Clocks have gone forward, the mercury is rising, and the sun shone for a whole eight minutes last week, all of which can only mean one thing. No, forget the beach body. It’s time to make sure our suits (not our stomachs) are summer-ready.

Of course, a suit is a year-round essential that transcends time and trends, but that’s not to say when it comes to dressing for inclement spring – and later, sun-soaked summer – months, there aren’t a few smart choices to be had.

From modern and classic styles to brightly coloured and patterned designs, here are the six suits needed to make the next six months the hottest yet, sartorially speaking.

The Contemporary Suit

A well-fitting, single-breasted, two-button suit with a fuss-free notch lapel and minimal trouser break is the epitome of modern. Is that it? Can we move on? Not quite.

Take advantage of merino wool’s natural temperature regulating properties as a smart way of staying cool and comfortable on balmier days, while keeping the chill at bay on colder ones. Likewise, a wool in the Super-100 to 130 range is ideal. The S number refers to the fabric’s fineness – the higher the number, the more delicate the material. You won’t bake in the heat, but it’s still heavy enough that you’ll only need a mac when the weather turns.

As we begin to transition into high summer, it’s also worth considering 100 per cent cotton (or cotton-linen blend) options for optimal lightness and breathability.

(Related: 4 Warm-Weather Fabrics Your Wardrobe Needs)

Colour is dictated by where the suit will mostly be worn. Charcoal, grey and navy suits are the safest bets for professional environments. Perfect for moving from office to bar, these refined hues have a timeless appeal that can be livened up with a more colourful tie or kept simple and classic.

Men's Contemporary Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

carl gross ss17thomas pink ss17massimo dutti 2017Ermenegildo Zegna 2017

Current Styles

Men's Contemporary Suits

jaeger Tropical Wool Regular Suit  - Click to buysuitsupply NAPOLI NAVY PLAIN Suit - Click to buyREISS HARRY B MODERN FIT BLAZER - Click to buyHUGO BOSS Grey Hudson Super 130s Virgin Wool Suit - Click to buy

The Classic All-Season Suit

Particularly pertinent when the weather is decidedly, well, undecided, spring is the perfect time to invest in a suit that works for all seasons (given that we regularly experience all four in a single day between March and May).

The key to this well-rounded wardrobe weapon is to select a colour, fabric and design that isn’t specific to any season.

(Related: How To Buy A Three-Season Suit)

Opt for single-breasted, peak or notch lapel design in an all-seasons worsted wool, which provides warmth in the winter and is light and airy in summer. The cut should also be kept classic: tailored but still roomy enough to allow you to move freely and promote air circulation when temperatures rise.

On matters of colour, avoid extremely dark shades such as black that will absorb sunlight, making the suit too hot to wear during the height of summer. Similarly, steer clear of overly light shades, which will look out of place in winter. Hit the sartorial middle ground with a navy or mid-grey in block colours or classic patterns such as pinstripes or Prince of Wales check.

When it comes to styling, a classic suit often needs little more than a solid white, blue or pink shirt, a complementary tie and a pair of brown brogues or black Oxfords or Derbies (depending on the colour of the suit).

Men's Navy and Grey Classic Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

suitsupply ss17Thom Sweeney ss15brooks brothers ss17charles tyrwhitt

Current Styles

Men's Navy and Grey Classic Suits

charles tyrwhitt Navy classic fit twill business suit - Click to buyM&S SAVILE ROW INSPIRED Navy Textured Regular Fit Wool Suit - Click to buysuitsupply LAZIO GREY CHECK suit - Click to buyChester by Chester Barrie Three Ply Worsted Wool Tailored Suit - Click to buy

The Occasion Suit

For a sleek alternative to sober navy and grey options that’ll serve well for almost any warm-weather event, opt for something in a bolder (or even, softer) shade of blue or a seasonally-appropriate neutral such as beige.

To remain smart but with a cool air of informality, style this suit with a slim-cut shirt, textured tie, printed pocket square and pair of quality loafers or chunky brogues (socks optional).

Equally, to dress it down for a casual wedding or garden party, lose the tie, unbutton the shirt collar (or better yet, try a grandad collar) and pair with clean white sneakers for an outfit that packs an effortless sense of sprezzatura.

(Related: How To Dress With Sprezzatura)

Men's Spring/Summer Occasion Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

reiss ss17brooks brothers ss17l.b.m. 1911 ss17digel

Current Styles

Men's Occasion Suits

suitsupply HAVANA LIGHT BLUE PLAIN - Click to buyjaeger Silk Linen Blue Regular Suit - Click to buyj.crew Crosby suit in Italian stretch chino - Click to buyJohn Lewis Silk Linen Regular Fit Suit - Click to buy

The Double-Breasted Suit

Old-school double-breasted suits were once typified by boxy, loose cuts that did little (read: nothing) for a man’s physique. Fortunately, today’s versions are slimmer all over, which when combined with peak lapels that make the chest appear wider, create a flattering ‘V’ body shape.

Thanks to this update, the classic, masculine style is also no longer just for bankers or TV mobsters. The DB – as we call it in the trade – can be found in a range of shades and patterns, from solid navy to grey windowpane check (and what man doesn’t look good in either of those?), which work for a variety of occasions.

The number of styling options has also opened up greatly in recent years. Wear as part of a full shirt and tie look, opt for a louche open neck or go all the way to the other end of the spectrum with T-shirt as a base layer.

(Related: 20 Subtle Style Upgrades You Can Make Right Now)

Men's Double-Breasted Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

suitsupply ss17dunhill ss17next 2017hugo boss

Current Styles

Men's Double-Breasted Suits

charles tyrwhitt Navy slim fit double breasted twill business suit - Click to buysuitsupply MADISON NAVY PLAIN suit - Click to buyKINGSMAN Grey Slim-Fit Double-Breasted Checked Wool Suit Jacket - Click to buyREISS BRIBE B MOTTLED WEAVE BLAZER - Click to buy

The Statement Colour Suit

Looking to make a bigger sartorial splash? The spring and summer months are the best in which to experiment with colour, and this season it’s all about earthy tones like camel and bottle green, as well as pastel shades of pink, green and blue.

If going down the statement suit route (providing your build permits) it’s advisable to opt for a skinny to slim cut, which aligns perfectly with this style’s contemporary, youthful feel. Slightly cropped or turned-up trousers also work to further emphasise this fashion-forward approach.

(Related: How To Pick The Right Suit For Your Body Shape)

When it comes to material, suits in bright colours tend to look best in lightweight cloths with a bit of texture, such as cotton poplin or linen.

Aside from an air tie or white T-shirt, the main thing to wear this suit with is confidence. It’s important to be honest with oneself and understand that if you’re going to feel awkward donning a cherry red two-piece, you’re more than likely going to look awkward too.

Men's Bold Coloured Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

suitsupply ss17reiss ss17next 2016marks & spencer ss16

Current Styles

Men's Bold Coloured Suits

j.crew Ludlow suit with double vent in Italian chino - Click to buyriver island Teal blue skinny fit suit - Click to buytopman Rose Pink Ultra Skinny Fit Suit - Click to buysuitsuply BIELLA GREEN CHECK suit - Click to buy

The Patterned Suit

Patterns are a great way of individualising formalwear, with polka dots, botanical motifs and large windowpane checks particularly prominent for SS17.

Despite being popularised in recent months by front row regulars like Tinie Tempah and Harry Styles, you don’t have to be at – or indeed, in – a fashion show in order to pull off this look. Simply make sure the fit is glove-like (any sizing issues will be amplified by a pattern) and style with a neutral colour shirt or T-shirt (black or white works particularly well here) and clean leather sneakers or loafers.

(Related: How To Wear A Patterned Suit And Not Look Like A Fool)

Alternatively, if pattern popping head-to-toe sounds like a step too far, consider suit separates as an easy entry. Combine a printed jacket with a more traditional block-colour trouser for a refreshing, but less risky, update.

Men's Printed and Patterned Suits Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

el burgues ss17brooks brothers ss17suitsupply ss17tommy hilfiger ss17

Current Styles

Men's Printed and Patterned Suits

river island Navy polka dot skinny fit suit - Click to buyDRIES VAN NOTEN Linen And Cotton-Blend Jacquard Suit Jacket - Click to buysuitsupply LAZIO LIGHT GREY CHECK - Click to buytopman Grey Fern Print Skinny Fit Suit - Click to buy