With summer now on the horizon, refreshing your wardrobe should be at the top of your sartorial to-do list. And the quickest way of doing this? Embrace colour.
Yes, after seeing out winter in our dull thick knits and heavy outerwear, we have more than earned the right to don something more vibrant.
So, in celebration of the warmer months ahead, take a look at five key ways you can inject some eye-catching hues into your personal style this year…
1. Coloured Legwear
Coloured legwear is bold, unapologetic and designed to make a statement. Whether you fully embrace the season with a striking yellow pair or prefer subtle pastel shades, coloured chinos/trousers will breathe life into any tired wardrobe.
Colour-blocking is the easiest and most efficient way to pull off this look. Simply combine with a neutral coloured shirt (white is the default option) and let your trousers do all the talking. For those who prefer their outfits to be more trend-orientated, consider tonal dressing: team your new purchase with a shirt, tee or polo in the same colour family – remembering to alter both the texture and shade to create definition – and watch the compliments roll in.
If you’re a predominantly casual dresser, chinos look great in strong primary colours as they naturally give off a more relaxed vibe and can be paired with other off-duty staples such as tees, sweatshirts and even vests during high summer.
At the smarter end of the spectrum, lightweight tailored trousers in linen- and cotton-blends make a superb, seasonally-appropriate addition to a formal wardrobe. These styles often look best in timeless white or lighter pastel shades, which are much more subtle and ooze Riviera chic. For those that work in more relaxed office environments, these trousers can easily be mixed and matched with your existing separates collection to produce sharp, contemporary workday looks throughout spring/summer.
To create an ensemble, team coloured trousers with a white button-down shirt, blazer and tasselled loafers for an evening out, or coloured chinos with a printed shirt and espadrilles for a day spent in the beer garden.
Finally, to avoid unnecessary colour clashing, and fully embrace the warm weather, try going sockless.
- Asos Skinny Chinos
- Topman Bright Blue Skinny Chinos
- Farah Vintage Drake Trousers In Honey
- He By Mango Slim-fit Textured Chinos
- Topman Purple Percy Skinny Chinos
- He By Mango Straight-fit Cotton Chinos
- Band Of Outsiders Slim-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
- Reiss Sunset Relaxed-fit Trousers Mint
- River Island Light Blue Slim Chinos
- Hentsch Man Slim-fit Cotton-twill Trousers
- Reiss Palmero T Tailored Cotton Trousers Stone
- Incotex Slim-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
2. The Summer Blazer
Effortless yet highly effective, the summer blazer is a great way to introduce colour to your work-to-weekend wardrobe.
You will find every shade under the sun on the current market, so it’s up to you to pick the hue that complements both your existing personal style and skin tone. For SS14, we would highly recommend shades of cream, blue, green and red/pink.
For the first time, patterned styles are also readily available this year. Checks are timeless and will continue to get good wear for many seasons to come, while floral, geometric or micro-print blazers are on trend and designed purely to make a statement – as such, they will fall out of favour quickly. If you do go down the unconventional print route, be sensible when it comes to how much you choose to spend.
When creating an outfit, it would be a sensible decision to keep the bottom half neutral and restrained. Navy or grey trousers are a classic and refined choice, while dark, slim-cut denim/chinos would work just as well within smart-casual ensembles.
Try teaming yours with a button-down shirt, textured tie, trousers and suede Derbies for dress-down Friday in the office, switching for a plain white crew neck t-shirt, tailored chinos and a comfortable pair of driving shoes when off-duty.
Both double- and single-breasted can be considered but, no matter which style you choose, make sure it’s cut slim through the body for a contemporary feel. Additionally, bear in mind that although double-breasted jackets are becoming increasingly popular, they often look best on very specific body shapes and sizes – namely tall men and those with muscular (inverted triangle) frames.
That said, nothing beats a simple two-button design for versatility. It’s a classic style that flatters all body types, allowing you to relax and let your jacket take centre stage.
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
- Asos Slim Fit Double Breasted Blazer In Washed Cotton
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
- River Island Red Vito Blazer
- Reiss Prom B Two Button Blazer Sage
- River Island Light Blue Double Breasted Blazer
- He By Mango Prince Of Wales Linen-blend Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer
- He By Mango Unstructured Cotton-blend Blazer
- Topman Burgundy Oxford Skinny Blazer
- Hardy Amies Slim-fit Striped Cotton Blazer
- Ted Baker Oakjak Printed Cotton Blazer
3. Bright Footwear
For those who aren’t quite ready to embrace a printed jacket or flamboyant pair of trousers, coloured shoes will probably sound much more appealing. The pop-colour footwear trend has been discussed at length recently on FashionBeans, so we won’t go over old ground today.
However, before you head off in search of the perfect pair, here are a couple of things to keep in mind: Derbies and loafers are the most popular and versatile warm-weather silhouettes, while suede trumps leather.
Suede is lighter, more breathable and its natural texture gives more depth to colour, while Derbies and loafers are slightly more relaxed than Oxfords or monk-straps, allowing them to be dressed up or down to suit the occasion.
For those searching for a comfortable yet refined shoe to wear at the weekend/on holiday, opt for a pair of coloured drivers and watch them become your go-to style throughout high summer.
In terms of styling, there aren’t too many restrictions. Casual or smart-casual aesthetics tend to work best, as vibrant shoes will quickly cheapen true formal attire. With that in mind, try pairing yours with a polo and tailored shorts at the weekend or unstructured tailoring for summer events.
Again, going sockless would be a smart and tactical choice. Just don’t forget your invisible socks/shoe liners – they will help reduce smells and prolong the life of your new shoes.
- Sperry Topsider Razor Boat Shoes
- River Island Light Pink Boat Shoes
- Castaner Pablo Canvas Espadrilles
- River Island Dark Red Semi Brogues
- Puma Suede Trainers
- Selected Homme Suede Driving Shoes
- He By Mango Suede Boat Shoes
- Aldo Santane Suede Derby Shoes
- Topman Dune Traditional Brogues
- Anthony Miles Fosse Brogues
- London Collections. Men Sibling X Grenson Nubuck Penny Loafers
- Ami Crepe-soled Suede Derby Shoes
4. Floral Shirts
Ideal for those who like to stand out from the crowd, the floral shirt has become a modern spring/summer must-have. Although many predicted they would quickly fall out of vogue, botanical prints continue to trend season after season and have now firmly cemented their place within menswear.
From subtle paisley to full-on Hawaiian print, a floral shirt should be near the top of your wish list this SS14. To ensure versatility, look for styles that feature a neutral base tone and a subtle or small scale motif. Wearing a floral shirt is enough to separate your look from the crowd on its own, so you don’t need to go over the top with garish designs or brash colour combinations.
When it comes to putting together an outfit, ensure the rest of your look is stripped-back and minimal – any more patterns and you could run the risk of looking like a bag of Skittles.
We recommend combining your shirt with neutral chinos/shorts and driving shoes for holidaying, switching to a deconstructed blazer, lightweight tailored trousers and loafers combination when looking to dress up.
- Ymc Linen Shirt In Floral Print
- Dansk Shirt With Floral Print
- Farah Vintage Chambray Shirt With Print With Short Sleeves In Slim Fit
- He By Mango Slim-fit Floral Linen-blend Shirt
- He By Mango Slim-fit Tropical Print Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Printed Short Sleeve Shirt
- J.crew Printed Button-down Collar Cotton Shirt
- River Island Blue Jack & Jones Premium Floral Print Shirt
- River Island Purple Geometric Print Short Sleeve Shirt
- Beams Plus Slim-fit Printed Short-sleeved Cotton Shirt
- Reiss Concorde Diamond Print Shirt White
- Our Legacy Lightning-print Linen And Cotton-blend Shirt
5. Summer Accessories
If you’re looking to build up your confidence with colour, or simply want a quick and easy way of adding a focal point to an outfit, try a colourful accessory. Whether you opt for a bright pair of socks or a statement belt, there’s no better way to show you pay attention to the smallest of details.
There are, of course, countless accessories to choose from, so pick those that will slot seamlessly into your personal style. Spectacles wearer? Try a coloured frame. Fan of headwear? Add a coloured hat to your collection. Work in a corporate environment? A brightly coloured pocket square will give your monochrome tailoring a creative, summer twist.
Here are a few quick tips:
- Bold Coloured Belts: Are for casual or smart-casual outfits only. Nothing looks worse than a perfectly tailored three-piece with a brightly coloured belt.
- Pocket Squares: Feel free to go wild. Remember, it shouldn’t match your tie, so as long as the colours don’t clash you can pick anything from pastel shades to polka dots. Pop it in the top pocket of your blazer when you head out into the evening sans tie to give your outfit a shot of personality.
- Lightweight Scarves: Whether patterned or coloured, the fabric you decide on gives the scarf its character. A silk take is smart, flamboyant and has modish undertones. On the other hand, a cotton or linen version conjures images of the Riviera and has a slightly more relaxed feel. Tie it, drape it or wrap it, they help add a touch of flair to any look.
- Sunglasses: Coloured frames have become popular over recent years due to the influx of acetate styles, meaning there is now a shade or pattern for every type of gent. Alternatively, if you would prefer something slightly more versatile, pick a classic frame with subtly coloured lenses and/or detailing.
- Bold Socks: When teaming with formal attire, be sensible. A light pink pair, for example, would complement a navy suit perfectly, yet choose something too colourful and you’ll risk ruining the balance and sacrificing your sense of professionalism.
- Bags: Casual silhouettes such as totes, barrel bags, satchels or messengers often look best in bright colours. Your bag can contrast (creating a statement) or complement (helping tie a look together) your outfit.
- Corneliani Cashmere-blend Scarf
- Oliver Spencer Suede Belt 188791
- Ted Baker Colour Block Leather Belt
- He By Mango Printed Pocket Square
- Reiss Yacht Piped Linen Pocket Square Yellow
- He By Mango Braided Cotton Belt
- Ted Baker Loma Leather Document Bag
- Ted Baker Snooper Satchel Bag
- Falke Tiago Cotton-blend Socks
- Borsalino Woven-paper Trilby Hat
- Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Rib Socks
- Garrett Leight California Optical Milwood Round-frame Acetate Sunglasses
So there you have it, five ways you can introduce some much needed colour to your wardrobe this spring/summer.
Whether you choose a floral print shirt, pastel blazer or vibrant accessory, we would love to know how and when you decide to wear them.
So, as always, leave your comments below…