People automatically think that wearing fewer pieces of clothing limits your style quotient. Dressing well in the spring and summer is what separates the pros from the amateurs. But while it’s great to shed some layers, let’s not throw our style sense out the window. Here are a few tips:
- Add a dash of color. But not too much! If you are wearing a bright pair of shorts, keep your shirt neutral or white. If your shirt has color, wear a simple jean or classic khaki chino. Socks are always a good place to add some color as well. Have some fun with them, but only with neutral colored pants.
- Speaking of socks. Feel free to leave home without them this time of year. Showing some ankle, even in a summer suit or chinos and a blazer, is absolutely acceptable. Casual loafers or boat shoes (see our post) are meant to be worn without socks these days. To avoid smelly feet, use a little Gold Bond foot powder, or try (the now widely available) low-cut socks, which aren’t visible in your shoe.
- Jeans look great with so many things (and ours are coming soon!). A nice dark jean looks great with a pocket tee, but also with an Everyday Shirt and tie. Jeans, an Everyday Shirt and an Essex Jacket are my go-to look for much of the spring. It’s nice to have those pockets when most of my outerwear goes back in the closet. If I need to be a little dressy, I add a lace up brogue or loafer; and if not, I stick to my Adidas Stan Smiths, or a plain white canvas sneaker like the Jack Purcell.
- Use accessories to add some style. With fewer pieces of clothing to work with in spring and summer, accessories become more prominent and important. A great watch is always a nice idea (see our post), but you could also add some seasonal bracelets. I can’t tell you how many compliments I get on the bracelets we offer from Global Goods Partners. Even better, have your kid make you a friendship bracelet. Lastly, belts are an easy way to spice up an outfit. Lighter weight belts are ideal with shorts and lighter weight pants. We like cloth belts with D rings this time of year, and they’re another nice way to add some color and style to your look.
- A nice well-fitting pair of sunglasses. Make sure you are focused on the best fit for your facial type. Not all faces look good in the same frames, so look beyond just the iconic brands like Ray-Ban, which work well on some face types but not on others. We love the Moscot brand and have been using them in our photo shoots from the beginning. Oliver Peoples also makes very cool frames. When shopping for sunglasses, be sure to go with someone who will be frank with you.
- It’s warm but you can still layer. On weekends, you can wear a T-shirt with a button up Short Sleever or Weekend Shirt over it for transitional weather. If you hanker for stripes, this is good way to get them into your wardrobe. Horizontal stripes are not generally good for shorter men, but if you have a beloved striped tee, wear it under an open solid color Weekend or Everyday Shirt. This way you can still get the stripe effect without it doing its damaging widening effect. Cotton sweaters are a great way to add a dash of color, and come in handy with modern air conditioning. Add shorts or chinos and pair of canvas espadrilles or slip-on sneakers (see our post), and you’ll be all set for the barbecue or the beach.
- Checks and ginghams (just keep em small). Shirts with small checks and ginghams always feel fresh and cool, especially in great spring/summer colors. Worn without a tie, they can add some upbeat color to your lightweight grey or blue suit. And you can never go wrong pairing a basic gingham with shorts or chinos on the weekend. Just try to avoid clashing colors by keeping the shorts or pants neutral.
- Add some European flair with a lightweight summer scarf. An easy way to take a T-shirt and white 5-Pocket Twills to a whole new level. With flip-flops or an unadorned loafer, you will have folks swooning over your effortlessly casual vibe. Really.
- Wear clothes that fit! Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with our previous posts, tips and no-no’s, but remember to avoid big baggy clothes – pants, shirts and shorts included. Keep your pants slim (but not skinny), your shirts the right sleeve and body length, and your shorts slim and just above the knee. Proper fitting clothes will have you looking and feeling your best!