31 Budget Summer Pieces Worth Buying
Without a little careful planning and consideration, attempting to stock a new-season wardrobe entirely from scratch is about as much fun as going to the doctor for a prostate exam. Especially when parting with significant amounts of cash.
Fortunately, we’ve done it for you (the careful planning bit, not the prostate exam) by compiling 31 of the best budget buys no man should be without this summer. (Assuming you’re stocked up on the essentials recommended in spring, that is.) Limber up those fingers and get ready to click ‘add to basket’.
Printed Swim Shorts
It goes without saying that swim shorts are an essential part of resort wear, but just because they’re only cracked out a few times a year doesn’t mean they deserve any less attention. This season, the best examples go after just that.
Of course, there will always be a place in the male wardrobe for tailored swimmers, but if ever there’s a time for a playful print, it’s on the beach.
- Next Navy Dark Neon Floral Swim Shorts
H&mSwim Shorts ZaraToucan Print Swimming Trunks
Retro Running Sneakers
If your style is more Rick Ross than Mr Ripley, we’ve got good news for your feet this season. While minimalist sneakers aren’t about to fall out of favour any time soon, old-school kicks inspired by running shoes have been picking up pace, offering a low-commitment way to tap into the retro trend.
- New Balance 410
- Adidas Adidas Originals Vienna Og
- Saucony Jazz Og Vintage
Originally designed as a tribute to Napoleon (with 21 stripes to mark each of his victories), today the Breton stripe top is a triumph all of its own in the style world. Perfect for channelling the alluring swag of the French Riviera, whether worn with long sleeves or short, as a T-shirt or as a sweatshirt, it’s a piece that never fails to look good with dark denim.
- Topman White And Navy Striped T-shirt
ZaraBasic Striped T-shirt H&mT-shirt Regular Fit
Monogrammed leather holdalls are great and everything, but they’re also expensive. Opt for a sporty duffle bag instead and save yourself some cash for the beach club. Simple block colours can flit from the nine-to-five to a weekend away, all without looking like a Kardashian abroad.
- Topman Wood Wood Tony Bag
- Ripstop Nylon Holdall
Owing to their cotton twill construction, a reliable pair of chinos makes for a lighter option than jeans in summer, but one that will be no less of a workhorse when it comes to getting dressed. Opt for a pair in a neutral colourway for a classic way to ground almost any smart-casual outfit.
ZaraSkinny Chino Trousers H&mCotton Chinos Slim Fit
- Burton Stone Carter Tapered Fit Stretch Chinos
Forget everything you thought you knew, because if recent seasons have proved anything, it’s that linen isn’t solely worn by OAPs on a cruise. By utilising the breathable fabric within a classic piece – such as an Oxford shirt – you’ll score a summer-friendly option far from the Costa del Geriatric.
H&mLinen Resort Shirt
- Shirt 5 Linen
- M&s Collection Linen Rich Grandad Shirt With Pocket
Blue collar threads, from trucker jackets to work boots, have long been a wardrobe influence. But while they seem better suited to winter looks, iterations in lighter fabrics like chambray add a versatile, rugged appeal that’ll work year-round.
- Topman Denim Chambray Slim Shirt
- Gap Icon Chambray Worker Shirt
H&mCotton Shirt Regular Fit
With necks unencumbered by multiple thick layers and arms free from the shackles of long sleeves, summer is a perfect time for stocking up on a few choice pieces of jewellery. That’s not to say it’s time to put pedal to the metal, as it were. Instead, stick to restrained pieces in silver or gold in the case of necklaces, and leather or rope when it comes to bracelets for a subtle accent.
- Asos Design Vintage Inspired Pendant Necklace
- He By Mango Metal Bracelet
Printed T-shirts are a summer tradition older than warm cans of beer and a poorly-advised hot dog. Yet many guys still get it wrong. This season, ditch the floral get-up for a statement of a different kind. A logo tee is a failsafe way to level-up your basics and tap into the ubiquitous streetwear trend.
- Topman Champion Black Large Chest Logo Corporate T-shirt
- Adidas Adidas Outline Tee
- Topman Nicce Orange Centre Logo T-shirt
Just as a wardrobe should be switched up with the seasons, so too should a grooming cabinet: lighter moisturisers, UV protection and anti-frizz hair products. When it comes to your daily scent, the sweet (smelling) spot is something that swaps woods and spices for citrus and florals.
- Azzaro Chrome Aqua
- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Sun
- Davidoff Cool Water
Navy Chino Shorts
Temperatures north of 28 degrees celsius render most trousers impractical, but looking smart with your legs bared is not easy. That’s where a pair of chino shorts come in. Cool, versatile and lightweight, the Oxbridge cut-offs retain a tailored sizzle without the scorch.
- River Island Navy Skinny Fit Chino Shorts
- Burton Navy Skinny Chino Shorts
While flip-flops and pool sliders should be reserved solely for your holiday; a pair of sleek leather sandals is a solid choice for the city or the beach. Seek out pared-back options in dark leather (preferably black, navy or brown), which will help add some luxury to any summer ensemble, no matter the price tag.
- Topman Slydes Black Watson Sandals
ZaraCross Strap Sandals
- River Island Brown Leather Cross Strap Sandals
Cuban Collar Shirt
Bring a touch of Cuba to Cardiff, Cambridge or even Cockermouth with the shirt of the season. An ode to 1950s Americana, the open-necked Cuban collar is an effortlessly cool option for balmy summer nights. Channel Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet with a floral version or follow the lead of Ryan Gosling in La La Land with a subtle design in a neutral colourway.
- Topman Piped Seersucker Revere Shirt
H&mResort Shirt Relaxed Fit
- Burton Pink Floral Print Revere Jersey Shirt
The only thing that should be rising when going sockless is your style stock, not a stench from a pair of sweat-sodden loafers. Of course, going ‘sockless’ doesn’t really mean that – it means investing in a pair of invisible socks to give the illusion. As an added tip, always look out for a rubber grip on the heel to stop them from slipping off.
- M&s Collection 4 Pack Cool & Freshfeet Invisible Shoe Liners
H&m5-pack Shaftless Socks
- Next Metallic Invisible Socks Five Pack
A far less sweaty alternative to lugging a backpack around on your back, a sleek tote bag is ideal for weekend breaks or days in the city. A durable body offers rugged workwear vibes while additional zipped compartments and optional shoulder straps ensure it provides all the practicality of a messenger.
- Asos White Tote Backpack Hybrid In Nylon
- Artek Rivi Canvas Bag
- Rains City Tote Bag
NATO Stocking Number straps – more commonly shortened to NATO straps – are the perfect summer choice for your watch: lighter than steel, more breathable than rubber and quick-drying in the sun. All of which means you can still clock a stylish timepiece without the irritation of a sweaty wrist.
- Kahuna Black And Grey Nato Strap Watch