Dressing for the vacation-packed months from June to September really isn’t all that complicated. Shorts, slides, a T-shirt and some sort of iced beverage will probably see you most of the way to a rather nice time, whatever sunny locale you find yourself in. But we’re aware that not everyone is terribly comforted by the words “just keep it simple”, so have put together the following guide, avoiding the obvious, to the pieces that are pinging on our summer radar. Think of these as the latest innovations when it comes to men’s summerwear. Invest in one or more of them, and discover the pleasures of a high-summer wardrobe that’s not just relaxing, but eye-catching.
The See-Through Shades
One of the more fashiony trends in eyewear this season is 1970s-style frames. Of them, the most truly widespread in day-to-day life is translucent acryclic styles. They’re wonderfully light and float in front of your face without completely obscuring it. This is a particularly good look for opticals, which are worn all day and should therefore be as barely-there as possible. But see-through frames also open up your expression when it comes to sunglasses. In fact, they’re a refreshing alternative to the thick-rimmed styles that have dominated for many seasons. Try this pair from Jacques Marie Mage and you’ll see what we mean.
The Pyjama Striped Shirt
We’ve become a bit of a broken record when it comes to camp-collared shirts. So let’s take a moment to consider another micro-trend within this particular men’s subcategory – that is, vertical stripes of varying thickness. The kind that you might find on a pair of pyjamas. Or a deckchair. Either way, as evidenced by the multi-coloured striped ensemble above from Tuscan brand President’s, they’re a good foil for a summer holiday, ie, perfect for lounging around. Other places to seek this look out include Tod’s – that brand has produced an extremely breezy silk-twill variety – and our very own label Mr P., which opts for a tactile cotton-linen and silk blend.
The Pleated Trousers
Shorts are handy, but not always the most versatile of pieces. If you find yourself needing to cover up a little more in the heat, we’d recommend a pair of pleated trousers instead, not least because there are so many pleasing varieties flying around at the moment. In addition to pleats, which provide extra volume and coolness, this particular pair from Eidos has an enlarged waistband for a more comfortable, sweatpant-like feel. Thanks to their washed linen fabric, they also feel comfortably worn-in.
The Summer Suit
Great for a wedding or garden party, but even better for catching people slightly off-guard, a summer suit needn’t be terribly smart and stuffy. The Italians do this kind of thing best, a fact exemplified by this iteration from Boglioli, which comes in a breathable linen-cotton in a versatile and, helpfully, absolutely neutral beige colour.
The Logo T-Shirt
Like it or not, the whole streetwear thing couldn’t be hotter at the moment. Which means, if you’re at all tempted to take a sly step back into the 1990s, when it was perfectly acceptable to march around the streets with someone else’s corporate branding shining brightly from your chest, now is the time to do it. If you’re super-convinced, you’ll probably want to try one of the styles on offer from Balenciaga. If you just want to try it out for summer, not for life, this Stüssy example represents a rather lower level of financial commitment.
The Towelling Polo Shirt
A garment that dries you off as you wear it? Nothing could be better for slinging on for an afternoon by the pool or on the beach, particularly when it gives you an excuse to patronise the august likes of Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani and Lardini. If you’re looking for something at a more accessible price point, this one from Belgian brand Howlin’ is also rather nice.
The Boat Shoes
For many of us, boat shoes are the closest we’ll ever get to a superyacht. They’ve received a bit of a style upgrade in the past few seasons, thanks to brands such as Gucci, which has fielded a lug-soled pair with writhing snakes, and Arpenteur, which has collaborated with Paraboot this season to offer an equally stylish variation on the archetype. The knock-on effect of such style innovations is that the classics are now looking wryly cool again. See as evidence this chocolate-coloured pair from the master of the form, Sperry Top-Sider.