Introduction

Outside of my window, it’s gently snowing. So writing about what you should be wearing when the weather begins to pick up seems like a far off notion right now. But such is the fashion industry. When the only thing you can pick up is discounted sale stock from this autumn/winter, everyone starts screaming at you that it’s time to invest in linen knitwear and go sockless. Both great pieces of advice, don’t get me wrong, just ill timed is all.

Anyway, all frustration at fashion cycles aside, this spring/summer is definitely one to get excited about. At least in my book it is. We’ve had the summer of prints and bold colours, and while they were great fun at the time, this summer is all about taking what we’ve learnt from past experiences and refining it.

Men’s style is really advocating the sensibility that less is much, much more at the moment – so this season your mind should be on smaller, more subtle patterns and simple colour combinations that help to communicate your own confidence and natural sense of style. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear what you wore last year, you just need to be more considered when putting a look together.

Obviously, I am writing this under the assumption that you’ve already got an assortment of polo shirts, chino shorts and cotton/linen shirts and jackets – if you don’t, we’ve got more problems than I originally thought.

After you’ve acquired those key pieces, why not think about investing in these little beauties…

1. Old Jacket, New Fit

It seems like every designer is reaching into the past and bringing all kinds of traditional patterns and fabrics back into the modern day, complete with quality cuts and silhouettes.

This is especially apparent in blazers and sport jackets, which are set to prominently feature classic check patterns this spring/summer. Whether you opt for Glen plaid, houndstooth or gingham, look to pick one up in summer appropriate fabrics like madras, linen or cotton blends so when layered over an Oxford cloth shirt, you’ll barely even know it’s there.

Men's Checked Blazers and Sports Coats Lookbook

diegel ss13lbm 1911 ss12Andres Velencoso Segura for Vogue Hombres 2011Luigi Bianchi Mantova ss13lbm 1911 ss13duchamp ss12
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In HoundstoothAsos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Houndstooth
  • Reiss Sunseeker B 2 Button Cotton Check Blazer GreyReiss Sunseeker B 2 Button Cotton Check Blazer Grey
  • He By Mango Check Suit BlazerHe By Mango Check Suit Blazer
  • Boglioli Unstructured Prince Of Wales Check Linen BlazerBoglioli Unstructured Prince Of Wales Check Linen Blazer
  • Beams Plus Check Cotton BlazerBeams Plus Check Cotton Blazer
  • Beams Plus Check Lightweight Cotton BlazerBeams Plus Check Lightweight Cotton Blazer
2. The Panama Hat

I mentioned this hat last year when we were covering the comings and goings of Pitti Uomo, and it seems to have done nothing but gather speed.

Forget those black, grey or navy fedoras with stingy brims – the man with the whitest widest brim wins this year.

Men's Panama Hat Lookbook

lbm ss11Bailey of Hollywood aw12Nicolas Malleville for mr porterCruciani ss12Todd Snyder ss13duchamp ss13
  • Olney Drop Brim Panama Hat NeutralsOlney Drop Brim Panama Hat Neutrals
  • Olney Sienna Brisa Panama Hat WhiteOlney Sienna Brisa Panama Hat White
  • Borsalino Large-brim Straw Panama HatBorsalino Large-brim Straw Panama Hat
  • Wide Brim Folda Panama HatWide Brim Folda Panama Hat
  • Borsalino Beige And Blue Stripe Band Real Panama HatBorsalino Beige And Blue Stripe Band Real Panama Hat
  • Miansai Mens Panama HatMiansai Mens Panama Hat
3. Colour Me Pastel

This is a really simple upgrade and it can do wonders for all of your looks once the sun begins to shine.

Invest in pastel (or chalk-like) colours – they work great for nearly every guy once they’ve got a little bit of colour themselves and can be integrated seamlessly into your wardrobe.

Think pinks, greens, purples and yellows and always make sure to pair them with more neutral pieces to give your look balance and help ground the bolder hue.

Men's Pastel Colours Spring/Summer Lookbook

reiss ss13h&m summer 2013zara man ss12h&m ss12reiss ss13ben sherman ss12reiss ss13calvin klein ss12h&m spring 2013
  • Allsaints Sandringham PoloAllsaints Sandringham Polo
  • Reiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt PurpleReiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt Purple
  • Topman Blue Button Down Polo ShirtTopman Blue Button Down Polo Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Cotton Nylon V-neck CardiganUniqlo Men Cotton Nylon V-neck Cardigan
  • Reiss Hinks Merino V-neck Jumper WatermelonReiss Hinks Merino V-neck Jumper Watermelon
  • Paul Smith Knitted Cotton JacketPaul Smith Knitted Cotton Jacket
  • Reiss Navigator Plain Poplin ShirtReiss Navigator Plain Poplin Shirt
  • Easy Oxford Cotton ShirtEasy Oxford Cotton Shirt
  • Topman Red Oxford Short Sleeve ShirtTopman Red Oxford Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Levis Commuter Trousers 511 Slim Fit 5 Pkt ColouredLevis Commuter Trousers 511 Slim Fit 5 Pkt Coloured
  • A.p.c. Pleated Cotton-twill ChinosA.p.c. Pleated Cotton-twill Chinos
  • Topman Blue Chino ShortTopman Blue Chino Short
4. Floral Accessories

Yes, I know I said that this spring/summer would be all about keeping things simple – but you should always own accessories that help bring your look to life.

This time, rather than trying to integrate wild patterns into your look, opt for a floral accessory such as a tie, scarf or pocket square. The pattern is subtle, simple and sophisticated and works well with any outfit you build, be it a full suit or simple jeans and t-shirt combination.

Don’t be afraid to invest in florals – it’s just about the only pattern that guys haven’t worn regularly yet.

Men's Floral Print Lookbook

duchamp ss12duchamp ss12clements & church aw12clements & church 2012MASSIMO DUTTI SS13RIVER ISLAND SS13
  • Topman Mono Floral NeckerchiefTopman Mono Floral Neckerchief
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Double-faced Printed ScarfPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Double-faced Printed Scarf
  • Reiss Fantasia Floral Silk Hank SepiaReiss Fantasia Floral Silk Hank Sepia
  • Duchamp Oblion Floral Pocket SquareDuchamp Oblion Floral Pocket Square
  • Penrose Floral Pocket SquarePenrose Floral Pocket Square
  • Paul Smith Floral SocksPaul Smith Floral Socks
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Flower-embroidered Silk TiePaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Flower-embroidered Silk Tie
  • Asos Floral TieAsos Floral Tie
  • He By Mango Floral Patterned TieHe By Mango Floral Patterned Tie
5. Check Your Contents

I feel like I’m always banging on about this, but once you begin to put the advice into practice the benefits are apparent immediately. That’s right, I’m preaching about dressing seasonally again.

When the weather picks up it’s easy to think that your only options are shorts and polo shirts, day and night. But you’re just plain wrong. With so many pieces being made out of lightweight, breathable materials such as linen, whipcord and tropical wools there’s no reason that you can’t wear a blazer during the day and layer up at night.

It’s just a matter of layering with intelligence as well as style. Try a navy linen blazer with peak lapels for a jacket that can be worn no matter the occasion or weather.

Seasonally Appropriate Fabrics

banana republic ss12zara young ss12dockers ss12zara man ss12zara man april 2011reiss ss12
  • Hentsch Man Linen Shirt BennyHentsch Man Linen Shirt Benny
  • Balmain Slub Linen Henley T-shirtBalmain Slub Linen Henley T-shirt
  • Topman Blue Nep Chambray Short Sleeve ShirtTopman Blue Nep Chambray Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Reiss Pond Soft Chambray Shirt BlueReiss Pond Soft Chambray Shirt Blue
  • Acne Granville Linen Long-sleeved T-shirtAcne Granville Linen Long-sleeved T-shirt
  • Asos Slim Fit Linen Suit JacketAsos Slim Fit Linen Suit Jacket
  • Michael Bastian Slim-fit Plaid Linen ShortsMichael Bastian Slim-fit Plaid Linen Shorts
  • Hartford Troy Straight-leg Linen TrousersHartford Troy Straight-leg Linen Trousers
  • 120 Lino Tailored Linen Trousers 143324120 Lino Tailored Linen Trousers 143324
Final Word

So there you have it, a few quick tips that can really boost your spring/summer style credentials this year.

I also want to give an honourable mention to white jeans/chinos but as I tend to wear them all year round I didn’t think they counted. These look their best when paired with monochromatic colours (especially navy) and are a great way of staying cool in the heat whilst adding a nice twist to your look. Try them out.

But as always, I’m interested in hearing what your opinions are. What are your quick tips for boosting summer style? Are there specific pieces that you want to buy this year? Would you never be seen dead in a pair of white chinos?

Let me know in the comments section.