5 Tips to Nail Your Summer Wardrobe…

If you’ve been reading the journal with relative frequency you’ll know that I’ve been loosely touching on summer attire over the last month or so.  That said it’s been within general discussions so here is a more summer specific post to get you sorted for a great summer ahead.

5 Tips To Nail Your Summer Wardrobe.

1.  Unlined + unstructured.

I’ve discussed this topic a fair amount but I want to make sure we’re totally clear on this one as it’s fundamental to your keeping cool this summer.  When we talk about unstructured jackets we’re talking about what goes on in the inside of the jacket – particularly the chest and shoulder area.  The less padding in the shoulders and firmness in the chest piece the more unstructured it becomes – in other words we shed internal layers to lighten the jacket as much as we can.

The key for summer though is to go one step further and have a completely unlined jacket.  This further reduces the layers in the jacket and crucially enabling air to pass through the jacket in a far easier manner which is of course the key to maintaining your cool.

Hand Made Unlined Sport Coat

As you can see in the image above all that remains is a few strategically placed pieces of lining – to cover the vent, a touch on the upper shoulder for comfort and the sleeve lining so arms can smoothly slide in and out.  Otherwise its light, airy and soft as can be.

2. Cloth selection.

Hand in hand with the type of structure you choose for your jacket is the cloth.  We want light, airy and most importantly a looser weave in terms of the structure of the cloth.  Quite simply the looser the weave the more air that will be able to pass through the cloth which will keep the body cooler.  Another feature of this weave is that it is more resistant to wrinkling which is a bonus come the hotter weather.  Linen blends – be it with wool or cotton are a great choice as is the classic wool mohair.  Other choices include a wool hopsack, a tropical wool or a fresco wool. The key with all of these – the yarns that make the cloth up are all very fine and of a high twist nature which allows them the strength to have a looser weave hence more air flow and breathability.

3. Color.

A bit of an obvious point here but one worth repeating.  We generally tend to wear lighter colors in the heat because they reflect the sunlight as opposed to darker ones which absorb it.  It’s why white, beige and the lighter shades of brown, the lighter shades of grey, olive and shades of blues are so popular for summer clothing.

The key take away here though is that the color alone won’t save you.  It’s when combined with an unlined and unstructured jacket and a looser weaved cloth that the effects will be maximized.

4. Fluidity

This is perhaps the least discussed element of keeping cool in the summer – I’ll chalk it up to the fact that the trimmer silhouette has been dominant over the last few years.  With a slightly more relaxed trim aesthetic gaining momentum though it couldn’t come at a better time.

As you’ve no doubt noticed the dominant theme thus far has been to maximize air flow.  Put simply the tighter the clothes the less air that can circulate over the body.  This leads to greater friction as the cloth rubs against your body which leads to more heat, more sweat and greater general discomfort.  Which is why relaxed trim is so crucial for the summer – a touch more ease in the silhouette allows for this circulation which when combined with points 1-3 will leave you feeling pretty comfortable even during the hottest days of August.

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The image above sums points 1-4 up quite nicely.  Unlined and unstructured, a loose and airy weave in the cloth, lighter color scheme assisting in reflecting the sunlight as well as a relaxed trim fit that leads to a fluidity and lightness in the way the clothes drape on his body.  The picture was taken in Florence in the height of summer thus it is hot and sticky yet he seems totally at ease.

5. Yes to no socks and hats; avoid the shorts + jacket look.

A bit of personal opinion here – take it or leave it from an advice point of view!

A few weeks back the Friday Style Debate took on the sockless question and by far it was supported by most of you.  I completely agree.  Some thoughts though – be wary of the shoe you do it with.  Loafers always look great sockless.  As for laceups – be careful as it can come across as too affected if you don’t pull it off right.  The key in my mind comes down to the break on your trouser – or lack there of.  If you’ve got the body to go slim and short it looks great.  If your size or build means you wear your pants a touch longer then I’d avoid.  It’s a bit of an all or nothing kind of thing.

As for hats – no question they are critical to the summer wardrobe.  I never wore one until last year when I spent some time in the Florida Keys and now I cannot go back.  A brutally hot day becomes manageable with the right hat – it protects you from the sun, soaks up some inevitable sweat and provides a great hit of whimsical style that is often lacking when you have fewer layers of clothing on.

Hats II

And lastly – the short + jacket look.  Fitting that this comes last as this subject is always a lightening rod!  My take is this: jackets are formal and shorts are not. Formalizing the informal simply makes no sense.  That said I’m sure many of you will disagree with my sentiments and I support that completely.  If that’s the case and you’re going to go for it anyways may I suggest these two examples as guides –

shorts + jacket II

The reason these two work for me is that there is a light and airy feel about both of them.  Furthermore each guy seems to give off a touch playful spirit which in my opinion is critical in pulling off this look successfully.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael

info@martinfishertailors.com

 

 

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