As men, we’re faced with several challenges when it comes to summertime. Not sweating on public transport, mastering the perfect BBQ sausage, working off said sausage in high heat without causing an aneurysm. We could go on, but we’re here to talk matters of style.
With our fair share of difficulties to contend with, the last thing we need is passé style tips to confuse us further. So, read on to see some of the most prevalent warm-weather style myths debunked.
1. Sandals Are For Feminine Feet
If you happen to call the UK home (or any other place where sunshine is more myth than reality) it’s totally possible to completely avoid wearing sandals and keep your feet from ever seeing the light of day. But when that heat wave or beach holiday eventually comes around, you’d better be prepared to do it in style.
At the smarter end of the spectrum is the leather sandal. This style owes its enduring success to its versatility, working just as well with a pair of tailored shorts as it does lightweight chinos or slim jeans.
Another option is the sport sandal, a style that’s surged in popularity over the past couple of summers, and for good reason. They’re supremely comfortable, lightweight and perfectly suited to guys who like to dress in a more casual contemporary, rather than conservatively classic, way. Wear them with cropped trousers, shorts or a pair of neat joggers.
When you do finally expose those pasty pinkies to the outside world, remember that, regardless of how fantastically awesome your new sandals are, if your feet resemble mangled griffin talons, then your shopping efforts have been for naught. Get a pedicure guys; there’s no shame in it any more.
- Birkenstock Arizona
- Alvaro Alex Leather Sandals
- Next Leather Cross Strap Flip Flop
- Asos Sandals In Leather With Nylon Straps
- Asos Sandals In Black Leather With Wedge Sole
- Aldo Delpizzo Suede Double Strap Slip On Sandals
- H&m Slip-on Mules
- River Island Dark Red Leather Cross Over Sandals
- Bradstock Tan Leather Sandal
2. Blue & Green Should Never Be Seen
Wrong. It should be seen. And it’s been seen a lot lately. Just like black and blue, this is one once-maligned colour combination that can pay off big time when it’s done right.
The key to nailing this look is steering clear of bright football pitch greens and vivid electric blues as they’ll clash horribly and make your outfit look like it’s been sponsored by Fisher Price. Instead, stick to rich or muted shades of green (think military, racing, khaki or olive) and mix with navy or petrol blue to create eye-catching yet understated results that can be adapted for almost every occasion.
The high street is a solid choice when putting together an outfit like this, with retailers offering a myriad of colours and styles to choose from, so you can find the perfect balance.
3. Black Is For Autumn/Winter Only
While it certainly isn’t the most summery of colours, it is possible to pull off black in the heat. Some even claim it works better to keep you cool than white, which reflects the heat created by the body back onto your skin. Though the jury is still out on that one.
Just don’t go all ‘Yeezy’ and don ‘all black errthang’, because wearing this darkest of hues in summer is not so much a question of whether it looks good, as a question of practicality.
Black naturally absorbs more heat than lighter colours, therefore if you opt for a tonal look on a hot day, chances are you’ll end up sweating like Jeremy Clarkson at an unsatisfactory Top Gear buffet.
It is possible to ramp things up by throwing in a few black accessories, too. A leather bracelet comes highly recommended, as does a pair of black slip-ons sneakers.
- He By Mango Black Denim Jacket
- Sandro Slim-fit Slub Linen T-shirt
- Reiss Torino Cuban Collar Shirt
- H&m Vest Top With A Chest Pocket
- Uniqlo Men Miracle Air Regular Fit Tapered Jeans
- M&s Collection Linen Rich Shorts With Pocket
- Topman Black Curved Peak Cap
- Ray Ban New Wayfarer Sunglasses
- H&m Braided Bracelet
4. You Need A Completely New Wardrobe For Summer
Brands and retailers love to talk about seasons, aside from winter, spring, summer and autumn there’s high-season, low-season, tourist season, whaling-season. Okay, maybe not that last one. But the only one you really need concern yourself with is all-season.
Building a wardrobe that can flit between hot and cold at least four times a year is the gold standard in menswear. And it’s easier than it sounds.
Of course, there are pieces that you only wear for winter, such as your down-filled coat, just like as palm-print swim shorts are the reserve of summer. But when it comes to the rest of your wardrobe, aim for pieces that do double time by being capable of layering up or down.
Prioritise classic pieces such as dark denim, quality T-shirts in neutral colourways and fabrics that offer insulation and breathability in equal parts.
5. Florals Aren’t Masculine
Florals may have been the butt of many sartorial jokes over the years, but the past few seasons have proved they’re back with a flowery vengeance. Surprisingly wearable muted, abstract and flouro floral prints have graced the runways for a number of seasons and with a botanical encyclopaedia of variations out there, there’s something for everyone.
Of course, there are certain examples (particularly the Hawaiian styles we’ve seen of late) that will likely forever conjure up images of a mulleted bloke in a baggy shirt and tight denim shorts, daiquiri in hand. These aren’t the designs to focus on. Rather, keep an eye out for more masculine takes.
Darker, more subdued prints with flashes of colour are a safer bet than the brighter, bolder motifs out there. A dark, short-sleeved floral shirt makes an ideal addition to your holiday wardrobe, especially when teamed with a pair of grounding neutral chinos in white, stone or beige.
If you’re not quite ready for full-beam flower power just yet, try layering one under a lightweight knit or deconstructed blazer on a balmy summer evening.
- Nn07 Miyagi Camp-collar Floral-print Cotton Shirt
- Zara All-over Floral Print Surfer T-shirt
- H&m Patterned T-shirt
- Minimum Floral Print Short Sleeve Shirt
- Reiss Smoke Floral Swim Shorts
- He By Mango Printed 5 Pocket Bermuda Shorts
- Topman Black Japanese Floral Print Tie
- Topman Tommy Hilfiger Navy Floral Print Trunks
- River Island Pink Floral Print Espadrille Plimsolls
6. Boots/Hightops Don’t Go With Shorts
Many of us relegate any shoes that extend beyond the ankle to the back of the wardrobe for the warmer months, but there are ways to wear them well for summer.
Of course, you run the risk of coming off a bit park ranger, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, we like the look. Not the dreadlocked, wrap-around shades-wearing types of the 21st century, mind – we’re talking the safari-shirt-and-chino-shorts rangers of yore.
While suede desert boots can work with shorts, the easiest way to introduce calf-grazing creps is with a pair of high top sneakers. Team them with some well-tailored chino shorts and a simple white T-shirt for a foolproof summer look.
Or, for a slightly messier, California-inspired take, look to denim shorts, modest prints or branded t-shirts.
7. Leave Leather/Suede Jackets For Winter
Now, let’s be reasonable here. Of course, if it’s 35 degrees Celsius and humid and hell outside, there’s no chance of getting away with wearing a leather jacket. That being said, if it is that warm out, you’re probably not in the UK.
Apart from perhaps one week in July, it’s possible to pretty much always pull off a leather jacket on British shores, particularly in the evenings. All that’s required is to strip back the layering, push up the sleeves and team with pieces in lighter colours to make it summer-ready. For instance, a simple white T-shirt paired with light blue slim jeans has an air of rock ‘n’ roll nonchalance to it that requires no thought at all.
We should also point out that we’re talking cropped styles here, with the timeless biker being the best option. But then again, maybe we’re stating the obvious; a mid-length leather jacket doesn’t really work at any time of year, does it? Unless you’re really into that kebab shop owner/1970s-era private eye kind of look.
If suede is more your fabric, look for bomber or worker jackets in warm hues. These pair nicely with jeans and chinos alike and offer a smart evening option when a suit (or the temperatures) are a degree too much.
- He By Mango Suede Bomber Jacket
- Hugo Boss Alfondo Suede Bomber Jacket
- Hugo Boss Slim-fit Leather Jacket
- Suede Worker Jacket
- Zara Suedette Jacket
- Topman Brown Suede Quilted Shoulder Biker Jacket
- Reiss Billy Leather Bomber Jacket
- Mki Suede Bomber Jacket
- AllSaints Den Leather Biker Jacket
8. You Don’t Layer In Summer
As the famous saying goes: ‘No T-shirt is an outfit, entire of itself’, or something like that. While in winter, when it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass money, it makes sense to wear as many clothes as possible, the opposite is not necessarily true in summer.
The careful art of layering doesn’t melt away with the snow. It simply takes on a new meaning. Aside from being a way of navigating the transitional months, when it can be hot or cold (or sometimes both), it’s also an opportunity to take a few risks and breathe life into old pieces.
In summer, layering can take on various forms. Be it a cardigan over a grandad collar shirt or the addition of lightweight jacket over a suit. One of the most powerful style plays to pull this season is a white T-shirt or vest worn under a printed or Cuban collar shirt worn either tucked in or out.
9. Going Sockless Is Just That
Girls have nice feet. Lovely, in fact. Men? Men do not, as we established above. For this reason, guys often choose to stop short at sandals by bearing a little ankle flesh instead.
But let’s get one thing straight: for no reason should the sockless look be confused with actually going sockless. Even if your trotters are only vaguely musty after a gym session, we guarantee 20 minutes in sneakers with proper coverage and they’ll smell like a rotting tuna sub.
To feel as fresh as you look, stock up on no-show or ‘invisible’ socks that wrap around the toes and heel of the foot (ideally with a rubber grip to stay in place) giving the required illusion with none of the fungal nail infections.
10. You Can’t Wear Wool In Summer
We’re almost at the end, meaning you’ll soon be able to stride out into the sunshine, head held high, safe in the knowledge that you can wear sandals, florals, boots and wool. Wait, wool?
Yes. If you’ve been packing this fabric away every six months, prepare to feel sheepish. The natural properties of fine gauge textiles like merino wool make them one of the best fabrics to wear in the heat.
Temperature regulating and capable of absorbing moisture (plus allowing it to evaporate), it is packed with antibacterial qualities that ensure it doesn’t smell. So if it’s warm outside, there’s never been a better time to getting knitting. Or shopping.