What We’re Packing For The Beach
The MR PORTER team reveal the items on their summer holiday Wish Lists
As a committed reader of MR PORTER’s The Journal, by now you should know which diet is best for your body, smartened up your gym gear and honed in on a style of yoga that suits you – all in preparation for this year’s summer holiday. If you have been paying attention, your hard work is about to pay off as you strut along the sand like the Adonis you were born to be. (And if you haven’t, read this guide on how to get fit in eight weeks – quick.)
This summer, I’m spending a week on a catamaran sailing around the Ionian islands. I can’t sail (I tried when I was 13 and capsized), but I love being on a ship as long as someone sails it for me. I plan to wear these bright Thorsun shorts with an Aztec-inspired print just in case I fall in after one too many margaritas – they’re sure to get me spotted in the deep blue ocean. A linen grandad-collar shirt in that marine colour will hide my skin from the sun and an IWC Schaffhausen diver’s watch will come in handy because I plan to spend a morning looking for treasure on the seabed as I practice my diving.
I am usually risk averse when it comes to both colour and pattern, but the one item in a man’s wardrobe where even the most conservative dresser can justifiably go nuts is swim shorts. Vilebrequin arguably created the market for high-end men’s swimwear, and its instantly recognisable designs separate the haves from the have-yachts. This shade of aquamarine transports me to the impossibly blue waters of the Caribbean or a pool in the Hamptons, where we’re renting a house this August. And look, a co-ordinating towel that won’t take up too much room in my suitcase, thus leaving plenty of space for these Bottega Veneta intrecciato leather pool slides.
If you’re on a beach, you should hopefully be having fun, and your shorts should match. Which is why I always look to Missoni when it comes to swimwear. These ones have the added appeal of a 1970s cut and bias binding. Along with a collarless shirt from KAPITAL (for those all-important sun breaks) and some sandals from Yuketen, they should make for a suitably colourful outfit for the coastline of Puglia.
On the beach, I keep it simple. While everyone else is careering around, hitting, chasing, riding and splashing things, I sit back and relax. People-watching behind a good pair of sunnies is an underrated pastime – I love the retro LA feel of these Hopper shades. A light pair of shorts is essential. These linen NN07 ones are perfectly airy and comfortable after a day spent in sandy swimmers. When I put my book down, I grab an ice-cold beer, a suitable adversary and settle down with this beautiful Folk backgammon set until the sun sets. As for where I’ll be doing all of this, it’ll be Cuba or Sri Lanka this year. I can’t decide.
Finally, the clouds break and we welcome the warmer months. The soporific sounds of breaking waves and the scent of coconut oil on the breeze are redolent of long days on the beach in Breezy Point, New York City. It’s hotly disputed whether it’s in Brooklyn or Queens, but either way, it’s a great destination for sunbathing. I always take a canvas backpack – this Saint Laurent one is my current go-to – along with a comfortable linen-blend tee by Onia and my Frescobol Carioca beach bat and ball set. I’m counting down the days until my first trip next month.
Packing light is the key to stress-free travel. One bag in the overhead locker and you’re away. This classic Incotex chambray shirt is not only light and breathable, it’s versatile, too. By day you can dress it down with a T-shirt and a pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses, while in the evening it pairs well with a lightweight blazer. I’m usually one to shy away from bright colours and prints, but when in Rome (or, in my case, Taormina in Sicily). These Everest Isles shorts are essential because they’re comfortable and quick to dry – and they’ll look great with my deepening tan.
Given that I have a fair complexion, the sun (energy-giving star, not the newspaper) and I have a complicated relationship, so being at the beach is as much an exercise in (skin) damage limitation as it is in relaxation. Shades are an essential, as is high-factor sun cream. This summer, however, I may invest in a slightly more flamboyant method of repelling UVs via a parasol. I’ll probably end up on a British beach, maybe Blackpool, so it’ll double up nicely when the rain starts to fall.