Keeping your look cool as the weather warms up can be difficult. When the mercury rises, we want to shed as much clothing as possible, meaning dynamic outfits involving numerous layers simply don’t cut it. A linen T-shirt, lightweight cotton jacket, chino shorts and boat shoes might work for spring’s sunnier moments, but this combination will have you sweating something crazy when the height of summer hits.
But there is a solution. Want to keep your look on point without overheating? Try investing in a couple of pieces of jewellery to add interest. Lightweight, perfectly portable for summer getaways, and available at prices across the spectrum, jewellery offers an easy way to amp up your warm-weather attire.
“Bracelets, necklaces and rings are a tricky thing to get right,” says Warren Beckett A.K.A. blogger Monsieur Robot. “Too many and you look like you’re trying too hard, but get it right and you can really elevate your outfit.”
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a rundown of the key pieces of jewellery to see you through the season:
Bracelets & Cuffs
While some style purists will still argue a watch is the only accessory suitable for a man’s wrist, recent trends beg to differ. Historically we men may have been wary of jewellery but given the growth in the market over the past few years, it seems plenty of us are now giving it a go.
“Jewellery is perhaps the most difficult type of accessory for men to pull off,” says Beckett. “My advice is it should feel like an extension of your body – you can carry off anything with the right level of confidence. For spring/summer 2015, I’m layering cuffs and bracelets by specialist brands such as Stephen Einhorn and Miansai.”
Bracelets and cuffs are perfect for adding personality and character to your look when wearing lightweight tees and vests. “This season is all about the modern wrap bracelet; something with a clean design that’s casual and can be worn all summer long,” says Michael Saiger, Founder and Creative Director of Miami-based accessories brand Miansai.
A well-placed leather bracelet will bring a little understated texture to your outfit, and can – depending on the style in question – appear ruggedly casual or surprisingly smart. Try teaming a jet black or rich dark brown design with a short-sleeved shirt, some tailored shorts and a pair of leather loafers for a refined yet laid-back aesthetic.
If your style is more surf’s up than buttoned up, consider a colourful beaded or textile bracelet from brands such as Simon Carter or Ted Baker. These work well layered up on one, or both, of your wrists and can be combined with casual beach wear, as well as relaxed unstructured cotton and linen short suits.
Looking for something more statement-making? Try adding a quality cuff or two to your accessories collection. Miansai offers a slew of expertly crafted gold- and silver-plated styles that don’t cost the earth, while minimal Scandi brand Acne Studios do a selection of gold and oxidised silver bangles that will really set off smarter summer attire.
- Ted Baker Dudem Flat Leather Bracelet
- Tateossian Tat Sq Lthr Dbl Wrap Sml Click
- Paul Smith London Black-leather Wrap Bracelet 1003034
- Ted Baker Leather Wrap Bracelet
- Miansai Double Wrap Rope Bracelet
- Miansai Hook Rope Bracelet
- Tods Woven-leather Wrap Bracelet
- Simon Carter Semi Precious Bracelet Pack
- Double Strand Beaded Wrist Bracelet Silver & Round Lapis
- Luis Morais Bead Bracelet
- Miansai Orange Hook Leather Wrap Bracelet Sc78879
- Miansai Rope And Silver-plated Anchor Bracelet
- Acne Studios Oxidized Sterling Silver Cuff
- Miansai Layered Brass Cuff
- Miansai Gold-plated Cuff
Slightly more dangerous territory than bracelets and cuffs, necklaces are notoriously difficult to wear well. Get it right, and you bring an otherwise banal outfit up a whole notch. Get it wrong, and you either look like a juvenile delinquent hell bent on boozing in a public park, or someone who has dropped out of life to explore shamanism.
The key here is to keep things as low-key as possible. Necklaces that are big – either in physical size or aesthetic – are traditionally associated with womenswear, so look for slim to medium width chains and pendants in silver, brass and gold, which you can team with V-neck tees and vests during summer.
Feel free to layer your necklaces, provided the styles you’ve chosen are slight enough – this works nicely under the collar of a smart shirt buttoned-up to the top.
If metal’s not on your hit list, try a leather or beaded design. These look great combined with unbuttoned (one or two buttons only please) poplin cotton and linen shirts.
- Spiga Necklace Chain 42cm Silver
- Topman Premium Silver Plated Figaro Chain Necklace
- Reclaimed Vintage Gold Plated Necklace
- Maison Martin Margiela Segmented Circle Necklace
- Topman Icon Silver Necklace
- Icon Brand Prime Necklace
- Miansai Hook Necklace Sc78891
- Miansai Noir Anchor Pendant Necklace
- Icon Brand Wild At Heart Necklace
- David Yurman Spiritual Beads Necklace With Stone
- Box Belcher Chain
- Tobias Wistisen Studded Cross Necklace
Far from just an indicator that you’re off the market, rings can be mixed and matched to suit a series of different spring/summer get-ups. While plain gold, rose gold and silver cuffs work well, rings in the same metals tend to look too much like wedding bands.
Instead, try opting for designs cast from oxidised silver, brushed brass and zinc, or go for styles in gold, rose gold and silver that are engraved, feature cut-out/lattice effects or have plaited inserts so as to shake off the matrimonial connotations.
Layer up, and eclectically, for a casual, rock-inflected look with a bohemian edge, or stick to one or two sleek pieces (silver and matte black finishes work well) for combining with tailoring and spring/summer evening attire.
- All_blues Mens Bipolar 6.2 Oxidised Silver Ring
- Acne Studios Oxidized Sterling Silver Ring
- Maison Martin Margiela Rustic Brass Ring
- All_blues X Matthew Miller Marked Silver Ring
- Topman Engraved Ring
- Icon Brand Ring
- Seven London Leather-detail Silver Band Ring
- Reclaimed Vintage Black Stainless Steel Ring
- Topman Icon Silver Ring
- Seven London Life Feather Ring
- Skull Ring Silver
- Saint Laurent Silver-plated Eagle Ring
Though full-on formal wear is probably the last thing you’ll want to be found in on summer’s more scorching days, many of us will have one or two occasions where cufflinks are de rigueur.
While silver and gold styles work well year-round, it’s worth taking advantage of the warmer weather and switching things up a little. Being small and discreet, cufflinks are ideal for introducing some seasonal colour to a white lightweight cotton shirt and beige linen suit combination.
Knot cufflinks, available from the likes of T.M.Lewin, Thomas Pink and John Lewis, come in a wide range of hues and will add a distinctly nautical touch to your attire, while rose gold or copper styles (try Ted Baker or Alice Made This) are both classic and minimal but seem more spring/summer-appropriate than gold or silver.
- T.m.lewin Round Knots Gift Set
- John Lewis Silk Knot Cufflinks Box Of 3 Light Blue/navy/grey
- William Taupe Cufflinks
- T.m.lewin Navy White Knots
- Tateossian Round Knot Cufflinks
- Thomas Pink Gold Knot Cufflinks
- Tateossian Round Knot Cufflinks
- Ted Baker Brushup Crystal Cufflinks
- Edward Copper Cufflinks
- Tateossian Cuff Links
- Lanvin Rose Gold-plated Cufflinks
- Kingsman Deakin & Francis Rose Gold-plated Chevron Cufflinks
Though for many of us accessories are usually an afterthought, it’s worth taking a second to appreciate just how much one or two of these subtle additions can instantly step up your style game – especially during the warmer months.
But above all else, remember that whatever style(s) you choose should look personal, as if they’re subtle extensions of the kind of things you’d find in your wardrobe. You want to wear your jewellery – you don’t want it to wear you.
What are your signature spring/summer accessories? Will you be adding any of the above to your collection this season?
Comment below to let us know.