I was bored, staring out the window of a bus that had already gone an hour in the wrong direction when inspiration struck. It was September, but I was already thinking about my summer style strategy. Last summer, I invested in the Toasted Coconut Fit™️—which involved shades of tan and white, khaki and camel, and a whole lot of linen. The stylistic embodiment of a perfectly baked croissant served me well, but as seasons change, so would my sartorial intentions. As I mindlessly scrolled through Instagram, a vintage photo of John McEnroe snapped me out of it. His white Sergio Tacchini polo flowed seamlessly into a pair of white shorts. The inseam couldn’t have been longer than four inches. There wasn’t much to it. It was just...white. But it was loud, and it was brazen (like McEnroe).
Then I remembered: there was a white terry cloth polo-and-shorts set from Tacchini’s 2019 STLA capsule collection already in my closet. I hadn’t worn it yet. I think I was afraid of it. Nevertheless, I had nothing to do except make grand plans, so fuck it— this summer, I’d make it happen. Better yet, I’d do it with blue, and gray, and maybe even green. It was at that moment I finally embraced the power of the matching set.
If you’re an adventurous dresser, then this is an execution worth reveling in. Todd Snyder, , , and all carry matching sets of boldly printed shirt-and-short sets made to be worn in places where palm trees grow. They shout “summer,” sure. But they also say something about you: that you’re fearless. If you’re not one to drape yourself in lines, tigers, or squares—not to worry. The power of the matching set is just as effective with the leisurely luxury of Entireworldim电竞官网-’s sweat sets, or the comfortable cool of Aime Leon Dore’s collection. Want to up the ante? Introduce a heavy hand of solid color, and accessorize with simplicity (let Roy G. Biv do the talking). It will emit all of the fearlessness you need to thrive as a member of the matching set coalition.
Summer is when we give ourselves a break. And while the Toasted Coconut Fits were rooted in all the easygoing vibrations of the season, effortless they were not. Making partners out of slightly varying shades of beige is a challenge I hadn’t anticipated. The power of the matching set, on the other hand, is fueled by its effortlessness. It’s the dressin’ man’s equivalent of killing two birds with one stone. And so no matter where you find me this summer—even if it’s through the 16x9 video conference window—just know: Yes, the shorts do match the shirt.
This article appears in the Summer 2020 issue of Esquire.