The summer sun can challenge even the most fashion-savvy man, whether you are gearing up for a casual day at the beach or a summer evening dinner party. The warm summer temperatures may at first be a welcome change, but they also provide a logistical nightmare for a man who wishes to balance looking cool with staying cool.
A general tip about summer clothing is to be sensible. Dark colors or heavy fabrics, no matter how good they look in an air-conditioned changing room, will not be forgiving under the sun’s glare. One must also resist the urge to become uber-casual: while baggy shorts and flip-flops might seem like an easy choice, there is no reason why comfortable summer clothes cannot also be stylish as well. Also remember that cotton is your friend; a cotton t-shirt will keep you cool, allow airflow and help prevent unsightly sweat patches that can ruin even the most fashionable outfit.
If that general advice was not enough to help you organize your summer casual and formal wardrobe, here is an item-by-item checklist to help your maximize both the comfort and the style of your summer casual and formalwear.
Sunglasses are a must at any kind of outdoor event: not only do they prevent eye damage and unattractive squinting but they also add a certain air of sophistication and mystery. If well cared for, sunglasses will last multiple summers and so are worth an investment. Splurge of a pair of Hugo Boss or Ray-Ban glasses which, although pricey, will look twice as good and last twice as long as a cheaper pair.
Casual summer tops might seem like a no-advice-needed area, but there are still some words of wisdom to be shared about t-shirts, polo shirts and button-downs. The day-night transition of an item is important; if you do not have time to change between a summer day at the beach and an evening meal, then a button-down might be a better choice than a branded t-shirt. Another point is if buying a casual shirt or button-down, go with a quality brand. Sun, sea and sweat all mix to wear down your clothing faster, so a cheap item will often look haggard after just a few wears. A rule of thumb is 100% cotton and 100% quality: something like a Hugo Boss Black brand shirt or alternative will fit the bill nicely.
Shorts do not need to be of the baggy, unsightly variety that seem to spring up near the seaside everywhere in the summer months. Tapered, neat shorts not only look much better, but also are often more comfortable than their baggier counterparts. Denim might be a winter standby, but in summer it can often be too dark and heavy. Swap it out for cotton shorts for a better look.
Although it is not a trend for the faint hearted, a jaunty trilby crowning a dapper suit will not only provide effortless clean lines with a touch of contemporary style, but also be intensely practical in guarding your head from the sun’s deeply unforgiving rays. Although some kind of fedora or trilby is the safest option, the more adventurous could also try to work a more traditional panama or boater hats at summer garden parties.
Double versus Single Breasted Suit
While the double-breasted suit may be making a retro comeback and is certainly still a Humphrey Bogart-eque staple for more formal events, it is also your summer enemy. The cut of double-breasted suits means that any attempt to unbutton to cool yourself down will leave you looking rather disheveled, loosing all the effect that gentlemanly overlapping suit is supposed to exude. The single-breasted suit is a better summer option: sleek and versatile, a good single-breasted jacket will hold its shape even when unbuttoned.
Summer formalwear almost automatically brings to mind images of the timeless cream summer suits that are an excellent light-reflecting alternative to the heavy heat-trapper of traditional black. If cream or champagne colored suits are not for you, an excellent alternative that has been prominent on male catwalks this year is light grey suits. The lighter color is still summer heat appropriate but also adds a touch of edge that cream suits often lack.
All in all, whether it is casual or formal events you will be attending this summer, remember that comfort and style are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It is possible by following these few simple rules this summer to stay dapper and fresh, no matter the weather.
This is a guest post by Luis Jackson a lover of all things fashion. Luis is currently working for themenswearsite, a great online shopping option with everything from Hugo Boss shirts to Ted Baker boots. Take a look, you just might like it!