Now that summer is finally upon us, it’s important that you wear clothes that are suitable for the hot weather, and that you dress with style and confidence.
In this article we will cover everything a man needs for his summer wardobe. From upper body menswear – t-shirts, polo shirts, dress shirts, summer jackets, to lower body menswear – shorts, chinos, jeans, trousers, and hot weather footwear.
Upper Body Menswear
T-shirt – The most casual piece of attire a man can wear. Generally only appropriate when exercising, or chilling on a beach. A quality designer t-shirt is acceptable for casual summer wear; but if you’re looking to make a good first impression then polo shirts are generally better.
When buying a t-shirt, make sure that the fabric is 100% cotton and that it’s not see through. Avoid over-the-top flashy designs, cheesy slogans and big brand logos. Ensure that the t-shirt fits properly in the torso area – too loose will make you look smaller and too tight will make you look like you’re ready to pop.
Polo Shirt – With most men often choosing the polo shirt over other garments that are available, its use is often abused. The polo shirt should only be reserved for casual events on the weekends. Unless it’s part of your works uniform, opt for a short sleeve buttoned down shirt during the week.
When buying a polo shirt, choose polos that are made from cotton – although cotton mixed with other fibres may be acceptable as they may be used to enhance the fit and comfort. Polo shirts come in a wide range of colours and patterns. It’s advised that unless you already have a collection, buy basic and plain first.
Short Sleeve Shirt – Usually absent from a man’s wardrobe, the short-sleeve shirt is a step up from the casual polo. Men often avoid wearing short-sleeve shirts because it’s difficult achieve a good look. You need to pay attention to the fit. If you already own a few short-sleeve shirts, try taking them to a tailors. With a few alterations your appearance can be drastically improved.
When buying a short-sleeve shirt, make sure it fits properly at the shoulder points and along the torso. The sleeve length should cover at least 50 to 80 percent of the bicep – the less bicep covered, the more casual the shirt becomes. Colours and patterns are more flexible, as well as fabrics due to the style of shirt.
Long Sleeve Dress Shirt – More formal than a short sleeve shirt, the long sleeve dress shirt is usually only reserved for work or nights out in the summer. If wearing the long sleeve dress shirt during the day, select a light colour but avoid wearing the colour white all the time – experiment with pale blues and pinks. Rolling your sleeves up to the mid-forearm is a stylish look that many choose over wearing a short sleeve shirt – this is actually dressier as it gives you the flexibility of unrolling the sleeves if needed.
Summer Jacket – if you’re attending a wedding, outdoor party or other events that require a more formal attire, then the summer jacket is a must. Cotton is the main fabric choice for those looking to stay cool in the hot weather, however because cotton jackets tend to wrinkle easily, they do require more attention and are considered less formal.
Lower Body Menswear
Shorts – Shorts are casual wear and are only suitable when attending casual events, so think twice before wearing them. If you’re unsure whether shorts will be accepted as part of the dress code or not, take the safer option and wear chinos or trousers. With that being said, shorts are great for hot summer days. Wear shorts that sit 2-3 inches above the knee – anything higher and they’ll start to look like gym shorts. Cotton and linen are great choices due to their fibre properties. As for summer colours, tan and stone are two good colours to start with. White is ok, but be careful of grass and food stains.
The simpler the short, the more dressier they look. Shorts with over-sized pockets and logos are the most casual and best left for teenagers. Tailored plain shorts are best when worn with a tucked in shirt – this is the look you should aim for. As for swim shorts, they are for swimming only – enough said!
Jeans – All jeans are considered casual, however the darker the jeans the more formal it becomes. By nature, jeans are not first choice when it comes to lower body wear in the hot summer months. Although usually made from cotton, their tight weave and lack of ventilation, trap heat and cause excessive sweating. Dark jeans look sharp when worn with a dress shirt, but reserve this for cool summer evenings.
Chinos – Chinos are dressier than jeans and an excellent option for the summer. They have a looser weave that allows more air flow between the fabric and your legs. As you’ll be wearing these during the hot summer months, it’s advised that your chinos are hemmed with no break. This’ll shorten the length of your chinos but will allow more airflow when you walk, due to gap between your pant leg and shoe.
Trousers – Apart from chinos, trousers are some of the best lower body coverings for summer, due to their lightweight and breathable qualities. They allow airflow and avoid trapping excessive heat. Wool is a great fabric as it drapes better and resists wrinkling, however it’s less breathable compared to cotton. The latter is usually less expensive and has a wider selection of colours available, however the stiffness of the fabric makes it less appealing to a man’s figure.
Hot Weather Footwear
Sandals – A very informal type of footwear and should be worn accordingly. Available in a wide variety of styles, their level of casualness depends on how much of the feet are shown and the material they’re made. For example, a pair of plastic flip-flops are ok for casually relaxing by the pool, leather flip-flops would be perfect for a beach party, whilst strapped leather sandals would be fine for a casual get together at a friend’s BBQ. As for wearing socks with sandals, never, ever do it!
Boat Shoes – Whether you wear them by choice or for their practical purpose, boat shoes have established themselves as a piece of classic summer footwear. They’re available in a wide variety of colours and can be worn without socks.
Espadrilles – The alternative to boat shoes and sandals, espadrilles are fast becoming the latest trend in men’s summer footwear, mainly because they’re breathable and comfortable to wear without your socks on. Typically, espadrilles are made from lightweight canvas or cotton with a soft rubberised sole and fibre braided around the edge. Due to their metrosexual stigma, avoid colours such as pink and pastel and instead go for more neutral tones such as navy or light tan.
Canvas sneakers – Often made from natural fibres and are light enough to allow your feet to breathe, canvas sneakers are a casual choice perfect for the hot weather.
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