Summer’s great for everything but your wardrobe. Climbing temperatures often mean less clothes, so fewer chances to flex your sartorial guns (even if short sleeves mean more actual gun-flexing). But you don’t need to shutter those moves you’ve aced all winter once the clocks roll forward.
With some savvy layering and a few tweaks, you can squeeze another few months of wear out of your snow-on-the-ground standbys even once it’s melted – which helps those cost per wear calculations too.
Summer Up Your Winter Boots
Footwear built to battle frost can still get a run-out when it’s bright out. The key is using what’s around them to minimise any explorer vibes. Where before you’ll have reached for heavyweight wool trousers (perhaps tucked into a knitted sock), look to contrast instead.
A lightweight chino counters your boots’ ruggedness, but if you pick a pair in olive or khaki then there’s enough military connection to pull both pieces together. Alternatively, this season’s distressed denim trend provides some much-needed circulation around the thighs and knees, but – if you stick to cuffed selvedge – enough heft where jean meets boot.
Pairing boots with shorts is tricky to keep the right side of Ray Mears. Cargo pockets nudge you way over the edge, so stick to a tailored silhouette that ends just above your knee. The looser your look, the more sun suitable, so leave the last couple of eyelets empty.
Timberlands are the easiest to pull off but you can just about get away with hikers too, so long as they’re vintage, and there’s no sock on show. That scaling the Matterhorn look isn’t trending.
Your Overcoat Isn’t Over
If you steered relaxed and slightly oversized with last winter’s coat buy, kudos. Especially if you chose something unlined, the better for layering. (If not, well, it’s time to put it in storage.)
It’s simple advice, but losing those layers you opted for over winter dials down the heat. Throw your coat over a simple lightweight, well-fitting cotton tee or linen shirt for an outfit that looks put together but won’t have you sweltering.
If the weather’s tough to predict, a cashmere scarf is a delicate hand on the thermostat – loop it ’round your neck when it’s cloudy or leave flat against your chest when it’s not.
A word of caution: though you may be tempted to shirk your sleeves, shoulder-robing is a move that ensures you keep only your literal cool. Unless you’re outside a fashion week show, accept that a little bit of sweat is worth it for not looking like a toddler in his superhero phase.
Keep Wool In The Gang
Wool is your fabric of choice in the war against winter, but your knits don’t need to head into storage come climbing mercury. There’s a reason many cyclists still pick merino base layers over Lycra – wool’s air pockets trap heat, to insulate you when it’s chilly, but they also help air circulate when it warms up.
The material is also super-absorbent, meaning it wicks away sweat, which serves the dual function of cooling your skin and keeping your cool, before embarrassing beads reveal you’re sweltering.
Naturally, you’re better with fine-gauge fabrics like the aforementioned merino and, if you’ve stumped up during the chill, superfine cashmere (although be warned that sliding the latter next to your skin will be buttery soft, but your knit will need washing more often). The near-magic fabric will regulate your temperature so you can get away with a lightweight top layer, like an unlined bomber or linen blazer, even if the sun looks like it could disappear.