Just because summer is cause to shed the confines of clothing to celebrate the skin you’re in — as our current cover story on swimsuits only reinforced — the reality is we can’t go commando everywhere. For those times that you legally have to cover your bits, here are our picks for summer essentials to keep you looking fly and having fun.
Shark-print swimming trunks. Like the Republican and Democratic parties, it seems that America is equally divided between two swimwear categories: bulky board shorts or barely-there Speedo-style suits. If you prefer to stay somewhere in the middle, Maui & Sons’ Shark trunks let you show a little leg while leaving the size and shape of your little swimmer to your admirers’ imaginations. Pacsun.com.
Polarized bold-color frames. It’s a crime against fashion to step into those harmful UV rays without a posh pair of polarized glasses, but the Westbrook New York Shades in blue can help keep the style citations at bay. Designed by NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook, these funky, chunky wayfarer frames are made from durable acetate and feature five-barrel hinges built to handle summertime wear and tear. JackThreads.com.
3-in-1 beach game set. So what if you weren’t invited to play volleyball with Chip and all his glistening, bare-chested country-club cronies. Make your own fun with three-in-one game sets that offer hours of friendly competition. The features quick-and-easy setup of ladder ball, washer toss and beanbag toss games, all housed in one convenient carrying case. (Besides, you know one of ’em is at least bi, so you’re not completely out for the count.) Kmart.com.
Old Skool flamingo sneakers. Rock out with your flock out in the flamingo-print Old Skool sneaks from Vans, inspired by a reissued print from the shoemaker’s archives. Constructed in the Van Doren style, these kicks feature a low-top lace-up with a suede upper, padded tongue and lining, metal eyelets and Vans original Waffle Outsole. Something flamboyant this way comes. Vans.com.
Neon throwback shorts. If all this talk about “dad bod” lately has you feeling several sorts of nostalgic, take a trip back in time with the Rooster Tails from Chubbies, rainbow-patterned shorts reminiscent of your pa’s sky’s-out-thighs-out weekend wear. Made of everybody’s favorite ’80s fabric (nylon), these fresh vestiges of what once was makes showin’ off your feet trophies all the more dad-tastic. Chubbies.com.
Mini Bluetooth speaker. You’ll want to pump up the jams on that prime piece of real estate you’ve nabbed on the sand — if only to drown out the sound of all those pretty girls” — and the iBT72 expandable Bluetooth mini speaker from iHome helps you make that beat drop. This compact, accordion-style sound box has two audio sources: wireless streaming from your mobile device or direct line-in via the included cable and any device with a headphone jack. Ihome.com.
Tropic Time snapback hats. You don’t have to be a sports fan (though it doesn’t hurt) to appreciate the Tropic Time snapback hats from New Era — full-cap and bill-only floral prints available in MLB and NBA teams. Pick from your favorites or choose one that gels well with your summer style, like the Miami Marlins 9FIFTY cap that’s inherently breezy. NewEra.com.
Blue Pine watch. Watches aren’t worn for practical purposes any more — nowadays we’re all conditioned to check our pockets for the time — but a whimsical hand clock can add that extra umph your outfit might need. Take Swatch’s Blue Pine wristwatch, for instance. It’s like looking out from your private cabana in Fiji, wishing that time would stop altogether (and never start again), making it an ideal conversation piece at a seaside dinner with the new friends you’ve made on vacay. Swatch.com.
Embroidered Hula and Palms oxford. Alas, you can’t wear flip-flops and tank tops everywhere you go from May to September, so it’s best to keep some fancier duds in your duffel. Class the join while staying summer-festive in the slim lightweight oxford with embroidered hula and palms from J. Crewwhich is easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Dapper button-downs also are available in embroidered anchors and woven pelicans. JCrew.com.
Hemp duffel bag. Speaking of duffels, you’ll need to conveniently carry all your summer style essentials (and souvenirs!), and the Natural Hemp Novel Duffel from Herschel Supply Co. is both lightweight and heavy duty simultaneously. The natural hemp fabric construction is contrasted by chambray details and features a cotton chambray liner with silver pin detailing. Herschel’s signature shoe pocket also is built in … because it already knows and loves you. HerschelSupply.com.
— Mikey Rox