Summer Prep


Last week I was prompted to take inventory of my summer wardrobe by a question about my summer attire. I already knew that I was lacking summer jackets which is why I tried the Uniqlo jacket, but this question was about casual wear. So, what am I missing? As it would turn out, I am missing more than I thought. Enough to make me sit down and write a list. My personal list is much longer than the one below, but I picked my top five to share.

1. White Canvas Shoes – I currently have zero athletic sneakers for casual wear. I think that a pair of white canvas sneakers will be very versatile in the summer months. I am leaning towards a pair of Sperry CVO’s, but there are a lot of other options such as Keds Champion, Converse Jack Purcell, Vans Authentic, etc. For more on white canvas sneakers read this great post by Billax.

College Kid in Keds 1960

2. Polo Shirts – A polo shirt is the perfect Saturday shirt. It is the adult version of the t-shirt, treat it as such. I am not picky about my polo shirts. Almost any brand will do for me as long as they do not have a logo. I need one in navy and one in white.
Casual weekend3. Button front Short Sleeve Shirt – I used to be dead set against them, but I used to be dead set against a lot of things that I now embrace.  So, maybe I was wrong about short sleeve button front shirt, too? Time will tell. My first choice would be a white/blue seersucker, with a madras and a blue OCBD  fighting for second place. I will probably buy a Lands’ End version of this shirt.

Short Sleeve Shirt

4. Short Sleeve Popover – The popover shirt seems to be getting more and more attention these days. I used to have a madras short sleeve popover from PRL as a teenager and I loved it. It is hard to tell if I will love them now, but I just saw some on the J.Crew website (see pic $69.50) and I could see it being a very useful shirt, especially on vacation. I could wear it to lunch and I think that it would look great on the beach or by the pool.

J.Crew Popover

5. Motif Belt – Summer means fun and nothing is more fun than a motif belt. I am still going back and forth on which motif, but there is no doubt that I will be going to Eliza B for this purchase.

Eliza B Belts



oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

8 Comments on "Summer Prep"

  1. Rob says:

    You can never go wrong with the signal flag motif belt…. Additionally, the short-sleeve OCBD is great as long as you never wear a tie with it. I frequently wear them sailing and Brooks Brothers has a few nice selections….

  2. hardline_42 says:

    I’m all about the lists for my clothing inventory.

    For the canvas sneakers, I’d probably stick with your instincts and go with the Sperry CVOs. I have the Vans Authentic and wish I had gone with Sperrys. Maybe a set of rawhide laces ans some DIY brass eyelets will warm me back up to them, but they’re my least worn summer shoe at the moment.

    For polos, I find that I don’t wear them as much as I used to, but I remember being surprised by H&M’s version the last time I bought some (maybe two years ago). The mesh fabric was decent and the buttons were like a quarter-inch thick. The navy was the right shade, too. I think the rest of my collection are J. Crew and some PRL. They’re pretty good values when on sale.

    My last piece of advice would be regarding the ribbon belts. Although I’m very fond of Eliza (she’s kind of hot, not gonna lie) and her products, their prices have been steadily climbing (up to $35, right now) and the quality is slipping. Take a look at belts from Preston Ribbon. They’re also made in the USA, have a hunormous selection of ribbons and come standard with all the right details, like a round, solid brass buckle and feathered/stitched leather tabs. They can be had for $27 at The Preppy Princess.

  3. oxford cloth button down says:

    Rob – You are right about the flag belt. That is my step dad’s go to.

    Hardline 42 – Sounds like the CVO are the way to go then. Thanks for the leads on the other sources for ribbon belts. I appreciate it!

  4. Johnny says:

    Target’s Merona polos are shockingly good for the price — 100% cotton mesh, logoless, and on sale this week for $9.00 each. I used to swear by Polo RL polos; except for the lack of logo, I can’t tell the difference.

  5. oxford cloth button down says:

    Johnny – Thanks for the tip. Target is just down the road. I think that I will give them a try.

  6. Dutch Uncle says:

    I would suggest 2 navy and two white polos.

  7. Wade says:

    Are you hard set against logos on polo shirts? Perhaps this is one instance where one should be more lenient regarding the stricture. I agree otherwise. Thanks for the good work.

  8. Erik says:

    Itoo will vouch for Target polos. I’ve seen and owned better polos in my lifetime, but for 10-20 bucks a pop and a decent selection…they’re hard to beat. Merona has no logo, whereas Mossimo is a little more fitted with a lion logo.

    Regarding shoes, I wear Sperry’s a ton in the summer. I have white Striper canvas sneakers and usually one pair of Authentic Original leather.

    Anybody have thoughts on shorts?

I would like to hear from you