Buck up. Because whether you endured floods or freezing temperatures throughout the winter months, there’s a warm front headed this way. Probably.
OK, you’re right, we don’t know. We’re not meteorologists. We are, however, well placed to inform you that spring/summer collections are already dropping in stores. Which means now’s the time to engage in a little forward planning to ensure you’re not left with rails of string vests and cargo shorts to pick over.
Chosen for their wearability and wide appeal, these are the trend-ticking pieces to consider adding to your fair-weather line-up.
A Field Jacket
Another season, another military-inspired jacket. While the bomber may have led the menswear charge for the past few seasons, the MA-1’s been granted long overdue leave this season. Stepping up to the plate instead is the many-pocketed field jacket, with a slew of designers from Craig Green to Christopher Raeburn offering their riffs on the classic M-1965.
Good news, then, if you’re a fan of warm-weather outerwear that skews smart rather than skinhead. Look for a cotton twill style in olive drab or stone if you’re steering traditional; suede, if plushness is your top priority; or get technical with one of the many lightweight nylon takes available.
And stamp out the urge to fill your pockets to udder-like capacity. Only a certain degree of utility is acceptable unless you’re actually going to war.
- Topman Camel Field Jacket
- John Lewis Cotton Field Jacket
- He By Mango Nylon Field Jacket
- Polo Ralph Lauren Nylon Field Jacket
- Paul Smith Multi Pocket Field Jacket
- Gant Rugger Corduroy-trimmed Cotton-canvas Field Jacket
- Rag & Bone Cotton-canvas Field Jacket
- Michael Kors Shell Field Jacket
- Brunello Cucinelli Perforated Suede Field Jacket
A Suede Jacket
OK, so the bomber jacket isn’t exactly dead and buried. But designers are moving it on, producing styles rooted in the traditional MA-1’s shape but rendered in fabrics – like suede and silk – better suited to cocktail bars than airborne battles.
And it’s not just bombers getting the suede treatment, but blousons too. Which means you don’t always have to default to a linen blazer when you want to look smart in warmer weather. One of these – whether blue, black or brown; bomber, blouson or Western – will chime just as well with a button-down shirt, provided it comes in a tailored fit and a length that falls just below your waist.
NB. check the Weather app for clear skies before taking this one for a spin, and remember to pre-treat with a quality fabric protector as well.
- Reiss Cristo Suede Bomber Jacket Grey
- Topman Ltd Roadtrip Suede Harrington Jacket
- River Island Dark Brown Premium Suede Biker Jacket
- He By Mango Flap-pocket Suede Jacket
- Eleventy Patch Pocket Jacket
- Tom Ford Suede Jacket
- Oliver Spencer Buffalo Slim-fit Suede Jacket
- Dolce & Gabbana Suede Bomber Jacket
- Saint Laurent Hedi Suede Jacket
A Cuban Collar Shirt
Now that we know short-sleeved shirts aren’t solely for suburban bank tellers, it’s never been easier to look smart without breaking a sweat. A Riviera mainstay, the Cuban collar variation – distinguished by its open, notch lapel-like collar – makes you look like the kind of man who summers in a Cap Ferrat villa, even if your budget’s more Cotswolds staycation.
While colour is really a matter of personal preference in this case, fit most definitely is not: err too tight with a Cuban collar shirt and you’ll look like you take your style cue from Pablo Escobar; err too baggy and you’re wearing what is, for all intents and purposes, a big girl’s blouse.
Opt for a cut that’s trim but not so tight that it hugs your biceps or puckers at the shoulder. And never accessorise with a gold chain and chest hair.
- New Look Navy Plain Revere Shirt
- Topman Camouflage Print Revere Collar Smart Shirt
- John Lewis & Co. Linen Bowling Shirt
- Ami Camp-collar Voile Shirt
- Dries Van Noten Camp-collar Lobster-print Cotton Shirt
- Acne Studios Solo Camp-collar Checked Cotton-poplin Shirt
Straight-Leg Or Tapered Chinos
Whether or not you’re getting behind the wide-legged trouser brigade, you’d probably concede that summer isn’t the best time to squeeze yourself into a pair of skinnies. Why? Because even the sleekest of silhouettes isn’t worth drowning in puddles of your own sweat. Ditch the discomfort (and keep the streamlining effect) with a pair of chinos cut a little more laid-back.
Straight-leg or tapered chinos are arguably the single most versatile weapon in your warm-weather arsenal, styling as easily with a crew neck tee or polo shirt as a short-sleeved shirt and lightweight jacket.
Consider only lightweight cotton and cotton-linen blends, and steer slightly conservative with your colour choice (stone, beige, grey and navy work well) for optimal wearability.
- Asos Straight Chinos In Stone
- Sisley Chino In Regular Fit
- J. Crew Broken-in Chino In 1040 Classic Fit
- Uniqlo Men Vintage Regular Fit Chino Flat Front Trousers
- He By Mango Straight-fit Cotton Chinos
- Officine Generale Regular-fit Cotton-twill Chinos
- Reiss Bennett Straight Leg Chinos Stone
- River Island Navy Relaxed Chinos
- River Island Light Grey Carrot Chinos
A Linen Blazer
Dense and scratchy, if there’s one fabric you don’t need near your skin in summer, it’s wool. Linen, on the other hand, is exceptionally light in weight and breathable to boot, meaning you can wear it as an outer layer safe in the knowledge that you won’t spontaneously self-combust.
A single-breasted, notch lapel linen blazer in a light neutral or pastel hue is the answer to all your fair-weather semi-formal quandaries. Wear it with a short-sleeved shirt, chinos and loafers or sub in a tee when leaning smart-casual.
- Suitsupply Havana Brown Plain
- River Island Grey Linen Floral Lined Slim Blazer
- Ted Baker Niteyes Button Blazer
- Brunello Cucinelli Blue Slim-fit Houndstooth Blazer
- Loro Piana Ecru Woven Wool Silk And Linen-blend Blazer
- Paul Smith London Grey Soho Slim-fit Linen Blazer
- Corneliani Linen Unstructured Blazer
- Howick Peppard Linen Blazer
- Tonello Tailored Blazer
Leather Slip-On Plimsolls
That minimal trainers are now a menswear fixture is unquestionable. What is questionable though, is their suitability for the beach. Lacing, when it comes to effortless spring/summer dressing, is not exactly luxury.
Enter the leather slip-on; a premium hybrid that combines everything we love about a slick leather trainer’s ability to be dressed up or down with an espadrille’s ease of wear. Cop yours in white, grey, black or any shade in between, and wear – in unadulterated comfort – with shorts, jeans or cropped trousers.
And please, if you decide to go ‘sockless’, for the sake of yours and everyone else’s nasal safety, put a pair of invisible socks on first.
- Vans California Slip-on Cup Leather Plimsolls
- Aldo Pagwa Leather Perf Slip-on Plimsolls
- Hudson London Hannuk Leather Slip-on Plimsolls
- Common Projects Perforated Leather Slip-on Sneakers
- Balenciaga Leather Slip-on Sneakers
- Tods Raffia-trimmed Full-grain Leather Slip-on Sneakers
Are you reviled on public transport? Or maybe you just can’t quite seem to shake the thought your backpack makes you look like a 32-year-old sixth former? Either way, it’s time to turn towards the tote, the original man bag and by far the most respectable.
A tote’s strength lies in its ability to marry practicality with formality, allowing you to cart one alongside your suit as easily as a T-shirt and pair of tailored sweats. The key to getting the most use out of yours is in thinking of a tote a bit like a pair of shoes: which one works best with the majority of your wardrobe?
Travelling on business? Make it black or dark brown leather. Hotfooting it to the beach? Try a tan canvas or light grey suede tote. But whatever you do, don’t sling it over your shoulder.
- Allsaints Mercer Tote
- Reiss Trapper Canvas Tote Bag Navy
- Eastpak Madge Tote Bag
- Aspinal Of London A Tote Nubuck Leather Bag
- Filson Tote Bag
- Want Les Essentiels De La Vie Ohare Shopper Tote
- Maison Margiela Full-grain Leather Tote Bag
- Club Monaco Leather-trimmed Cotton-canvas Tote Bag
- River Island Dark Green Leather Tote Bag