Live Action Getup: Summer Blues

Live Action Getup
Summer Blues

Just because you're spending a lot more time at home doesn't mean you have to look it – here’s an easy way to stay comfortable and stylish this summer.

Words & Photos by Andrew Snavely

As social distancing continues into the summer, many of us have become used to the work-from-home lifestyle. As we’ve observed, staying at home has its advantages, but it comes with its challenges too – which is why we’re also seeing a resurgence of creature comforts like mac and cheese, frozen pizza, and your favorite pair of sweatpants.

And why bother changing out of those sweatpants now that all your work interactions are confined to video conferences? Zoom calls aside, why bother looking presentable at all? Well, if you believe (as we do) that looking good doesn’t have to come at the expense of comfort, the question then becomes: Why not?

Having worked at home for over nine years, I’ve noticed that I’m much more productive when I put on a real outfit, shoes and all. In fact, scientific research has shown that our clothing has a real effect on our mood, behavior, and attitudes (and we all could use a leg up in these times). It’s in that spirit that this comfortable and casual Getup transitions you into summer not only looking good but feeling good, too. 

Short Sleeve Oxford (Similar): Amazon, $25
Stretch Chinos: Everlane, $75
Watch: Orient Bambino 4, $120
Sneakers (similar): Sperry, $40

casual summer outfit men ocbd oxford

blue shirt chinos summer outfit men idea

The key to this simple look is intentional fit: the shirt is appropriately sized to wear casually and untucked (different than the way a tucked-in shirt should fit), and the pants are tapered, with minimal break – for more on that, read our fit guides for pants and untucked shirts. And read on to see what a step up from t-shirt and sweatpants (but still just as comfy) looks like.

Still haven't figured out what to do with your hair? Check out our video and guide on how to cut your own hair at home.

easy summer style men

Short Sleeve Slim Fit Oxford Shirt

Fit is always important, but it can make or break this whole look: Too large and you’ll look boxy; too tight is palpably uncomfortable for both wearer and observer. It’s what keeps this outfit smart and relaxed (and not something your mom put you in for church when you were a kid). We want a cut that stays close to your silhouette and doesn't drape too low below the waist. Here’s a super slim version for really skinny guys to avoid the boxy look.

short sleeve button up shirt mistakes
everlane stretch performance chinos review

Stretch Chinos

Save: Dockers | Shown: Everlane Performance Chino

I’ve loved Everlane’s Performance Chino with 4-way stretch ever since I first featured them here. It’s the easiest way to be clean-cut while being supremely comfortable thanks to its soft stretch cotton and 4-way stretch that looks great dressed up or casually. A closer, tapered leg gives us a slim silhouette with cleaner lines, and we’ll want a minimal break to avoid “weighing down” the light, airy feel of this summer look with excess fabric.

Canvas Sneakers:

Similar: Sperry Salt-Washed Canvas Sneaker

This is a classic canvas sneaker that eschews the standard laces for leather laces. I’m wearing a pair of Levi's I swapped boot laces for ages ago; my less expensive DIY version of the Vans for J.Crew exclusive. The Levi’s are not available anymore, but this can work with any plain low-cut canvas sneaker – for a super inexpensive option, grab these on Amazon and swap out the laces yourself. Switching the standard laces on a sneaker like this with leather laces is a simple and inexpensive style hack – and it makes all the difference.

Gray canvas shoes sitting on stool

orient bambino 4


Orient Bambino Version 4

With it’s classic minimalist face, the Orient Bambino is a highly regarded timepiece with stellar reviews – and at about $120, an awesome value. I’ve had it for several years and have been very happy with it. The leather of this watch strap nicely accompanies the leather laces of the sneakers. By going with a tan suede, we’re following the principles of belt match-ology, looking not only to coordinate tones, but also to complement textures. There's a reason Orient was included in our best watch brands by price guide and this model specifically named one of the best watches under $200.

beardbrand sea salt spray

Beadbrand Sea Salt Spray – Add texture without any grit or unnatural stiffness, for that “spent the day at the beach” look. If you’re looking for something with more hold or shine, check out our men’s hair product guide where we detail all the types of men’s hairstyling products and where they fall across the “matte” and “hold” scales.  

dry spray antipirspirant

Dry Spray Antiperspirant – This is one of my go-to grooming choices. It’s a spray, but there is no water, alcohol or any other wet residue – it applies as an invisible dry powder. It’s not heavy, it lasts, and it works great. We recently included dry spray antiperspirants in our list of favorite hot weather style and grooming innovations.

no show socks men

No Show Socks: Shown / Similar Amazon – The minimal break of the chinos combined with a low-top sneaker results in some ankle being shown, which makes the “no sock” look work. Socks will also prevent sweaty feet, so it’s much better than actually going sockless, especially when it’s hot.  

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Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.