I know everyone’s heart sank slightly as we rolled into the second half of August and inched that much closer to the end of summer. While mentally and physically not ready for this transition it does lead to a timely post. As exciting as transitions are they’re also difficult – this definitely the case with clothing. Here a few tips to prepare – and I’m not talking about winter.
It’s all about planning.
It goes without saying that better planning is often the answer to most of our problems – too bad actually making ourselves do it is so difficult. When it comes to clothing this is made even more difficult by the fact that we plan for cooler weather while still dealing with the heat of summer and vice versa. Getting one’s head around this is a challenge and for this reason most of us put off making decisions until we’re in the actual season. At that point though life gets busy, you can’t find what you want and before you know it the season is changing again and you’ve still yet to deal with the holes in your wardrobe. The result is frustration and reactionary purchases which are dangerous as they often lead to mistakes and thus wasted money. Sound familiar?
Plan for next summer now.
The secret is simple – get ahead of the game. Right now you are keenly aware of what is missing from your summer wardrobe and positioned perfectly to make informed decisions for next year. Wait till April and you’ll simply be aware of what is missing from your winter wardrobe and in the wrong mindset to make summer based decisions.
What have you been wearing this summer? Have you been mixing things up or have you found yourself falling back on a signature look? If you’re mixing it up is it because you have a lot of solid options or is it because you’re unsure what you’re signature look is? If you’ve stuck to a signature look is it because you know what works for you or is it because you’re void of other options? Do you know if you want a signature look or do you prefer to mix it up? As you think about these questions a sense of what you need and want will start to emerge.
Make some lists.
#1 – What do you need to replenish or double up on?
You’re bound to have a few pieces that are starting to wear down and need to be replenished. You’re also bound to have a few pieces that you love to wear and could have multiples in the rotation. It’s this list that allows you to begin to really build a wardrobe. The most stylish guys out there have a real sense of what works for them and going back to the well is a great way to always feel at your best.
#2 – What is missing?
The more difficult yet fun list to create – it leans heavily on the analysis that we discussed earlier. The key is that you stick to the analysis to create this list and never allow yourself to venture to far away from it. By distancing ourselves from the analysis we begin to be swayed by fashion as opposed to our sense of style and what works for us individually. Sometimes the two come together but equally as much they may not.
I’ve conducted my analysis and as someone who adores the signature look it was very clear as to what I need to add to my wardrobe – here are my top 5 needs:
1. More unstructured jackets.
Unquestionably our summers are getting hotter and with that comes a greater need for unstructured jackets. Unless I need to be in a full business suit + tie I want my daily wear next summer to be odd unstructured jackets and pants. I’m not a fan of suits without ties – as such I’d rather wear an odd jacket and pant pairing when forgoing the tie. I still get drawn to shades of blue and grey thus my “must” additions are an olive and light grey jacket.
2. More dress polos.
I have one and I love wearing it – it’s the ultimate shirt for summer as it walks the line between light and airy in feel while still being formal in appearance. As such it’s the ultimate shirt for wearing without a tie in combination with the unstructured jackets. I need to add two more in white.
3. White leather trainers.
I wrote many a post about white trainers over the summer + I included countless images of them. For some reason though I failed to actually get out and replace my old pair which I took out of rotation as they were too beat up. Odd indeed as all summer I’ve been fully aware of the gap in my ability to conduct a perfect summer high low – a casual yet leather shoe to wear with dress pants and shirts without a jacket. I need to add the white monochromatic Converse Chuck Tailors in leather.
4. Linen shirts.
I love the way they look – particularly in white and baby blue when worn with the sleeves rolled up. They also feel great in the heat as they are light and airy and bridge the gap between a formal dress shirt and the less formal dress polo. Like the white trainers I was aware of my need all summer but simply never found the time to actually get it taken care of. I need to add one each of white and baby blue.
5. Linen shorts.
Exact same as the shirts in terms of their wearability – light and airy. The warmer the weather the more I’m aware of the weight that my traditional cotton shorts have and I don’t like it. I have two seersucker shorts in the rotation and they are getting 75% of the use – I need to add two linen pairs to give them a break. I need to add one in navy and another in darker beige.
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