During the height of summer, when the heat is stifling and the sun relentless, dressing in a comfortable yet stylish way can be tricky.
Yet never fear – we’re set to showcase seven go-to outfit combinations that you can call on time and time again, which are guaranteed to keep you looking and feeling cool until autumn arrives.
1. Lightweight Trousers + Polo Shirt + Loafers
Three pieces that sit right in the smart-casual sweet spot, this combination is one to reach for when you want to look put together without sacrificing comfort.
Fit and material choice are the most important considerations here. Both your trousers and polo shirt should be crafted from breathable cotton or linen and be cut slim (but not restrictively so) to maintain a refined, tailored silhouette.
Similarly, your loafers will ideally be made of lightweight suede and come in a summer-ready colourway like tan or beige.
Don’t forget your invisible socks – no-one wants to deal with the squelchy reality of going barefoot in the heat.
Image: Suitsupply SS15
2. Athletic Shorts + Crew Neck T-Shirt + Trainers
One for the casual dressers, these three pieces have a strong sporting heritage, which ensure they blend together seamlessly.
You can opt for slightly more relaxed fits here, as we are prioritising comfort and air circulation. Whether worn in or out of the gym, this combination is relaxed and effortlessly cool, especially if you stick to an on-trend monochrome palette.
Throw a lightweight bomber jacket or raglan sweatshirt on over the top when temperatures drop in the evening.
Image: Zara 2015
3. Floral Shirt + Neutral Shorts
Looking to make an effortless statement this season? Reach for a floral shirt.
A piece that many men continue to shy away from, they’re much easier to wear than you might think. So long as you opt for a design with a darker base tone (like navy, black or burgundy) and anchor it with neutral shorts, you really can’t go wrong.
Finish with a pair of sandals or espadrilles for a look that will get you noticed for all the right reasons, whether at home or abroad.
Image: Mango Man SS15
4. Denim Shorts + A Printed T-Shirt/Vest
A music festival favourite, a printed T-shirt or vest with a pair of denim shorts is an off-duty go-to.
Opt for dark wash shorts and they will anchor any print you can think of – from muted florals to wild geometrics.
Finish with minimal leather trainers to maintain the relaxed, weekend vibe.
Image: Simons SS15
5. Breton Top + White Trousers
This nautical-inspired pairing oozes Riviera sophistication.
Although you may be tempted to reach for the boat shoes here, it can push the look into the realm of costume, so try a smart pair of loafers or relaxed espadrilles instead.
It’s imperative that your trousers are cut slim through the leg and have a minimal break, as white is a notoriously unforgiving hue and any excess fabric or pooling at the ankles will look sloppy.
Image: Aquascutum SS15
6. Navy Trousers + Beige Blazer
Navy and beige is fail-safe colour pairing that every man should add to his repertoire.
A beige blazer is a modern must-own, especially for the warmer months. Prioritise unlined styles made from breathable materials that hold their structure well, such as pure cotton or cotton-linen blends.
When it comes to your choice of legwear, adjust to the occasion and expected formality – this is a jacket that works just as well with navy suit trousers as it does cotton chinos or even dark indigo denim.
Finish with a lighter blue shirt/tee and rich brown footwear for a smart-casual look that can be adapted to suit everything from a garden party to business lunch.
Image: Sarar SS14
7. Tailored Shorts + Short-Sleeved Shirt
Perhaps the most obvious combination on this entire list, tailored shorts and a short-sleeved shirt are a match made in heaven.
Guaranteeing comfort in the heat while enabling you to maintain a smart and refined appearance, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to this pairing. That said, always bear in mind your colour wheel when mixing hues and make sure that if you opt for a printed design on your top half, then you counterbalance it with neutral, plain shorts (and vice versa).
Casual footwear styles such as trainers can jar with this aesthetic, so stick to smarter silhouettes such as loafers, boat shoes and suede Derbies.
Image: Perry Ellis SS14