I agree that we all have a favourite look or way of dressing that we feel suits us best, but I think the change in seasons is great and enjoy summer as much as any season. Throughout a twelve month period you get to gradually work through your wardrobe which is nice to avoid boredom and wearing the same/similar clothes all year round. By the time each season rolls around I find I am looking forward to a change and bringing out the shorts etc, or at the other end of the scale, layering up and bringing out the jacket etc. I feel sorry for you if you HATE a season! Sure, the hot weather can drain you, just as much as the cold weather can depress you, but to detest a season because of the way it makes you dress is vain and a little sad I feel! Embrace each season and wear what you feel best in, then when your favourite season comes around you will enjoy your preferred look/wardrobe even more!
I share your sentiment when it comes to summer and looking sharp. However, I like to believe that I've stepped up my game and no longer look too "ladish" when dressed for higher temperatures.
First of all the footwear: I own two pairs of Toms "Cordones". One cotton pair and one suede. They are super lightweight and look pretty smart for a summer "sneaker". (I don't think I look good in boat shoes and these can be worn with socks.)
Ash Waxed Twill Men's Cordones | TOMS.com
If the temperature rises and/or if I'm donning a more casual attire, I go for espadrilles (sockless) and roll up my trousers an inch or 2.
I've experienced a breakthrough this summer when it comes to trousers: I bought 4 pairs of super lightweight summer chinos! They are great and ideal when you live in a country where the temperatures vary from chilly to hot in one day. Jeans or heavyweight chinos will make you uncomfortably hot in no time. Shorts are not as versatile as you don't want to be in your shorts when you decide to go for a drink in the evening and all of a sudden you realize your legs are getting cold and you look silly in shorts at night. Linen trousers are equally comfortable and snappy as summer chinos, but they are more delicate and crease easily, thus rendering them more casual.
I also stepped up my game in the belt department. I purchased 2 summer belts: one lightweight woven leather belt and a cotton D-ring belt. You don't want to pair light summer trousers with a chunky leather belt because it'll make you feel too hot round the waist and frankly would not look good. Keep it in your closet to go with your jeans and boots in winter.
Regarding the shirt department I like to wear a nicely fitting, light, long sleeved shirt. When the mercury rises, roll up your sleeves 2 or 3 folds at first and maybe pop open an extra button. If you're feeling hot and casual, untuck your shirt. Personally I believe short sleeved shirts do not look as good as long sleeved ones.
If you want to wear a T-shirt and you don't want to look too "ladish", I'd stay clear of prints. Keep it simple. Make sure the T-shirt is a good fit and if you want to look slightly smarter, tuck in a handful just above your belt buckle. (Tucking in the whole T-shirt may look a little too '80ies.)
If it's not a hot day you can wear a snug T-shirt under your shirt, or don't forget to bring a light sweater or jacket.
If the sun is really blazing you'll want a pair of shades that isn't too sporty or casual and that fits. This will help you look more adult. (Think Marcello Mastroianni or Steve Mcqueen.)
Maybe a sunhat of some sort could come in handy too. A woven fedora is the most classy thing I can think of. (Besides light beige they come in dark shades, making them less conspicuous.) Don't pair a fedora with print T-shirts or hoodies, unless you want to look like Jason Mraz.
A five panel cap is very much in style right now, but also extremely ladish, I guess. However I think it could work really well with a good shirt. This Parisian brand makes some great caps (the woven one is on my wish list, but just a tad too pricy for a hat.) Produits | Larose Paris
Lastly I'd check out the summer look books for inspiration, so you can find a look that you think may be the one for you. Not everyone can pull off/ feel good in boat shoes or fedoras, but there's always room for improvement/experimentation...
Sam, the summer chinos you mentioned - have you got any links you can share?
These are the ones I bought: Product Detail | H&M GB
I first bought one pair, and as I loved them so much and the price/quality is great, I went back and bought 3 more. I haven't worn my jeans for months :)
I also have some linen trousers, but honestly it's really tricky to find a good pair.
Yeah, real cheap. I guess it's the lighter fabric. But don't worry about the quality (I'm wary when shopping at H&M), I've had them for months and they're doing fine.
Cheers for the tip!
Originally Posted by sam1234
Might have to look into the H&M chinos as well.
I was looking forward to this heatwave we are supposed to have, but so far all I am seeing and feeling is muggy, grey weather with occasional rain. Bah!
Aside from the usual complaints about the Briish weather, I second getting a couple of summer belts and some summer chinos. I also bought a navy linen suit a few months back, and although I have not work the full ensemble yet, I have got a lot of use out of the jacket. I also have a madras shirt which works well and is very lightweight.
I love summer but at the same time I hate it. My go-to style is typically chino shorts with a linen or cotton jumper. I hate wearing t-shirts as they're all cut with short arms and mine are nothing to write home about. As a cyclist I feel more comfortable showing off my lower half instead. I also much prefer the winter where I can pull off slim fit trousers with a shirt and jumper. I need to spend more time in the gym so summer style clothes flatter me more. I find that guys who don't do weights just look puny or weak in a vest or short-sleeved t-shirt as everything these days seems to be muscle fit. Maybe I over-analyse things but this is my view.
Yeah, having shoulders that are somewhat muscular does help. You want to be wearing the T-shirt and not the other way round. On the other hand, quite a few brands use rather skinny models in their look books. I guess you just want to find a T-shirt that fits well. I've been working out for a number of years now and allthough I'm a size medium, I still often need to buy a small in order to get a good fit...
If you can't find a T-shirt that fits you nicely, I'd stick to shirts or polo shirts that do.