High time, if you will, to truly explore and espouse upon what those amongst us with a more keen sartorial eye can unfailingly rely upon year-after-year to aid us in our pursuit to continually cut a rakish dash well into prime apple picking season.
What I’m ultimately referring to, of course, is the referential mood board before you today that touches upon how to dress with unwavering confidence whilst upholding ones sartorial standards in the heat, exhibiting a flattering lived-in feel in what you wear ,and living in a state of refined comfort in which you can tastefully sustain throughout a time of year wherein the (seemingly unrealistic?) ideal of dressing with style and panache often falls prey to a singular pursuit of practicality (and the guise of casual convenience) trumping the lot.
Inasmuch, you could say that my (far-reaching) goal with this seasonal primer is to simply make mastering the increasingly rarefied sartorial art of dressing well whilst in the throes of heat, rain and humidity a more plausible reality rather then but a farfetched and fanciful dream; to helping the modern gentleman of style and substance achieve the sort of highly covetable characteristic nonchalance in dress seen on such luminary style icons as Messrs Grant, (Errol) Flynn and Gandy (amongst select others) before us who each made what is oft an exceedingly frustrating, trying and difficult proposition — stylish warm-weather dressing that is — seem so carefree and effortless.
To wit, this mood board purposefully casts aside the sartorially frivolous, trendy and superfluous in lieu of the infallibly astute, classic and influential, or, if you will, a considerably more smart and cultivated style of seasonal dress that continually plays off as distinctively handsome, endearing and refined rather than lazy, boring or try-hard — it is inspiration for those who fancy (or are obliged to) dressing a touch smarter and sophisticated yet still desire simplicity and comfort all the same.
In such a regard you could say this maiden entry into what is a planned bi-annual (or perhaps quarterly) series will hopefully (when all is said and done) help you come to better grips with the nuanced art of dressing stylishly in the heat; A tall task that I know, for some, should become easier to tackle with the helping of just such a primer as that resting before you today which is rife with the sort of endearing style inspiration and foundational wherewithal that every gentlemen of sartorial merit would do well in taking to heart so as to best avoiding becoming (both literally and stylishly) hot under the collar this season.
To that end, it likely goes without saying that I am a firm believer that dressing to impress in the heat needn’t be as seemingly confounding as many hold it to be granted one is willing to both put in the required effort and invest smarter into a few perennial warm weather wardrobe staples that, on top of being ageless wunderkinds with a transcendent generational draw, are known for delivering an inscrutable marriage of highly cultivated style, comfort and utility whenever called to the occasional fore.
Be that as it may, it bears final note that what I propose today may not (likely will not) speak to all tastes; that my unique view of what constitutes as dressing well (in any season) is a cultivated paradigm gathered only after much personal inflection, effort (on the individual level) and (presupposed) suitability was considered — to each his own as it were.
That having been said, and personal tastes notwithstanding, a gentleman must nevertheless always be mindful that there indeed exists a thin line between being quietly confident, sartorially fulfilled and truly comfortable in what one wears and (on the flip-side) looking unprepared, tasteless, careless or uncomfortable -- dressing well simply demands a nuanced balance between want, expression and necessity if you will.
Ergo, knowing how to dress for the season is essentially a balanced act made easier through proper preparation, reflection, tutelage and enlightenment.
Thankfully, this mood board offerrs ample inspiration for just such elegant summer dressing, countless lessons in smart yet accessible style, and the sartorial wherewithal needed to help you better carve out a more cultivated sartorial identity capable of opening doors, bringing self-fulfilling joy and that is worth retrospective admiration.
There is, after all, something to be said of a gentleman who not only knows how to impress whilst dressing sensibly but who also looks and feels as comfortable in his clothing as his signature sense of style makes out for being an endearing gesture of good taste, impressionability and effortlessness.
So with that in mind, here’s to sensibly (and stylishly) trading in your fully formed A/W wool suits, patent leather oxfords and chunky knit turtlenecks (i.e. rollnecks) for breezy (cotton-) linen tailoring separates, rakish easy-going loafers and classically chic meriniere shirts whose warm-weather sartorial iconography and ageless marriage of effortless sophistication, timely comfort and transitional versatility remains sartorially peerless and riveting.
Howbeit, please join me if you will in recounting 5 quintessential wardrobe staples synonymous with S/S that every gent should own, to inspirationally reflecting upon three 3 rakishly inspired looks that yours truly will be channelling in sartorial earnestness right Labour Day, in discussing 10 refined trans-seasonal style substitutions worth making with haste, and too ascribing to memory 5 easy warm-weather styling tips that will help elevate your sartorial cachet with minimal effort this forthcoming season.
You can, after all, tell a lot about a man by the clothes he wears, the shoes on his feet
and the way he carries himself…
In view of that, my (investment) advice would be to elect for whatever style best speaks to your tastes and needs (ie. short or long sleeved, etc) in a rich hue (such as tobacco or burgundy) rendered in a sturdy yet breathable merino wool (or cotton-linen/wool blend) fabrication that marries warm-weather comfort, class, and rakishness as one.
Inasmuch in peak sartorial form when decidedly cut in clean, crisp and retrograde designs (whether plain or striped), I’ve chosen to include knit (sweater) polos as one of the 5 rakish essentials of the season before you today for the sole reason that these vintage marvels are truly indulgent and luxurious upgrades whose elegant riff on the traditional (and omnipresent) preppy/sportive cotton-pique polo shirt that is favoured by most is wholly deserving of renewed praise and industry-wide revival.
Capable of wearing incredibly well whether teamed with smart (high-waisted) trousers, a blazer and tasseled loafers on the job or dressed down with tailored shorts (or chinos), a panama and espadrilles while gallivanting about the beach or boardwalk on summer holiday (a la Dickie Greenleaf), the knit polo truly is without question a modern gentleman’s S/S staple primed for perennial reference and pride of place in ones seasonal wardrobe.
artorially understated, exceptionally durable and reassuringly cool and comfortable in wear, there is ample historical evidence as to why linen (which is derived from flax) has long been considered — since the dawn of civilization — the go-to, (un)official fabric of choice come spring and summer.
Famously rich and prized for its lightweight comfort, worn-in look and sophisticated yet airy constitution, it warrants peculiar note that the “fabric of kings” has become as uniformly denounced for its perceptive formal tailoring shortcomings and inherent tendency to wrinkle as it is lauded for its uniqueness of handle, smart-casual bridging dexterity and trans-seasonal poise and malleability.
Personal styling proclivities aside, (cotton) linen tailoring remains, in the eyes of many, a quintessential seasonal standby synonymous with the cultivated warm-weather styling habits, needs and desires of many a gentleman the world round as well as a perennially well-received and apropos suiting alternative fit for any S/S al fresco wedding, garden party or perhaps picnic date in the park.
Having said that, I am of the firm positioning that — when all is said and done — its formal-informal versatility, decent moisture wicking capabilities and open weave finish, the latter of which renders it cool, crisp and composed, ensure its rather louche laissez-faire sartorial credentials continue to outpace any perceptive tailoring shortcomings it has accrued over the years— especially when purposefully commissioned in a cotton-linen blend that is eminently more structured, elegant and formal then a pure linen fabric.
ermanently enshrined in the menswear Hall of Fame as well as a sartorial hallmark enduringly intertwined with both breezy continental insouciance and functionally astute sun-beating grace (at its stylized peak), the beloved Panama hat is worldly renowned by gentlemen and ladies alike from Roma to Montecristi for a storied legacy and luxurious handle that belies the tale of an eminently practical equatorial accoutrement of humble (agricultural) origins that has rakishly evolved into a contemporary symbol of cultivated refinement and fine taste.
Having for near two centuries continually bested both the trials of time as well as the fickle transience of generational trends, it remains to this very day an ageless seasonal wardrobe stalwart of faultless merit that has dutifully earned its vaunted positioning atop the warm-weather headwear totem poll for many a sound and notable reason; At once sartorially charming and eminently practical, it is a UNESCO protected heritage masterpiece whose value (within certain style tribes that is) ultimately rests in it (arguably?) being the pinnacle of smartly informed yet effortlessly laid-back hatting options come the dog days of summer — par excellence.
To wit, you could say it has an endearing characteristic draw and centuries spanning heritage appeal that rarely abates as well an ability to continually play off as an understated statement of fine taste and characteristic sophistication whose distinctively romantic spirit, minimalist aesthetic, and heat defying performance uniquely position it as the ultimate (Spring/Summer) hatting selection for any discerning modern gentleman worth his sartorial weight in gold.
To that end, it certainly stands to reason that is a peerlessly beautiful, true-blue sun-beater whose divine marriage of artisanal craftsmanship, perfectly balanced character and culturally transcendent sartorial cachet will likely forevermore ensure it inexorably prevails as one of the most highly revered and beloved (as well as oldest) warm weather (gentlemanly) accoutrements in existence — simply exquisite!
In respectable wear as amiable to being featured alongside fine (often deconstructed) tailoring as with considerably more louche leisurewear (think: t-shirts/polos with smart trousers and loafers), the finest Panama's are said to be woven in Montecristi (Ecuador) of authentic toquilla fibres derived from the tropical jippi-jappa palm into works of wearable art capable of tastefully accentuating most everything in ones sartorial employ save for athleisure and streetwear.
The panama hat is, after all and by virtue of its functionally understated simplicity, one of the few truly timeless elements of style (over 200 years of prolonged popularity can attest to this) as well as one of the first (if not the first) gentlemanly accoutrements to marry simplicity and purpose to that of style and sophistication.
Simple, self-indulgent and effective, the characteristically endearing sartorial quintessence of summer.
Strictly speaking, it champions (above all else) a seasonal embrace of lightweight and breathable (often open weave) fabrics, the transitional versatility and unwavering comfort of soft (natural/deconstructed) tailoring, the addition of subtle influxes of colour and personalization through accessorizing, and the perennial reference of a few choice infallible seasonal stalwarts that deliver an equability of style and substance through a focus on contrasting textures, rich fabric blends and breezy silhouettes — simple, refined and effective style in other words.
To that effect it tables a perfectly staged sartorial consummation of timely, pleasure deriving, indulgent, wholesome, commendable, stately and self-fulfilling style whose timeless draw and ageless appeal will speak most tellingly to any discerning (or daring) dresser with a characteristic penchant for continually cutting a rakish dash — come rain or shine — right on through to Labour Day (and beyond) .
To, if you will, unapologetically dressing with style, ease, poise and steadfast self-belief for many fair weathered seasons to come so as to continually reap the benefits of the so-called “halo effect” that is the common accompaniment of always dressing the proper part.
And lest you forget why it all matters, do remember to keep this in mind (1) That what we wear — our clothing — has the power to both influence/sway opinions and transform our character (for better AND worse); (2) That you simply owe it to yourself to always look your best; and (3) that “a gentleman should always take great pride in his appearance.”
In having said that, consider this mood board but a rousing (yet sensible) sartorial reaffirmation of the enduring merits of classic understatement and cultivated elegance rather than a Keeping Up With The Joneses blueprint that panders to the tastes of the fashionably sheepish and trend-setting; A telling testament on how-to at once dress to impress and beat the heat (and rain) in comfort without ever compromising on style (nor substance) from this day onwards.
Always dress as the man you want to be, not for the job you want.
Gentlemen, take a bow!
Share your seasonal style thoughts, anecdotes and tips below…
Please share below if the desire strikes…
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