What to pack for a weekend of sea and sand, starting with a red-hot pair of swim shorts.

The best holidays are fun-filled and sun-soaked events, a time to kick back and relax, swapping the cares and woes of everyday life for pina coladas and cocktail umbrellas. But not every care should be jettisoned the moment your toes hit the sand, a little effort in the style department is worth it to look good at the beach.

Instead of falling back into your safety zone of grey, navy and black, take a vacation from your office wear hues and introduce some patterns and brighter colours. There’s no better way to do this than with swim shorts; see them as a blank canvas for your new easy-going holiday persona.

Double up on prints

The usual style rules go out the window too. On a night out in the UK you probably wouldn't dream of doubling-up on prints but at the beach a combination of patterned shirt and swimmers is as sharp as it gets. Layer with a block-coloured t-shirt underneath to give your ensemble some class.

Sunglasses are of course obligatory, but too many men make do with one pair, when a choice is the simplest way to create different looks while packing light. The right specs can propel your shorts and shirt combo to a Hollywood star at Cannes level (see George Clooney for a case in point).

Finally, add to your list a pair of flip-flops and beach ball. Or for a conversation starter, swap the standard ball for a giant inflatable doughnut. 

A smart pool read

A good book is indispensable to while away the hours until your next cocktail and The Chapar heartily recommends John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley. The 1960s road trip travelogue tells of the author’s journey through the United States with his faithful pooch Charley. It’s makes for powerful account of the birth of modern America, and how this pivotal decade shaped both its people and land.

For The Evening

For warmer climes a linen shirt is essential, light and breathable, it can be styled open with a t-shirt for casual evening attire or buttoned-up and worn with chinos or shorts to the smartest of paella joints. All you need do now is lock your phone in the hotel safe and ask yourself "if an email alert beeps in a safe and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Beach Style Icon: Dickie Greenleaf

Jude Law’s character Dickie Greenleaf in the brilliant film The Talented Mr Ripley is so devastatingly dapper that (spoiler alert) some would kill for his style. While we won’t be going quite that far, he’s definitely in our top five style icons for inspiration for the beach.

Heading to the city? Read our guide on what to pack for a city break