Last May was the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. It is a race of three year old Thoroughbred horses that began in 1875 and has been run yearly in Louisville Kentucky. Even those people who are not huge fans of horse racing, are familiar with the Kentucky Derby. It is a place for where the wealthy, celebrities, and the Average Joe can enjoy the traditions of drinking mint juleps and being all decked out in “Derby Attire”, which can include the latest and sometimes outrageous collection of hats. Having forgotten about the Derby’s happening until very recently, let’s play some catch up now and see what everyone wore!
In past years, hats for men have provided more of a “purpose” than been used as a clothing accessory. They have had a job to do like keeping the sun out of your eyes, trying to disguise your identity, or combating bed head. In recent years, hats have become more of a fashion accessory than a necessity.
Trying to figure out which accessories “make the man” this fall doesn’t have to be difficult. The structural elements (wallet, watch, etc) are the same. The materials and colors used have only been updated to keep with the current fashionable climate.
One of the best ways to show that you are accessorizing for fall is to change your color palette. The warmer seasons demanded some bright blues, some crazy patterns and even a little tribal influence here and there. As you transition into fall, you want to wear less of these things and take on a more somber and structured look.
When I was looking for men’s beach hats, I was drawn back to Tommy Bahama. What attracted me was their collection of all cotton, colorful caps. They each have a vacation theme like the “Aruba Ralaxer Cap”, “Sunblock and Roll”, “Loungers Cove”, and “The Recline of Civilization”. That may seem a little corny, but what really stood out were the cool colors. At www.tommybahama.com, the caps range from $18-$32 and come in tangerine, red, sage, light blue, navy, black, or white. Even if you are a visor kind of guy, they have a Tommy Bahama one that will fit the bill.
Next, I moved on to www.kohls.com, where they had a great selection of men’s beach hats that were at a nice low price. If you like your basic bucket style hat, then the “DPC Panama Jack Pigment Dyed Bucket Hat” by Dorman Pacific is a good choice. Currently on sale for $19.20, the bucket style comes in black, brown, green, and burnt orange.
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.