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.
"Mandals" have long been a confounding topic to America's men, who would happily wear flip-flops to church yet consider a leather version to somehow betray a sense of femininity. Our counterparts from across the globe have embraced this go-to hot-climate footwear with stylish aplomb for eons – India has its leather slide, St. Tropez has its byzantine leather weaving, Mexico has its huaraches – and it is time for the U.S. to follow suit. Until we develop a more elaborate signature sandal it is probably best to stick with a leather flip-flop. Simple.
Island Slipper has been making its hand-crafted leather slides in Hawaii since 1946. In fact, it currently runs the only slipper factory left standing there, probably because the company's superior product – an action-ready sandal that can also cross into town – has become the gold standard. With subtly stitched straps, a full-grain leather contoured footbed, a trademark grippy outsole, and arch support, the Island Slipper classic sandal is an easy-to-wear, non-pioneering step up from your rubber shower sandals. [$90; islandslipper.com]