The Essentials of Men's Summer Wardrobe 2024

Summer is here, and it’s time to put away those heavy winter clothes and refresh your wardrobe with lighter, more breathable options. Dressing for summer is all about staying cool while looking effortlessly stylish.

With that said, there are some clothing items that are acceptable this year that would have generated unkind snickers just a few years ago. For example, consider the popularity this year of what appear to be “playsuits” for grown ups.

Melissa Slavick,  lead stylist of Taelor

“Sets are a big trend this summer. Matching tops and bottoms,”
“Whether they're solid colors or prints like tropical prints, you're going to be seeing them everywhere.”

- Melissa Slavick, lead stylist of Taelor

The flips side of that is that some particularly old-fashioned summer clothing is back in style this year, particularly linen. But in 2024, people are pairing it with colors we haven’t seen in a while.

“Linen is a big trend this year. It’s just a lighter weight and it has that old-money feel about it that is in style this year,” Melissa says. 
“And guys want brighter colors this year. They want to make a statement and so they are wearing corals, lime greens and those those kinds of colors.”

So if you have a matching set of linen shorts and a top in a color like a Miami Beach hotel in the 1960s, you’re set. But for everyone else, here’s your guide to the essentials every man needs in his summer wardrobe.

1. Breathable Fabrics

The foundation of any summer wardrobe starts with choosing the right fabrics. Opt for natural, breathable materials like cotton, linen , and lightweight wool. These fabrics allow air to circulate, keeping you cool and comfortable even on the hottest days. Linen shirts and cotton t-shirts should be your go-to pieces for casual outings.

Pro Tip: Look for fabrics with moisture-wicking properties. They help keep sweat at bay, making you feel fresh throughout the day.

A man wearing breathable linen short

2. Lightweight Shirts

Summer is the perfect time to experiment with different styles of shirts. Short-sleeve button-ups, polos , and casual tees are versatile and can be dressed up or down. A classic white linen shirt is a must-have; it’s perfect for both casual beach days and more formal summer events.

Style Note: Don’t shy away from subtle patterns or light colors. Light blue, pastel pink, and soft yellows not only reflect heat but also add a touch of summer vibe to your outfit.

A young man wearing lightweight polo shirt with sunglasses

3. Tailored Shorts

When it comes to shorts, fit is crucial. Aim for shorts that are neither too tight nor too baggy. Tailored chino shorts are a versatile option that can be dressed up with a button-up shirt or kept casual with a t-shirt.

Fit Tip: The ideal length for shorts is around the knee or slightly above. This length is flattering and appropriate for most occasions. “The new trend is a 5-inch inseam,” Melissa says. “Guys just want to really show off their legs after working out all winter.”

A man wearing a navy beach shorts

4. Versatile Outerwear

Summer doesn’t mean you should completely ditch outerwear. Lightweight jackets like a bomber or a denim jacket are perfect for cooler summer evenings. These pieces are versatile and can be layered over a t-shirt or a casual shirt.

Pro Tip: A light, unlined blazer can elevate your look for more formal summer occasions without making you overheat.

A man wearing a lightweight bomber jacket with t-shirts and denim  jeans

5. Stylish Footwear

Footwear can make or break your summer outfit. Invest in a good pair of loafers or espadrilles for a smart-casual look. For more relaxed settings, classic white sneakers are a reliable choice. Don’t forget a pair of comfortable sandals or flip-flops for those beach or pool days.

Maintenance Tip: Keep your summer shoes clean and well-maintained. A little care goes a long way in making your footwear look new and stylish.

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6. Accessories

Summer accessories are both functional and stylish. A good pair of sunglasses is a must to protect your eyes and add a cool factor to your look. A straw hat or a baseball cap can also help keep the sun off your face while adding a stylish touch.

Don’t Forget: A lightweight scarf can be a great addition for those breezy evenings by the water.

Two guys chilling next to the swimming pool wearing vibrant summer outfits

7. Swimwear

A well-fitted pair of swim trunks is essential for any summer wardrobe. Opt for a pair that can double as casual shorts. Look for quick-drying materials and fun, summery patterns.

Style Tip: Avoid overly baggy or long swim shorts. Aim for a mid-thigh length for a modern, flattering look.

A man wearing a tropical print shorts

8. Layering Basics

Even in summer, layering can be necessary, especially when transitioning from day to night. Lightweight cardigans or vests can add depth to your outfit without making you overheat.

Pro Tip: Stick to breathable fabrics and light colors to keep your layers comfortable and stylish.

A man wearing lightweight knit cardigan, pairing with white shirts

Want some help finding clothes that will make you stand out in this summer? Let Taelor help. Taelor is a menswear rental subscription service dedicated to helping men look their best when it matters most. Our styling service, powered by a human stylist and assisted by artificial intelligence, finds the clothes that help you win – at work, on a date, at a party, or wherever you spend your time.


Building a summer wardrobe is all about blending comfort with style. Focus on breathable fabrics, well-fitted pieces, and versatile options that can be mixed and matched. With these men's summer essentials, you’ll be ready to face the summer heat while looking effortlessly cool. So go ahead, embrace the season with confidence and style!

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