The Reluctant Townie | Hot summer trends this year

The Reluctant Townie | Hot summer trends this year

With official, calendar-sanctioned summer right around the corner, it's never too late to brush up on the hottest seasonal fashions and trends. Lucky for you, I've done all of the heavy lifting and researched the must-have summer stylings of 2018. So put down your mail-order catalogs, open up your checkbook and let me help craft your perfect summer look.

CARGO SHORTS: Once again topping the list for must-have summer fashions is cargo shorts. For male and for female, for 2018, and forever more. These utilitarian-minded short pants offer the maximum number of pockets to deliver the maximum amount of payload. No longer will you be forced to choose between your house keys, cellphone, wallet or full-size bike lock, because cargo shorts have enough room for all. Do not allow the sartorial fascists of fashion blogs and glamour magazines shame you into a less-convenient summer leg-cover option. You've got places to go and pockets to fill.

SUNGLASSES: Sunglasses are choice in the summertime. The sun is out, the pavement is bright, and you're going to need something to conceal your cashed-out summer eyes from your probation officer. But 2018 fashion offers a twist on the classic sunglasses formula of yore. This year, eyewear fashion is seeking to bring balance to your soul and not rob you of helpful, mood-regulating Vitamin D. The hottest new trend on the runway is to pop one of the lenses out of your sunglasses. Think of it like the Arnold Palmer of eyewear — the drink, not the golfer — a 50/50 blend of fashion and function. Let some light in, while maintaining your cool exterior.

ONE SOLID CATCHPHRASE: Nothing is going to cut through the thick, humid malaise of a July 4 barbecue or late-August block party quite like a memorable catchphrase. But you can't rely on last year's catchphrase to rescue you from awkward lapses in conversation in 2018; you're going to need to invent a fresh bon mot for the times. As always, you should always strive to fashion a catchphrase as vague and all-purpose as possible, which will enable it to be deployed in a wide variety of situations throughout the summer. Examples include — "Yass, it's getting hot in here, Queen!"; "Who let the dogs out, cuz I'm about to run to the store for buns!"; "Were you planning on eating that?"

POPSICLES: This frozen sugar-water treat, which comes from the latin word for "Kool-Aid on a stick," is the perfect item to keep stocked in the pockets of your cargo shorts during the hot summer months. They will help keep your thighs frosty and your wallet sticky all season long, and the leftover sticks can be used to construct a splint for your leg after a bear with a sweet tooth rampages through your campsite and mauls you within an inch of your life.

MUSCLES: While the argument can be made that muscular fitness is important to maintain in any season, it is especially important to maintain (and more importantly, to exhibit) in the summertime, when legitimate reasons for you not to wear a shirt on public transportation increase by roughly half a percentage point. If you haven't spent the winter and spring months slaving away in the gym, sculpting the perfect physique, don't panic — you can always buy replicas of a muscular physique at any reputable costume shop. With a little luck and lot of duct tape, you might even pass as John Cena.

A DIAPER BAG: Diaper bags are an essential part of a summer wardrobe. Don't have any small children that necessitate the use of a diaper bag? Who cares! Grab a baby doll from the nearest dollar store, wrap it in a warm blanket or newspaper and carry it bundled in your arms while singing nursery rhymes under your breath on a continuous loop. Dare strangers to ask you about it! No matter your age or station in life, diaper bags provide expansive, additional storage capacity for situations in which your cargo shorts have become overburdened. And unlike a normal backpack or hand bag, diaper bags come equipped with a special, easy-to-access pocket for wet naps. Summer can get pretty messy, so wet naps are a must!

BIGFOOT SLIPPERS: Air Jordans will come and go, but oversized slippers that turn you into Bigfoot from the ankles down are forever. Make a fashion statement this summer, one that says yes, I live in a perpetual state of beast mode, yes, I am a party animal, and yes, I do not have a full-time job that requires me to adhere to a dress code. They say you can't know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes. Imagine what you will learn about this mythical, bipedal wood-dweller when you walk a summer in its feet.

Stay cool and stylish, my friends.

Ryan Jackson can never seem to find Bigfoot slippers in his size, and he can be reached at

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