Memorial Day Weekend Style Primer

Desmond Kinlaw

Memorial Day weekend is here and it's sure to be filled with parties, cookouts, beach excursions, etc. I'm going to focus on what I think may be the two most popular: the backyard cookout and the waterfront clambake. If you score an invite to one of these this weekend, heed a few pointers on how to dress to make sure you usher in summer in style.


Backyard BBQ


Shirt~Todd Snyder $175

Boat Shoes~Ralph Lauren $295

Shorts~Orlebar Brown $235

Ginger-Ale~Blenheim $24 for a case of 24

Cookouts are dangerous territory when it comes to trying to keep yourself clean. You're eating with your hands, on flimsy paper plates, while standing, and possibly a little tipsy (more on that later). Accidents are bound to happen. That's why this madras shirt from Todd Snyder is perfect. Ketchup and mustard drips blend right in. And about the shorts, who says denim shorts are uncool? This pair by the swimwear kings Orlebar Brown begs to differ. It's a soft denim that's been faded to give it a blueish-grey tone. Perfect for wiping your hands on when you drop your napkin. 


*Wild Card Accessory*

While I don't partake in nor advocate drinking, I'm aware that there'll probably be plenty of that going on (99 percent of the time I'm either drinking water or sugarless coffee). But in the spirit of camaraderie and carbonation, I'll play along and chug some local ginger ale from a family-owned company from Blenheim, South Carolina. They've been making this stuff since the late 1800s from a mineral spring discovered in 1721. I think they kinda know what they're doing. They've actually got a pretty cool story.


Gant Rugger $145

Some of us will be on grill duty this weekend. Depending on your perspective, you will either get "stuck" on the grill, or you will "get to man" the grill. In either case, you should wear an apron to keep those grease splatters off your clothes. But not a corny "Kiss the Cook" apron—rather, a manly man's apron like this one from Gant Rugger. Each is made from a full sheet of denim fabric so you get the selvedge line at the top and the bottom. There's a YouTube video where the creative director of Gant, Christopher Bastin, talks about the apron and how that season's "chef collection" came about.


Waterfront Clambake

Polo~Boast $84

Sweater~Gant Rugger $125

Swimtrunks~Paul Smith $145

Sneaker~Converse $60

Tote~Want les Essentiels de la Vie $350

Tartar Sauce~Charleston Original Sauces $54 for a case of 12


A slightly different approach is needed because of the different circumstances. Swim trunks are in order since you will be right by the water and it makes it easy to just strip off your shirt and shoes and hop in. A polo by Boast, the iconic tennis brand, is easy to put on and take off with less buttons to fuss with. And you have that collar just begging to be popped to slug it out with the sun. Now I know the sweater is throwing some of you for a loop, but I can assure you, once the sun goes down, that comforting breeze you once had will turn outright chilly. A light cable-knit sweater in a pastel hue does the trick and the fun can last until the sun comes back up again. 


*Wild Card Accessory* 

A proper tote is the best place to hold your belongings like a good book, your camera, and the ultimate condiment. To go along with the oysters, crab, lobster, shrimp, etc, some homegrown tartar sauce from a husband-and-wife team out of Mount Pleasant is the unrivaled icing on the cake. Do yourself a favor and bring your own bottle and keep it close. Things like that can mysteriously go missing.