Style At Large
Menswear veteran and Valet's Editor at Large, Michael Macko, presents an insider's take on what's new and noteworthy in the world of style.

Are You Ready for Summer?

After the winter we've endured, I sure am. Okay yes, I may be rushing the season a bit. But as final payments are being made on summer shares and travel plans are being finalized, there's one more thing that you have to do before it's too late—buy a bathing suit. I know you still haven't lost that last bit of winter weight and you're way too pale to see your self nearly naked under a dressing room's fluorescent lights, but if you don't start looking now, the really great ones will likely be sold out by the time you are ready.

This is the perfect bathing suit. It's got a 9" inseam (not too short, not too long) and it's cut from a matte nylon, trading the tropical flowers for of-the-moment camo. They're cool enough to wear out for a casual meal directly from the beach. Buy a pair now, stash it away and in two months you'll thank me. And while you're at it, you might also want to pick up the following.

$69.50, at J.Crew


I'm a well known fan of the classic L.L. Bean Boat and Tote. But the rubber-lined hunting totes are equally amazing. You can throw in a wet pair of trunks and a towel and they won't leak through onto you or the car.

From $19, at L.L. Bean

Insider Tip:

If you get this bag monogramed (which you should) and don't specify a color, they'll do it in black. But if you ask, they'll put your initials on in bright safety orange—a perfect contrast.

You can swipe towels from the gym or buy them at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond and look like everyone else or you can purchase one with an original work of art on it from the Art Production Fund. Sales from each go to help make public art more accessible. I also love that these towels are roomy enough for spreading out, a full five feet wide by six feet long. This moody jungle print by Peter Doig is my favorite.

$95, at Works on Whatever


I was recently turned onto this all-natural moisturizer and am obsessed with it. Produced by the same Colorado family since 1971, it's super light, completely non-greasy and has an amazing light coconut scent that instantly reminds me of summer. I even found a site that sells it on sale.

$9, at Internatural

I always need a good book to read on the beach or by the pool. This new collection of short stories, told from the perspective of animals, is hysterical. They are perfect to read aloud to your friends while hanging out.

$13, at Amazon or iBooks

The number of days in the official season of summer, 2011.







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