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The Well-Dressed Man’s Guide to Packing for Summer Travel

Packing tips to stay cool and polished all summer long.

Looking for the simplest way to make the most of your summer beach trip or destination backyard barbecue? Dress well for it—not only for comfort in the rising temps, but also for style. Summer means hitting the beach, outdoor gatherings, long adventures—and a new wardrobe to complement each event. If you’re a man thinking about what to wear for an upcoming summer fete or a woman packing for said modern man, the right clothes and shoes can make all the difference, whether dressing to impress or pulling together stylish ensembles that can beat the heat. Spoiler alert: You can achieve both.

Lighter colors, including beiges, whites, and tans, are always classic for the summer months. Cotton and denim will generally be the mainstay fabrics but mixing in a little linen adds a level of sophistication to any wardrobe.

“Lighter colors, including beiges, whites, and tans, are always classic for the summer months. Cotton and denim will generally be the mainstay fabrics but mixing in a little linen adds a level of sophistication to any wardrobe. A great way to add color to your wardrobe is through a five-pocket trouser. Incorporate mint green, dusty rose, or sky blue, and you’re sure to impress. Add accessories, such as an Anderson’s woven belt and a classic suede tobacco loafer, and you’re set.” says Carla Weil, director of marketing with Pockets Menswear.

When shopping, keep an eye out for lightweight, open-weave fabrics. They will “breathe” better and are more comfortable in warmer temperatures. Says Weil, “Be it wool, silk, cotton, or linen–take your pick because they will all perform. In tailored clothing, the fabric to choose is and always will be wool. Its versatility is unmatched and is generally considered the fabric of choice when it comes to high-performance and comfort. Silk and wool combinations are great seasonal looks that offer both texture and color.”

Brands to check out: Mason’s cotton trousers for a great fit and textured cottons, Eton Shirts for a softer option with masterful tailoring and classic colors, Brax’s shorts and five-pocket trousers for full color that can easily be dressed up with a sport jacket or paired back to a t-shirt, Rhone for an unbeatable combination of style and tech, and Good Life for a softer, brighter look in cotton t-shirts. For footwear, if the occasion calls for something more substantial than flip-flops (and there will be several), shop for an elegant loafer, such as the latest styles from Di Bianco and Andrea Ventura Firenze.

Now that you know what to wear, what’s the best way to pack it all (without overpacking) so the garments stay fresh and crisp? “It goes back to less is more when traveling,” Weil says. “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, regardless of the level of dressing.” Choose the most versatile pieces to maximize space and to minimize overthinking it.

Keep your cool on vacation and while you travel with these summer packing tips:

  • Plan ahead and pack your bag after considering all the events and functions you will or may be attending.
  • When packing tailored clothing, cover each garment in plastic. Keep dry cleaning bags to cover your garments, and each piece will arrive at your destination with fewer wrinkles.
  • Pack your essentials in a rolling duffle bag. Carried on or checked, they are designed with ultimate convenience in mind. Choose a duffle bag made from durable cotton canvas fabric that can be carried or rolled. Look for brands with an attached baggage tag for added ease when traveling.

To shop for the essentials this summer, visit Pockets Menswear at The Plaza at Preston Center or Legacy West.

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