Summer style can be confusing. Heat leads to sartorial confusion as the line between formal and casual gets hazier and hazier. The best – and perhaps only – way to make it through the season is to have an arsenal of mainstays ready for every wedding, barbecue, and post-work beer bash. This no-sweat strategy requires exactly 15 items and a smidge of planning.
Most grown men probably own a few of these essentials, but every Tom, Dick, and Harry looking to spend a week at the beach or an evening in the park should stock up on all of the above. The point isn't to splurge – pleasant weather means less fabric means lower prices – but to put oneself in a position to relax. Summer is all about taking it easy, and a crucial part of that mindset is feeling confident that you're ready for anything. Our advice: Be ready for everything.
Many sunglasses are made for sports – fishing, cycling, snowboarding, you name it – and very much look the part, with reflective lenses, wrap-around frames, oversize nosepieces, and all manner of useful but not necessarily flattering design elements. Every man should also have a go-to pair of quiet, well-proportioned shades that offer a lot of form and a little function. The object is to go for a classic shape that offers lifetime credentials, so look for one with top-quality construction.
Our pick is the Garrett Leight Hampton frame in simple, straightforward black. Garrett Leight may seem like a newcomer – his optical line only launched in 2010 – but as the son of Oliver Peoples founders Larry and Cindy Leight, he's got the business in his bones. His company sources the best components from around the world (think German hinges, Italian lenses, Japanese plastic) and puts them to use across a surprisingly broad range that goes from basic to as wild as you'd like. The Hampton is the brand's take on the original acetate "P3" design (one of the first standard shapes in modern eyewear, and still one of the most recognizable). We like that the Garrett Leight frame is a tad weightier than some P3s, but not too heavy – call it Gregory Peck handsome, with a pragmatic bent. [$310; garrettleight.com]