The secret to summer outfits for men.
Summer is a difficult season to crack. You’re just…out there, in the open. No coats, sweaters, or even pants to shield you from the world. However, now there is no need to fear, we’ve got you. We over at Iron Snail HQ have finally cracked the code on how to dress in the summer and still look like you semi-know what you’re doing.
Table of Contents
1. Best Basic Men’s Summer Shirts
2. Best Men’s Summer Pants
3. Best Men’s Summer Shoes
4. Best Men’s Funky Summer Shirts
5. Best Men’s Shorts and Socks for summer
6. The secret to men’s summer outfits…
The Best Basic Men’s Summer Shirts
Why do we love short sleeve button down shirts more than regular t-shirts in summer? They cling to your skin less and allow for more airflow, keeping you cooler. The shirts with higher cotton content also give a more structured and crisp look, which we much prefer over a lighter linen, for example. While linen is fantastic for those hot summer days, a little extra cotton won’t melt you AND you get the added benefit of looking a little less wrinkled.
Learn more about cotton here!
Lola Shirt from Knickerbocker
This shirt from Knickerbocker is a nicely structured short sleeve button down shirt made of 98% cotton and 2% elastane.
The fabric is like a more relaxed version of seersucker, keeping the fabric lifted off of your skin slightly and doesn’t leave you with sweat stains as easily as other fabrics might. Much like seersucker, the texture of the fabric lifts off of your skin in certain areas to increase air flow.
Highway Shirt from Knickerbocker
This is a sturdy short sleeve button up shirt made of 80% cotton and 20% linen. The linen content makes it a bit more prone to wrinkling than the Lola Shirt, but still significantly less wrinkly than a 100% linen shirt (as previously discussed).
This shirt feels structured (it’s BEEFY), but it’s still breathable and allows for a lot of air flow. This shirt is by far our favorite on the list of summer essentials!
The Beefy Cotton Oxford Button Down from Knickerbocker
While this shirt isn’t as lightweight as the previously mentioned short sleeve button up shirts, it’s a great option for a more formal event (did somebody say wedding season?!). It’s a long sleeve cotton shirt that can be easily dressed up or down.
*Pro tip: roll those sleeves up from the start if it’s too hot out
If you end up going with this shirt from Knickerbocker, just be aware of the embroidered logo on the chest area of the shirt. This area is commonly reserved for the initials of the wearer BUT we let it slide for our friends over at KB.
Did you know? “Button down” shirts have buttons to secure the collar corners down, while “button up” shirts have no such buttons.
The Best Men’s Summer Pants
Linen Basket Pants from Knickerbocker
Can you tell we’re fans of this brand? No, we aren’t paid by them. Knickerbocker offers pants in a few different colors that are great for summer with an 80% cotton and 20% linen blend.
Although the 10oz fabric is a bit on the heavy side, it still has a nice linen content and we like it because the cotton content of the fabric feels more rigid and wrinkles less. These have a nice structure and can be worn casually or for a more formal occasion.
Be warned, these are a bit tough to iron.
The Best Men’s Summer Shoes
Velasca Derby Shoes
These are great shoes to dress up your summer outfits. They are handmade in Italy and use tumbled leather, making them a little more casual than a polished black leather shoe. They are also quite wide, giving them a cool chunky look, but you might want to size down for this reason.
Allen Edmonds Leeds Plain Toe Blucher Dress Shoe
If you are looking for a dressier shoe for summer weddings, or you’re just feeling fancy, Allen Edmonds makes a slimmer black leather shoe for such occasions. The polished leather does dress these up a bit, but you can pair them with wide legged pants and a more casual button up shirt to create a less formal summer look.
For truly casual outfits, these suede lace up espadrilles are really nice for summer with a sturdy rubber sole and lightweight hand woven rope detailing.
adidas Gazelle 85 Shoes
A sneaker with a pop of color is a fun, comfortable option for summer. We like to style these with denim outfits (if it’s not too hot), or any monochromatic outfit for a pop of red. These sneakers are casual but still look intentional.
The Best Funky Men’s Summer Shirts
More casual. More funky. More fun.
OAS Terry Towel Shirts
These shirts come in really cool patterns and are amazing for the beach or the pool. The fabric itself is on the thicker side, but that’s the price we pay for terry towel, and we still love them for summer. They’re also really nicely cropped and have a perfect fit.
OAS Short Sleeve Button Down Shirt
This shirt feels like a fancy hotel robe, and its box-weave-like texture lifts a bit off of the skin to let a lot of airflow in on hot days.
The Best Men’s Summer Shorts and Socks
The shorts and socks gotta match!
American Trench Socks
American Trench has been kind enough to share several pairs of socks with us, and we’ve tested and really like them all. They have a ton of different crew socks to choose from in solids, patterns, and retro stripes. We are also big fans of their merino wool options because they are thin and make your feet smell way less than with regular cotton!
Wellen Easy Shorts by Huckberry
These shorts are really casual and comfortable for summer. Their cotton version of these are a blend of 66% cotton and 34% linen, and are honestly a really great deal. They also come in linen and corduroy!
Our advice on men’s shorts
Best piece of advice we can give you on shorts? Look at the shorts length and go with something with a slightly shorter inseam than you might initially think would be best. Looks way cooler, we promise.
The Best Men’s Summer T-Shirts
imogene + willie Tees
If you’re going to go for a simple t-shirt, we think fun/edgy prints and graphics are a great way to go. imogene + willie have some fantastic offerings, but we do wish that the collar was a bit of a heavier rib than the rest of the shirt and that the fabric overall was sturdier.
However, we really think their graphics make up for what they may be lacking in the fabric department. Quirky phrases can give a t-shirt and shorts outfit a bit of an edge and are honestly really funny conversation starters.
The secret to building cool men’s summer outfits!
Seriously, don’t be afraid to get a little fancy with it! In the fall or winter you can get away with sticking to more casual outfits a lot of the time because we’re all probably wearing a jacket or a sweater depending on the climate we live in. These are items that bring personality and a bit more of a formal feel to your outfit.
In the summer, it’s a little harder to do that with a simple t-shirt and shorts. So, we recommend experimenting with dressing things up a little bit! Maybe going for a short sleeve button down shirts or linen/cotton blend pants – or even leather shoes.
*Pro tip: Make sure that your more formal summer clothes FIT YOU WELL. Go to the tailor to get your clothes to fit correctly – it will help you avoid overly long and baggy items and create the most flattering silhouettes.