Summer Statement

Wouldn’t it be boring if we all dressed alike? Close your eyes and imagine a world where we all walked the streets in the same conventional clothing. Grim, huh?

OK, admittedly, the majority of us – if not all – are guilty of dressing like others at some point in our life, whether that be copying an outfit from your favourite brand’s lookbook or buying the same jacket as your stylish mate.

However, for those who want to truly individualise their look this season, while simultaneously making a statement, we suggest adding one of these five daring trends below to your wardrobe.

After all, who wants to be the same as everybody else?

The Bold Statement Print

When looking to separate your outfit from the rest of the crowd, a bold, on trend print is a great place to start. So, forget all about accent accessories and subtle detailing this summer and instead opt for a patterned shirt, jumper, t-shirt or pair of trousers.

When it comes to putting together your own outfits, turn to the SS14 runways for inspiration. The likes of Ami, Prada, Versace and DSquared2 featured a plethora of eye-catching trousers, in-your-face shirts and statement-making sweaters – all paired with a wide variety of pieces.

Yet, as always, the key is to keep the rest of your look fuss-free and neutral. By pairing your printed item with classic wardrobe staples not only will you avoid creating a patterned mess, but you will also allow your statement piece to take centre stage.

Just remember that trend-led prints often fall out of favour quickly and, as such, it would be wise to limit the amount you spend on an item like this. Our recommendation would be a printed tee from affordable high street stores such as Topman, River Island and H&M – combine it with everything from shorts and chinos to linen trousers and indigo jeans, creating a range of effortlessly cool off-duty looks.

Key motifs to consider for SS14 include floral, tropical, camouflage, ombre (gradient/dip-dye) and Aztec-inspired designs.

Lookbook Inspiration

Note how each statement piece below – whether it be a shirt, pair of shorts or trousers – is anchored by neutrals in EVERY outfit:

zara man febraury 2014 zara man spring 2013 he by mango summer 2014 scotch & soda ss14 he by mango summer 2014 he by mango summer 2014 h&m ss14 club monaco summer 2014 burton ss14 asos ss14 allsaints ss14 bal ss14

Key Pieces
  • Topman Green Checked Cropped Trousers
  • Universal Works Windcheater Jacket In Floral Print
  • Reclaimed Vintage Bomber Jacket In Dark Based Floral
  • Worland Palm Tee In Ecru
  • Reiss Concorde Diamond Print Shirt White
  • He By Mango Camo-print Chambray Bermuda Shorts
  • Incotex Slim-fit Printed Washed-cotton Trousers
  • Christopher Raeburn Printed Cotton Raincoat
  • River Island Black Tribal Print Short Sleeve Shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Tropical Print Shirt
  • River Island Dark Grey Floral Print T-shirt
  • Acne Studios Fine Print Checked T-shirt 186616
Short Shorts

It can be good to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Liberating, one might say. So with that in mind, consider ditching your mid-length shorts and opting for something a little more cropped this summer. Yes, short shorts are officially in vogue and can help mark you out as a stylish and confident gent, if you get them right.

Of course, it’s important to consider your body type and general demeanour before tackling this daring trend. Those with muscular legs can look particularly great in this cut for obvious reasons, while shorter gents can also benefit from their lengthening effect.

Likewise, men who ooze masculinity and self-assuredness are much more likely to be able to pull off a pair (see Paul Newman and Steve McQueen below) as these type of shorts can appear delicate and feminine by their very nature.

Paul Newman And Steve McQueen Were Both Fans Of Cropped Shorts

Whether you decide to opt for short swimwear or tailored shorts, mixing up the cut and length will give your go-to summer ensembles a whole new outlook. For outfit inspiration, turn to the A.P.C, Zegna, Tom Ford and D&G SS14 runways, which saw cropped shorts combined with classic menswear pieces such as white t-shirts, lightweight sweaters and short-sleeved shirts.

To create your own look, we propose teaming with a crew neck tee and espadrilles on holiday, subbing in a linen shirt and suede loafers when wanting to dress things up a bit. Just remember, when styling your short shorts it’s essential ensure your t-shirt/top/shirt isn’t too long or you run the risk of looking like you are wearing a skirt.

Lookbook Inspiration

h&m ss14 zara man febraury 2014 topman summer 2014 el burgues ss13 unknown zara 2014 avva ss14 Gieves & Hawkes ss14 lacoste he by mango spring 2013 massimo dutti may 2014 gant rugger ss14

Key Pieces
  • American Apparel Chino Shorts In Twill
  • Topman Navy Chino Shorts
  • Allsaints Mitre Deck Shorts
  • Topman Lilac Chino Shorts
  • Topman Bellfield Coral Shorts
  • Saturdays Surf Nyc Marled Twill Shorts
  • River Island Pale Red Chino Shorts
  • J.crew 7 Stanton Cotton-twill Shorts
  • River Island Blue Plaited Belt Turn Up Shorts
  • Topman Stone Chino Shorts
  • Reiss Shires Relaxed Linen Shorts Light Blue
  • J.crew 7 Stanton Cotton-twill Shorts
The Oversized Tee

Although well-cut t-shirts form the backbone of any successful capsule wardrobe, this season why not consider adding an oversized option to your collection? Loose and relaxed, they subtly stand out against ubiquitous slim-fit tees while simultaneously keeping you cool in the heat.

Again, we question this trend’s longevity but it does offer a fresh and unique alternative to the classic crew necks we often rely on at this time of the year.

There are two easy ways to achieve this effect: you can purchase a t-shirt featuring an oversized cut (Topman and ASOS produce these) in your standard size, or stick with your favourite brand and simply ‘size up’ – for example, if you are usually a size small try a medium or even a large to get your desired look.

Our styling advice would be to keep it simple and classic. Opt for an oversized t-shirt in timeless black, grey or white and combine with slim/skinny cut jeans, chinos or shorts. An oversized tee makes a statement on its own, especially when you juxtapose it against a fitted bottom half, so there is no need to go overboard here.

Alternatively, try layering your t-shirt underneath a crew neck jumper, open shirt or bomber jacket to emphasise the effect while playing with the concept of silhouette.

Lookbook Inspiration

As you can see below, an oversized t-shirt often looks best when paired with jeans or slotted into sports luxe-inspired ensembles:

unknown naples streetstyle unknown asos asos asos topman 20141 unknown allsaints ss13 boohoo man ss14 h&m ss14 h&m ss14

Key Pieces
  • Topman White Longer Length T-shirt
  • River Island Grey Marl Rib Stripe Oversize T-shirt
  • Topman Black Longer Length T-shirt
  • Asos Extra Long T-shirt With Relaxed Skater Fit
  • Asos Long T-shirt With Lightweight Slubby Jersey
  • Rick Owens Men’s Off-white Long Length T-shirt
A Bold Pair Of Sunglasses

Those looking for a slightly more reserved way to stand out this summer should consider investing in a bold pair of sunglasses. Subtle yet strikingly effective, a statement pair of shades will help liven up even the most restrained outfit.

However, making a statement doesn’t necessarily mean opting for the most garish frame colour you can find. For instance, this season D-frames and retro circular shapes are trending, although both styles are still quite rare – meaning you can opt for classic metal or tortoiseshell frames and still stand out.

Ideal for those wanting to add a new dimension to their warm-weather wardrobe, these two on trend silhouettes are guaranteed to give your look a futuristic, fashion-forward twist or a hint of quirky vintage, respectively.

Alternatively, for those who like their classic styles such as the aviator or wayfarer, we recommend sticking to the same frame, but choosing one with coloured mirrored lenses. Again on trend and an instant statement-maker, this approach allows you to stick with a style that you are already comfortable with and know works well for your face shape.

Lookbook Inspiration

tommy hilfiger Westcoasting ss14 unknown a sauvage eyewear ss14 tommyhilfiger summer 2014 zara 2014 Finlay & Co Taylor Morris Eyewear AW13 topman summer 2014 he by mango ss14 ravazzolo ss14 new look ss14 louis copeland ss14

Key Styles
  • He By Mango Acetate Frame Sunglasses
  • Vintage Renewal Rounder Sunglasses With Revo Lenses
  • Illesteva Tortoiseshell Cap Havana Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Etched Matte-gunmetal Round-frame Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Clubmaster Sunglasses
  • Cutler And Gross Metal Aviator Mirrored Sunglasses
  • Oliver Spencer Sid Round Acetate Sunglasses 189111
  • River Island Blue Metallic Retro Sunglasses
  • Ray-ban Demi Gloss Ice Pop Wayfarer Sunglasses
  • Barton Perreira Bailey Round-frame Acetate And Metal Sunglasses
  • Komono Bennet Wayfarer Sunglasses
  • Krisvanassche Rubberised Black Sunglasses

Once considered the footwear choice of free-loving hippies, this season the summer sandal is fighting off the stigma and looking to earn its rightful place in the style-conscious gent’s wardrobe.

Perfect for holidaying and high summer, sandals are a refined choice that can be dressed up or down for a variety of occasions. Highly versatile, opt for a timeless pair in black or brown leather and you can combine them with everything from lightweight tailoring to a simple shorts and vest combination.

Key designs to consider for SS14 are sliders (slip-ons), thong sandals (similar to flip-flops) and low-cut gladiators (three to four straps securing each foot in place). Despite what you might initially think, leather sandals are timeless and becoming more and more popular each year, so consider them a warm-weather investment.

To create an outfit, we suggest teaming yours with chinos and a plain white t-shirt when wanting to dress down, pairing with an unstructured suit for the ultimate expression of smart-casual.

Lookbook Inspiration

h&m ss14 minimum summer 2013 calibre ss14 lbm 1911 ss13 minimum spring 2013 reiss 2012 j crew style guide 2014 he by mango ss11 calibre ss13 zara man may 2014 h&m ss14

Key Pieces
  • Topman Tan Leather Sports Sandals
  • Allsaints Shaw Sandal
  • Topman Brown Leather Smart Sandals
  • Asos Sandals In Leather
  • Ancient Greek Sandals Dionysos Leather Sandals 183458
  • Asos Sandals With Woven Leather Strap
  • Dan Ward Leather Sandals
  • Dan Ward Leather Sandals
  • Valentino Textured-leather Sandals
Final Word

Whether you opt for printed trousers, an oversized tee or bold sunglasses, the five items showcased today will ensure you don’t blend into the background this season.

But as always, we want to hear from you. Let us know whether you will be investing in any of the pieces showcased today and tell us how you plan on standing out from the crowd this season in the comments section below…