Gonna ditch town with the guys to unwind before the summer is over? Awesome. Make sure you're properly prepared with these 10 essentials for your last minute weekend getaway.
By Emily Winter
Congratulations! You're taking a last minute summer weekend getaway! You've been putting in way too many hours at the office and you've barely seen your friends (or the sun) since March. You've earned it. Well, let's hope you have. To be honest, I don't know you that well yet, but I've given guys the benefit of the doubt for far less than reading my column.
With any luck, you'll be in for sun, water, booze and babes strong-minded, funny independent women who happen to be totally hot. So you, ManCandy, need to look your best without any fuss.
To make this as simple as possible, leave all black clothes and accessories at home. For beginner through intermediate dresser purposes, black clashes with brown and navy. Sure, you're conscious of this now, but you'll be way too distracted (ahem, drunk) to worry about these things come mini-vacation. The good news is recycling clothes over a long weekend is totally acceptable. No one expects you to be bogged down with a heavy bag (then who will carry mine?). See, us girls are very understanding. We're quite wonderful creatures, really.
Here's the failsafe, comprehensive list of the 10 things you'll need (besides underwear and a toothbrush) to toss in your weekend duffle bag:
1. Two swim trunks
Yes, two. Unless you want to end up skinny dipping with three of your best buddies during the spur-of-the-moment midnight lake/ocean/pool plunge, two.
2. One pair of shorts
I hate to break it to you, but I'm adamantly anti-cargo shorts. Not only do the huge pockets destroy your silhouette (you've got one whether you like it not), but I can't quite get the Napoleon Dynamite tater tot scene out of my mind. What's so important that it needs to constantly be smashed up against your thigh (besides me)? Do your sexy ManBod a favor and try a pair of knee length non-cargos. Green, khaki, blue, brown, plaid, whatever. Just shed the sloppy-looking pockets. Please. Let them die.
3. One pair of dark jeans
Day, night. Casual, fancy. Wear them with any shirt. Done.
4. T-Shirts to wear to the beach
This gets tricky. You want to bring two t-shirts that could end up as turtle food, but still give the vibe that you're a fun, thoughtful, interesting human being. (Even if you're not.) First, don't bring beer t-shirts. This doesn't express anything new about you because you'll already be drunk. Comfy vintage/vintage-inspired t-shirts are fine, as long as they aren't two sizes too big.
SIDENOTE: There's a bit of discrepancy over what constitutes a legitimate vintage ironic t-shirt versus your run-of-the-mill-Urban Outfitters “Tickets to the Gun Show” T. My rule is any shirt printed pre-George W. Bush administration has the capacity to be legitimately ironic (i.e. your snug and comfy high school baseball T). Any shirt printed pre-Clinton administration gets the coveted “vintage” title (you fourth grade spelling champ, you!). In any case, a T that fits well, isn't stained and doesn't shamelessly acknowledge your alcoholism or penchant for lewd endeavors at a Jamaican All-Inclusive is going to be just fine for daytime near the water.
5. A V-neck t-shirt
A V-neck T (in any color, even white!) is a hundred thousand times classier and more flattering than a round neck one. If you choose to wear this to the beach, you can continue sporting it to a dinner or bonfire and still look appropriate. Along with dark denim, it's one of your most versatile articles.
One t-shirt secret is that cotton-nylon blends and jersey blend shirts won't wrinkle in your bag nearly as much as a T-shirt that's 100 percent cotton. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check your shirt tag.
6. A hat
I just can't get over a man in a hat right now. I'm falling in love all over the place, really. If you want to be fashionable without looking particularly cutting-edge, try a straw, pinched front hat with a small brim. Wear it in the day to keep the sun off your face, or just pull it out at night to dress up your sand-covered V neck shirt.
7. Two items to keep you warm
Ideally, a zip-up hoodie and a lightweight cardigan. Why two items, you ask? Us girls get cold, sir, and Extra Sweatshirt Guy is about 15 degrees closer to warming our hearts.
If you can swing it, a cashmere cardigan won't wrinkle much in a duffle bag. But if you have plans to hit up a fancier restaurant, swap the sweater or sweatshirt for a lightweight blazer. It'll allow you to get away with wearing your dark jeans to an upscale place.
8. One pair of leather brown flops
That's right. Unless you plan to hike, play tennis or seriously dance, one pair of brown flip flops is all you need to take you from the beach to the late-night wine and cheese party Red Bikini Girl (what was her name again?) invited you to.
9. Brown belt
Your flops are brown, you've abandoned everything black, so all you need is one brown belt. See how easy?
10. One linen shirt
Why are you boys so wary of linen? Were you all child labor trafficked into a horrible linen factory when you were five or something? Listen: linen is masculine, and a linen button up shirt looks sexy even when wrinkled. You can throw it over your V-neck when it gets chilly and leave the top few buttons open for that “fresh off the Yacht” look.
And if you actually have a yacht, call me.
What to Bring if You Still Have Extra Room in Your Bag:
- Plastic bags. Not only will a Ziploc bag be great for toting home wet clothes, but if you pack your items in plastic bags they'll wrinkle less, too.
- Wine bottle and opener. Someone will thank you. And she could be your soul mate.
- Towels. Wrap ‘em around the wine bottle. Unless you're staying in a hotel, it's always better to bring your own, lest your host runs out.
- Jam Pants. I understand most of you guys don't wear flannel pajama bottoms to bed, but you should have some type of athletic pants comfy enough to lounge in. If you're staying in a house full of friends, you may not want to have that little window in your boxers exposed as you're making coffee. It's the quickest way to turn “morning wood” into a “morning wouldn't,” you follow.
See more of Emily's fashion tips for guys on her blog Fashionable Men-tions.