This Simple Color Combo Is the Secret to Flawless Summer Style

The beach! Whether you’re a casual cabana lounger or fancy yourself someone with full blown “Kenergy,” nothing evokes the promise of summer relaxation more than the idea of a little sand between your toes, blue skies, and the expanse of the open ocean. It’s also the place where some of your most adventurous, carefree fits can literally see the light of day. But in 2023, bringing the waterfront vibes with you everywhere you go can reach far beyond the linen shirts and trim nylon shorts that pull double duty oceanside and in the city. The tan and blue color palette of the beach itself is arguably the season’s most reliably handsome and, frankly, easy to wear source of inspiration.

We’ll be the first to admit there’s nothing groundbreaking about tossing on a crisp blue button up and some pressed khakis—it’s the go-to nine-to-five cubicle special, after all—but the beach-inspired tones aren’t just for seaside hangs or office dress codes. In fact, the timeless color palette is just the springboard for you to get real creative with your OOO fits. It’s a combo that’s damn near impossible to screw up which means proportions, texture, and patterns are all ripe for experimentation. If you’re in need of a fresh take on a summer suit (wedding season, baby!) or you’re actually out to catch some oceanside rays, here are few sand-and-sea-inspired looks for an endless summer of unimpeachable style.

For a Day out in the City

If your weekend beach plans fell through and you’ve suddenly got a wide open schedule of city bopping, you can still channel that relaxing seaside mentality. See, a blue and tan fit can take on a little more of a rugged feeling than it would beachside (or in the office). Translation: embrace the wave of jean shorts that have taken over menswear, but keep things easy and breezy with a slouchy knit polo and some of-the-moment sneakers that your local cool kids will dig, but’ll also be comfortable as you hike around town.

Arket “Frank” straight leg denim cargo shorts

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Second/Layer orange “Vega” sunglasses

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Adidas handball spezial sneakers

For a Ritzy Night Out

Even the most dressed-up vacation fits should still look as off-duty as possible. This is the moment to break your flexiest summer button-up, here seen in the form of one of Bode’s ultra-buzzy embroidered camp collars. And while flowy trousers and slip-on loafers are spiffy enough for just about any restaurant, the beauty is they still—literally and figuratively—are worlds away from your 9-5 rotation. 

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Bode blue poetry team cotton poplin shirt

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Studio Nicholson “Sorte” trousers

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Banana Republic “Giorgio” cotton linen sweater

For the Beachside Wedding

Beach weddings are usually a little more open-ended in the dress code department than your standard black tie affairs, which means the possibilities for suit freaking are endless. But that doesn’t mean you have to go nuts with the color combos. A tan, linen double breasted suit is the perfect mix of elegant and kicked back, while a light blue short sleeve shirt—also in linen, and worn sans tie, of course—will be your new secret weapon against a ceremonial schvitz.

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Boglioli double breasted linen suit

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Madwell easy linen short sleeve shirt

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Seiko presage “Cocktail Time” watch

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Church’s calf leather sandals

For the Actual Beach

What better place to rock a blue and tan ensemble than the very locale that inspired it to begin with? A striped linen (a theme emerges!) camp shirt is a pro move for standing out in a sea of tank tops. Match that up with a patterned blue swim trunk and a pair of ice-cold sunglasses with some funky lenses, et voila! All that’s left is to do is to set your phone to silent, toss it in a tote bag, and ease into peak relaxation mode.

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General Admission striped cotton and linen blend shirt

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J.Crew 6 inch swim trunks

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Akila outsider sunglasses

For Foul, Rainy Weather

Should an incoming storm put a damper on your beach day plans, you can still channel happy thoughts with a fit inspired by life on the open ocean. Reach for a skipper-approved slicker in a bold blue and some hiking shorts in a sturdy nylon that are built to handle the occasional splash zone. To fully weather-proof the look, slip into a pair of chunky boat shoes—they won’t just help you look the part, but are actually pretty practical in the “not eating it” department—even you’re only hoofing it down the street, not the deck of a schooner. 

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Bryceland’s foul weather anorak

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Yuketen Blucher with Kiltie with Camp Sole

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Stussy pitstop low brow cap

For the Office (Bummer, We Know)

At the end of the day, a blue shirt and khaki pants might be what you wear when the thought of the beach couldn’t be further from reality, but it’s a business-casual classic for a reason. The good news is that everything below will not only look clean as you toil away in spreadsheets, but can pull double duty in any of the above scenarios the moment you clock out. 

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Todd Snyder Italian linen Madison sport coat

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Alex Mill straight leg pant in vintage washed chino

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Carter Young striped western shirt

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Carmina penny loafers 80579 “Genova”

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