Beach Getaway 3-14-2011

The weekend getaway.

Going to the beach? Here’s how to do it in style.

Let’s face it, when it comes to style mistakes, the beach is the largest gathering of goofs and blunders on the planet. Who can forget the T-shirt shredded into tassels at the bottom? Or the sweatshirt with the howling wolves iron-on? Or the dreaded man-kini, also known as a “banana hammock”? Amidst all these disasters, figuring out exactly what you should be wearing can be as difficult as finding an open spot of sand to spread out your towel. Relax, we’ve got you covered.

Beach Duffel

Don’t roll with it.

First of all, what you pack your clothes in is important, too. So don’t make the mistake of using the same rolling carry-on you take on business trips. That just marks you as a guy who rarely visits the beach. Get a nice canvas or nylon duffel bag. It’s big enough for all your stuff and perfect for tossing in the backseat for a spur-of-the-moment road trip. If not, you’re stuck with the prospect of trying to empty out a wayward pile of sand from your carry-on the next time you’re packing your dress shirts.

Beach T-Shirts

Sun, sand and shirts.

T-shirts are a must. But leave the ones with the large colorful logos to the professional surfer wannabes. Go with either plain grey heather or white crew neck T’s. Or take a couple in your favorite color. For a weekend, you should bring at least four. And tank tops? Unless you’re built like a professional wrestler, we suggest skipping those. Even then, skip them.

Beach Polos For casual lunches at the marina, or if you’re getting in a round of golf, you’ll want to have a couple polo shirts with you. And for dinner, think about having at least one long-sleeve sport shirt in a colorful stripe as well. Notice we didn’t mention the Hawaiian shirt. There’s a reason for that. Just like you don’t want to be known as the guy who wears the lampshade at the office party, you don’t want to be known as the guy who wears crazy-patterned shirts. If you travel the country in an RV roaming from Jimmy Buffet concert to Jimmy Buffet concert, then by all means wear the Hawaiian shirt.
Beach Shorts

Pants ahoy.

When you hit the surf, you’ll obviously want a good pair of surf trunks. And unlike your shirts, feel free to go a little pattern crazy here. Stripes, plaids, stars, polka dots, you name it. Surf trunks are a great place to have some fun without going overboard (pun intended). You’ll also want to bring along a nice pair of khaki shorts and a pair of jeans for when you’re not getting wet.

Beach Sweater

You can’t chill if you’re chilly.

Whether you’re barbequing on an outdoor deck, or lounging on the deck of a boat, the evening breeze off the water can leave you shivering in your T-shirt. Ward off the chill with a light V-neck sweater or cotton crew-neck sweatshirt (no, not the one you wore to paint the trim on the house). Don’t be afraid to pick bold solid colors either. And, in case you’re suddenly invited to the fishing tournament awards banquet, it never hurts to have a nice blazer on hand. Just keep it simple—it’ll be more versatile.

Beach Shoes

Foot not-so-fancy.

About 90% of the time a pair of flip-flops will solve all your footwear needs at the beach. Unlike summer in the city, it’s OK to wear them out to dinner. And yes, you can invest in the leather ones, but the joy of owning the inexpensive ones in different colors is one of summer’s simple pleasures. For those infrequent occasions when flip-flops won’t do, think about packing a pair of deck shoes or some clean white sneakers.

And you’re off.

We knew a judge in a beach town who, before sentencing some rowdy defendant, would say “You know son, you didn’t leave your brain on the other side of the bridge before you drove into town.” And that’s what you need to know about beach fashion. It’s about having fun, being casual, and looking great. Not about going completely crazy. Got it? Good. Now hit the beach.

TAGS: beach | blazer | casual | deck shoes | duffel bag | flip-flops | getaway | jeans | shorts | sneakers | Sport short | surf trunks | sweater | sweatshirt | t-shirt | Weekend

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    I'm seeing a lot of navy shoes this spring/summer, just still getting it in my head that navy boat shoes are the way to go over classic chestnut brown...
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