Whether you’re kicking back on a sun lounger or clambering over rocks in a secreted cove, a day at the beach demands a level of interaction with the natural elements–be it the sun, sand or sea–even so, dressing suitably for such activities need not be an occasion where looking stylish has to be sacrificed.

The world of men’s fashion has embraced the requirements of the modern beach-going man and never before has there been such a choice for those looking to invest in clothes that are both environmentally conscious and style-focused. We’ve cherry-picked some of our very favourite pieces below to help you piece together a look that is simple, functional and effortlessly cool.

First things first, we must start with the focal point of any beach outfit–swim shorts. If you’re going to get one thing right when heading to the beach, then let it be your swim shorts. After all, they will invariably be the sole piece of clothing covering your modesty as you wade intently into the great blue. Swim shorts have come a long way in recent years, no longer are they singular items of clothing reserved only for swimming, but instead, they’ve matured into broader functioning shorts that can be worn to lunch and beyond.

A pair of tailored swim shorts are the perfect foundation upon which to build a stylish outfit. Teamed up with a plain t-shirt or polo shirt, these shorts will elevate an otherwise unremarkable look by adding a subtle sartorial flourish. Orlebar Brown were quick off the mark and established themselves early on as purveyors of the tailored swim short, their Bulldog mid-length short encapsulates for us the optimum level of form and function.

For a less tailored, but still smart approach, you might consider French brand Apnée whose founding principles display an unwavering commitment to preserving the ocean. We particularly like the dark blue patterned Ecume short, featuring a slightly more casual (and comfortable) drawstring waist and made entirely from plastic collected in the Mediterranean sea and beaches.

The polo shirt is a summer wardrobe staple for many men and for good reason–it’s easy to style and strikes a casual tone of formality. When paired with tailored swim shorts, the combination creates a refined silhouette that will receive universal approval on almost any beach. We particularly like Aurélien’s terry-cotton towelling version for its luxurious texture and James Bond-esque connotations, not dissimilar from the polo notably sported by Sean Connery in Dr. No.

With origins tracing to the Catalonian and Basque regions, the Espadrille is an iconic symbol of summer footwear. Lightweight and functional, these shoes were designed with coastal life in mind and their aesthetic also happens to be positively charming. Aurélien’s Seaside loafer is a luxurious take on the classic jute-soled espadrille, but featuring an upgraded structured loafer shape and soft suede upper for enhanced comfort and style points.

While I’m that sure we’re all familiar with the merits of sunglasses, there are still a few useful pointers to bear in mind when choosing a new pair. Firstly, take the time to find a shape that suits your face. Many brands, like Cubitts, offer made-to-measure services that will aid your quest for the perfect shape. It’s a hard truth that some styles will just never look good on you, no matter how hard you try. But once you’ve found your style, by all means run with it! For our desired beach look, we love the sleek square-shaped frame of Cubitt’s Vernon model in the Dark Turtle colourway for versatility.

If you’re like us you grow weary of the same, tired sunscreen options available, try Salt & Stone’s premium sunscreen lotion. It has become our absolute go-to for beach days, boasting water resistance and much appreciated non-greasy application.

Usually an innocuous item, Nimu Roma have set the bar so high with a beach towel that you will treasure more than any towel you’ve owned before. The cotton-linen blend is supremely soft and fast drying, whilst also being so lightweight and easy to pack. The towels come in a variety of mouthwatering pastel coloured, isometric patterns inspired by the Mediterranean light.

The final piece of the puzzle is a bag in which you can bundle your carefully curated selection of beach accessories. A casual tote style bag is perfect for the beach, being both easy to throw over your shoulder and to reach into at a moment’s notice for sunscreen. We like the simplicity and size of Cos’ cotton tote, this bag isn’t scared of a bit of sand with reinforced edges that lend added durability to its structure.

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