The weather has always been style’s most prominent challenge. Summer’s hot and humid temperature does not make it an easy task for men to look their stylish best and remain comfortable. “A lot of guys have trouble staying stylish and not falling into the shorts, tees and sandals style hole,’’ says Michael Shantz, stylist and designer. Feeling too warm is not uncommon even when sporting the simple ubiquitous combo, but some fits and fabrics facilitate staying cool in both style and body temperature.
A few basics are a must to build a good summer wardrobe. Thomas Vallière, stylist at Frank and Oak, underlines the importance of a good shirt. The modern short-sleeve button-up has gone through a stylish update, away from the “dad shirt” for a younger look with the comeback of the Hawaiian shirt and for the less adventurous, classic yet trendy pattern. Careful attention must be drawn to composition, as stylists recommend poplin, which is traditionally a cotton-blend yarn or a linen-blend. These will also provide great comfort, without being as wrinkly as pure linen or cotton. A solid color polo is also a great alternative to the shirt, as these are usually made of piqué, a cotton yarn.
Another styling trick, as suggested by Shantz, is to dig into vintage clothes to find gem pieces. Pre-worn button-ups and t-shirts are usually made of thin fabric, which is perfect on a summer day, plus they usually have great classic cuts. Silky fabrics for t-shirts and shorts during the summer are a no-go: although they are thinner than regular cotton, their drapey cut and thin composition tend to stick to the body and look unflattering.
Layering is also summer’s best friend, as an oversized lightweight jacket or sweater will allow air circulation. For shorts that look great, Vallières indicates two inches over the knee to avoid the Bermuda look. Stores like Club Monaco and Top Man are good destinations for quality, natural fiber fabrics. Sports gear also remains an obvious option with its use of cotton mesh, linen tech fabric and dry-fit technology to temperate the body and allow it to breathe. Brands like Y3, Nike, North Face, Adidas, Reebok, Rick Owens excel in these designs. For shoes, not to forgo the mandatory low-top loafer, many options exist in many styles. Neoprene has been trending for the past few years, and they are now available in accessible stores like Aldo, while a great selection of breathable shoes can be found in sports brands.
Ready to take over the summer in style?