Hot weather is not usually a friend to menswear. It limits your options and invites you to bare more skin than anyone really wants to see. Fortunately, this summer’s record-breaking temperatures haven’t caused the 15 guys below to go running for ungodly short shorts – it’s been a white-hot season for tailoring, workwear and colourful streetwear, all of which have been paraded around fashion shows and publicity circuits by old reliables and new faces alike.
These are our picks for this year’s summer style heroes, along with the moves you should steal from each of them.
The menswear contest of the summer was a tag-team match: Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood taking on Spider-Man’s Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal. Close fight. But Gyllenhaal scored a technical knockout with a wardrobe that was big on dressed-down tailoring. He did open double-breasted jackets, wore worker jackets as blazers and used some very prominent jewellery to give a simple blue suit some louche attitude. Off-duty, he even managed to pull off the tricky tie-dye trend.
What to steal: The classic slick-back haircut, which is the kind of solid foundation that let’s you experiment with everything else.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s ’70s-inspired costumes in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood should give you plenty to think about for autumn-winter, but the man looked just as good off-camera. Wearing statesmanlike suits and statement jackets, he looked every inch Hollywood royalty all summer long. Plus, and this is a bit of a tangent, but only he and co-star Brad Pitt could get us thinking that the goatee is due a comeback.
What to steal: Not the goatee, at least not yet. Go for a tan suede jacket instead – they looked as good in 1969 as they do today.
As Stranger Things made a triumphant return to Netflix this summer, so too did Caleb McLaughlin to red carpets everywhere. Most of his young castmates have become style icons alongside him but it’s McLaughlin, for our money, who is having the most fun with it. He clashes patterns and colours and dress codes all in a single look and still steps out looking balanced and very, very stylish. He’s big into colourful shirts and chunky white trainers but throws in tailored pieces without turning the look upside-down.
What to steal: The trousers, which often go a little Ace Ventura, but in a good way.
Until this summer, consensus in the FashionBeans office was that Karamo Brown is the best-dressed guy on Queer Eye. Now we’re not so sure. Antoni Porowski’s low-key style is a great antidote to some of the louder trends that have been circulating. Think light-wash denim, simple tees and sneakers, and even when he’s more tailored, Porowski keeps the silhouettes as soft as the fabrics in neutral, tonal looks. In other words, he wears clothes that are great to wear.
What to steal: An endlessly wearable palette of cool blues, all of which match one other.
It’s been a big summer for Austin Butler. As well as a role in the most stylish film of the year (he plays Tex Watson in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Butler shook up some hefty competition to be cast as Elvis Presley in a new biopic of the King of Rock n Roll. We can see why he got it. The quiff is already firmly in place and the clothes aren’t far behind. Whether he’s doing double denim or inch-perfect tailoring, the kid has swag to spare.
What to steal: The guts to wear all-black in a heatwave.
There should be some kind of klaxon that sounds every time David Beckham goes to Wimbledon. That way, every menswear fan knows it’s time to check Instagram and fawn over what will no doubt be another impeccable outfit. This year was no different from Becks. He turned up to Centre Court wearing tailored separates that packed as much of a punch as the morning suit he wore to Harry and Meghan’s big day. Off-court, he also did airport style the way we all wish we could, in sumptuous suede and corduroy.
What to steal: All of it, as per usual.
As Quentin Tarantino dialled it back to 1969 in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, one of the film’s leading men dialled it back to 1999 on the press tour. This was Brad Pitt doing peak Brad Pitt, in loose, almost sloppy tailoring, baggy trousers and long-sleeved tops layered under tees. It’s a throwback to his own heyday and we can’t decide whether it’s deliberately fashionable or deliberately anti-fashion. Either way, he doesn’t look like he gives a damn, and that’s precisely why it works.
What to steal: Maybe the haircut. Pitt’s shaggy ’90s sweep is what ties all that nostalgic style together.
Michael B. Jordan
We crowned Michael B. Jordan the best-dressed man in the world in 2018 and he’s been no slouch this year, either. The Creed star and ambassador for Coach has two consistent looks that never fail to impress. Non-boring black tailoring is one – think laser-sharp cuts, longline jackets and contrast lapels. The second is a collection of bomber jackets (including varsity styles and souvenir jackets) that deserve their own museum, always worn with black jeans and some look-at-me sneakers.
What to steal: Realistically, those statement black suits won’t see the light of day unless you’re regularly invited to film premieres (no, us neither). Go for the bombers.
Aside from commendable dedication to the moustache, Miles Teller’s look this summer has been, well, summery. In less capable hands, this can be a high-risk strategy – printed shirts and white trousers can go very wrong indeed. On Teller, who will next be seen in Tom Cruise’s Top Gun sequel, it somehow looks nonchalant. Maybe it’s the moustache. More likely it’s the fit and stripped-back colour palette he sticks to.
What to steal: A tonal combination of Cuban collar shirt and pleated trousers for maximum summer sophistication.
The don of smart-casual this summer, Milo Ventimiglia is proof that you don’t have to be suited to be sharp. His rotation includes knitted polos, Breton tops and reliably chunky Derbies – menswear perennials that have been in fashion every summer since forever. Likewise, the actor sticks to tried-and-tested colour combos like navy, white and khaki. Safe? Yes, but that’s the point.
What to steal: The unstructured blazer, which works everywhere from the pub to the red carpet.
Something we hadn’t realised until Pierce Brosnan pointed it out this summer: a streak of silver in your hair or beard can work as a bona fide fashion accessory. The former 007 used it like a secret weapon straight out of Q branch to enhance a solid wardrobe of navy blue staples, then tied the look together with some excellent tinted sunglasses. Maybe this guy should be the next Bond.
What to steal: The dedication to a colour palette that clearly works for you.
As the villain in this summer’s Hobbs & Shaw, Idris Elba’s been spotted in perma-hyped techwear brand Acronym. When the cameras aren’t running, he looks even better. Bond-worthy suits are one of his staples, but this year he’s also experimented with streetwear-inspired prints and even the odd pair of sliders.
What to steal: Take your pick from the fashion, but it’s the salt n pepper facial hair that we’re (still) jealous of.
His future as Spider-Man may be up in the air but his status as baby-faced style icon certainly isn’t. Tom Holland is the 2019 version of an old-fashioned matinee star, always immaculate with slicked-back hair and laser-precision tailoring. There are plenty of modern touches in his look as well, though. This summer’s Far From Home press tour showed that he’ll mix and match trends and isn’t afraid of bold colours.
What to steal: His high-low approach: mix a denim jacket with smart trousers or swap a traditional blazer with something that looks almost like a worker jacket.
Following up this year’s Oscar win with a surprise but welcome casting in the Blade reboot announced by Marvel, Mahershala Ali’s excellent outfits are reflecting the excellent year he’s having. He’s never boring, but neither is he so out there that you wouldn’t dare copy his style. Tailoring is where the man really excels because you never see him in a bog-standard two-piece. There’s colour, pattern, unexpected fabrics and almost always something jarringly casual thrown in to make you double-take.
What to steal: The confidence to wear any suit on the pink-red-brown end of the colour spectrum.
The man who calls himself the Saint Laurent Don has been living up to the moniker this summer. He’s become one of hip-hop’s most fashionable stars and turned up to the aforementioned label’s excellent beachside fashion show in a fringed, pink suede western jacket. Earlier in the year he attended his first Met Gala in a gold baroque jacket and leather trousers. When he dresses up, the sky’s the limit.
What to steal: The discipline to keep the colours muted if the design is out there.