16 July 2009

Salt & Sand

I love the beach. A lot of people in Massachusetts love to complain about Massachusetts, especially its famous winters. But as far as I'm concerned, when the temperatures reach above 80 and the sun is burning bright, having one's choice of seaside locations within the distance of a short car ride is a damn good thing. The fried clams ain't bad either.

Dressing for the beach can be a tricky affair for any man of decency and style. When the order of the day is to be dressed as little as possible, it can be tough to remain stylish. A serious lack of good looking, well cut and affordable bathing suits these days doesn't help. But I think it can be done.I'm not about to be seen in public in either a speedo or knee length board shorts with a floral print. And as sharp as I think a blazer and white pants are together, that' just silly. It's not 1925 anymore. So the trick, as I see it, is to take what one knows about classic menswear and translate it into something simple, carefree and lazy....or at least achieve the appearance that you hardly thought about it, even though, of course, you did.

Beach clothes are all about comfort. That's why I think old and well worn, well loved items work best in this situation.Further proof of the white oxford button down shirt as design perfection. Fresh out of the package and gleaming white, they are undeniable under a navy suit. A million years and washes later, collar warn and tattered, they become the perfect throw on garment for a day of sun and salt air.
I know many of you out there hate flip flops on men as much as I do, but seriously, what are you gonna wear to the beach? Easy on, easy off, no problem slipping a wet sandy foot into them. These days Polo and J. Crew seem to be offering a lot of good looking cheapies in all sorts of grosgrain ribbon. Could be worse, right?
What really takes beach wear to the level of style, in this fellows humble opinion, is a good straw hat. I have this old one from the 60's. Note the rips at the corners, the icing on the cake.
That rust colored paisley band wins a few points, too.

Remember, no matter how relaxed the situation, there's never a good excuse for dressing like a slob, and pretentious overdressing is just as bad. Enjoy your local beach as often as your climate permits, cultivate a mild sunburn if you can and eat some weird things from the sea. It's finally Summer, for real.

Now if only I could find a damn plaid bathing suit. Why are they so hard to come by these days?


Anonymous said...

Just found this blog. Brilliant stuff and a million times better than it's namesake.

Kudos too for combing tattoos and menswear so well.

BigBeard said...

I thought you may have something to say about young Will's stupendously expensive socks!
Keep up the good work. T

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing again. You have a some great posts.

Nice outfit.

$59.00 socks is just plain classless

Young Fogey said...

$59.00 socks are for people who are wealthy enough not to care about money anymore. The amount is nothing to people who, like Will, own numerous pairs of bespoke shoes, each of which costs well over $1,000.00

I don't have a problem with people who can afford such luxuries and choose to buy them. Quite frankly, I'm happy for them, and not jealous in the least. I had the same reaction to the previous discussion on high-end pajamas. However, I sensed a bit of classism and jealousy in some of the responses.

Let us remember that the truly wealthy are not materially affected by economic downturns such as we are experiencing now. The worst it means for them is less money for frivolities (like $59 socks) and, sadly, less money for charitable giving.

Actually, I have some sympathy for the truly wealthy, as those earning the top 1% of income pay a staggering forty percent of all taxes collected, and at the same time, the bottom one-third of wage earners are exempt from paying taxes. Yet the socialists in our government want to make our tax system "more fair" by increasing the tax burden on the wealthy!

Sorry for the off-topic rant.

Great hat, Giuseppe, and a great outfit.

Having lived in the tropics, I have no problem with knee-length flower-themed board shorts, but I always pair them with a rash guard top, which makes my swim outfit look more like those old-fashioned ones--but with much better SPF.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried Vilbrequin or Daniel Cremieux? I have a few great swim shorts from these guys. I think Vilbrequin does it the best though - they specialize in swim, so they know what they're doing, they have a great selection of prints, and their cuts are unparalleled. Good luck with the search.


Old School said...

Welcome back!

Keith said...

This is my first time visiting your blog. It's really cool.

Salabencher said...

Great Hat! The damage gives it character..

Young Fogey said...

Hey, you didn't tell us what, if anything, you did for a belt.

Anonymous said...


Isn't the childish name
"flip flops" enough to make them off-limits for an adult?

Giuseppe said...


It's a bathing suit, draw string waist.


The beach requires a heavy relaxing of the rules.

Zingiber said...

I used to have a great old straw hat from LLB with a much wider brim, shorter crown, more open weave, madras band..have been looking for it for five years.