On the one hand, little has changed for J. Crew since it published its first mail-order catalog in 1983: It's still the go-to purveyor of preppy staples. On the other hand, the brand has grown into a $1.6 billion enterprise and spawned a slew of copycats. All of which provides the company's brain trust—executive creative director Jenna Lyons, head of men's design Frank Muytjens, and collaborator Andy Spade—with the challenge of keeping the label at once classic and ahead of the pack. We asked this trio of style arbiters to weigh in on what to wear, eat, and do this summer.

Alden for J. Crew white suede bucks: "They're completely masculine and elegant. They go great with shorts or jeans, and they will look even better with age."—Frank Muytjens

Lemon and beer: "Adding lemon and ice to a beer makes for the most refreshing summer drink you can have."—Jenna Lyons

Straw hat: "I wore one when I was a lifeguard and just never took it off."—Andy Spade

Vintage army tent: "In my back yard in the country, I'm putting up an old canvas tent that I bought on eBay. When it gets too warm in the house, I'll spend some summer nights camping in my own yard—that's my way of roughing it."—Frank Muytjens

California Baby sunscreen: "It's the only sunblock that doesn't wear off."—Jenna Lyons

Bermuda shorts: "They're part of my summer uniform—always have been and always will be. Those really short shorts are for roller skaters."—Andy Spade

Saint James striped T-shirt customized for J. Crew by Mister Freedom: "Saint James is based in France and is known for its classic Breton striped sailor shirts. Christophe Loiron of the vintage Los Angeles shop Mister Freedom added graphics to them. We call it the tri-laboration: It's like Picasso meeting Jacques Cousteau."—Frank Muytjens

Barbecued ribs: "My husband, Vince, does the best barbecue: He makes dry-rubbed baby back ribs, applewood smoked for four hours in his Stump's Smoker and finished with a North Carolina barbecue sauce. There's nothing better. It's the perfect summer meal, especially because I don't have to do anything."—Jenna Lyons

New Balance running shoes: "I'm tired of the crazy-colored-sneaker trend. New Balance is like Switzerland—neutral. They're also semi-orthopedic and allow me to run on the beach without getting much sand in my shoes."—Andy Spade

Philip Johnson's Glass House in Connecticut: "It's such an iconic, quietly powerful place, and it is now open to the public. I can't wait to be able to actually walk in it."—Frank Muytjens

Polaroid camera: "I love capturing a moment with friends and then being able to let them take some pictures home. It's the perfect memento from a great weekend."—Jenna Lyons

Classic books: "Even if you're not at the beach, you can instantly get away in a really good vintage bookstore. I love losing track of time in one. They keep me inspired."—Frank Muytjens

READ MORE:
Behind the Scenes With J. Crew
Rules of Style From Jenna Lyons
The Tastemaker: Celebrity Stylist Ilaria Urbinati
Born in the USA: 5 Classic American Items Every Man Should Own