Credit: Tommy Bahama
1985. Microsoft unveils Windows, Back to the Future hits big at the box office, and Duran Duran posters hang on the closet doors of 14-year-olds everywhere. What hung inside those closets, however, was a mixed bag of acid washed denim, polo shorts and alligator shirts. Until, that is, the Tommys crashed the scene.
Mixing prep and practicality, Tommy Hilfiger was born out of the desire to pair relaxed button-down shirts with a quintessential pair of classic chinos, allowing men to feel polished without seeming stuffy. You know, Ralph Lauren without the pretense.
The brand boasts blazers and striped sweaters, but they’re seeped in sumptuously soft fabrics and designs that look completely classic yet incredibly comfortable. And the collection isn’t afraid to include frayed hems on a denim jacket or throw in a chambray trench.
Preppy doesn’t have to mean stiff. The goal is to give guys with a fun, irreverent attitude an easy way to clean up nicely, aand Hilfiger’s most recent collection of classic threads offer a sexier, slimmer Nantucket feel that mainstream America can once again fall in love with.
Fresh spring offerings include thick coats and wool pants, tangerine Ivy League sweaters, as well as a tailored collection of check shirts, lightweight khakis, and cream-colored shawl-collar cardigans.
On the more casual side, you’ll find vintage number tees paired with light-wash jeans and super cool desert high tops. Or check out the latest pair of cargo swim trunks featuring a shorter leg and slimmer fit. You’ll make a big splash in those come spring break.
Credit: Tommy Bahama
The other brand that comes to mind while sipping cocktails in the summer sun is the unfairly derided Tommy Bahama. Founded in 1992, Tommy Bahama is synonymous with good times and relaxed styling.
This Tommy, however, rolls on island time. Only he isn’t really a he, but a personification of an idyllic life inspired by the take-your-time attitude synonymous with coastal living.
The brand’s Spring 2015 collection offers their signature silk shirts in vibrant blues and oranges, with the designs of palm trees, plaids, ethereal blooms and pineapples. Half-zip sweatshirts and pullovers play host to a collection of outerwear perfect for breezy evenings on the sand or in town, with easy-fit linen pants rounding out the collection.
Check out the Coastal Island Standard Fitted Jeans – a pair of denim that is hand-distressed and ring spun, resulting in jeans that feel just as comfy as your favorite sweatpants. Pair your new pants with a Sea Glass Breezer, Capri Cruiser shirt, or San Remo polo. No matter what you choose, it’s hard to feel stressed in Tommy Bahama gear.
Both these all American brands provide something you don’t always get with trendy apparel: quality. So the lesson here is, Classic is always cool. And it always will be. So feel good prioritizing breezy shirts over skinny pants, and vests over hoodies. Take comfort in succumbing to the easy pace and style of seaside living.