The weather is warming up and that means you have probably already started dressing down—trading your sweaters and coats for button downs and light jackets. Many men believe that the warmer the weather, the less they have to care about looking put together. The goal is to keep cool and stay comfortable, right? And warm weather fashions favor the lightweight and casual, right?
Well, yes and no. It’s true that you want to keep your body from overheating and that you need to be comfy. It’s also true that, during the summer, fashions trend toward the casual and not the formal. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can fling fashion out the window.
Accessorizing is important no matter what time of year it is. In the warmer months, though, the focus isn’t as much on hats, gloves and scarves as it is on watches, sunglasses and jewelry.
Make sure that your sunglasses are functional and very well made. Those $5 sunglasses you can buy at gas stations are funny, sure, but unless you want to be king at your local hipster bar, they aren’t fashionable. The best sunglasses have frames that would be similar to what you’d wear for regular eyeglasses if you weren’t wearing contacts.
Your watch needs to be well made as well. If you can’t afford a brand new watch, don’t panic. You can buy beautiful and fashionable used luxury watches for a fraction of what you’d pay new if you know where to look. The nice thing about watches is that their styles don’t change much from season to season.
If you are going to wear jewelry, remember: the puka necklace is out but the “less is more” rule is in. Even the guys from the Jersey Shore don’t layer on the bling anymore. A class ring or wedding ring and a simple gold or silver chain around your neck is usually all you need.
Linen is the fabric of spring and summer. The primary problem with linen is that it wrinkles easily. This is fine if you’re spending the day at the beach but if you’re attending a spring or summer wedding, you don’t want to look like your date just pulled you out of a dryer. Learning how to properly care for and iron your linen clothes is important for looking great all summer long. Ask Men has a great primer for choosing and caring for your linen wardrobe.
Note: just because you can buy linen clothing in colors that would make Miami cringe doesn’t mean you should. Neutral tones for suits and pants are best. White, cream or a light pastel shade is best for your shirts.
During the spring and summer most men are trading in their button downs and oxfords for t-shirts or polos. This is fine but, if this is your plan, you need to make sure that the shirts look good. You shouldn’t toss on any old cotton t-shirt and assume you look great.
- Make sure that any t-shirt you wear is properly pressed. Yes, ironing your t-shirts is a pain but it’s a small step that will help you look much better than your wrinkled brethren.
- If your t-shirt has a design, make sure the design is appropriate for the occasion. “I’m With Stupid” is only funny if you’re in a frat.
- Always make sure you’ve put on deodorant. It’s hard to disguise sweat stains on t-shirts.
GQ has a fantastic summer t-shirt guide that you can use this spring and summer (and even fall if you live in a temperate climate).
What are you wearing this year? Have you heard of any great fashion trends that we might have missed? Is it true that snakeskin is making a comeback?