What to Pack? Men’s Guide for Packing a Summer Vacation Wardrobe

By Patrick Banks

Posted 8 years agoGROWTH

Packing for summer vacation is a more difficult endeavor than it seems at the first glance. It would be much easier to wear nothing but your favorite shorts, a pair of flip flops and a cotton t-shirt, but if you want to travel as an adult man instead as a decayed college student in a drinking adventure, you will need much more than that. Being fashionable is not just a “girls’ thing”, it is something that men should strive for, no matter if they are going to an opera night or a walk in the park. This year’s vacation is the perfect opportunity to finally get a grasp of this fashion thing and gear up with all the right pieces.

Short Shorts

Yes, this trend is back and with a blast too. Designer powerhouses like Gucci and Prada showcased short shorts for men on spring/summer 2016 runways in many different styles. As we could see, the bright colors, like green, yellow and blue are simply screaming “beach day”, while the darker hues and tailored styles are allowing you to walk the streets in your brand new shorts, combining it with simple button-down shirts.

Flat Front Shorts

This modern classic is perfect for evening summer strolls, and ideal if you still refuse to get into those short shorts outside the beach. The fit is very important here, as you do not want to look like a grandpa playing chess in the park. Just find the length and the cut that suit you the best, and make sure you buy several in different colors – you will not be sorry.

Linen Shirt

Linen is one of the best summer fabrics available – it is pleasant to wear, flattering and stylish, so there is no reason not to treat your suitcase with a nice linen shirt. It is a great alternative to cotton t-shirts, providing you the same comfort with a pinch of style – a recipe for success.

Tailored Shirt

Let us assume that you will not spend your evenings eating fast food or starving and that you will visit some nice local restaurant. In that case, there is nothing like the good old tailored shirt to make an impression. A shirt that fits your needs and your body is never a bad thing to have. Since this is a summer vacation, opt for a patterned shirt to brighten things up a bit.

A Printed Shirt

This summer classic is a must on every vacation. You can get inspired by the ‘50s, which also inspired many designers this season, and opt for Hawaiian floral print and Cuban collar, wear a fitted striped shirt, or the playful polka dots, etc.

A Polo Shirt

We know what you are thinking: Who wears a polo shirt in 2016? Well, you will, as soon as we explain that if you find a polo shirt of a perfect fit it can be more stylish than any other shirt you have in your wardrobe. Some basic guidelines for finding the right fit are that it should not be tight, but it should provide trimmed silhouette and that the sleeve stitch should be on the edge of your shoulder.

The Short Sleeve Henley

Sometimes a man simply wants to wear a regular short sleeve t-shirt. In that case, you can opt for a bit more stylish version of a standard printed tee, and that is, of course, a short sleeve Henley. This piece provides the same comfort, but the button placket elevates it to the fashion forward style. Just look for the perfectly fit shirt (trim not tight).

The Short Sleeve Shirt

A short sleeve shirt is a basic piece you will need in many occasions. This time, you do not need to think about the fit, since one of the key trends for the year is the ’50s inspired loose summer shirt, as seen on numerous fashion shows (Dries Van Noten, Patrick Tautz, etc.). If you want to really step up your Mad Men on holiday vibe, you can combine it with looser leg trousers.

Jeans that Fits

Note that by “fits” we mean not girly tight and not rapper loose, but something in between. A pair of jeans is a classic travel staple, no matter where and when you are going, because it can be always sunny in the Caribbean, but with some bad luck, you can even see the Caribbean long rainfall. A fashion hint: this year distressed denim is all the rage.

Wide Legged Trousers

Here is something to wear with your Cuban shirt. Wide legged trousers can be a perfect and more fashionable alternative to your pair of jeans, but you can even opt for wide legged jeans trousers. You can also pull off this trend by combining it with a casual shirt or a short sleeve Henley.

A Fitted Blazer

Sports blazer can really save your evening when it is a bit chilly and you do not want to ruin your fancy look. Opt for lighter hues instead of the typical navy or black. Combine it with distressed denim or wide legged trousers for the perfect mix of casual and formal.

Denim Jacket

When you want a more casual summer layering than a blazer, you can opt for a classic ’70s inspired denim jacket. Team it with a white button-down shirt or a short sleeve Henley, a pair of distressed jeans and canvas shoes, and you will get the perfect look for a chilly summer evening.

Canvas Sneakers

You will need a pair of go-well-with-everything canvas shoes, that are not only stylish but also versatile and light. White is your best choice because it is neutral and there is no better color to wear during the summer vacation.

Boat Shoes

A great alternative to the previous mention, boat shoes also provide versatility and pair well with both casual and subtly elegant outfits. Here, you can really play with colors, but we would recommend getting one brown and one black, for the best combining options.

A Weekend Bag

When chosen well, a weekend bag can be not only a functional item but also a stylish accessory. You can never go wrong with a leather bag since it is a classic item that will pair well with every clothing piece. An added benefit is that it is an item that will last for years, if not for a lifetime, so we can indubitably say that it is a great investment.

Flip Flops

Summer would never be the same without flip flops – boat shoes are great, but you will never wear them to the beach. After all with the numerous stylish options available today, they can be a very versatile footwear, you can even wear them to the store, or for some more casual walk. Just imagine the flip flops and short shorts combo – the girls will go crazy.

Stylish Sunglasses

Stylish Sunglasses

Sure, sunglasses are above all a functional item that is meant to protect your eyes from the sun, but if you can turn them into a stylish accessory, why would not you? There are two primary choices for men’s sunglasses and those are square or the popular (and probably the easiest to team up with different outfits) aviator.

The Webbed Belt

This is a great piece to break the monotony of monochromatic t-shirts and shorts since summer can be anything but monotonous. Also, the cotton belt can add depth to the outfit with various patterns, such as stripes.

So, these are the basic pieces you should pack in your suitcase, because no matter how relaxed summer vacation might be, you must look your best. Of course, you should include some of your favorite statement pieces too.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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