps made of Canvas, NATO or Zulu. Check out the article we found on Primer Magazine that explains 8 different types of watches that are perfect for the warm weather.


how to spray summer cologne

Style isn’t necessarily visual. A sweet, light cologne can really help you look and feel your best (click here for our favorite summer scent). Don’t go overboard when you’re applying it. Just spraying a few sprays in the air and walking through it ought to do it.

A word of warning: it might not be a good idea to use cologne in the office as some people are highly sensitive to it. If you still want to go for it, we’d suggest that you send an email to your office (or at the very least, talk to your cubemates) beforehand to ensure no one has an allergic reaction.

A Pair of Loafers

summer loafers

Not exactly sure why guys seem to constantly overlook these, but a nice pair of loafers during the summer looks absolutely fantastic. Unless you’re wearing pants, do not wear socks with your loafers. Two types of loafers that really look sharp are drivers and moccasins. They are both semi-casual but have a professional edge to them.

In order to cut down on the sweat and smell that might result from this, you can apply baby powder to the insides of your loafers before and after you wear them.


summer mens sunglasses

Wearing a pair of sunglasses can not only help you with your style, but can also play an important role in protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. Some of the preferred styles are wayfarers (classic/effortless), aviators (popular/not as easy to pull off), and clubman (militant/more structure).

If you’re forgetful (or can’t remember if you are), you may want to hold back on buying an expensive pair. As you’ll be taking your shades on and off frequently, they’re pretty easy to misplace. The best option might be to purchase a few, relatively inexpensive pairs instead of dropping $200 on some glasses that might disappear to who knows where.

You should know this by now, but just incase you don’t, it’s really never a good idea to wear sunglasses indoors.

Credit Card Holder or Wallet

Credit Card Holder or Wallet

A credit card holder adds a subtle touch to your summer look. Whether paying for coffee or a movie ticket, don’t let your wallet take away from your look. You can find some sharp, leather holders that really work well on amazon.

Avoid stuffing your wallet full of useless receipts and wads of cash. If you do, you’ll look sloppy and it’ll take away from your overall neatness and presentation. Additionally, a stuffed wallet can cause back pain.

Remember: less is more.

One thing to note: once and awhile, you should take calculated risks when it comes to accessories. Most guys are afraid step outside of ‘the norm’ when it comes to fashion. But do you really want to be like everybody else?

If you want to make an impression this summer, try rocking a light scarf, wearing an oversized watch, or putting on some crazy colored socks. Yes, it may be scary. Yes, you may get more looks. But just like life in general, sometimes it’s best to take risks and get out of your comfort zone; you’ll never know where it’ll lead to.

Set your self apart!

Summertime Fashion Mistakes

One of the best ways to figure out the proper way of doing something is to understand what NOT to do. For example, if you’re trying to become a millionaire by 30 years old, you may first begin your journey by understanding what will make you broke.

According to Charlie Munger, billionaire and right hand man to legendary investor Warren Buffett, here’s what you can do to be poor:

“Such an easy answer: sloth and unreliability. If you’re unreliable it doesn’t matter what your virtues are. You’re going to crater immediately. Doing what you have faithfully engaged to do should be an automatic part of your conduct.”

So what’ll make you look unfashionable this summer? These will:

Shorts + Socks

socks and shorts fashion mistake

When you’re wearing shorts this summer, leave the socks in the drawer where they belong. We mentioned above that if you’re wearing loafers, your feet might sweat a bit…baby powder is your friend here!

The only real exception is when you’re going to the gym and wearing sneakers or tennis shoes.

If you are totally against the whole no sock feeling, you can get a few pairs of no show socks. The ones we linked to are thin and quite durable. You’ll forget that you’re wearing socks!



Unless you are extremely cut or somewhere on a beach in Europe, speedos are generally a no fly zone. Ask Men actually wrote an entire article on whether or not to wear them.

It’s probably best to look elsewhere for swimwear. ‘Nuff said.

Tank Tops

Tank Top

Unless you’re going for the douche bag look, working out, or competing in a bodybuilding competition, tank tops are meant to be worn as undershirts. Yes, they can provide you with some air flow, but you can achieve the same results by wearing shirts made of breathable, light material.

If you’re looking to be stylish, avoid at all costs.

Cargo Shorts

ugly Cargo Shorts

Why do guys feel the need for all those pockets? Unless you’re a handyman or father of four, forget cargo shorts. They’re bulky and look terrible.

The type of shorts that you’ll want to wear are slim cut, hems stopping an inch or two above your kneecap, and have no pockets on the side.

No Sunscreen

no sunscreen

Besides the health benefits (skin cancer is bad), sun screen helps you to NOT look like a cooked lobster. So even if you’re dark skinned, wearing sunscreen is always good for your appearance. That bright, red skin color is never appealing.

Here’s a piece of advice that almost all of you will ignore:

Even though you can easily wear polo, button-up shirt (short or long-sleeved), or v-neck, most of you will stick to t-shirts this summer. It’s a shame because even a generic brand polo will outclass an expensive designer t-shirt.

If you really want to pick up your style this summer, don’t be like every other guy out there. Swap out the t-shirt for something more fashionable!


summer style for men

While it’s important to look your absolute best, especially during a social season such as summer, you also can’t ignore the sheer heat. It’s best to wear clothing that’s stylish and both breathable and lightweight.

Don’t just be the guy who wears t-shirts and flip flops all summer long…you’re better than that! Show you know your stuff and keep your cool by wearing the right type of fabrics, putting on some dapper accessories, and avoiding the five major summer fashion mistakes.

Now you know how to dress for the heat, go out there and have a killer summer!

What’s one thing you’re excited to wear this summer?

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