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This summer, I only want to dress like Samuel Beckett.

Jessie Gaynor

June 2, 2021, 11:44am

A lot of people on the internet claim to have forgotten how to dress in the past year, and while I think this is largely obnoxious late-pandemic performance (the Times Style section thanks you for your service), I still feel called to offer some counsel: this summer, you should dress like Samuel Beckett.

Though Beckett is primarily known as a cool weather style icon (the man knows how to wear a turtleneck), his summer looks are ideal for anyone who dresses at the intersection of style and functionality. Witness Beckett on vacation in Tangier in 1978, in sturdy, elegant sandals and just-short-enough shorts.

Photo by François-Marie Banier

I don’t know what your summer plans are, but I know that this is the correct outfit for all of them.

Here’s a better angle on his bag, which will hold everything you need to carry.

Oh, your laptop won’t fit in there? That’s because you don’t need a laptop! Use a notebook. That’s what Beckett did, and I think it worked out pre-e-e-e-tty well for him.

And to anticipate your next question: yes. The Beckett summer outfit also works with a light shirt. Dark shirt, light shirt, some shorts: that’s what they call a capsule wardrobe.


After more than a year of remaining in place, we all need clothing to accommodate changing landscapes and changing lights. That’s why, for glasses-wearers, I recommend embracing the Transitions Lenses, as Beckett appears to have done here.


To quote the man himself, “You’re on earth. There’s no cure for that.” (But the right shorts help.)

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