Men’s Summer Fashion Faux Pas

Finally mother nature has realized it is indeed summer (and too much so in my opinion, for the last 3 weeks we’ve had of “summer”)…and it is  time to see some fairly tragic fashion mistakes roaming the parks and beaches.  These are general tips, and Not aimed at anyone in particular.  And let’s face it, my only male followers are Bruce, Mark, Jason and Chris.  I mean, my son Patrick won’t even read this, and Kevin O’Brien actually said “you have a blog?” (which is why he’s always featured here 🙂 )…so Bruce, Mark, Jason and Chris…this is Not meant for you.  But this can give you the necessary material to poke fun at others out there who are less fortunate than yourselves and happen to make these summer fashion errors.  “Maybe we feel like the slowness of the season gives us permission to take a vacation from discriminating taste”?

The selection of colors can either make or ruin an outfit. Combine colors and shades carefully. Some colors go well together while mixing others will produce disaster. Your outfits should have no more than two, three colors at most. Experiment to see which shades go well together.

For the record, the above is a Fashion DON’T! 🙂

These are the seven + deadly style sins of men’s summer fashion (thank you, and lucky for you, their seasonal solutions.  Disclaimer…these are only guidelines, if you life what you wear, it fits properly, and you feel good in it, then all the power to you.  And I truly mean that.  And there are more than 7, so LAP, no need to count.

Socks and shoes

If you are going to wear sandals, leave those socks at home.  If you’ve sensed a trend, that I’ve mentioned this in probably 4 previous blogs…then you have a good idea of how strongly I feel about this.   End of story.

Cargo shorts

You remember cargo shorts — the circa ‘97 type that you could use to store everything from lunch leftovers to a small child. Yeah, well, those are so last decade, and this brings us to the next men’s summer fashion mistake.  The huge pockets bow out at the sides and force the shorts to sag. It’s time to try a silhouette from this century. Cuts are slimmer (like your favorite pair of jeans) and  patterns range from bold plaids to seersucker; even everyday khaki is a fine choice. The secret to a great pair of men’s shorts is finding ones that don’t stray away from a straight line running from hip to hem. And speaking of hems, yours should always end an inch or two above the knee.  For the record, I think cargo shorts are a-okay, if they fit properly…and that goes for basically everything here (except those “wife-beater” t-shirts).  A well-fitting pair of cargo shorts can look great, but was referring to the pair that hangs below a man’s hips, and is 3 sizes too large.   Patrick was rocking the cargo shorts this summer in California, and I thought he looked great…and with Mer Mer as his fashion accessory, how can he not be?  But he is, after all, 14-years old, and the world is his oyster.

Not sure who this is, but I would not be at all surprised to find out it’s Kevin Federline.

Board shorts/Swimming Trunks

 Men’s swimwear should look and fit like a great pair of everyday shorts. Slim ones that sit just under the waist (not unlike a lower-rise jean) and finish somewhere between mid-thigh and an inch or two above the knee work best for every beach-going guy. And do NOT even think about wearing a Speedo…that is just a joke waiting to happen!  Wear swimming trunks that fit…and do NOT wear your board shorts out and about, as if they are actual shorts.  And, for Pete’s sakes, do NOT wear them paired with a Hawaiian shirt, to the Doctor’s office.  And yes, I know someone who did this.

Strong fragrances

Easy on the cologne, Rico Suave!    Lighter is better…and this is a great rule for year-round.  A lighter after shave is perfect for the summer.  Ever since college, and even today, Grey Flannel, by Geoffrey Beane, makes my knees week.  And, you can buy it at the drug store!    I just got Kevin,  Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue, and have to say, Love it!  That…you have to get at Nordstrom. 🙂


Summer’s official footwear is undoubtedly the between-the-toe flip-flop, which leads us into our next men’s summer fashion mistake. It’s the barely there cover for your feet,  ideal for a backyard barbecue or a beachside jaunt. And that’s about as far as a flip-flop should go.   Any other outing should get the sandal treatment — not the “Kumbayah-kind” with fabric straps  or a thin-strapped European mandal. We’re talking about a simple leather criss-cross that hugs the foot while still allowing it to breathe. As the saying goes, X marks the spot.  Oh, and while I’m at it, Flip Flops are Not acceptable office attire. 

Tank tops

The tank is meant to be worn as an undershirt.  So, what’s a guy to do in the heat of the summer? Try a light-colored V-neck T-shirt or polo shirt instead.   I think the term for the sleeveless t-shirt look is “wife beater”…which I find actually more offensive than the look, and I really find the look offensive.

Hawaiian Shirts

Unless you are going to Hawaii or a luau (Thanks Julie), no need to wear one of these.  I’ve already dissed these in my last blog on “How not to look old…for Men”.  I’m not beating a dead horse, but truly, there are Much better options out there.

Wraparound shades/and just plain ole bad sunglasses

Apart from being a trendy and fashionable accessory, sunglasses will protect your eyes from the harmful sunrays. Pick sunglasses that have UV protection and that suit you. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to reach for Terminator-type wrap-arounds to protect your eyes. Sure, sport-inspired sunglasses are perfect for a round of golf or a game of tennis — everything in context. But, outside of an athletic activity, everything else requires an aviator, Wayfarer or other such style-savvy shapes.   And while you may be thinking that fashion-friendly frames don’t look good on you, remember this piece of lifelong advice : “Finding the right pair of sunglasses takes time. Try on 100 if necessary. Then, sit back, relax and enjoy the show”.   Oh, and let me touch upon Blublockers!  We were at a Bears game with my brother-in-law Bruce and his lovely bride Beth, and Bruce was poking fun at a gentleman behind us wearing Blublockers…so I asked the man if I could try them on, and he said, “Sure”…so I was sporting some Blublockers at a Bears game…Bruce accused me of “showing off”.  Perhaps, but I thought it was really funny.  And I looked really foolish.   So…Don’t wear blublockers either!   Refer to my previous blog on Men’s Summer Fashion Tips for great sunglass looks for men!


With one more month of summer weather ahead,  let’s ensure they’re bright (but shielded by a classic set of shades) tank-top and speedo- free.  These are Great summer looks:

Regardless of what I (or the nation) feels about him at this point, Mr. Obama, does seem to nail the look of the Board Short (because it Fits properly):

Other looks I enjoy…They are a spin on the Fashion Don’ts of above, and turned into Fashion Do’s.  The biggest difference is the clothes are pressed, fit properly, and they are worn with confidence.  And I cannot help myself from posting a George Clooney picture whenever I can!

I am a sucker for a man in a pink shirt or a pink tie.

Enjoy the rest of Summer!  Go Bears!!




  1. I too get a bit of rush seeing a man in a pink (or purple) shirt. To me, it says, “I’m confident enough in my masculinity to wear this color, and sensitive enough to know that a lovely glass of wine and a foot rub can go a long way….”

    Oh, wait, what was I saying? Was somewhere else for a minute…

  2. I want you to tell me that the woman’s trend of huge bug sunglasses is OVER….women look like idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • OK…”Mark”…I shall address this is a future blog. For the record, the Huge Bug Sunglasses are very Audrey Hepburn…aka Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That being said, if a girl is out and about looking like a bug, that’s probably not the best option for them! Stay tuned. 🙂

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