Like a forward slash between fashion seasons, spring is a tricky transition period. Summer is coming, but winter hasn’t quite left. It’s a meteorological caretaker manager that everybody knows is doomed to be emphatically replaced at the end of May, but is nevertheless keen to distinguish itself from the barren period that came before.

Sartorially, this leaves us between a Brighton rock and a cold place. Freeze your fallen-mercury wardrobe in place and you’ll neither look nor feel cool, but bare arms prematurely in a 22 Jump Street-style tank top and we’ll be calling the undercover fashion police to bust your ass harder than a marble statue of Kim Kardashian West.

Spring is a fine line, but follow the right instructions and you can walk it more unfailingly than Johnny Cash (although not in all black, mind – more on that later). This is FashionBeans’ trans-seasonal minefield map, indicating some of the worst spring style mistakes that men make and what you should be springing for instead.

1. Wearing Too Few Clothes

At the first long-awaited ray of sunlight, vitamin D deficient Brits shed their garments quicker than their inhibitions, like primitive tribespeople who worship the big yellow disc in the sky as a largely absent heavenly father.

Quite apart from being unsophisticated, stripping down to vests and shorts in spring is wildly impractical – not least when the cruel sun god suddenly goes in or down and winter comes back faster than instantaneously bullet-hard nipples.

How To Do It Right

It’s spring, not spring break; if you’re not at a festival, then you should stretch at least to long trousers and sleeves. The less binary solution is to change fabrics, not your clothes, by swapping heavy wools and selvedge denim for lighter versions, subbing in breathable cottons and linen mixes and ripping out insulating linings (not literally – just buy unlined jackets).

That way, you can cover your modesty without melting like the Wicked Witch’s left-out tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Men's Lightweight Fabrics and Pieces Spring Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

reiss ss16mango manmatalan ss16burton ss17

2. Unseasonable Brights And Darks

While your bravery in embracing the spring/summer 2017 trends for pastels and stone is to be applauded, your timing is not. Even if you can pull them off successfully, overcast weather will leave you traipsing around more tragically than a children’s TV presenter who’s just been made unemployed.

At the other end of the colour spectrum, stubbornly clinging to insulating black like a hibernating goth will make everyone else feel hot just looking at you. Lighten up.

How To Do It Right

In spring, navy is the new black: reassuringly sober but not so severe that you look like an insomniac vampire (it’s also kinder on pallid complexions), and far more summery – it’s one of the constituent elements of a Breton top, after all.

If feeling adventurous, the sailor-approved shade will help anchor a pale jacket, top or trousers. Or if not, head-to-toe navy will leave the boat safely unrocked. Consider offsetting it with a flash of white and, if weather permits, a mankle (see below).

Men's Navy Pieces Spring Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

zarawindsor ss17river island 2016mango man

3. Being Too Conservative

The only thing more lamentable than busting out a vest in spring is concealing one under a shirt, jumper and winter overcoat.

While some degree of caution is understandable (and even advisable given the capriciousness of the British weather), wearing anything knee-length that’s much thicker than a mac in March is John Wick-level overkill; when the sun comes out and the guns are unholstered, you’ll be perspiring like a rusty hitman.

How To Do It Right

Layers trap heat between them, so even relatively thin pieces can provide several degrees of warmth when combined. Crucially, you can then adjust your rig’s thermostat to match the atmospheric conditions, adding or shedding down to a T-shirt as required.

Unlike a Sherlockian coat, a denim jacket, military shirt and long-sleeved henley can all be stuffed into a bag – plus worn together.

Men's Lightweight Spring Layering Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

mango manriver islandburton ss16aquascutum 2016

4. Inappropriate Footwear

Like a style tightrope, spring positively invites men to put a foot disastrously wrong in one of two directions. Either by letting their mangy dogs out in sandals or flip-flops – which are rarely appropriate outside of the beach, if ever – or keeping them suffocatingly muzzled in leather shoes or boots.

What you need is the footwear equivalent of locking them up in the car but cracking the window open just enough so they don’t asphyxiate – and it’s not those weird woven shoes.

How To Do It Right

Not just for your festival tent, canvas is an air-conditioned spring alternative to leather, which will precipitate sweat on your feet – up to half a pint per day – and back alike. Suede is also more porous and therefore breathable than the polished variety (as is perforated, naturally), and won’t blind onlookers in bright sun.

The caveat with both is that rain will do serious damage, so protect them with a different kind of spray and check the forecast.

Men's Canvas and Suede Shoes Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

selected homme spring 2017mango manBrunello Cucinelli 2016aquascutum

5. Socks (Or Lack Of)

Releasing the mankle adds an easy air of summer breeziness to any outfit. But spring it too early and the elements won’t be the only thing mocking your naked talocrural articulation (which, because of the concentration of blood vessels near the surface of the skin, has a surprisingly large effect on your body temperature).

Too late meanwhile and you’re sweltering in black business socks when everyone else has clocked off early to water the pub garden.

How To Do It Right

Don’t impose a full-on hose ban. Before you sock up accordingly in the visible or concealed variety – the latter will prevent your leaking feet from kicking out a stink in your kicks, not to mention blistering – check the weather first and determine whether it is likely to be hot, sunny and dry that day.

There are a number of nifty smartphone apps that you can employ for such purposes, but for a more low-tech ‘hack’, use your eyes and a nearby window – or, you know, go outside.

Men's Sockless and Visible Socks Spring Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

selected homme 2017thomas pink ss17New Look ss17Windsor SS17