As we embark on the seasonal transition from cold to vaguely warm, it’s important we alter our clothing to suit. However, before you begin frantically buying new pieces, you’ll be pleased to know that there is no need to make any drastic alterations to your wardrobe.
In fact, while the materials you wear will certainly have to change, the style of clothing can often remain the same.
To make things easier, we have selected five summer alternatives – to the pieces you have relied on heavily throughout winter – to give you a head start for the sunnier seasons ahead…
Heavyweight Sports Coat To Lightweight Blazer
Although the blazer isn’t considered a true summer garment, material choice certainly makes all the difference.
This season, we suggest swapping your heavyweight options in tweed, wool or cord for a lightweight style in fabrics such as linen, seersucker or chambray. Not just breathable and ideal for maintaining your cool, they’re also highly versatile and will help introduce a tactile element to your traditionally stripped-back warm-weather ensembles.
When considering colour, we recommend opting for a seasonally-appropriate neutral such as beige or sky blue. These lighter shades will give your outfit a summery feel, reflect radiance and stop you from overheating.
To create an outfit, team with a plain white t-shirt, ankle-hitting trousers and tasselled loafers for a touch of casual chic, switching the tee for a shirt and tie combination when looking to dress things up a bit. Don’t be afraid to combine your blazer with shorts, either – the short suit is a key look for SS14 and separates offer an easy way of pulling off the aesthetic.
Before making any purchase, take your time and choose wisely. Bold coloured blazers might be on trend, but they could quickly fall out of favour in seasons to come. A timeless grey/navy linen version, on the other hand, can be used year-round (if you get your layering right) and will never date.
Lookbook Inspiration: Lightweight Blazers
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Linen
- Boglioli Unstructured Linen Blazer
- Uniqlo Men Linen Cotton Slim Fit Jacket
- He By Mango Unstructured Cotton Linen-blend Blazer
- Uniqlo Men Dry Light Weight Jacket
- Gant Seersucker Cotton Striped Blazer Blue/white
- Selected Casual Linen Blazer
- Reiss Nassau B Three Button Textured Blazer Rose
- He By Mango Unstructured Linen Blazer
Heavyweight Chinos/Denim To Lightweight Tailored Trousers
Trousers are a key garment all year round. But instead of continuing to wear your trusty heavyweight cotton chinos or raw selvedge denim, you should now be thinking about investing in a lightweight, tailored alternative.
Not only are tailored trousers in cotton- and linen-blends smarter, helping take any off-duty outfit up a notch instantly, they offer a much more breathable and cooler option for when the temperature rises – making them perfect for holidaying and high summer.
Although a simple navy, grey or khaki pair would make a versatile addition to any wardrobe, they are perhaps a bit safe. Instead, look to lighter shades of blue or timeless white if you want a style you can dress up or down, while those who are a little more daring could try an on trend design in red, pink or orange.
In terms of fit, choose something slim but not restrictive. After all, the whole point of a summer alternative is to be more comfortable in the sun. Go too skinny and they will quickly become unbearable, no matter what fabric you choose.
For length, it’s simple: they should just skim the top of your shoe, allowing you to go sockless and combine them with slimline, summer-appropriate footwear such as loafers and espadrilles.
To create an outfit, team with a plain white tee and minimal trainers when wanting to dress down slightly, subbing in a shirt and suede Derbies for a night out on the town. If you opted for a bold coloured pair, anchor them with darker shades and more textured materials. By keeping the rest of your outfit classic and controlled, it allows the statement piece to take centre stage.
Lookbook Inspiration: Lightweight Tailored Trousers
- Reiss Saturn T Patterned Tailored Trousers Navy
- Reiss Miami T Patterned Tailored Trousers Stone
- Reiss Aspley Lightweight Formal Trousers Light Blue
- Uniqlo Men Flat Front Trousers
- He By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Suit Trousers
- Reiss Stanhope Formal Pleat Trousers Airforce Blue
- Paul Smith Skinny-leg Tailored Trousers 182226
- Thom Sweeney Brook Slim-fit Cotton-twill Trousers
- Topman Apricot Ultra Skinny Pleat Trousers
Leather Brogues To Suede Brogues
Although there are countless summer footwear options to choose from, this season the suede brogue – instead of leather – will prove the most versatile and wearable.
Due to their lighter and more breathable upper, this design is much more practical when things get a little heated. Not just that, the sheer amount of styles and colours available on the current market – leather designs are often restricted to black or shades of brown, whereas suede versions are available in anything from deep red to bright yellow – make them ideal for warmer climates.
That being said, for SS14 we recommend hitting straight down the middle with a pair in beige, white, grey or blue. All of these neutral shades will slot seamlessly into your current wardrobe yet still offer a point of difference when compared to ubiquitous tan, brown and black versions.
When it comes to creating an outfit, team your brogues with a button-down shirt and jeans for a casual weekend look, or a lightweight blazer and tailored trousers for dress down Friday in the office.
For those who like to stand out, why not follow in the footsteps of one of FashionBeans’ icons, Nick Wooster? Go sockless with tailored shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and be prepared to reap the compliments.
Lookbook Inspiration: Suede Brogues
- He By Mango Suede Brogue Blucher
- Frank Wright Fry Suede Brogues
- Grenson Stanley Suede And Pebbled Leather Wingtip Brogues
- Burton Grey Suede Brogues
- Bertie Aston 2 Suede Brogue Derby Shoes navy
- Burton Navy Suede Brogues
- Reiss Del Suede Formal Brogues Brown
- Topman Ben Sherman Taupe Suede Brogues
- Suede Brogues
- JAMFRO3 Soft suede derby brogue
- Bertie Aston Suede Lace Up Brogues
- CHURCH Downton suede micro brogues
Chunky Knitwear To Cotton Sweaters
Not just the reserve of winter, knitwear can also be worn during the summer months. However, as you would anticipate, a few things have to change, particularly fabric and gauge.
Instead of chunky styles such as roll necks or the classic cable knit, we again suggest opting for something in a lighter weight and gauge. A great place to start would be the cotton sweater. Breathable, yet thick enough to keep you warm when the temperature suddenly drops, this type of jumper is ideal for tackling the unpredictable British summertime.
Able to be dressed up or down effortlessly, as our smart sportswear article proved, try pairing with wardrobe staples such as slim-cut chinos and a fresh pair of Jack Purcell trainers at the weekend, or layering underneath your linen blazer to smarten things up.
When it comes to little details that help separate your look from the crowd, pushing the sleeves up a couple of inches (hitting around mid-forearm) is a common styling technique within SS14 lookbooks that oozes sprezzatura and will help keep you cool at the same time.
In terms of colour, go all out with a bold hue or invest in one of our SS14 capsule wardrobe additions: the Breton stripe top. Pastels are back and set to be more popular than ever this season, so a pale blue, pink or yellow version is a sensible choice that will slot straight into any Riviera-inspired ensemble.
Lookbook Inspiration: Lightweight Sweatshirt
- Asos Crew Neck Jumper In Cotton
- Hilfiger Denim Jumper With Crew Neck
- Reiss Bryant Merino Crew-neck Jumper Blue
- Maison Martin Margiela Lightweight Cashmere Sweater
- River Island Light Purple Crew Neck Jumper
- Ps By Paul Smith Fine-knit Cotton-blend Sweater
- He By Mango Fine Knit Wool-blend Sweater
- Hentsch Man Cotton-terry Sweatshirt
- Orlebar Brown Dudley Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
Oxford Shirt To Short Sleeve Shirt
As is often the case, the smallest alterations to an outfit make the biggest difference. This summer, switching from your trusty long sleeve Oxford shirt to a short sleeve version is all that’s required.
Before making your purchase, though, there are a few things to consider. Cotton-blend, chambray and linen shirts in lighter shades of beige or off-white are the most appropriate for high summer, with their neutral shade also allowing you to sub them straight into any of your current looks.
For those that like to stand out, a bold coloured or printed style would make an on trend statement. Checks are completely classic and set to be big news throughout 2014, yet geometric, floral and Aztec-inspired motifs are all trending and have still not been widely adopted, offering an easy way to separate your looks from the crowd.
To style, we recommend teaming a solid coloured version with chinos and statement trainers at the weekend, switching to cropped tailored trousers and loafers when looking to raise the stakes. If you prefer a statement option, keep the rest of your outfit classic and controlled to allow the shirt to really take centre stage.
Lookbook Inspiration: Short Sleeve Shirts
- Universal Works Shirt In Floral Print With Short Sleeves
- Farah Vintage Reeth Shirt In Indigo
- Uniqlo Men Dry Easy Care Short Sleeve Shirt
- River Island White Stretch-cotton Short Sleeve Shirt
- Reiss Crossfire Short Sleeve Stretch Shirt Navy
- Saturdays Surf Nyc Esquina Short-sleeved Cotton Oxford Shirt
- Topman Green Print Short Sleeve Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Linen Cotton Check Short Sleeve Shirt
- Reiss Concorde Diamond Print Shirt White
With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to start preparing your wardrobe for the warmer weather. Make these small but effective changes now, then sit back and watch with amusement as your not-so-prepared friends quickly become overwhelmed by their clumsy winter wardrobe.
Done? Feels good, doesn’t it?
As always, let us know what purchases and alterations you are going to make in the comments section below…