Beating The Heat In Style

If I were the almighty God of Weather and other temperature related nonsense, I’d feel like I couldn’t win when it comes to the residents of the UK. I’d probably think: “Seriously? They moan about the wind, rain and clouds that I subject them to ten months of the year, but when I give them a gorgeous heatwave they start whining that it’s too hot. I can’t win! And don’t even get me started on all those people with sunstroke…

Whether we like it or not, it’s been seriously hot these last few weeks in the UK – and we’re all starting to recognise just how under prepared we were for it. Aside from stockpiling sun cream, parasols and Frisbees, there also comes the revelation that nearly everything that you have in your wardrobe is catered to a completely different set of heat-based rules.

Therefore, due to the majority of guys not having very many options to choose from in the warm weather, they tend to lean on the same old sartorial crutch: t-shirt and shorts. And God forbid I mention the dreaded flip-flop.

So while I am a huge advocate of keeping things simple during the summer months (mainly because I am primarily concerned with other things, like sun dresses and ice cream), here at FashionBeans we’re all about providing tips on how to stand out from the pack. And although there is definitely a time and a place for t-shirt and shorts, there are plenty of simple tweaks you can make to your look this season in order to cope with the heat in style…

1. A More Relaxed Fit

This may seem a bit counter intuitive when it comes to maintaining your style during a heatwave, but hear me out.

Yes, fit is king. However, there are varying degrees of what can be considered ‘good fit’. Menswear is currently seeing a resurgence of a fuller, more masculine cut for clothing, and this is ideal for hot summers.

Even though it sounds obvious, if the material not as close to your skin during the day it allows air to circulate more effectively, which in turn reduces sweat and overheating.

Of course, I’m not saying do a complete overhaul of your wardrobe, but for those super warm days why not have a handful of options that focus more on drape than fit – be it trousers, shirts or jackets.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Relaxed Fit Summer Lookbook

new look ss13lacoste ss13pull & bear ss13h&m summer 2013scotch & soda ss13urban outfitters ss12allsaints ss13lacoste ss13ben sherman ss12
2. Popover Shirts

Following on from a more relaxed fit, there is one item in a man’s wardrobe that was made to be worn a little looser: the popover shirt. For the beginners, a popover style is simply a front fastening, button-up shirt, but the placket stops around halfway down. Think of it as a shirt version of a Henley top.

You can find these at various price points and in all kinds of patterns and colours. The shortened button placket of the shirt gives it a casual feel that suits an equally relaxed fit, and they work perfectly with a pair of shorts, light washed jeans or monochromatic chinos.

I personally have a vintage Ralph Lauren version in a light blue/white horizontal stripe – it goes with so many different pieces in my wardrobe that it has become invaluable these last few weeks.

  • Allsaints Denim Albemarle ShirtAllsaints Denim Albemarle Shirt
  • Lightweight Short-sleeve Popover In Garment DyeLightweight Short-sleeve Popover In Garment Dye
  • Short-sleeve Popover In Arrow PrintShort-sleeve Popover In Arrow Print
  • Indian Cotton Short-sleeve Popover In Spearmint PlaidIndian Cotton Short-sleeve Popover In Spearmint Plaid
  • Short-sleeve Popover In StripeShort-sleeve Popover In Stripe
  • Beams Plus Cotton Oxford Short-sleeved ShirtBeams Plus Cotton Oxford Short-sleeved Shirt
3. Go Sockless Sensibly

We’ve covered this ground many times before, but there’s a whole lot more to going sockless in the summer than just skipping the ‘socks’ part of getting dressed.

It’s not for everyone, but I personally love the feel of leather against my feet. However, I take the necessary precautions: talcum powder to dry out my feet before putting the shoes on; odour/bacteria spray to stop them smelling; cedar shoe trees for storing after use; and invisible socks for the days that I know I’ll be doing some serious walking.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Sockless Lookbook

lbm 1911 ss13lbm 1911 ss12hartford ss13ami ss13dockers ss12drykorn ss13loewe ss13pull & bear heritage ss13paul & joe ss13
Key Products
  • Odoreaters Antiperspirant Deodorant Foot & Shoe Spray – 150mlOdoreaters Antiperspirant Deodorant Foot & Shoe Spray - 150ml
  • Falke Step Invisible Cotton-blend SocksFalke Step Invisible Cotton-blend Socks
  • Calvin Klein 2-pack No Show LinerCalvin Klein 2-pack No Show Liner
  • Churchs Norfolk Wood And Metal Shoe TreesChurchs Norfolk Wood And Metal Shoe Trees
  • Blue Harbour Talc 200gBlue Harbour Talc 200g
  • Odor-eaters Ultra Comfort Deodorising Insoles – Twin PackOdor-eaters Ultra Comfort Deodorising Insoles - Twin Pack
4. Short-Sleeve Shirts

Another controversial choice, I’m sure. However, when it comes to warm weather there’s nothing more appropriate – as long as it’s worn correctly.

You want to be aiming for the sleeves to finish at mid-bicep and you should only be able to fit a finger between your arm and the sleeve, along with making sure it fits you through the shoulders and chest.

I would recommend buying one in a summer material such as linen, and checking with whoever sets the style rules before wearing them to the office. I purchased a linen one from UNIQLO a few weeks ago in navy that fits perfectly, is super lightweight and, due to the darkness of the navy, you can’t see through it – unlike most linen shirts in direct light.

For more advice on how to wear, check out our basics guide to the short-sleeve shirt.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Short-Sleeve Shirt Lookbook

house of fraser ss12h&m spring 2013reiss 1971 ss13urban outfitters ss12h&m summer 2013h&m ss12perry ellis ss13urban outfitters ss12reiss ss13
Key Pieces
  • Rag & Bone Yokohama Short-sleeved Cotton-blend ShirtRag & Bone Yokohama Short-sleeved Cotton-blend Shirt
  • Slim-fit Linen-cotton Short-sleeve Military ShirtSlim-fit Linen-cotton Short-sleeve Military Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Linen Cotton Short Sleeve Shirt AUniqlo Men Linen Cotton Short Sleeve Shirt A
  • He By Mango Linen Straight-fit ShirtHe By Mango Linen Straight-fit Shirt
  • New Look Light Blue Chambray Anchor Print Short Sleeve ShirtNew Look Light Blue Chambray Anchor Print Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Asos Denim ShirtAsos Denim Shirt
  • Libertine Libertine Shirt With Palm Tree StripesLibertine Libertine Shirt With Palm Tree Stripes
  • River Island Mint Green Short Sleeve ShirtRiver Island Mint Green Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Asos Smart ShirtAsos Smart Shirt
  • River Island Navy Leaf Print Chambray ShirtRiver Island Navy Leaf Print Chambray Shirt
  • River Island White Fan Print ShirtRiver Island White Fan Print Shirt
  • Allsaints Spade Short Sleeved ShirtAllsaints Spade Short Sleeved Shirt
5. Simple Upgrades

Sometimes it really is too hot for anything other than a tee/vest and shorts, but that doesn’t mean it has to be ordinary. We’ve previously covered how a polo shirt can be an instant upgrade from a t-shirt during the summer, and they are just as versatile.

Alternatively, simply swap those baggy cargos/board shorts for some tailored shorts in cotton or seersucker, for an easy lower torso update.

Incorporating patterns, prints and other trends is another easy way to inject a shot of life and a touch of individuality into an otherwise ordinary look:

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Summer Outfit Inspiration - Subtle Tweaks

minimum summer 2013Woolrich John Rich & Bros ss14pull & bear ss12h&m summer 2013minimum express 2012ben sherman summer 2013ben sherman ss12scotch & soda ss13urban outfitters ss12
Key Pieces
  • Topman Navy Mid ShortsTopman Navy Mid Shorts
  • Reiss Sydney S Formal Linen Shorts BitterReiss Sydney S Formal Linen Shorts Bitter
  • Topman Grey Slub Suit ShortsTopman Grey Slub Suit Shorts
  • River Island Blue Ditsy Print Turn Up ShortsRiver Island Blue Ditsy Print Turn Up Shorts
  • Selected Camo ShortsSelected Camo Shorts
  • Topman Green Floral Pattern ShortsTopman Green Floral Pattern Shorts
  • Religion Basic PoloReligion Basic Polo
  • Allsaints Bramford PoloAllsaints Bramford Polo
  • Alfred Dunhill Patterned Mercerised-cotton Polo ShirtAlfred Dunhill Patterned Mercerised-cotton Polo Shirt
  • Allsaints Mirach VestAllsaints Mirach Vest
  • Asos Polo With Red Hawaiian PrintAsos Polo With Red Hawaiian Print
  • River Island Dark Grey Bellfield Abstract Print T-shirtRiver Island Dark Grey Bellfield Abstract Print T-shirt
Final Word

So there you have it, a few simple ideas on how to beat the heat in style – staying comfortable and sweat-free whilst doing so.

But as always, I want to hear your opinion: what are your tips and tricks for staying cool and stylish during the summer? Do you suffer for your style or do you just want to be comfortable?

Let me know in the comments section…

Matt Allinson