Introduction

It’s back again. The FashionBeans round-up of seasonal fashion mistakes has returned for another outing, hoping to oust those faux pas, expose those styling misdemeanours and save men everywhere from abject embarrassment and ridicule.

You might think we’ve jumped the gun a bit – we are only in May after all and the weather is still rubbish – but here in Britain, there seems to be an unwritten rule which dictates that as soon as the sun shines and temperatures reach a balmy twelve degrees centigrade, it is appropriate to wear as little as physically possible. This signals to me that most people still haven’t changed their ways. At all.

Although we Brits seem to be particularly bad at putting together effective warm weather outfits, I think the mistakes identified will still apply to our international readers – they just need adapting to fit (make sure you let us know what you feel are your nation’s common summer fashion mistakes in the comments section).

So without further ado, let’s get started…

1. The Bare Chest

Having a keen sense of what is and what isn’t appropriate is relevant to all aspects of life. Everyone knows someone devoid of a filter between their brain and their mouth; someone who is prone to gut wrenching acts of horror and awkwardness at every party they attend. The same goes for constructing the perfect wardrobe and excellent outfits.

There are certain things you shouldn’t wear in some situations – and yet there are certain things you should wear in others.

The Problem

Now, I live by the sea so there is of course a beach; people like to sunbathe and it does occasionally get quite hot. Going bare-chested is fine, we all do it, but there is a line at which point it becomes EXTREMELY inappropriate and really quite vulgar.

Yes, you might look like Hercules and you might want to show off all your hard work to everyone, but keep it restricted to your friends in the garden or ON the beach – no one needs to see you wandering around a town centre, into shops, pubs, cafes, parks etc. half naked.

Remember that once you cross the boundary of the beach or open your front door you are in a public space and you have to think of other people. Equally, we don’t want to see a hairy back, a saggy belly, hideous skin ailment or catastrophic sunburn.

The Solution

Put a top on. It’s as simple as that.

In Britain it very, very rarely ever gets hot enough for a t-shirt to become uncomfortable. In fact, I would say it will never get too hot for you to not wear a t-shirt outside the privacy of your own home or on the beach.

There are so many options available for creating stylish, cool summer outfits that its seems ridiculous for anyone not to wear a top. Think carefully about the fit and thickness of material: lighter weight cottons/linens and a looser fit will help you stay comfortable in any heat.

Being a well dressed man involves creating considered outfits – something you can’t do if you’re only wearing half a look.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Lightweight Tops Lookbook

h&m summer 2013h&m spring 2013lacoste ss13debenhams ss137diamonds ss13allsaints ss13
Key Pieces
  • Topman Blue Burnout High Roll T-shirtTopman Blue Burnout High Roll T-shirt
  • Reiss 1971 Vince Striped Vest GreyReiss 1971 Vince Striped Vest Grey
  • Allsaints Eltan VestAllsaints Eltan Vest
  • Allsaints Jakob Grandad JumperAllsaints Jakob Grandad Jumper
  • Asos 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt With Crew NeckAsos 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt With Crew Neck
  • Hartford Long-sleeved Linen-jersey Polo ShirtHartford Long-sleeved Linen-jersey Polo Shirt
  • Reiss Bayer Short Sleeve Textured Knitted Tee With Pocket GreenReiss Bayer Short Sleeve Textured Knitted Tee With Pocket Green
  • Hentsch Man Boat Striped Long-sleeved Cotton T-shirtHentsch Man Boat Striped Long-sleeved Cotton T-shirt
  • Reiss Cannes Short Sleeve Terry Towelling Polo NavyReiss Cannes Short Sleeve Terry Towelling Polo Navy
2. Tiny Shorts

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for experimentation in men’s fashion. Pushing boundaries and breaking rules is what aids our style evolution, keeps it exciting and allows you to stand out from the crowd.

However, there are some things that men just shouldn’t wear, either because (as above) it is completely inappropriate or because it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Blurring boundaries is a very dangerous game.

The Problem

I am a firm believer in menswear retaining a certain degree of masculinity. This can come in almost any way you can think of, but it should always be present. Cut off shorts have never, ever, ever been cool, attractive, stylish or masculine. They are not aesthetically pleasing nor do they fit in with any current concepts of men’s style.

Whether in the form of cut-offs or short jogging shorts – short shorts are blighting our streets and I’m not impressed.

The Solution

Tailored/chino shorts are the perfect compromise between short shorts and more masculine styles, simply because you can choose to roll them up or roll them down. This means you can strike a balance between having the shorter length you want, and retaining that strong edge.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Tailored Shorts Lookbook

henry cottons ss13Chevignon Ss13h&m spring 2013minimum express 2012allsaints ss13reiss ss13
Key Pieces
  • J.crew Stanton Cotton-twill ShortsJ.crew Stanton Cotton-twill Shorts
  • Allsaints Servel ShortsAllsaints Servel Shorts
  • Reiss Nelson Linen Herringbone Tailored Shorts Soft GreyReiss Nelson Linen Herringbone Tailored Shorts Soft Grey
  • Topman Blue Block Stripe ShortsTopman Blue Block Stripe Shorts
  • Ben Sherman Ec1 Slim Fit Chino ShortsBen Sherman Ec1 Slim Fit Chino Shorts
  • Allsaints Mitre ShortsAllsaints Mitre Shorts
  • He By Mango Cotton Bermuda ShortsHe By Mango Cotton Bermuda Shorts
  • He By Mango Multicolored Stripes Bermuda ShortsHe By Mango Multicolored Stripes Bermuda Shorts
  • Classic Flat Front Shorts 8Classic Flat Front Shorts 8
3. Overestimating The Weather

Unpredictability is one of the main challenges that we face when combating the weather. It can be glorious sunshine when you first step out of the house, but half an hour later you can find yourself in the middle of a torrential downpour.

Underestimating what our weather is capable of is one serious fashion faux pas.

The Problem

Whilst your shorts and (carefully) selected vest might have been an excellent choice whilst the sun was shining, as soon as it dips below the horizon, you might find yourself getting a bit chilly.

Wind is another problem – it might look blissfully sunny, but a north/east wind can drop the temperature dramatically, and walking through the shade can feel very different to walking in the sun.

The Solution

Take note of Matt Allinson’s excellent series on layering and up your game by making intelligent outfit choices. Expect the unexpected (as clichéd as it sounds) and prepare yourself with extra clothing.

Plan ahead: think about what you are doing and where you are going and don’t leave it to chance. You can always take layers off, but you can’t put them back on if you don’t have them.

Think lightweight jackets/blazers, over shirts and fine knitwear for easy layers that will take you effortlessly from day to night.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Lightweight Layering Lookbook

cruciani ss13suiteblanco ss13he by mango ss13pull & bear ss13allsaints ss13jaeger ss13
Key Pieces
  • Allsaints Solomon ShirtAllsaints Solomon Shirt
  • Topman Burgundy Checked Long Sleeve ShirtTopman Burgundy Checked Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Asos Acid Wash Denim ShirtAsos Acid Wash Denim Shirt
  • J.crew Knitted Cotton Crew Neck SweaterJ.crew Knitted Cotton Crew Neck Sweater
  • Allsaints Pembroke Crew JumperAllsaints Pembroke Crew Jumper
  • Reiss Alpina Mel Crew Neck Sweater RoseReiss Alpina Mel Crew Neck Sweater Rose
  • Allsaints Henan BomberAllsaints Henan Bomber
  • Asos Denim Jacket With Acid WashAsos Denim Jacket With Acid Wash
  • Topman Mustard Lightweight ParkaTopman Mustard Lightweight Parka
4. Not Embracing Colour

Menswear has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, and it looks like it will continue to do so for a while yet. One of the biggest advancements we’ve seen during this period has been the introduction of colour – one area in which menswear across the board was seriously lacking.

The Problem

We all love wardrobe staples – they are the bread and butter of our outfits. But sticking strictly to monotone and neutral hues was never going to be a good way to progress and develop your style.

Colour has infiltrated the industry in a big way and it pervades every facet of menswear. Soon enough, ignoring it, being overly scared of it or seeing it as a passing trend will ensure you get left behind. Colour makes clothes exciting, and it gives outfits an edge that they previously didn’t have.

It really does make a huge difference.

The Solution

Getting over a fear of or reluctance to introduce colour is best solved by simply getting involved. Summer pastels are much softer and easier to wear than their bolder counterparts, which makes them the perfect starting point.

My advice would be to take a wander around the high street and see what colours attract your attention the most. You don’t have to go big immediately, start small with a simple tee or a vest, but make sure you build things up as you become more confident.

However, it should be noted that embracing colour is entirely personal choice. It is not wrong or right to introduce it, but it does seem a shame to leave it out.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Spring/Summer Colours Lookbook

m&s high summer 2013ted baker ss13drykorn ss13he by mango ss13cruciani ss13lbm 1911 ss13
Key Pieces
  • Reiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt TurquoiseReiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt Turquoise
  • Allsaints Baxley Crew T-shirtAllsaints Baxley Crew T-shirt
  • J.crew End-on-end Cotton ShirtJ.crew End-on-end Cotton Shirt
  • Farah Vintage Dempsy Raspberry Crew SweatshirtFarah Vintage Dempsy Raspberry Crew Sweatshirt
  • Reiss 1971 Ivy Cotton/linen Dyed Trousers MintReiss 1971 Ivy Cotton/linen Dyed Trousers Mint
  • Uniqlo Men Dry Light Weight Jacket+Uniqlo Men Dry Light Weight Jacket+
  • Topman Mid Blue Skinny ChinosTopman Mid Blue Skinny Chinos
  • Fred Perry Laurel Wreath Polo With 3 Button PlacketFred Perry Laurel Wreath Polo With 3 Button Placket
  • Essential Swim ShortsEssential Swim Shorts
5. Over Doing The Festival Look

Festivals are a huge part of the spring/summer season here in Britain, and whilst I’m sure some are not as big a fan as others, they remain important dates in the social calendar.

Surrounded by other people who have the same common interests and taste in music would seem like the best place to showcase your excellently styled festival outfits. I’m not so sure.

The Problem

I think festival-goers across the globe will agree that this is a problem most prominent amongst women, but it does seem to be slowly creeping across the genders.

The problem, as I see it, is that you’re spending three or four days, dirty, stinky, drunk and covered in beer (or, at least, that is what you should be doing), so having a ridiculously well put together, expensive outfit just doesn’t make sense.

If the number of clothes you take outweighs your alcohol – or you’ve even considered bringing shower gel – you aren’t doing it right.

Embrace the dirt, embrace everyone else that is just as stinky, just as drunk and just as happy to be there as you.

The Solution

Now, I’m not suggesting you completely disregard fashion or looking good at a festival, but you should definitely strip it right back to basics. A pair of shorts, a jumper/sweater/hoodie, a pair of jeans, a few tees/shirts/vests and a lightweight jacket is all you need. You should in no way have ‘options’.

Integrate colour into your looks, get involved in on trend prints and patterns, just don’t bring your entire wardrobe or try and create some utterly over the top festival look.

Finally, make sure everything you take is washable and won’t show up stains.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Festival Lookbook

asos ss13river island ss13call it spring - spring 2013scotch & soda ss13h&m divided festival 2012bank ss13
Key Pieces
  • Bellfield Vest With Floral PrintBellfield Vest With Floral Print
  • Allsaints Tonic Crew T-shirtAllsaints Tonic Crew T-shirt
  • Topman Grey Marl Kangaroo HoodyTopman Grey Marl Kangaroo Hoody
  • Farah Vintage X Uo Dayton Azul Waxed JacketFarah Vintage X Uo Dayton Azul Waxed Jacket
  • Asos Bomber JacketAsos Bomber Jacket
  • Topman Skinny Denim ShortsTopman Skinny Denim Shorts
  • Topman Light Wash Stretch Skinny JeansTopman Light Wash Stretch Skinny Jeans
  • Reiss 1971 Atom Shorts BerryReiss 1971 Atom Shorts Berry
  • Vans Authentic PlimsollsVans Authentic Plimsolls
Final Word

So there we have (to my mind) five summer fashion mistakes. Hopefully they will generate some kind of debate, because it would be terribly boring if everyone just agreed. What I’ve tried to do here is avoid the obvious. We all know that socks and sandals are a no go, we all know that wraparound sunglasses should be reserved for sports and we all know that wearing too much cologne is a stench too far.

But now I want to know what you have got to say: what do you consider to be a summer fashion mistake?

Will