20 Summer Essentials For Men
Spring has come and gone, and summer is well underway. We’re all doing our best to enjoy this brief annual escape before it comes to an end. This means swapping out the drab office attire for the latest in men’s fashion; beach or road trip friendly attire that’s stylish, lightweight, and quick drying to cope with the heat. Summer is all about relaxing with family and friends, building sandcastles with the little ones, and being unbothered by grains of sand ending up in all the wrong places. Getting salt in your eyes seems a small price to pay for the warmth of the summer sun. Petrichor fills the air as blades of grass dry rapidly in the heat. Is there another season that conveys the perfect sense of fun and relaxation?
There’s just something about the smell of meat on the grill, tubing along a river and driving with the windows down while belting out the lyrics to the latest summer tunes, that makes you want to get lost in the moment. It’s almost as if your responsibilities are gone and your inner kid has taken over. Whether you’re indulging in the best season of the year by connecting with old friends, or booking a flight to a Caribbean destination to make new ones, here are 20 summer essentials to help you enjoy the moment. We want to make sure you are equipped to create some of the best memories for years to come.
More than buns are out this season. It’s summer after all, so the sun is shining brighter than your grandpa’s smile when he’s wearing his Sunday best. While you’re frolicking on the beach, don’t forget: beware the heat. It's common knowledge that sunlight can damage your eyes, and the effects can be catastrophic. This is why sunglasses are at the top of our list of summer essentials for men.
Sunglasses are a necessity when it comes to men’s summer outfits. Let’s be honest - shielding your eyes from the scorching sun is a priority, but who says you can’t do so in style? Feed your fashion sense and grab a pair of A Few Wood Men’s bamboo sunglasses. You should be wearing sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and lucky for you, ours have the highest UV 400 protection, and polarization. With A Few Wood Men’s wooden sunglasses, you get the best of both worlds - protection from harmful UV rays and unique eyewear to compliment your summer outfit. The benefits of polarized lenses are endless and these stylish bamboo sunglasses will improve your summer look for the better. The Isaac has round lenses for a sleek modern vibe, while The Walter, Nathaniel and Austin have a more classic feel.
It’s no secret that summer is the hottest season. We get more hours of daylight, which means more exposure to the sun. Higher levels of melanin means Black people are less prone to sunburn and skin cancer, but this doesn’t mean we are 100% safe. Black men have an even higher risk of developing melanoma compared to their female counterparts, yet the majority aren’t open to wearing sunscreen. All that fun in the sun will likely come back to bite you unless you get serious about caring for your skin. This is why we consider sunscreen one of the most important summer essentials for men.
When choosing sunscreen, you want to make sure it’s at least SPF 30. Bonus points if the one you buy is also moisturizing. Most sunscreens are not suitable for darker skin and leave an unsightly white residue. However, brands like Black Girl Sunscreen dry completely clear so it’s perfect to use before any outdoor activity. This specific brand doesn’t contain parabens, and is filled with natural ingredients like Jojoba Oil, Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, and Glycerin. Black Girl Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun and doubles as a moisturizer. You can even choose between the sunscreen lotion or the continuous spray. The moisture keeps your skin hydrated, while protecting you from harmful UV rays, which can also cause wrinkles and other types of damage.
Leather Bifold Wallet
Every man should own a well-made wallet. How else are you going to carry your cash on a daily basis? A bag isn’t always convenient. The classic look of the leather bifold wallet makes it a timeless accessory that will never go out of style. This is another summer essential for men because no matter what, you’ll always need something to store your valuables. Made from cruelty-free leather, The Joshua Customized Wallet holds up to 12 credit cards, cash, and a passport. This is one accessory men will find easy and reliable for on the go runs and vacations.
Did we mention that it’s customizable? Simply upload your favorite photo, and we’ll take care of the rest. The Joshua Wallet is durable yet lightweight, making it an ideal summer accessory for men who want to keep their valuables close.
Headwear can become the focal point of your summer outfit so you don’t want to miss the opportunity to look dapper. Not only will the right hat or cap help you stand out from the crowd, but it will also protect you from the sun. We’ve been stressing the importance of going the extra mile to shield your skin from harmful rays, and we’re not about to stop now. Here’s our list of summer essentials to protect your head from the heat.
Is there any other headwear that screams summer like a fedora? This fashionable accessory for men can be paired with button down Hawaiian shirts, chino shorts and slip on shoes. In fact, they go well with most summer outfits. Fedoras are worn globally. They’re visible in tropical destinations, the quiet countryside and even in most cities. Straw fedoras typically have a solid or patterned band of fabric to add a splash of color to your outfit. They’re also made from breathable materials to ensure your head is well ventilated while you enjoy the summer sun.
The durag is a multifaceted accessory, with a deep cultural meaning. It is more than fashion for Black men. Whether you’re using it to keep your cornrows and braids intact, define your waves, or as a statement piece to enhance your street style, durags allow Black men to freely express themselves. They are light, comfy and can be used to give off any attitude the wearer desires. Various styles have been emerging: floral, geometric and even fabrics like silk and satin. You’ll have no trouble finding a style to add meaning to your summer outfit. The durag is one accessory for men that will always be relevant in the Black community.
Most men already have this headwear in their closet. Baseball caps are another accessory for men that will always be relevant because they’re perfect for casual outfits. They can be worn while going for a walk, shopping, or a day at the park with the family. Baseball caps make outdoor activities during summer more bearable as the visor or brim helps shield the face from the sun. If you’d like to step outside the fashion box, wear it backwards with your summer outfit or tilt it to the side.
The versatility of the bucket hat makes it a perfect summer accessory. From street style, to the runway, few accessories survive the fashion shift from the 80s. Classic fashion accessories like the bucket hat inspire generation after generation, and will never go out of style. Farmers and fishermen love them because they’re light, foldable, and the continuous brim keeps them cool. The variety of bucket hats available means you can choose one that suits your style. They’re available in denim, solid colors, and bright prints for men who want to add a more trendy element to their summer outfits.
Don’t be afraid to diversify your jewelry collection with a wooden watch. Rise above the crowd of men in simple shirts and shorts by adding some texture and a splash of color to your wrist. Wooden watches are great summer essentials for men because they’re lightweight and breathable. Wood provides a natural grain to help spread heat and cool down the internal mechanisms of the watch. You won’t have to worry about your watch heating up on your wrist.
Our wooden watch collection has a wide range of styles and colors to keep you fashionable this summer and help you stand out. Some men prefer leather strap watches, while others prefer links. And that is why we cater to both. The Adam’s Apple Band is also available for men who want to spruce up their Apple watch. Whether you’re looking for a classic, rustic, sophisticated, or sleek timepiece, you’re bound to find something to suit your needs. Our watches are made from wood like ebony, redwood, mahogany, birch and oak. Each timepiece has its own unique pattern so no two models are exactly the same. Add a dapper touch to your summer outfit with a timeless wooden watch from A Few Wood Men.
Don’t forget your stone bead and braided leather bracelets this summer! We have a collection of bracelet sets for men that go well with any outfit. Stack them with your watch and other bracelets, or wear them on the opposite hand for a more subtle look. Our leather bracelets have an intricate braided design detailed with a silver or gold finish, and magnetic closure for all-day wear. They are lightweight, stylish and perfect for any man who wants to be edgy without overdoing it.
Our beaded bracelet collection has Tiger Eye, Slate and Hematite Lava Stones for men who are keen on attracting the right energy. They’re colorful, trendy and add a nice touch to your summer outfit. Choose a bracelet set with gold or silver charms for the extra bling, or keep things simple with natural stone beads only. Our Tiger Eye men’s bracelet sets are available in red, gold, green, magenta, and blue. With all these variants, you can easily accessorize your summer outfits and turn heads at every event.
Button Down Shirts
Regardless of the season, a button down shirt will always have a place in your wardrobe. Talk about another classic men’s summer essential that will never go out of style. This is by far one of the best shirts for men to wear to work, or to a more chill event like a barbecue or pool party. Opt for short sleeve button down shirts during the day, then switch to long sleeves for colder summer nights.
Pair with jeans or linen shorts, layer with a lightweight jacket or undo the buttons to show a bit of skin if you’re feeling playful. When it comes to men’s clothing, this is one item that’s available in an unlimited number of styles. From gingham and polka dot, to tropical prints and vibrant solid colors, the combinations are pretty much endless. Pale and pastel colors tend to be more popular during summer because they repel light. Go with lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, flannel and polyester. The right button down shirt will have you looking fashionable and sophisticated, no matter the occasion.
Polos & T-Shirts
T-shirts are a summer staple when it comes to menswear, while polo shirts give you the best of both worlds; the perfect cross between a button down shirt and a t-shirt. These are summer essentials for men because they’re easy to style, and go well with almost anything. You can grab a t-shirt or polo at the store without considering the pieces you have at home, and not have to worry about finding something to match.
We know the fun doesn’t stop for everyone when summer begins, so polo shirts are an ideal choice for business casual outfits for men. On days when you want to feel relaxed without losing points for professionalism, consider wearing one to work. You can’t go wrong with breathable cotton or linen blends. They’re more comfortable to wear during summer. Light muted earthy tones are great options for your professional outfit, brunch, and other outings. Of course if you prefer something brighter to help your skin tone pop, don’t be shy. Be bold and go for it!
Denim Jacket & Hoodie
A denim jacket is an oldie but goodie of men’s fashion, especially during summer. You’ll never get bored. Perfect for the summer days or nights when you need the extra warmth, layering with a nice button down shirt or t-shirt is a great way to show off your fashion sense. Pair with jeans that match for a safe choice or go with another shade.
It’s easy to slip on a hoodie and step outside because everyone probably owns one. But, can you honestly wear one in summer? Well, it depends. Fleece lined hooded jackets should be stashed away till winter because you’ll be sweating profusely. Make sure the fabric is very light. A Few Wood Men’s Classic Champion Jackets were designed to protect you from rain and wind. Sounds perfect for boat rides, and nighttime outings where the cold creeps up on you. Made from wind-resistant polyester to keep you dry when you’re sweating, the jacket has a front pocket for your cell phone and keys, and a zipped pouch pocket which can be used for convenient storage.
Chino Shorts & Pants
Men's summer style should focus on comfort. Is there any other bottom that boasts comfort like chino pants and shorts? Your birthday suit and joggers don’t count. They’re breathable and fast drying, making them ideal summer essentials for men who enjoy a long day in the sun.
Lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen won’t take up much space in your duffel bag or suitcase so you can travel with all your fashionable summer outfits without stressing over too much baggage. Linen tends to wrinkle a bit so if you find creases annoying, or you’re not a fan of steaming, go with cotton or cotton blends. Chinos pair well with button down shirts, primarily floral and other patterns. Go with stylish t-shirts or your polo shirt if you want a more laid back look. Whatever the occasion, chino shorts and pants are eye-catching apparel for men this summer.
Jeans may be heavier than chinos, but you can still wear a pair and stay sweat free during summer. Steer clear of bulky, baggy jeans, or super tight close fitting ones. You don’t want to feel weighed down, or restricted when going out in the summer heat. Loose fitting, straight leg and dad jeans are more suited for the season. Wiggle room is necessary to keep your legs cool and chafe free so save the tight fitting skinny jeans for colder months.
Crop jeans are a big hit considering the type of shoes that men love to wear in summer. Pair them with patterned or solid color button down shirts, and pastel colored t-shirts. White and other light color jeans will go well with most shirts in your wardrobe, giving you more options to choose from. Get a pair of distressed jeans to go with your plain white polo or linen shirt and sneakers. You can even double up on the denim, but beware of the colors. Layering denim usually looks better when the top is lighter than the bottom.
Swim trunks are designed specifically for water, making them important summer essentials for men. You don’t even have to be an avid surfer tackling the waves all day. A pair of swim trunks will make lounging by the pool or enjoying a boat ride on the lake so much fun. The fabrics tend to be light, water-wicking and cling free. The lightweight fabric means your swim trunks will dry quickly too! You will feel comfortable taking a break from swimming to enjoy burgers and wings, without having to change.
Everybody is a beach body! Swim trunks can be worn by men of all shapes and sizes. Paunchier men don’t need to feel left out because they’re worried about love handles getting in the way. A pair of sporty swim trunks with a broad, elastic waist will do just fine. There are plenty of options you can wear on and off the beach; bright, bold, floral and geometric prints. With swim trunks, you don’t even have to dress up too much prior to the beach, river or lake linkup. Simply throw on a t-shirt with your slides for a stylish casual pre-swim look.
Braided Leather or Canvas Belt
Everyone owns a belt. Fashionable men know this accessory does more than keep your trousers in place. Sadly this is one item that’s often overlooked when it comes to fashion tips for men. A belt holds men's outfits together, adds contrast to your ensemble and breathes life into the simplest fits. Leather belts are timeless accessories for men, but adding a modern twist can do a lot for your summer outfit. Try bolder patterns like braided leather and canvas belts. This is the perfect time to experiment with different colors and designs.
As a rule of thumb, make sure your belt is no more than 4-6 inches bigger than your waist. You don’t want that extra length drawing the wrong kind of attention to your summer outfit. Braided leather belts add depth and texture, and will help you stand out in the sea of men donning shirts and chinos. Don’t be afraid to try different colors for a fresh summer look.
Dress shoes are way too formal for summer. Unless you’re going to a special event like a wedding, you should probably ditch the fancy shoes for something more laid back. Slip-on footwear are summer essentials for men because they’re light, easy to put on, and suitable for leisure-time activities. We’ve listed our favorite footwear for men’s summer fashion below.
So you’re wearing crop jeans or chinos and you need a pair of shoes to accentuate your summer outfit. The event is not formal but you want to pull off a sophisticated but not too dressy look. What do you do? Grab a pair of loafers! Once the signature of old men in the 60s, the loafer has become a fashion staple for every man.
Whether or not you want to wear a pair of socks is completely up to you. We recommend no-show socks, or going bare for chinos, jeans and linen pants. Save the Bit, Penny and Tassel loafers for the dressier or formal events. Rock the Boat, Driving, Espadrille, Belgian or Slipper Loafers to more casual events. Leather tends to be the most popular material, but suede is also an excellent choice for men who enjoy standing out. These comfy slip-on shoes are absolute summer essentials for men.
There’s never a bad time for canvas slip-ons. Talk about the hallmark of men’s summer fashion. Like the loafers, opt for no-show socks or simply slip them on your bare feet when wearing linen shorts, chino pants and even slim fit jeans. Think stylish sneaker aesthetic minus the bulk and the need to lace up. You get the stylish vibe of sneakers, minus the bulk. Slip-on canvas shoes like Levi’s and TOMs are literally on and off your feet in no time. You’re getting convenience, and comfort, while your feet stay cool. And that’s what every man wants in terms of summer fashion.
A lot of etiquette and menswear guides will chide you for wearing open toed shoes. But it is way too hot to keep your feet under wraps! Plus, nobody is indulging in poolside pursuits in regular shoes. Flip-flops are part of everyday men’s fashion so you’ll see them everywhere. Don’t be afraid to ditch the closed shoes for a pair of sandals. Slides are easily the most acceptable form of sandals a man can wear. A clean brown or black pair is always a safe choice. As long as you’re comfortable and your feet are presentable, we don’t see a reason why you can’t wear a pair of sandals on a hot day.
One of the best perks of wearing crocs is comfort. They are ideal water shoes that are light, flexible and quick-drying. Many have come to love these stylish shoes and Crocs has been capitalizing on the popularity of their signature clogs by releasing countless styles. Crocs are perfect for chilling by the pool, enjoying a waterfall with friends, and walks on the beach. With ergonomic features, these shoes are ideal for men who are on their feet all day.
Sneakers are always in style because they’re extremely versatile. When it comes to summer outfits for men, white sneakers go with everything. Pair yours with t-shirts or button down shirts and jeans or chinos. Keep your ankles free with socks that rest below the opening of the shoe. You wouldn’t drive a car with faulty wheels, so make sure you have a pair of quality sneakers to go with your summer outfit.
Backpack or Weekend Bag
Ever had a weekend trip where a suitcase felt like too much? This is why a smaller, easy to carry bag like a backpack or weekend bag, is a summer essential for men. This is another men’s accessory that’s often overlooked, probably because they’re always there. Use your summer bag to pack everything you need for a fun-filled beach day, or a picnic with the people you love.
Lightweight backpacks are usually made from canvas or nylon, and are quite durable. They’re convenient and easy to carry. A leather backpack or weekend bag gets the job done while adding a sophisticated, stylish touch to your summer outfit. Having a trendy bag that can hold everything you need for an outing or trip is a plus.
What are you doing to replace the fluids your body is losing? Staying hydrated is key, especially during summer. If you don’t see a water bottle as a summer essential for men, consider how much you sweat in this hot humid climate, and think again. It’s been proven that staying hydrated helps to regulate body temperature, keeps the joints lubricated, improves digestion and prevents dry mouth. These are just a handful of the health benefits.
Still don’t think it’s an essential summer accessory? A dehydrated body forces the heart to work harder to circulate blood. You really don’t want to bet on your cardiovascular system, and lose. The LaBryant Bamboo Flask is just the container you need to keep your body hydrated. This unique container holds a generous 14 oz of liquid, and is stylish enough to be an everyday accessory. With the ability to store hot and cold liquids, The LaBryant Bamboo Flask is perfect for the man on the go.
Beach Towel Set
No matter how hot the summer sun is, you’re going to need a beach towel set to stay dry. And don’t you dare think about grabbing your regular bath towel. While it’s ideal for domestic use, your everyday bath rag and towel don’t offer the same comfort. Showing up with a towel that adds to your summer style will make a good impression. It shows you care about your appearance.
Get a designated beach towel set that you can use to dry your skin after swimming with friends. A beach towel is an important summer essential for all beach lovers. Drape it over your shoulders when you get chilly, or if the sun is a bit too much. Spread it neatly over a beach chair so you can sit comfortably while you sunbathe or have a snack. The best beach towels are very absorbent, quick drying, and a good shake will get rid of all the sand.
Summer is the season of sensory overload. From the flowers basking beneath beautiful blue skies and the smell of street food in the air, to the sound of waves crashing against the shore while we feel the warmth of the sun. It’s as if everything is more noticeable. With all the effort you put into looking dapper, don’t forget to choose a perfume that won’t cause other people to recoil in your presence.
A crisp airy fragrance is the right summer essential for men. Refreshing notes such as coconut, vanilla, ginger, cedar, bergamot and rose petals will do the trick. Aquatic fragrances are enough to combat the summer heat without doing too much. Whether you prefer fruity and floral for a refreshing scent, or earthy without giving off too much wood, choose the right summer fragrance that works for you.
Skincare ProductsWarmer temperatures means more outings, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Our skin reacts differently to summer heat. Increased oil production, sweating, prolonged exposure to water and clogged pores can put a damper on fun moments. It is important to make some adjustments to cope with the temperature change. This is why skincare products are considered summer essentials for men.
A reliable cleanser will do wonders for your skin. Shop around, check reviews and watch a few content creators (we recommend dermatologists) to see which one is right for you. If you have sensitive skin, brands like CeraVe and La Roche-Posay are great options. A salicylic acid cleanser is your go-to product for breakouts as it targets pimples and helps to unclog blocked pores. And best believe those pores will be affected by dead skin cells, oil and sweat in this heat.
When shopping for skincare products, don’t waste your time on the scrubs with those annoying particles that can cause tiny tears in your skin. A chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid instead will achieve the same results without ruining your skin. Always moisturize, especially after spending time in a pool or at the beach. Niacinamide promotes moisture retention by helping your skin grow a lipid barrier. Get a bottle from The Ordinary, a budget friendly skincare company with a broad selection of products, rave reviews and proven results.
Got a beard? Well, you may have to wash your mane more often due to sweat buildup. All that stickiness is bound to get annoying at some point. Don’t let the sun fool you into thinking you don’t need to apply your beard oil to stay moisturized. A quick rinse after swimming to remove the chlorine from the pool or the sea salt will suffice until you can do a proper cleanse at home. No matter which products you include in your summer skincare routine, always do a patch test before using them.
Summer is the season to experiment and explore your style to see what works. With so many options to choose from, finding the right summer outfit that reflects your personality is not that hard. Download A Few Wood Men's free e-book The Gentlemen's Guide for more summer styling tips. Whether the goal is to look relaxed and stylish in a casual setting, or sophisticated at a dressier event, our list of summer essentials for men will help you organize your wardrobe.
Article contributed by Shedika McNeil exclusively for A Few Wood Men.