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Best Summer Accessories For Men

By Greg Wahl

Here in the Midwest, accessories on guys often begin and end with something akin to a fanny pack. This is an unnecessary reality, and one that can be avoided without spending too much money on Main Street or wandering for hours like a lost bovine at the mall. Summer means dressing down, but accessories are a good way to dress back up a bit with seasonal style. Here's a selection of add-ons that will help you do summer right, i.e., without a freaking fanny pack.

baseball cap

Baseball Cap: Brixton "Rift" Snapback

55 East Grand Avenue
Chicago. IL

If your baseball season dome wear isn't strictly relegated to team logos of the Cubs, White Sox, etc., there are plenty of retail brand versions to choose from. This one from Brixton is a minimalist antidote to the dreadful Ed Hardy head styles of 2009.

Ray-Ban Sunglasses

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Clubmaster

J. Crew
900 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Perhaps the most ubiquitous summer accessory: the sunglasses. They're often a matter of strong personal taste, and that's fine, but my recommendation tends toward the retro/simple/classy, from a trusted and time-honored brand, Ray-Ban. There is a definite mix of studious nerdiness and mid-century cool with the Clubmaster model. The Mad Men reference is obvious, but this look has been around a lot longer than five seasons, and will endure well after the full run of that show gathers dust in the bargain DVD bins.


Bracelet: Burkman Bros

Available online

Having graduated from hippiedom and the grunge era, the man-bracelet is now a common accessory on the wrists of the casual urban sophisticate. Woven bracelets from Burkman Bros are beach-ready and inexpensive. Still not comfortable with the idea of wearing a "bracelet"? Just think of it as a cool-looking sweatband. There, done.


Watch: Fossil Decker Silicone Watch

Woodfield Mall

K310 Woodfield Shopping Center
Schaumburg, IL

Don't risk the safety of the good watch on the boat or at the beach. A lower-priced alternative like Fossil's Decker Silicone Watch will withstand water, sand, and the occasional spilled beer.


Belt: Penguin D-Ring Webbed Belt

Original Penguin
901 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL

With the weather like what we've been having lately, it's time to ditch the heavy, hot leather for a more practical cotton weave. Penguin's casual and uncomplicated version of the simple d-ring style should do nicely.


Umbrella: Totes AOC Max Super Strong Frame

111 North State Street
Chicago, IL

Random rain spells are almost as common in summer as in spring, and if you work downtown it's best to be prepared without having to carry too much umbrella cargo around the Loop. Leave the patio table-sized version in the golf bag and pick up a durable compact like this one from Totes, with a good canopy and a frame reinforced for the windy city.

tote bag

Work bag: Banana Republic Aidan Nylon Bag

Banana Republic
744 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

Don't call it a man-purse. Guys have things to carry, too, you know, and they shouldn't always have to do so with a rigid, clunky briefcase. The Aidan from Banana Republic is a good, seasonal alternative; kind of like a messenger bag, but with prominent top handles for easy pickup, and a partially-open top to keep train reading within easy reach.

Greg Wahl, CBS Chicago

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