We greeted with heavy heart the news that this second meeting between Uniqlo and Lemaire is to be the pair’s last. As hook-ups go, it made more sense than most high street attempts to tap up luxury – both brands have carved out reputations on minimalism, attention to detail and understanding that less is more when it comes to making guys look good.
But to sweeten this conscious uncoupling, we do at least have a collection of the only clothes you need this summer, from the lightweight trousers you’ll live in until October, to the best seersucker jacket you’ll ever see under £100.
Here’s our pick of the pieces that memorialise the one that got away. Grab them from 11pm tonight at uniqlo.com, and in store from 18 March.
Cotton Twill Shirt Blouson
Cropped jackets are trending this summer, not least because they balance the wide-legged trousers that – fight them or not – are coming to loosen up your silhouette.
Wear with pleats and a Cuban collar shirt, then add in a pair of Wayfarers for a look that says Dickie Greenleaf on the Riviera. Even if you’re in an office in Wrexham.
Priced at £69.90.
Seersucker’s shaken off its rep as the Louisiana gentleman’s tailoring of choice, thanks to a breed of slim, fine-gauge suits from the likes of J.Crew.
But Lemaire’s version is more modern still – its slouchy cut and breeze-permeable fabric ideal for sweltering summer days. Buy now, then count down the weeks until that jaunt to Nice.
Priced at £79.90.
Supima Cotton Long-Sleeve Cardigan
There’s a reason your granddad and Kurt Cobain both rep cardies. When it’s cut loose and lightweight you’ve got a layering linchpin, which slots under everything from a suit, to a denim jacket, to a parka when the weather’s tough to read.
Or just wear with a white tee and jeans for a look that works from office to after-hours.
Priced at £59.99.
Supima Cotton Short-Sleeve Polo Shirt
Polo shirts are a summer staple because they sub in anywhere you need a collar, but stop you sweating.
Button up and rock the air-tie under a suit jacket (a move approved by everyone from David Lynch to Mark Ronson) or make like Bond and pair with chinos, deck shoes and a cocktail.
Priced at £24.90.
Extra Fine Cotton Convertible Collar Long Sleeve Shirt
Remember what we said above about that Cuban collar shirt thing? This is the only one you need. You’ll appreciate the boxy cut when the mercury’s bubbling, while long sleeves up the formality, so you can wear it anywhere you’d normally need a button-down collar.
Priced at £29.90.
Twill Striped Short Sleeve Shirt
This pastel stripe is the collection’s key pattern – half 1950s barber, half ice cream seller, all sleek as hell.
And because the cut’s loose and the sleeves billow, rather than squeeze your biceps, you lose all the short-sleeved shirt’s normal ‘lads on tour’ overtones.
Priced at £29.90.
Cotton Twill Elasticated Pants
Whoever decided that comfort wasn’t the opposite of stylish, we salute you. The pleats mean more room around your thighs, so you don’t suffer summer’s sticky skin, and the elasticated waist is a friend to anyone not striving for that beach body. Or who’s hit the all-inclusive with an eye on getting their money back.
Priced at £39.90.