My Personal Tips For This Season

So now that we are officially a few weeks into spring, I thought it was about time I laid out what should be on every self respecting stylish man’s list for the coming months. Spring and summer are always the seasons that most guys look forward to because it means we can finally start taking off the layers and dressing a little simpler. This S/S is going to be much of the same but with a bit of a twist because it is placing an even bigger focus on being colourful and playful with your outfits. So this means looks that incorporate plenty of complimenting colour schemes as well as playful pattern mixing too.

But before we even start thinking about anything along those lines, you need your basic wardrobe down. So here’s what you should be thinking about.

The 10 Essentials

1. A pair of suede bucks – I love this kinds of footwear. They really are the one true shoe that you can wear through all four seasons. For autumn and winter it is best to stick to a dirty pair in brown or tan but for S/S you have a bit more room to play around in. I prefer a really light tan – almost beige – buck but some of you out there may prefer to expand into solid colours in reds, blues and yellows. If you do, just remember to let your shoes do the talking and keep the rest of your outfit neutral.

  • Florsheim By Duckie Brown The Suede Lace-Up Shoes
  • FOLK Alaric Brown Embossed Suede Shoe

2. Colourful ties – now this is a really easy one guys. Just check out my article on shirt and tie colour combinations to see how it’s done. Invest in cotton ties so that you don’t get a heavy sweat on wearing one and look for versions in eye catching patterns such as checks and stripes. Aim for ties that will compliment or contrast with your shirt or outfit to make it the most effective and remember – like the bucks – to let the tie do the talking.

  • ASOS Check Tie
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Light Plaid Tie
  • Brooks Brothers Regimental Tri-Colour Tie

3. Patterned pocket squares – it’s not summer quite yet so you will still be wearing your blazers, jackets and suits regularly. And although that Don Draper-esque white pocket square may have cut it for A/W, for S/S why not invest in some colourful patterned versions instead? The best pattern to go with will be checks because they are the most versatile as a square and try to invest in ones that will bring out either the colour of your shirts or ties. For example, if you have a light blue shirt on with your grey suit, aim for a blue check pocket square.

A quick tip for those of you that may not want to spend your money on a pocket square; a different take one of my friends uses is to replace it with a bow tie. This works great for two reasons. Firstly, you get more use out of your bow ties which you may not use too often. Secondly, it’s an interesting twist that some people may not even notice. Obviously, make sure the bow tie is in a check or plaid.

  • Toffee Spotted Pocket Square
  • Gant Paisley Pocket Square
  • PAUL SMITH - ACCESSORIES 6517 Multistripe Handkerchief

4. A denim jacket – see my previous article on this to see why this will always make the S/S list.

  • Washed Denim Western
  • Nudie Jeans Contrast Vintage Wash Slim Denim Jacket
  • Jean Shop Raw Denim Jacket

5. Coloured chinos – these will really start picking up pace in the coming months believe me. Invest in cotton versions in interesting colours like pink, yellow, green and blue – but in the interest of the season try to keep to pastel shades. This not only makes them easy on the eye and easier to incorporate into your outfit but also makes it easier to decide what to wear up top. If you’re in doubt about what to wear with them, stick to a neutral such as black, white or grey. These combinations will always serve you well.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous why not try complimenting or contrasting the chino? For example, a pink chino will look great with a navy polo or a green shirt.

  • Monkee Genes Blue skinny chino
  • Dr Denim Exclusive Dunk Chinos
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Light Pink Preppy Slim Fit Chinos

6. A khaki suit – with the sun starting to show its face a little more, it’s time to move out of your wool and flannel fabrics and into some cotton. And in there’s no better way than in a khaki suit. It looks classic with a white shirt and black tie combination and even better when you add in some blue or brown. It even looks great dressed down with a pink polo or just a simple v-neck tee.

  • ASOS Carrot Fit Chino Suit
  • gucci Cotton twill jacket

7. Go sockless – this is my own personal way of judging when spring is here – I feel like getting the ankles out! Now I don’t literally go sockless unless I know I’m not going to be doing much that day, instead I use some invisible below the ankle versions. All that’s left to do is cuff whatever trousers you’re wearing and head on out.

  • Falke Invisible Step White Socks
  • Calvin Klein 3pk No Show Socks
  • Falke Black Invisible Sneaker Socks

8. A marina jumper – because it may be getting warmer but when the sun sets it is still going to be cold. Pick up a medium to thick knit version and keep it close to hand for these occasions. A striped version is key summer pattern, just make sure it has a healthy dose of navy in it to hit the nautical trend that is prominent every single year. Simply throw it on over whatever you’ve been wearing that day.

  • Lacoste Slim Fit Stripe Sweater
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Striped Crew Neck Sweater
  • Junya Watanabe Breton Sweater

9. An unstructured blazer – another key piece for when it gets a little bit chilly. By unstructured I mean it has a natural shoulder and isn’t to tailored to your body. Again give it a healthy dose of navy for a simple piece that’s easy to pair with anything. If you are feeling adventurous or fancy making a statement, why not chose one in a bold colour such as red or yellow and save it for those moments when your look needs some real pop.

  • ASOS Skinny Fit Jersey Navy Blazer
  • Hudson Blazer

10. A cotton trench coat – and with it still being England, rest assured the rain will come! Pick yourself up a cotton trench coat, preferable in khaki but for a more urban feel try navy or cement grey. Keep it simple, cropped and a bit more tailored than your previous A/W trench because this time you won’t have as many layers on underneath.

  • Navy Belted 3/4 Trench Coat
  • ASOS Single Breasted Mac
  • carter mac over coat

So there you have it guys, the ten items/tips you need for this coming Spring/Summer 2011.

Until next time,
Matt Allinson