Style

What to wear to the beach this summer (that aren’t swim shorts)

Posted by
Greg Atkins
Published

Confused and worried, in uncharted territory, the Great British Male has traveled far in search of enforced relaxation, continental lager, and sunburn. His previously perfect alabaster torso now tinged with pink, adorned with a smattering of stray body hairs which flutter unceremoniously against the incoming sea-breeze. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Those aspirations of channeling his inner Dickie Greenleaf from The Talented Mr. Ripley all but gone, the Great British male’s worst fears have been realised; he looks like the lovechild of Mark Corrigan and David Cameron on holiday, so very, very out of place.

He starts to suck in his gut as he makes his first steps in front of the watching masses strewn across the Mediterranean sands armed only with his trusted pair of swimming shorts, out for their annual airing, a plastic bag of hastily gathered supermarket supplies and a pair of mid-range sunglasses. He tries to regain composure: There has to be somewhere to lay the beach towels down and set up for the day, he says to himself. There must be. His efforts are in vain, however, as panic strikes and he begins to perspire profusely. The hardheartedly applied factor 20 now seeps back out of his skin and drips from his brow…

It doesn’t need to be like this. The beach isn’t just about turning up in your swimmers – unless you’re Cristiano Ronaldo and that’s sort of acceptable in that hyper-vain but I’m-dead-good-at-kicking-a-ball-so-it-doesn’t-matter way he goes about things – so, for us mere mortals, here’s how to go about a little bit of outfit preparation for the beach this summer:

adidas Adilette SS17

No longer the preserve of men in communal showers taking evasive action to not add to their verruca collection. Adilettes have made a consummate comeback and, this year, with a lovely bit of terry cloth.

oipolloi.com; £33

Ralph Lauren Cap

Eye-protector and perfect sunstroke repellent; a real classic among the cap fraternity.

thehipstore.co.uk; £25

Birkenstock Arizona

If plastic sandals aren’t your thing that’s okay, honest. You too can look a bit like your dad or locally-renowned famed environmentalist and tunnel maker Swampy in the best way possible with these: Birkenstocks are good now, so team them up with a relaxed shirt for a seasoned beach go-er look (or even some socks if you’re feeling a bit nippy...)

birkenstock.com; £65

Superga 2750 Cotu Classic (Beige)

If you’re like me at the beach you suddenly become 8 again and want to go exploring and climbing over those rocks all the way at the other end of the beach, then you’re going to need to be prepared, so sandals might not be the one for you. Ivy League favourites Superga are an absolute timeless classic, perfect for clambering over rocks, out in the town and equally as happy paired with shorts or chinos.

zalando.co.uk; £31.49

J. Crew Short-Sleeve Irish Linen Shirt

Let’s clear something up: short sleeve shirts aren’t just for darts players and pilots. A well cut short sleeve shirt is perfect for the beach and this one, a short-sleeve linen one from J. Crew, is just the ticket when the going gets… a bit sweaty.

jcrew.com; £72.50

Gitman Brothers Vintage Camp-Collar Shirt

...or, if you’re gonna go short-sleeve, you go the whole way and give it full “Elvis on vacation” Hawaiian camp-collar sleaze-chic with this Gitman beauty.

mrporter.com; £175

Armor Lux 73842 Classic Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

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Quite simply, the don of Breton shirts. Fairly slim fitting with the usual dropped boat neck, the Breton shirt was created officially by French law in the 27th of March 1858 Act (catchy name) which made the blue-and-white striped knit part of the regulation uniform for French sailors. The first one supposedly had 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. Apparently Calum Best is searching for a brand to collaborate with to produce a similar t-shirt with 0.001 mm thick stripes, one for each of his conquests.

thehipstore.co.uk; £35

Battenwear Packable Tote

As great as it is that you’re supporting the local beach-side supermercado you don’t need to carry their bag.  They can still have your custom and you can have a nice tote for all your beach-related paraphernalia.

oipolloi.com; £32

Polo Ralph Lauren Chino Short (Fountain Blue)

Smart and a little bit preppy, but they don’t need to be, depending upon what you team them up with. The light blue colour goes with a plethora of other colours and are perfect for putting on over the top of your swim shorts to avoid somehow trying to get changed without exposing yourself on a crowded beach.

ralphlauren.co.uk; £39

Moscot Billik Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses

It is time to ditch those knock-off sunglasses, they aren’t fooling anyone and they aren’t protecting your eyes. The frame of choice for new creative influential individuals such as everyone who lives in Shoreditch and runs red lights on their bicycles, and you: the translucent-frame wearing don. Well done.

mrporter.com; £250