Live Action Getup: Be the Coolest Uncle at the Family Reunion – Including a Triple-crossing H20 War Plan!

Live Action Getup: Be the Coolest Uncle at the Family Reunion – Including a Triple-crossing H20 War Plan!
Just because you haven’t seen Aunt Ruth since you were 11 doesn’t mean your mom hasn’t been bragging about you for 15 years. Make her proud and show the family the semi-respectable man you’ve become by looking the part.
The Getup: Be the Coolest Uncle at the Family Reunion - Including a Triple-crossing H20 War Plan

Only the oldest generation sits around at an outside reunion: Plan on climbing, chasing, tossing, and pitching with the kids. With all that movement – and in this summers heat – you're going to need clothes that not only look the part, but stretch with you and wick away sweat as fast as you can say, “Not it!”.

The Getup: Being the Cool Uncle at the Family Reunion

Ministry of SupplyThis post is in partnership with Ministry of Supply. Rooted in technology. Grounded in the everyday. Click here to find out how they're changing clothing.

What is this?

performance polo and shorts by Ministry of Supply - men's summer style inspiration

Moisture-wicking polo: Ministry of Supply

4 way stretch shorts: Ministry of Supply

Watch: Timex

Bag: Everlane

Primer reader and contributor Shane Martin shows us how it's done. In fall, it's all about layers, colors and patterns. But to look sharp and put-together in summer, classic, simple, and impeccable fit is what makes you stand out in an ocean of bro-y cargo shorts, baggy t-shirts, and ugly patterned polos.

This Getup is everything but boring. My go-to shorts are gray, not khaki. While British khaki will always be a classic, they've become such a default for the lazy guys we're trying to stand out from. Going for gray, like these from Ministry of Supply, give us the same versatility but with a modern edge.

What to Wear to a Family Reunion

Ministry of Supply poloMinistry of Supply shortsTimex watchBrooks Brothers Pebble loafersGBX White sneakersLeathermanSupersoaker pistolSperry Topsider Boat ShoeAnti Monkey Butt PowderAxe Natural Hair Cream

men's summer style

Your secret mission as Coolest Uncle, should you choose to accept it, is one of deceit, espionage, and triple-crossing.

Fill up 2 of the squirt guns on the sly. Pull one of the kids off to the side and give him one of the squirt guns. Tell him, when you give him the signal, he should sneak up to Kid B very casually and at the last minute, pull the squirt gun and soak her.

However! As an unscrupulous Uncle of mystery, you've also given Kid B, the second squirt gun and told her that you've given Kid A the squirt gun and the mission to squirt her. She's to hide her squirt gun and pretend to know nothing of the plan. When Kid A saunters over, she's to pull her squirt gun and squirt him first.

But this isn't just a double-crossing. Before any of this has happened, you've given a third kid or, preferably an equally nefarious Aunt or Grandparent, two loaded water balloons, brought them in on the plan, and they're to drop hell from above as soon as the firefight begins. You must explain to each person the significance of not letting anyone know about the plan.

If you have a third, possibly younger kid you can incorporate, give him the last squirt gun, and explain he's your personal body guard. If the first two kids try to come after you when they realize they've been deceived, his job is to keep you from getting wet. He'll obviously fail and you'll go down in a hail of water bullets in a dramatic display of death the world hath never seen.

Now, if you just want to keep this thing going forever, and you're at a location with a hose, you can load up one of the less abled relatives with the hose and tell them if the first two kids are able to take you down, they're to unleash the nuclear H20 option with a ratified treaty of familial defense, setting off a chain reaction of Mutually Assured Soaking that can't possibly be stopped until a S'mores Armistice is signed.

Skies the limit, have fun!

summer shoe - men's style


Moisture-wicking polo: Ministry of Supply

4 way stretch shorts: Ministry of Supply

Loafers: Brooks Brothers

Sneakers: GBX

Watch: Timex

Bracelet: Amazon

Primer Magazine The Getup

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • DaveO

    For the life of me I just can not with those white sneakers. They just remind me of teenage British punks trying to look like rap stars. I just feel like if you have to go with a white shoe that a canvas sneaker would work better here IMHO. The Rope bracelet is a good find though. Seems like they have been around for a few years now. Still on-trend?

    • John

      I agree with the white sneaks. Honestly, if you’re gonna run around with the kiddos, Nike Fly Kits or their copycats would be a better choice. Remember to replace the stock laces with elastic ones; the kids won’t stop because your laces came untied.
      Bracelet: get some paracord from Amazon (I chose the glow in the dark white) and choose your clasp of choice or do the friendship bracelet double slip knots. Make bracelets/anklets/necklaces for the kids. When it gets dark, you can still play 🙂

      Water balloons are fun, but single use. Get the absorbent foam balls that are covered with spandex. Soak ’em in a bucket and they do the same as water balloons, but can be used over and over. Walgreen’s is good for those. Best rule is Kids versus Uncle/Dad, keeps the kids from hurting each other.

    • Inderpreet S

      I’ll disagree as it depends on the sneaks. The ones in the getup look great and I love Stan Smiths – they just go with everything. I agree that Nike’s would be acceptable as well, but a lot of those shoes get crazy colorful/too tech heavy and end up breaking the classic look of the getup.

      Are there any sample tech sneakers that would work with this outfit? Would love to see some examples.

      • John

        I’ve got a pair of Saucony Kineta Relay’s in a gray melange color that go with just about everything, IMO. YMMV. Even a pair of Classic Nikes, Sauconys (Jazz, Bullet, LoPro Jazz) or Asics (Onisuka Tiger or similar) would be good. I’d even recommend some of the minimalist/barefoot shoes (not 5Fingers) that have a more classic color scheme. I’ll find some and post.
        The thing to remember is, in this scenario, you’re running around with kids and have started a water war. You have to be mobile and water resistant 🙂 Boat shoes just aren’t going to cut it, unless you kick them off and go barefoot.
        Besides, everyone knows Uncle John (or Andrew, Mike, etc.) is going to play with the kids, because he called or texted his siblings and told them to bring the kiddos a change of clothes. 🙂

    • rogun

      White leather sneakers have basically been a Summer staple ever since they’ve been around, with the exception of recent years, when they went out of style for a while, before coming back. Don’t let bias ruin a classic Summer item for you.

      • DaveO

        I wouldn’t call it a bias, just a preference. Even looking at the spilt picture, the white draws too much attention to his feet. I prefer the Saucony and Asics options in an earlier comment. I have a pair of classic Nike that would suit the look very well and not look dirty after a day in the park.

        • rogun

          I can understand that. I grew up during a time when most people wore white sneakers and leather sneakers often only came in white. I started wearing other colors to stand out and never really returned to whtie. Even so, I own several pairs of canvas and leather white sneakers today, and I do like them, but I’m a little self-conscious about wearing them, because they seem a little too preppy today for my liking. I actually like getting them dirty ASAP, though.

          I also own some Saucony Jazz sneakers and a few pairs of Onitsuka Tiger’s that I love, so I certainly understand your appreciation for them.

  • Serafin Nunez

    Does this polo pass for normal or does it come across as football coach gear?

    • Andrew

      Good question/concern. It looks great in person.

    • rogun

      I think they pass for normal these days. Sweat wicking materials are being used in all sorts of Summer garments, because they serve a good purpose. Lot’s of designer brands do it regularly now.

    • John

      I think it’s more about the fit. I think the one on the model is a size too small, but the football coach’s is a size too big.

  • browneagle44 ロベルト

    Kudos on the Everlane bag! I’ve had an original green one (with cool red stripe down the side) for five years now.

    I can’t get into boat shoes. Something about it. However, I can get behind white leather or canvas sneakers.

  • Toro

    I always struggle with the acceptability of loafers – personally, I don’t think they’re suitable for all ages, physical builds, or personalities. (personal admission: I don’t wear them for the reasons cited above)

    • Andrew

      Interesting! Which ages, physical builds and personalities should and shouldn’t wear them?

      • Toro

        I think they tend to look best on guys over 35-40, and with a more slender build.

        younger guys – particular college guys – tend to look like they’re trying a bit too hard: gives a bit of the “trust fund baby frat boy golf club” affect

        • Jesse

          i think that has a lot more to do with how that subset of men/boys dress as a whole than just the loafers.

          • Toro

            somewhat – but loafers still tend to only go well with a few particular dress styles as it is – the style above being one example.

            for instance, (in my opinion and example) the polo and shorts pictured above, with loafers, would look fine and natural on 45+ year old father at a pool BBQ, but would look out of place if the same man at the same BBQ were 25 years old; take that same polo and shorts, but with white kicks, and it would look perfectly fine on a 25 year old at the same pool BBQ, but might make a 45+ year old father look like he’s trying to fit in too hard with a younger generation.

            …and because of this, I really appreciate it when primer shows how a few items can be swapped out to help make an outfit more suitable for different people or locations.

    • rogun

      It depends on the loafers, but I somewhat agree. I think narrow loafers look offset on heavier men and they need loafers that are a little larger. I think they’re fine for all ages, though.

  • rogun

    ” In fall, it’s all about layers, colors and patterns. But to look sharp and put-together in summer, classic, simple, and impeccable fit is what makes you stand out ”

    I was explaining this very thing to someone the other day. It’s all about fit and color in the Summer.

    I like the stretchy, moisture wicking materials here, although the short sleeves on that polo are probably a little too short for my long arms. Is Shane actually wearing a Timex Reader in his photos, though? It looks big for a Timex Reader, so I’m wondering if it’s actually something else?

  • Michael

    Great look. This is my usual go to style. I’m a bit muscular up top and struggle with polos. Do the MoS polo run slim?

  • rogun

    A good cheaper option for the shorts are Dockers Alpha On-The-Go shorts. They have the same slim fit as other Alpha shorts, but they’re made out of a quick-dry polyester, have mesh pockets with zippers in the rear and a drawstring. They’re also on sale right now and I purchased several pairs for under $10 a piece at

  • Christian

    Another good watch option is the Timex Weekender Fairfield. It looks a lot like the watch the model is wearing, it’s minimalistic, extremely affordable, and looks great with a leather NATO strap.