The 15 summer style essentials every man should own

From a preppy classic to honey-hued eyewear, here’s our shortlist of better-weather staples that’ll take you from spring to summer

Let’s get something straight: these may be essentials, but they’re anything but basics. They aren’t your everyday throwaway t-shirts, or your wear-once swim shorts. They aren’t the linen shirts that lose all shape and colour after the first wash, or the shoes that’ll only see one dust-heavy summer. Far from it. These are the essentials that you buy once, and then bring out every summer for the rest of your life. Some may be pricey, but the longevity they guarantee makes them worth every penny. So while your habits are slowly shifting with the brighter days, and you’re likely looking at locking in some dates for that escape to Sicily or that fortnight-long sojourn to the Pacific Islands, it’s time to ready your wardrobe also.

From a preppy classic to honey-hued eyewear, here’s our shortlist of better-weather staples that’ll take you from the damp of spring to the lightness and brightness of summer.

Uniform Standard Supima Cotton T-Shirt

Popularised by style heroes such as James Dean, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, the plain white t-shirt is a summer essential that’ll work in myriad scenarios, whether that’s at the beach, by the pool or walking through piazzas, and, if the occasion calls, it can also be dressed up with a linen blazer. This option, by Uniform Standard, is crafted from 100% Supima cotton, which is regarded by many, including us, to be the finest material to use for this type of item, due to its soft, lustrous feel.

Uniform Standard Supima Cotton T-Shirt

Uniform Standard Supima Cotton T-Shirt

£25.00

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Niccolò P. Dark Sapphire Sea Island Cotton Polo Shirt

The polo has come far since its tennis days, evolving into an icon of preppy style, mod aesthetics and off-duty lounging. This polo shirt, made from luxurious West Indian sea island cotton, is breathable; finished in Australian mother-of-pearl buttons; and – what we like most – features a rich navy palette that evokes clear summer evening skies.

Niccolò P. Dark Sapphire Sea Island Cotton Polo Shirt

Niccolò P. Dark Sapphire Sea Island Cotton Polo Shirt

£135.00

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Uniform Standard Organic Cotton Fleece Sweatshirt

Inevitably, any stretch of sun we’ll witness in the UK will be broken up by a lull of bad weather, so, chances are that you’ll have to revert back to cold-climes attire. We’re quite drawn to Uniform Standard’s grey sweatshirt, not only due to its clean appearance and versatile, neutral hue, but also for its roomy fit, which allows for lazy weekend lounging.

Uniform Standard Organic Cotton Fleece Sweatshirt

Uniform Standard Organic Cotton Fleece Sweatshirt

£60.00

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Aubin Brockham Rugby Shirt

Though the coming season won’t be replete with sports events, we’d still nudge you towards this rugby-style shirt whose contrasting panelling and punchy twill collar allows it to act as a more colourful alternative to your grey pullover. The heritage aesthetic also makes it ideal for wearing to your local.

Aubin Brockham Rugby Shirt

Aubin Brockham Rugby Shirt

£75.00

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Kit Blake Grant Off White Cotton Trousers

With the mercury slowing rising, it’s time to fold away those heavy denim jeans and thick wool chinos in favour of some lighter legwear. Kit Blake, known for its trim-and-tailored cuts, has these off-white options that are perfect if you’re trying to evoke a Riviera style, and the side adjusters and lack of hem means that they can be constantly customised according to the wearer’s preferred specifications.

Kit Blake Grant Off White Cotton Trousers

Kit Blake Grant Off White Cotton Trousers

£225.00

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Gusari The London Swimming Trunks

When making a splash in the Amalfi or the Med, the style stakes will likely be high, and Gusari’s The London trunks are a failsafe swimwear option – the light-blue hue recalls the renowned oceanside scene in Casino Royale, the tailored silhouette makes them smart enough to wear to the beachside bar, and the side fasteners add a subtle hit of detail to an otherwise pared-down design.

Gusari The London Swimming Trunks

Gusari The London Swimming Trunks

£140.00

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Love Brand & Co Eye of the Tiger Staniel Swimming Trunks

If, however, your preferences lean more towards something a little more maximalist, consider Love Brand & Co’s offering. The vibrant pattern is said to be influenced by the coastlines and crystal waters of the Bahamas, but the use of navy cleverly keeps everything on the right side of bold and bright.

Love Brand and Co Eye of the Tiger Staniel Swimming Trunks

Love Brand and Co Eye of the Tiger Staniel Swimming Trunks

£150.00

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Aubin Wold Rugby Short

While, of course, we’re big fans of tailored fits, such as the Gusaris that were mentioned earlier on, we can’t help but advocate Aubin’s Wold option, a straightforward creation that’s produced from 100% cotton twill and also has a well-worn feel that gives them an easygoing, louche slant – after all, summer is about fuss-free dressing.

Aubin Wold Rugby Short

Aubin Wold Rugby Short

£75.00

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Uniform Standard Series 3 White Tumbled Leather Sneakers

Just like the unembellished white t-shirt, a pair of label-free sneakers are a summertime classic due to their clean, blank-canvas-style appearance that anchors any buttoned-up or casual outfit. For its take on the item, Uniform Standard has added a suede toe apron and heel counters to add a bit of tonality to the spartan look.

Uniform Standard Series 3 White Tumbled Leather Sneakers

Uniform Standard Series 3 White Tumbled Leather Sneakers

£150.00

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North-89 No—2, Sand Breathable Sneakers

For those who fret about dirtying up there pristine kicks, we’d nudge you towards these sneakers – the overall look is still light-hued in appearance, but the sandy colour will hide any dust and sand you may encounter during a holiday on the shores. The cotton mesh not only provides a little texture, but it’s breathable, too, which is ideal for balmy, humid climes.

North-89 No—2, Sand Breathable Sneakers

North-89 No—2, Sand Breathable Sneakers

£145.00

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Uniform Standard Series 1 Navy Suede Sneakers

The appeal of these navy beauties are all there to see: a minimal, wear-with-anything look; an Italian-suede upper; and a contrasting white recycled rubber outsole. Inside, you’ll find a recycled, moulded footbed that ensures pure comfort when spending hours on foot.

Uniform Standard Series 1 Navy Suede Sneakers

Uniform Standard Series 1 Navy Suede Sneakers

£150.00

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Aurélien Navy Suede Driving Shoes

And for the more formal side of things, Aurélien’s slip-on-kick-off driving shoes are produced for long hillside drives around Tuscan hills, afternoons behind the wheel on the West Coast, and cruises through Ljubljana’s verdant countryside. The rubber pebble sole offers perfect traction when your foot is on the pedal.

Aurélien Navy Suede Driving Shoes

Aurélien Navy Suede Driving Shoes

£206.00

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Floris Bergamotto di Positano Eau de Parfum

A Gentleman’s Journal favourite, Bergamotto di Positano is a clean, vibrant spray whose sweet hits of mandarin, orange blossom and vanilla are only elevated when spritzed on the skin and exposed to the sun for a few hours. It’s perhaps the closest you’ll get to Italy without purchasing a round-trip ticket.

Floris Bergamotto di Positano Eau de Parfum

Floris Bergamotto di Positano Eau de Parfum

£160.00

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Heath The Face Set

Combining two of Heath’s hardest-working products – The Facewash, made with black lava, activated charcoal and Brazilian-papaya extract; and The Moisturiser, a fast-acting, smoothing blend that features hyaluronic acid, a sugar molecule that hydrates the skin – this two-part kit will scrub away any grit accumulated during a long summer’s day.

Heath The Face Set

Heath The Face Set

£24.00

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TBD Eyewear Cran Sunglasses

When it comes to eyewear, we like the fact that this pair’s vivid shade of honey is complemented by a darker lens, and although the aesthetic feels joyful, it’s sophisticated, too, as gimmicky shapes (stars, oversized, overstretched) are eschewed in favour of robust, elegant lines.

TBD Eyewear Cran Sunglasses

TBD Eyewear Cran Sunglasses

£125.00

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Want more style tips? The latest collection from Cheaney will teach you the value of textures…

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