As men, we’re faced with several challenges when it comes to summertime. Finding a seat in the beer garden, mastering the perfect BBQ sausage, trying not to drown in sweat as we look to work off said sausage in high heat… we could go on, but we’re here to talk matters of style.
With our fair share of difficulties to contend with, the last thing we need are some passé style tips to confuse us further. So, read on to see some of the most prevalent warm-weather style myths debunked.
1. Sandals Are For Feminine Feet
Girls have nice feet. Lovely, in fact. Men? Men do not. Rather understandably, most of us are afraid of the dreaded man foot. But we urge you: don’t be afraid of it, embrace it instead.
If you’re UK-based, it’s totally possible to completely avoid wearing sandals and keep your feet from ever seeing the light of day. But when that beach holiday eventually comes around, you’d better be prepared. If you’re going to get your plates of meat out, best do it in style, right?
At the smarter end of the spectrum is the leather sandal. This style owes its enduring success to its versatility, working just as well with a pair of tailored shorts as it does lightweight chinos or slim jeans. Recently, German brand Birkenstock has become the go-to for this silhouette and – at around £50 – their sturdily built designs won’t break the bank. However, if you’d rather take the premium route, both A.P.C. and Marni offers solid selections too.
Another option is the sport sandal, a style that’s surged in popularity over the past couple of summers. And for good reason – they’re super comfortable, lightweight and perfectly suited to guys who like to dress in a more casual-contemporary, rather than conservatively classic, way. Teva and Suicoke are particularly well versed in the art of the strappy sport sandal, never failing to marry form with function. Wear them with jeans, shorts or even a pair of tailored joggers.
When you do finally expose those pasty pinkies to the outside world, remember that regardless of how fantastically awesome your new sandals are, if your feet resemble mangled griffin talons, then your dedicated shopping efforts have been for naught.
Get a pedicure guys, there’s no shame in it anymore.
- Ted Baker Magnuss Leather Sandals
- Jerusalem Sandals Aviv Sandals
- Aldo Schleicher Leather Sandals
- River Island White Chunky Double Strap Slip On Sandals
- Birkenstock Arizona Two Strap
- Dr. Martens Shore Grython Strap Sandal
- Suicoke Woven Sandals
- Teva Original Universal Marbled Grosgrain And Rubber Sandals
- Marni Two-strap Leather Sandals
2. Black Is For Autumn/Winter Only
It is possible to pull off black in the heat. And while it definitely isn’t the most summery of colours, black is one of those key neutrals that can easily help you pull together a variety of looks – rain, hail or shine.
Just don’t go all ‘Yeezy’ and don ‘all black errthang’, because wearing black in summer is not so much a question of whether it looks good, as a question of practicality. Black naturally absorbs more heat and if you opt for an all-black look on a hot day, chances are you’ll end up sweating like Jeremy Clarkson at an unsatisfactory Top Gear buffet.
Muted prints with flashes of colour are a safer bet than the brighter, bolder motifs out there. A dark short-sleeved floral shirt is an ideal addition to your holiday wardrobe, especially when teamed with a pair of grounding neutral chinos in white, stone or beige.
You can, of course, try out some black accessories too and get away with a little more. A black leather bracelet comes highly recommended, as does a pair of black slip-ons.
- Allsaints Atoga Vest
- He By Mango Button-down Collar Polo Shirt
- Asos Chino Shorts In Mid Length
- Reiss Shade Printed Cuban Collar Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Premium Linen Long Sleeve Shirt
- Vans Lxvi Slip-on Lite Plimsolls
- Sandro Slim-fit Linen T-shirt
- Paul Smith Slim-fit Linen Wool And Cotton-blend Trousers
- Miansai Rope And Silver-plated Anchor Wrap Bracelet
3. Florals Aren’t Masculine
Florals may have been the butt of many sartorial jokes over the years, but the past few seasons have proved they’re back with a serious vengeance. Surprisingly wearable muted, abstract and flouro floral prints have graced the runways for a while now and with a botanical encyclopedia’s worth of variations out there, there’s something for everyone.
While there are certain florals (particularly Hawaiian styles we’ve seen of late) that will likely forever conjure the image of a mulleted bloke in a baggy floral shirt and tight denim shorts (daiquiri in hand), these aren’t the designs to focus on. Rather, you want to keep an eye out for darker, more masculine florals – a trend spearheaded by luxury leaders like Dries Van Noten, with high street heroes such as Topman and River Island not far behind.
Darker, more subdued prints with flashes of colour are a safer bet than the brighter, bolder motifs out there. A dark short-sleeved floral shirt makes an ideal addition to your holiday wardrobe, especially when teamed with a pair of grounding neutral chinos in white, stone or beige.
Or, if you’re not ready for full-on print just yet, why not layer it under a lightweight knit or blazer on a balmy summer evening?
- Only & Sons Shirt With All Over Monochrome Floral Print
- Asos Floral Shirt In Short Sleeve
- He By Mango Floral-print Cotton Jacket
- Allsaints Mawsim Short Sleeved Shirt
- Allsaints Transverse Shirt
- Topman Multi-colour Moody Floral Sweatshirt
- River Island Navy Floral Print T-shirt
- Hentsch Man Floral-print Cotton T-shirt
- He By Mango Floral-print Garment-dyed Bermuda Shorts
4. Boots Don’t Go With Shorts
Many of us relegate our boots to the back of our wardrobe for the warmer months, but are there ways we can wear them well for summer?
You might be worried you’ll come off a bit park ranger, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, we like the look. Not the dreadlocked, wrap-around shades-wearing types of the 21st century, mind – we’re talking the safari-shirt-and-chino-shorts rangers of yore.
While workwear boots in leather can work with shorts, the easiest way to introduce some sturdier footwear is via a pair of suede desert boots. Team them with some well-tailored chino shorts and a simple white tee for a foolproof look that’ll never fail you.
Alternatively, if you want a slightly smarter aesthetic, substitute the tee for a lightweight knit or a short-sleeved shirt and blazer combination.
5. Blue & Green Should Never Be Seen
Wrong. It should be seen. And it’s been seen a lot lately. Savile Row stalwarts Gieves & Hawkes engineered the look to perfection in their spring/summer 2015 show, styling bold green pieces with deep navy.
The key to getting this look right is steering clear of bright football pitch greens and vivid electric blues as they’ll clash horribly and make your ensemble look like it’s been sponsored by Fisher Price. Instead, stick to rich or muted shades of green (think military, racing, khaki or olive) and mix with navy or petrol blue to create eye-catching yet understated looks that can be adapted for almost every occasion.
The high street is your best bet when putting together an outfit like this, with retailers like Uniqlo and River Island offering a myriad of colours and styles to choose from so you can find the perfect balance.
6. Leave Leather Jackets For Winter
Now let’s be reasonable here. Of course, if it’s 35 degrees Celsius and humid outside, you can’t really get away with wearing a leather jacket. That being said, if it’s that warm out, you’re probably not in the UK and all you should really be worrying about is which shorts you’ll wear poolside to best match the umbrella in your mojito.
You can pretty much always pull off a leather jacket in the UK – all you need to do is strip back your layering and team with pieces in lighter colours to make yours summer-ready. For instance, a simple white T-shirt paired with light blue slim jeans has an air of rock ‘n’ roll nonchalance to it that’s so effortless and easy to throw together.
We should also point out that we’re talking cropped styles here, with the timeless biker being the best option. But then again maybe we’re stating the obvious; a mid-length leather jacket doesn’t really work at any time of year, does it? Unless you’re really into that kebab shop owner/1970s-era private eye kind of look.
- Solid Leather Bomber Jacket
- Schott Leather Biker Jacket
- He By Mango Tabbed-waist Leather Jacket
- Allsaints Shale Leather Jacket
- Allsaints Conroy Leather Biker Jacket
- Reiss Kent Leather Bomber Jacket
- Club Monaco Full-grain Leather Bomber Jacket
- Theory Arvid Leather Jacket
- Private White V.c. Rainrider Perforated Leather Jacket
Hopefully you’ll now be able to stride out into the sunshine with your head held high, safe in the knowledge that you can wear sandals, florals, and boots with shorts etc. – just maybe not all at once.
Are there any other spring/summer taboos that you feel are no longer relevant?
Let us know in the comments section.