If there's a Gran Canaria menswear style then it's minimalist and lightweight but not completely casual.
With this in mind, raid your summer wardrobe when you come to Gran Canaria on holiday even if you come in the winter season. Pack a limited set of clothes that all mix and match and you'll have everything you need to roam from the beach to the bars without any hassle.
Guide to Gran Canaria trouser fashion for men
The smart Spanish and Canarian man would not be seen dead in shorts anywhere but waterside. This antipathy to showing off the knees stems partly from Canarian men's smart traditional clothes (trousers, short-sleeved shirt, cardigan or cotton sweater and closed-toe shoes) and also to the perils of Itchybumitis. This dreaded affliction happens when you sit for too long in swimming shorts that are damp, salty and sandy. You end up squirming on your barstool all night long like you have piles; not a good look or feel!
For actual pool and beachwear, most locals other than surfers opt for budgie-smugglers rather than shorts; the banana-hammock count is the best way of finding out if you are on a local or a tourist beach. Check out local swimwear brand XTG on Instagram for an idea of what locals wear to the beach (and under their trousers)
Feel free to go local if you have a Love Island body, but stick to shorts if you're more a one-pack than six-pack man. Old local men get away with minuscule swimwear and bellies in a deeply-tanned Onassis sort of way, but the pale just can't pull it off even if they are on their own yacht.
Long trousers at night if you head to the clubs
For the evenings, shorts (chino or linen rather than cargo or denim please), are fine in the hotel (although many smarter hotels insist on long trousers in the dining area), by the beach and at beachside and shopping centre bars.
However if you want to party on at the local swanky nightclub, plan ahead and wear long trousers or you may not get past the doorman. The smart athleisure trend hasn't quite reached Gran Canaria as yet so take care wearing sweatpants to nightclubs.
Anything in linen is fine. Chinos and smart jeans too. Opt for neutral colours such as tan, khaki or navy and let your shirts do the fashion talking. Pastel shorts are fine if you plan to tan.
Since you are likely to be sockless, roll your trouser cuffs or opt for a shorter length (not Capri-short) to show off a flash of ankle.
Bright red trousers in Spain are only worn by golfers and a particular set of preppy men who's shop at El Ganso and want everyone to know that they are rich. Leather trousers are just silly in hot climates (even if you are Italian).
You will also look rather odd in super-skinny black jeans because they are the uniform of the alternative EMO-type in Spain rather than the game-lad-about-town.
As for underwear, boxer shorts have a habit of riding up when things get hot below the belt so opt for Calvin-style pants instead.
Guide to Gran Canaria shoe fashion for men
For daily wear, slides and flip-flops are perfectly acceptable footwear around the pool and beach. Many locals wear them every day if they work outdoors.
Smart, minimal leather sandals are acceptable workwear for non-office workers and tourists but note that leather sandals and seawater don't get on. Wet leather is slippery and nobody wants to end up on their bum.
Come the evening, most locals switch to closed-toe shoes. In fact, you won't get into many of the island's smart bars and nightclubs, especially when they are filling up late on, with open-toed shoes (especially not if worn with shorts).
A smart pair of espadrilles is perfectly acceptable combined with linen trousers or chinos. Or you can opt for boat shoes, loafers or even an informal pair of light suede derbies. Oxfords and boots (with the exception of light-coloured suede desert boots) are overkill in Gran Canaria even in the depths of the not-winter.
As for socks, pack invisible ones and don't even think of the socks and sandals look unless you want to look like an elderly German tourist lost on a hike.
Go bright with the shoes in Gran Canaria
Shoes are one area where you really can go to town in Gran Canaria as Spanish footwear styles, inspired by Latin dance shoes, are far more flamboyant than in most European countries.
You see this when you head to fashion stores in Gran Canaria and look at Spanish shoe brands such as Fluchos (sold in shops like Fundgrube). The range of styles and colours are far more experimental than you get in a typical shoe shop back home.
Think spectator shoes in colourful leathers and canvas, two-tone loafers and lightweight, espadrille-inspired summer shoes made from perforated leather.
Guide to Gran Canaria shirt fashion for men
The main thing to know about shirts in Gran Canaria is that you really should wear one unless you are poolside or on the sand. Nothing screams disrespectful tourist like a bare-chested, heavily sunburned man walking around the town.
The button-down Oxford or long-sleeved flannel shirt that is most men's going-out uniform in northern Europe isn't that practical in Gran Canaria. Plenty of tourists wear them but the sweaty look isn't cool in a beachside bar.
Pack one if you are coming between December and April but otherwise use the space for short-sleeved shirts or lightweight linen button-ups.
Camp-collar short-sleeved shirts, plain or patterned are an excellent on-the-town uniform in Gran Canaria paired with chinos or lightweight jeans. Collarless shirts are a good look too as are open-collared shirts (it seems rather sad to button down a collar on holiday in the sun).
With all shirts, they look best in the sunshine with one or two buttons undone at the neck. Shirts buttoned right up to the neck are uncomfy in the heat and
Short-sleeved polo shirts are an excellent option, but the long-sleeved versions not so much. Only pop the collar if your neck is burning and there is no shade.
Slogan and novelty t-shirts, and tank tops (outside the Jumbo) scream tourist.
A smart crew-neck t-shirt, take it upscale with a pocket, is fine although you will look better in a smart bar or club with a few buttons around your neck; opt for a Henley (long-sleeved in winter).
The striped or Breton-top is a smart move but you will look rather cliched if you pair it with boat shoes (unless you own the yacht).
Guide to Gran Canaria jacket fashion for men
Wedding's aside, anyone walking around Gran Canaria in a suit or lined blazer runs the risk of being mistaken for a bank manager, conference attendee or Jehovah's Witness. It's really not the done thing in Gran Canaria's resorts due to the constant warm climate.
The key to staying warm when the cool evening breeze hits your sun-kissed skin is to go for light layers rather than a thick jacket.
A good quality sweater or smart hoodie is enough of a layer on even the coolest Gran Canaria evenings although you'll probably end up carrying it rather than wearing it. You really don't need more than two layers even on the coolest nights in Gran Canaria's resorts.
If you plan on dressing for dinner, opt for an unlined lightweight linen or cotton blazer and wear it with a t-shirt or henley to give it a younger look. Anything in a naval theme, anchor-themed buttons, etc, is best left to jaunty Scandinavian pensioners on a cruise ship.
A leather jacket looks rather odd juxtaposed with palm trees so unless you love your rock music, leave it behind. A lightweight denim jacket, styled appropriately for summer is a good option but anything obviously waterproof or with a big collar or buttons is too much. A light, bomber or minimalist Harrington is barely the right side of overkill during the winter.
If you are in doubt about packing a jacket, opt for a couple of light cotton jumpers instead.
Guide to Gran Canaria accessory fashion for men
With informal, summer style, accessories often make or break a look. The key in Gran Canaria is to keep things simple.
Unless you are out to make a statement, leave the summer scarves and pocket squares behind and don't bring your smartest watch unless you are completely confident that it is sand- and seawater-proof. However, a good belt with automatically make you stand out from 90% of the t-shirt and flip-flop crowd. Woven leather or canvas with brass buckles are better than shiny leather and silver.
As for jewellery, a simple silver chain or leather bracelet is enough. Watches wear best in the heat with a canvas strap.
As for headwear, the locals opt almost exclusively for straw hats given out by beer and rum companies during local fiestas. The older and more battered the better. Get a rum and go with the flow.
Baseball caps are ok by the pool but not exactly beachy and smart Panamas are best left to cruise-ship tourists. If you want to wear a sombrero, save it for Cancún.