Once bitten, twice shy. When it comes to making style errors, piecing your confidence back together after pulling a daring – and by all accounts unsuccessful – sartorial move can take a lot of wound-licking.
Prevention is inarguably better than cure then. Just because a particularly affected fashion editor at a so-called men’s fashion bible suggests you try a boiler suit and leather sandals combo for a Friday night’s boozing, it doesn’t mean you should blindly follow suit.
Standing out from the crowd is definitely key to upping your style game but there’s a difference between pulling off something daring and plain ‘peacocking’.
Here are some of the key pieces you should consider if you’re looking to make a statement this season, along with some advice on how best to wear them.
1. The Shorts Suit
No longer the gasp-inducing style choice it once was, the shorts suit is – in addition to conventional suits in lightweight fabrics – an ideal approach to warm-weather tailoring.
Being casual in its cut, a key part of getting the shorts suit right is ensuring you choose the appropriate occasion to wear it. Holidays, summer Sundays and certain weddings (depending on dress code and location) are all fair game, but most offices and formal events are not.
You’ll also want to keep your shorts suit relatively simple on the fabric and colour counts, since it’s the silhouette you’re making a statement with here. Look for styles that fit trim but not tight (taking extra care to ensure your shorts don’t sit too high or pinch at the thigh) and prioritise summer-ready materials like cotton, linen and cotton-linen blends in lighter hues such as beige, sand, sky blue and grey.
Wear yours with a simple tee, short- or long-sleeved shirt and finish with a pair of driving shoes, suede Derbies or leather trainers. Feeling extra brave? Try a pastel-coloured design or something in a subtle microprint.
- Zara Knit Suit
- Next Blue Stripe Cotton Skinny Fit Suit: Shorts
- Next Blue Cotton Skinny Fit Short
- Reiss Shannon S Cotton Tailored Shorts Stone
- Reiss Lute S Jacquard Weave Shorts Grey
- Reiss Shannon S Cotton Tailored Shorts Blue
- J. Crew Ludlow Suit Short In Fine-striped Cotton
- J. Crew Ludlow Suit Short In Italian Cotton Pique
- Zara Cotton Suit
2. Printed Shorts
Why is it that we so often think nothing of wearing blindingly bright and garishly printed swimwear but when it comes to regular shorts we keep things narrowly conservative?
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone. When teamed with less attention-grabbing pieces, a pair of well-cut printed shorts will you earn you serious style kudos. However, if it’s been a while since you last bared your legs, then you’ll first want to reacquaint yourself with some of our shorts-specific rules on fit and fabric.
Then, decide what you want your printed shorts to do for you. Looking for a pair that’ll blow the competition out of the water (but probably won’t guarantee the best cost-per-wear)? Try a bright- or multi-coloured design in an acid floral or abstract camo.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer a pair that will work just as well for a beachside stroll as a high summer Sunday lunch, stick to timeless motifs such as stripes and polka dots in muted and neutral palettes.
- Topman White And Blue Check Mid Length Shorts
- Minimum Short With Horizontal Stripe
- Asos Chino Shorts With Camo Print
- Gap Lived-in Ikat Flat Front Shorts 10
- He By Mango Leaf-print Garment-dyed Bermuda Shorts
- Zara Printed Shorts
- River Island Blue Tropical Print Oxford Shorts
- River Island Blue Indigo Floral Shorts
- He By Mango Tropical-print Bermuda Shorts
- Reiss Escher Geometric Printed Shorts Blue
- Grayers Newport Checked Cotton Shorts
- Polo Ralph Lauren Slim-fit Anchor-embroidered Cotton Shorts
3. Statement Footwear
Arguably the simplest way to stand out this season, statement footwear lets your feet do all the talking.
While it’s pretty easy to pull off a bold pair of trainers in any hue or pattern (provided you keep the rest of your outfit comparatively muted), it’s often best to stick with solid colour styles for smarter footwear silhouettes such as suede loafers, desert boots or Derbies.
When it comes to material, opt for suede – the fabric’s natural texture brings a sense of depth and richness to coloured shoes that leather simply cannot match. For those on a budget, canvas and mesh styles offer a similar textured appearance and will ensure your feet stay comfortable and cool in the heat.
Team yours with casual or smart-casual staples in neutral tones to allow your footwear to really pop. And if you’re going to be baring your ankles, no-show socks are non-negotiable.
- Vans Authentic Canvas Plimsolls
- He By Mango Suede Driving Shoes
- Selected Homme Leon Wax Desert Boots In Blue
- Ted Baker Brently Printed Suede Driving Shoe Moccasins
- Asos Slip On Plimsolls With Aztec Print
- Asos Loafers In Suede
- John Lewis & Co. Rutland Wingtip Suede Brogues Tea
- John Lewis Lloyd Suede Penny Loafers Clementine
- Ted Baker Torsdi3 Suede Derby Chukka Boots
- Tods Gommino Suede Driving Shoes
- Sperry Top-sider Authentic Original Two-eye Suede Boat Shoes
- Converse Chuck Taylor Striped Canvas High Top Sneakers
4. The Hawaiian Or Floral Shirt
Just a few years ago, Hawaiian and floral shirts were most likely to be found lining the bottoms of bargain bins, but this season sees their must-own status consolidated.
Worth remembering, though, is that Hawaiian and floral shirts are not all created equal. The designs you should be looking to add to your wardrobe are not the twee, neon bright versions of yore, but the all-new muted, abstract and digitally printed versions that strike the ideal balance between summery light-heartedness and contemporary style.
One of these, preferably in a short-sleeved cut, will look just as great layered underneath a neutral lightweight blazer for a night out as it does worn with a pair of shorts and a bomber jacket at the weekend.
As goes for most of the other entries on this list, team with muted surrounding pieces so your printed shirt can fully serve its purpose as a focal point.
- Scotch & Soda Shirt With Floral Print
- He By Mango Slim-fit Tropical-print Shirt
- Asos Shirt With Floral Print With Short Sleeves
- He By Mango Slim-fit Short Sleeve Tropical-print Shirt
- He By Mango Classic-fit Short-sleeve Tropical-print Shirt
- Allsaints Monsoon Short Sleeve Shirt
- John Lewis & Co. Vintage Floral Linen Bowling Shirt Khaki
- F&f Hawaiian Print Slim Fit Shirt
- River Island Black Hawaiian Leaf Print Short Sleeve Shirt
- J.crew Printed Cotton Shirt
- Hentsch Man Printed Cotton-poplin Short-sleeved Shirt
- Remi Relief Button-down Collar Printed Cotton-voile Shirt
5. Ripped Jeans
Once the toast of the 1990s, ripped jeans quickly fell into disrepute when – post-millennium – they rapidly became favourites of porn stars and tabloid-covering Z-list celebrities. Given fashion’s cyclical nature, they were only going to stay taboo for so long, and this season sees both luxury and entry-level brands re-imagining distressed denim.
Forgive us for stating the obvious here, but these are definitely not for more formal occasions – unless you’re in a band and the occasion just so happens to be an awards show. They are, however, perfect for grunge and workwear-inspired casual looks. And denim is – as we’ve seen from the likes of Dior Homme, Prada and Tom Ford – undoubtedly trending for SS15.
Your only major concern when it comes to looking more Prada than washed-up porn star is securing the right fit – that means selecting a slim, skinny or straight cut. Avoiding baggy, bootcut jeans is important, and becomes imperative when you opt for a bleached wash.
You’ll find plenty of heavily distressed styles on the market this season but we suggest opting for lower cost high street versions, rather than investing your hard-earned cash on Saint Lauren or A.P.C. – this is one trend that’s likely to fall back out of fashion as quickly as it came in.
- He By Mango Slim-fit Light Wash Steve Jeans
- Topman Antioch Blue Stretch Skinny Jeans
- Allsaints Keiko Cigarette Jeans
- Waven Jeans Verner Skinny Fit Mid Grey Rip Repair
- Asos Extreme Super Skinny Jeans With Knee Rips
- Topman Black Ripped Skinny Fit Jeans
- Zara Ripped Skinny Jeans
- Zara Ripped Trousers
- Gap 1969 Skinny Fit Jeans Bleached Light Repair
- River Island Black Wash Ripped Eddy Skinny Stretch Jeans
- River Island White Ripped Knee Eddy Skinny Stretch Jeans
- New Look Grey Knee Ripped Super Skinny Jeans
6. The Bold Coloured Suit
Warning: this one is not for the faint-hearted. Having said that, a bold coloured suit isn’t exactly the sartorial Everest it’s often made out to be.
Considering the sheer surface area of colour on display, it’s a given that you’ll need to wear this type of suit with ample confidence. But that’s not to say you have to dive in with a neon orange number straight away.
If you’re looking for something versatile enough to be worn to the majority of warm-weather occasions – from weddings to garden parties – and/or you’ve got pastier skin, then try a darker bold hue such as cobalt or petrol blue. If, on the other hand, you’ve got a dark or olive complexion that can take brighter colours, consider a cherry red, bottle green, burnt orange or pastel shade for a tailored option that’ll stop traffic.
When it comes to styling a statement-making suit, less is more, so either ditch your accessories or keep them as minimal as possible. For an additional nod to the season, swap out your usual long-sleeved shirt for a classic crew neck tee or Henley. Summer suiting never looked so good.
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Poplin
- Next Green Cotton Skinny Fit Suit: Jacket
- Next Pink Cotton Skinny Fit Suit
- He By Mango Slim-fit Patterned Suit Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Poplin
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Poplin
- J. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket In Italian Cotton Pique
- Suitsupply Copenhagen Green Plain
- Suitsupply Havana Red Plain
- Burton Bright Blue Tonic Slim Fit Suit Jacket
- Topman Purple Melange Ultra Skinny Fit Suit
- Topman Green Melange Ultra Skinny Fit Suit
There’s more than one way to make a splash this spring/summer. Adding one or two of these statement-making pieces to your wardrobe will get you noticed – for all the right reasons – in no time.
Will you be standing out in style this season? Any tips to share on how to pull off the above items?
Drop us a comment below to let us know.