The summer season is nearly upon us in Australia, which means that oh-so-long-ago sun holiday booked back in the winter is almost a just-get-there-reality.
Heading to the beach in the next few weeks? Well, if it’s for more than a day or two, you’ll need to make sure you’re properly packed for anything, from lazing on the sand by the sea with a good book in hand to sundown drinks at the local bar.
Making your beach holiday even more stress-free, here are 13 warm weather essentials that’ll ensure your summer style standards don’t slip.
#1 Floral Shirt
Hawaiian shirts are experiencing a second heyday. However, tasteful retro flora and fauna prints — some even with Oriental accents — are trumping the overbearing hibiscus or frangipani known to garish Hawaiian shirts. You’re better to look to washed-out colours and lightweight fabrics such as crepe or rayon. And, go for a revere collar which feels more like Cuban-cool 50s styling, as opposed to tacky going-out shirt.
#2 Swim Shorts
Fresh coloured or printed swim shorts are a rite of passage for beach summer holidays. While peacocky patterns are yours for the taking, more classic, relaxed-fitting style shorts are the best option crafted from a quick-drying fabric. Invest in a pair that are comfortable yet tailored with an elasticated waist. That way, they’ll sit naturally on the waist, and give a little after meal time.
#3 Leather Sandals
Upgrade your thongs (flip flops if you’re a northern hemisphere inhabitant) and go for sandals this summer. From slip on to buckled, a leather sandal can be just as lightweight as rubbery thongs, but will look that much neater and actually stay on your foot. Pair sandals with printed beach shorts or save them for nights, perfectly matched with tailored shorts and a crisp cotton shirt.
#4 Chambray Shirt
Because you won’t always be lazing on the dunes, a button-down long sleeve shirt that is restaurant, bar and fancy boutique-friendly is essential. Keeping things cool, you can’t overlook the Chambray linen shirt. In classic blue, opt for a relaxed shape in the body, but finished with a poignant collar and button cuffs to do-up for a dressier vibe. Otherwise, simply roll the sleeves up to the elbows.
#5 Cotton Trousers
Trousers aren’t just for the office. Especially when they’re made with summer climates in mind. A beach vacay trouser needs to come made from a cotton-linen blend that’s as breezy and light as a pair of shorts. Like their shorts counterparts, an elasticised waistband and even cuff, cinches in the areas where you need it the most, allowing for the leg to take on more fluid shape, before tapering just above the ankle. Wear them casually or smart casually, switching up the footwear and shirt accordingly.
Cue the summer playlist. Headphones are the only technology worth taking with you on beach vacay (laptops and work phones stay back at the office, you workaholic). After you’ve selected headphones that are sleek and carry impeccable sound quality, look for a foldable pair with a compact case — for easy carry in your beach bag.
#7 Breton T-Shirt
To eschew the sailor theme, opt for a Breton stripe shirt that’s light in colour and of a finer stripe, especially if you’re wearing a bold pattern board short underneath #noclash. Contemporary versions of the classic French tee come crafted from soft cotton-jersey (for comfort and breathability) and are cut in a comfortable regular fit, nothing tight or oversized and longline.
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#8 Sun Skincare
Don’t let sunburn derail your plan to relax. Peeling, red skin is not a good look and it will prevent your tan from taking shape. Investing in a sun skincare pack is essential. A water-resistant SPF50 sun lotion will provide hours of protective fun in the sun. Opt for SPF30 lip balm to stay moisturised. Then, after-sun lotion is imperative with vitamin E to nourish the skin.
#9 Dress Shorts
Ideal for post-beach shenanigans, dress shorts are best cut from the soft stretch-cotton twill, for a tailored shape that allows for movement. Opt for a pair in a neutral colour to match with your Hawaiian button down. As for length, a mid-length hem is best, and don’t wear them skin tight. Looser is better than leaner. Wear with those white sneakers you’re oh-so glad you actually packed.
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#10 Boat Shoes
While you may not be classy enough to helm a catamaran of your own this summer, you can sure dress like a millionaire yacht owner thanks to the deck-ready boat shoe. Always in leather and a contrast stitch, these moccasin-styled shoe are durable and chic, and are best with a considered rubber sole, with grip so you don’t slip over in the wet.
Sunglasses and sun go hand in hand. Beach time and shades are a protective and stylish way to present your face, and they serve as excellent eye-hiders for staring mindlessly out into the horizon. For a classic take, stick to the icons — Wayfarer or the neat D-frame. Retro fans should aviator, a square aviator lens proving popular this season. Look for acetate or metal wire frames, nothing plastic. You can spot cheap sunglasses a mile away.
RELATED: Best Sunglasses For Men This Summer
#12 Beach Towel
A beach towel should be comfortable and rectangular for gents (no round ones, please). And large enough to lay on, without your feet (or head) hanging off the end. Yes, it dries your skin, post-swim. But, the beach towel is an accessory that can add a vibrant touch to your holidays. So, consider colours, prints and patterns and for extra plush, look to one that’s crafted from 100% cotton or even a retro towelling. Then, just lay back and relax.
#13 Tote Bag
While tote bags were once female terrain, the shopping style bag is this season’s most popular bag for men, rivalling the backpack. For the beach, keep in parred back with a canvas tote. Again, you can play with vibrant colours or go simply natural and neutral, opting for a contrast leather handle or otherwise, tonal. A utilitarian canvas is best — thick and sturdy — to keep the sand and grit getting inside the bag, and all over your precious belongings.