We’re already in mid-August and I just cannot figure out how this summer went by so fast. If you’re like me, you want to try to get as much out of these last few summer weeks as possible (officially, there’s only six left!!). This means attending every great to decent open air concert, BBQ, rooftop cocktail party, sailing excursion, pool party, beach day, and anything that sounds even remotely summer.
In this installment of Suit Your Life, I’ll focus on those key summer items and garments I’ve used and plan to pull out again for every worthwhile activity we have left, including the Black Enterprise Golf & Tennis Challengeon Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 1-5) in Miami. It also doesn’t hurt that most stores are having their end of season sales so you’ll be able to rack up on most of these great items for up to 75% off. Thank me later. —Gardy V. Guerrier
Saturdays Surf (a highly respected New York City surf shop) and Porter (a high end Japanese bag company) have collaborated to create a really fancy beach bag. The Saturday x Porter canvas beach bag ($300) was made for those who love the sand under their feet. The bag features a wide shoulder strap, padded leather handle, a waterproof tarp lined interior with a snap-on top, and extra pockets—both along the interior and on the outside—to keep all your beach day essentials in place while also keeping all that sand and water out.
Whether surfing or just laying out enjoying the view a stylish pair of trunks is always at the top of the list for beach day must-haves. You can either go old school with these Lacoste L!VE Retro swim short [left] ($57, sale price from $95) or a bit more active with the Old Navy Tiki Floral board shorts [right] ($8, sale price from $24.50).
The Persol PO0649 Crystal shades ($360) were a favorite for Steve McQueen, but have since become the brand of the new jetsetters like Kanye West, Chris Brown, Maxwell, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and the days where I can get my hands on a buddy pass—me.
Havaianas flip-flops ($18) were made famous by those beautiful women of Ipanema and all us men who go to Brazil in search of them, but only come back with a pair of these comfortable flip-flops instead, are a staple of stylish beach goers worldwide. Their site carries a wide range of color and style options, but if you want something a bit more original check out their MYOH program and “Make Your Own Havaianas.”
WATCH & BAND
J. Crew and Timex have collaborated again for their new Andros dive watch ($175). The watch is water resistant for up to 100 meters, with quartz analog movement, and comes with a stylish casual navy nylon band. Perfect for that Sunday sail or just having brunch at your favorite corner bistro. Shake it up a bit by investing in their optional nylon watchbands ($20) that come in both solid and striped, as well as an assortment of color options. It’s as if you are wearing a new watch every day.
With an activity-packed day under the sun you want your clothing to be comfortable, stylish, and lightweight, so American Apparel’s fine jersey short sleeve T-shirt ($48, on sale from $54) are great fitted tees that comes in a large assortment of multi color three packs that fit the bill.
Target has hit the mark with their extra large message beach towels. The Blog Beach Towel ($10) and the Away Message Beach Towel ($10) are two of my personal favorites.
Sun block is not just for people of other races. Using a sun block with a minimum SPF of 15 will protect you from sunburn, sunstroke and premature aging, as well as skin cancer. Try the Menscience TiO2 Sun block SPF 30 for men ($31). SYL TIP: Apply sunscreen liberally to all parts of your body at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. This will give you sunscreen time to be absorbed by your skin and be the most effective. Once out in the sun reapply every two hours, especially if you’ll be swimming/toweling down.
We took this Red 48 Pack Polar Bear Coolers ($80) out on a 103-degree day and it kept all our drinks cold until well after the sun came down. Another great advantage with going with a soft side cooler is once its empty you can fold it up and shove it in your bag. It’s a cooler, we don’t need much more.
Here’s a SYL cheap trick: It’s summer and you want to go sockless with those new boat shoes or driving Moccasins you got for father’s day, but you don’t want your feet to get all sweaty in those hot leather shoes. A cheap and effective trick is to use no-show, cotton shoe liners. The reusable washable sock liners are low enough that no one will know you have them on, but thick enough that they will protect your feet against the hazards of athletes’ foot. I recommend this Gold Toe No Show Loafer Liner Sock 3-pack ($16).
Add a burst of color to your summer wardrobe with these classic Tommy Hilfiger straight fit Chinos in blue ($50, on sale from $59).
The Fred Perry Contrast Barrel Bag ($85) is a great bag for the weekend escape. With its vintage tubular shape, contrasting color combination, and multiple pockets, you will be more than equipped for your escape from the main land.