Men's Summer Holiday Fashion Essentials

Taking a trip way back to the early weeks of 2010, I specifically remember an article written by our very own Matt Allinson on his personal 10 New Years Fashion Resolutions. For me personally, I loved this article as soon as I saw the title and was also very anxious to see how you guys would react to such a personal article. Turns out the response and comments it created were amazing, which is exactly what I love to see. I find that inspiration comes in no greater form than the old fashioned way of ‘idea sharing’, with and numerous blogs across the world being proven examples of this.

So, the time has now come for me to call upon myself to stick my two-penneth in with my specialist subject being… Summer Holidays! Now of course we have the basics; short sleeved shirts, a couple of good pairs of jeans, printed vests etc. for which I will save you the patronisation. But having spent my last 2 summers away in Greece, I have been at my fair share of loose ends out there in the heat and have compiled a list of my (possibly not so obvious) essentials. Of course these won’t appeal to everyone, we don’t all share the same holiday destination for a start, so this is based on more of the lazing by the pool, chilling on the beach, meals out, nice open bars, 38°c heat… what were we talking about again?

1. Retro Shorts

When looking for swim shorts online it always just so happens that the pair I love are also the most expensive. Fifty pounds plus is just too much for me to justify paying when I know they will only be worn for a couple of weeks over the year. Further more, I would also be leaving myself in minus funds for spending money if I wanted to take a good few pairs with me. I could try our local high street stores, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if Topman, H&M, River Island etc. do have any nice pairs on offer, every other bloke on the beach will be wearing them.

So next, I look at speedos… Joke! Retro shorts (or running/tennis shorts as they may be labelled) are the perfect alternative to swim shorts or just general beach/day shorts. If you have read any of my past articles you might have picked up on the fact that I love anything and everything retro, but I feel in the case it really is justified. The nylon type will dry off just as quickly as swim shorts, they are lined, you can pick them up for as little as £5 and they can be found in every colour of the rainbow (plus more).

Simply wear with pair of white plimsolls and some Ray-Bans (think Danny Dyer in The Business) and your ready to hit the beach. There’s a brilliant vintage shop near me that always has dozens of pairs in, all at £10. So if your local vintage shop is charging more, I would have a quiet word. Also I know that some Urban Outfitters stores stock them and there are usually masses available on Ebay.


Retro Shorts

2. Deck Shoes/Loafers

This should really go without saying considering the amount we have banged on about these at Fashionbeans but these will literally be the first things I pack. I’m opting for suede over leather this season but make sure you check Ben’s recent article on Deck Shoes for more ideas and styles.

3. Ray-Bans

Be it Aviator, Clubmaster or Wayfarer, all styles are absolute classics that will maintain their place in your wardrobe and work with an array of looks. I personally have reverted back to the Aviator as the Wayfarers seemed to have dominated over the past couple of Summers, but that’s just personal preference.

4. White Plimsolls

This may be an obvious choice, but even for those that don’t usually wear Plimsolls these are a MUST! Depending on how long your stay is you might want to take more than one pair as I’m sure a few of you might be aware, after just a few ‘merry’ nights out they can be a complete write off. My personal White Plimsole choice are a brand called DEK. They are pretty hard wearing, have a nice slim-line shape (as some tend to be quite chunky) and best of all they are only £5. I get mine from either Brick Lane Market in London or from a site called Of course for a better quality you might want to look at designs by Fred Perry, Lacoste, Vans, Keds etc.

5. Brown/Tan Sandals or Flip Flops

I remember around this time 6 years ago when I was buying clothes for an upcoming holiday. I had the ingenious idea to buy myself some Havaiana flip flops in around 6 different colours (to ensure I always had footwear to match my outfits… obviously). Now, as much of a brain-wave as this was at the time it turns out I actually only ended up really wearing the black and the brown pair (who would of guessed), making my genius idea actually not such a good one and leaving me around £75 out of pocket. All that is really needed is one quality pair of leather flip flops/sandals, brown or tan being my first choice, black second.

6. Jewellery

Obviously in soaring temperatures layering is not an option, making it slightly harder to add interest to your outfits. Bringing along a couple of nice pendants necklaces, brooches, rings or wristwear will be an idea you will not regret. They will add some personal flair to your outfit and more importantly, make them unique from anyone else’s. Neckerchiefs are also great for adding character and colour to your outfits and tie in perfectly with a number of the current trends.

7. American Apparel Basic Tees

Whether it be low v, crew neck or scoop neck I have found the American Apparel tees to be one of the best for quality and durability that I have come across (for the price). Despite the Greek woman in the local launderette’s best attempts to ruin or shrink my tee’s, they maintained their shape throughout the entire season. As I have just mentioned they also come in a variety of necklines and pretty much every colour you could hope to don.

8. Step Socks

I really don’t see where socks have a place in any summer holiday outfit, therefore you should be leaving them at home as food for the moths. When wearing plimsolls I just tend to bare foot it, but if wearing slightly more expensive deck shoes/loafers the invisible step socks by Falke are an absolute gem.

9. Skinny Belts

As most of us are aware, it is the sometimes the subtle detailing that can really bring an outfit to life and give it character. This is why I generally chose to make these statements with my accessories. Belts are a great way to add colour to an outfit and break up colours, just as well as they can be used to clash prints or in fact show how well you can match your accessories. The the big buckled, chunky leather belts are seriously dated and don’t compliment the simple/basic summer outfits in anyway… making the more slim-line, colourful, ‘interesting’ belts perfect for your summer look.

Now it has to be said, I’m a bit of a Belt-aholic. My wardrobe contains no less than 50 belts but I can assure you I am not the millionaire you may now be thinking I am. I would say around 70% of my belts are in fact women’s belts priced between £1 – £15 (the £1 Primark belts being a particular favourite of mine). Most women’s belts tend to be the slim-line style that I like and if I’m honest, they’re usually cheaper. When going away take at least 8 belts with you in an array of colours, patterns and prints and you can’t go wrong.

10. Tote Shopper Bag

The perfect practical accessory. It will weigh next to nothing in your suitcase and providing you buy one big enough, it should easily hold all your beach gear. I know that some men see the tote bag as more of a women’s style bag, but my advice to them would be to check out some of the designs out there at the moment, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

11. Travel Iron

So simple yet SO effective!

Your Essentials

As I mentioned in my opening paragraphs, I am fully aware that these aren’t necessarily the ‘Holiday Essentials’ that will apply to all of us. But I personally wouldn’t be leaving that airport without every single one of these ticked off on my list.

What would be on yours?

My Essentials


Ray-Ban New Shape Round SunglassesRay-Ban Limited Edition Striped Clubmaster SunglassesRay-Ban Tortoiseshell Wayfarer Sunglasses

Ray-Ban New Oversized Acetate SunglassesRay-Ban Classic Aviator SunglassesRay-Ban New Road Spirit Aviators

White Plimsolls

White Canvas Lace PlimsollsWHITE PLIMSOLLSASOS Toe Cap Plimsolls

Fred Perry Duke Canvas PlimsollsVans Authentic PlimsollsKeds Champion Core Plimsolls

Sandals/Flip Flops

ASOS Step-Down Basket Weave SandalsASOS Toe-Loop SandalsFred Perry Burnaby Leather Sandals

ASOS Hirachi SandalH By Hudson Verso Leather SandalsOfficine Creative Exclusive To ASOS Chunky Climbing Sandals


Zoe & Morgan Sterling Silver Skull Engraving RingASOS Mixed Animal Pack EarringsDrakes of London 1920s Leopard Print Pocket Square

Storm Ox Leather Cuff BraceletASOS Summer Bracelet packRichmond Masked Skull Necklace

Step Socks

Falke Invisable Step SocksFALKE Family Step SocksFALKE Family Step Socks


ASOS Laid-On Woven BeltASOS Navajo Beaded Leather BeltHUGO Hugo Boss Skinny Silver Belt

Black Studded BeltTooled Skinny BeltASOS Floral Skinny belt

Tote Bags

ASOS Fold-Over Canvas BeachbagBill Amberg Tug Mesh Beach BagHackett Roll-Up Beach Tote Bag

Polo Ralph Lauren Canvas Tote Bag1971 Reiss Jagger Canvas ShopperBlue Nylon Shopper