Help a guy tweak his summer wardrobe.
April 21, 2008 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Guy fashion question: I need a new summer look...what's in?

I'm a normal guy, normal build, normal height. Help me find clothes that might give me options to dress casually for the summer. The big store ads show guys looking too modelish, as in "A real-live guy would never wear that." I know this question is vague, but I'm open to any suggestion that you think would look pretty cool and casual on a guy for the summer. Not that it matters that much, but in terms of choosing colors, I have somewhat of a natural tan.
posted by boots77 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not really that big on fashion, but what I can tell you is some nice somewhat fitted jeans are always good. Baggy jeans don't look good on anyone. As far as shirts, I don't really know what you'd want to wear.. I tend to wear t-shirts, but that's me. Hopefully the rest of the hive mind with add to what I've said..
posted by majikstreet at 4:30 PM on April 21, 2008

Can you post any pictures of what you currently wear or what you look like? It's hard to make recommendations if everything is just "normal" when in reality, everyone's build, style, and preferences are quite unique.
posted by junesix at 4:31 PM on April 21, 2008

I'm a fan of guayabera shirts for summer wear.
posted by dersins at 5:00 PM on April 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Jeans and t-shirts. Or shorts, if you don't mind dressing like a child.
posted by 1 at 5:18 PM on April 21, 2008

If it weren't for American Apparel shirts, I would be in trouble. They're cut really well, but look like something any normal guy can wear.
posted by specialfriend at 5:31 PM on April 21, 2008

This really couldn't be much more open ended. I'm tempted to suggest a bright red shuka, sandals made from strips of tire rubber, and a nice selection of wooden bracelets. But if, for some weird reason, you're not a Maasai and don't live in Kenya, that may not help much. Information on where you live and the climate there, your age, income available, general attitude, what 'look' you're trying to achieve, anything, might help.

Most "real live guys" in the US wear old ratty tshirts, cargo shorts, baseball caps, and some sort of sneaker. If you're trying to fit in, then there's your list and you can hit Old Navy for clean and new versions of the above. Anything more ambitious and you'll need to provide more detail.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 5:41 PM on April 21, 2008

It is time shorts are reclaimed from the domain of the child; they belong to all men, of age irrespective! A nice pair of shorts, canvas belt, long sleeve shirt, and perhaps a sporty hat.

If you do go the American Apparel shirt route, surely avoid the travesty that is the deep v-neck. No one needs to see that much of your chest, and even the model looks embarrassed!

While, ensemble, the big-ad pieces may look together crazy and unwearable, the clothes worn individually (i.e not all dressed in one brand) look much better.
posted by oxford blue at 5:53 PM on April 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's hard to recommend a new look if we don't know your old look.

I'm also curious what ads to which you are referring. If you want something "in," you probably should look more closely at those models in the ads.

Otherwise, casual dress for a dude in the summer can be pretty simple -- depending on your definition of casual, of course. All in all, summer clothes aren't really that much different than clothes from other seasons. The fabrics and colors might be a little different, but it's all pretty normal. Jeans, t-shirts (plain or graphic), polos. Flip flops. For shirts, blazers, and pants, you'll see more linen and seersucker. As far as colors go, you'll probably see more lighter colors, like white.

A lot depends on the look you are trying to achieve. What's wrong with what you wear now? This is hard to answer because I'm not sure what you're trying to get at.
posted by mathlete at 5:59 PM on April 21, 2008

Response by poster: Original Poster here. Sorry this was so general. Some more info: I like a Polo shirt and khaki(sp) shorts usually. But I find that I wear this constantly in the summers. Something that a late twenties and early thirties could wear would be great. No clothes that are toooo young looking. Any pics or links that might help. Also, excuse my lack of details about what I want because I really don't know. Any ideas/links would be great. Any shorts that look good? Any shirts in particular? Anything! Help!!!!
posted by boots77 at 6:19 PM on April 21, 2008

Sounds like anything at Banana Republic or J Crew should be fine.
posted by rhizome at 6:44 PM on April 21, 2008

Best answer: It sounds like you like in a warm climate region. Are pants out of the question during summer? Even linen pants?

If you're restricted to the shorts and shirt combo, make sure you're wearing shorts that fit well and aren't baggy. Try straight leg shorts in dark colors like navy, olive, or gray to mix it up against the usual khaki. If you want to be adventurous, try bolder solid colors like yellow, red, or lighter blues.

For the top, you can wear fitted dress shirts and roll up the sleeves for variety. Plain whites and light blue shirts will keep you cool and looking neat while not looking too dressed up. For casual, you can't beat t-shirts plain or screened but again, get shirts that fit.

I'm not a fan of sandals so I stay away from those. Go with Chuck Taylors, sneakers, or casual loafers for footwear, with the short ankle-high running socks.

Here's some pics of looks I like from The Sartorialist for summer inspiration - 1 2 3 4 5 6
posted by junesix at 7:14 PM on April 21, 2008 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Tommy Bahama. Expensive silks, but hawt, and worth it.
posted by netbros at 7:27 PM on April 21, 2008

Summer = linen for me. Trek down to your local store and check out some long and short-sleeved linen shirts. I recommend that you wear them with colored undershirts as they are often see-through. A tan linen blazer would also be a nice thing to have in a summer wardrobe.
posted by gen at 2:39 AM on April 22, 2008

Those photos are very interesting; the clothes are very nice, but it helps that they are all very fit/skinny (and knowing that site, wealthy as well). Such people tend to be able to pull off 'more' sartorially speaking, whereas those of a more rounded persuasion may not have such luck.

Some vague thoughts; 1 suffers from thinking that male cleavage is somehow good, 2 might enjoy a belt, 3 should get a quit patch (the smell of smokers is awful), 4 might want to tuck in his shirt (the whole untucked except for my belt is awfully contrived and phony) and maybe do up a button on his shirt, 5 should stop worrying that a smile will defeat his brooding Byronic aura, and 6, well 6 is rather spectacular.

posted by oxford blue at 5:49 AM on April 22, 2008

Best answer: #6 from junesix's collection of Sartorialist photos is my typical summer outfit: slim fit long-sleeve collared shirt with the sleeves pushed (not rolled) up, non-baggy flat front shorts (although I wear mine to mid-knee, no cuff, and often don't tuck the shirt because my waist is like up by my armpits), and simple kicks. I get Stafford undershirts from JC Penny's, v-neck so no one has to look at them but crew neck with something more casual like a polo can let you layer a little.

I like Tom's Shoes and pretty much any all-white clean tennis shoe. Some people HATE sandals and I sort of understand why, but I live on the surface of the sun so simple flipflops or nicer leather sandals (I have some Borns) can work out here.

As with any wardrobe you're experimenting with, make the consignment and thrift stores your friends and visit every couple of weeks to see what's new. Add Nordstrom's Rack and Off Fifth to the list and you can toss a few good looks together and spend basically nothing.

Cheap sunglasses provide pretty much the same sun protection as expensive ones, so load up on several different types from the very inexpensive line that Mossimo has at Target. Mossimo also has cheap but decent looking watches there, so you could also accessorize that way. Decent Fossil watches don't cost too much either.

Finally, every time you can err on the side of dressing up instead of dressing down, do it. And don't be afraid of looking 'modelish'... you might be surprised at the attention you get. And don't forget that staying fit sure helps in pulling a summer wardrobe together, but isn't a prerequisite for wearing nice clothes.
posted by TheManChild2000 at 6:11 AM on April 22, 2008

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