Ahh, summer is finally upon us. If you live in Canada, you'll understand how great it feels to see sunshine regularly and shed the heavy layers of clothing. To make sure you're ready to look your best this summer, here are my top 10 sins of summer style.
1. Baggy Cargo Shorts
I don't care how comfortable they are or that you wore them in high school. It's time to grow up. Baggy cargo shorts don't make you look cool. They make you look ridiculous. There are plenty of other options when it comes to shorts. A nice Bermuda short no longer than knee length that fits well (not skinny and not baggy) will do the trick.
2. Oversized T-Shirts and Polo Shirts
Same as #1, you are not trying to re-live your high school days here where everything you wore was two sizes too big. It was cool then, but you're a gentleman now. It looks ridiculous when the sleeves of polo shirts reach the elbows. Opt for a pair in your size, whose sleeves reach you until the midway point of your bicep.
I'll admit, I love seeing the 90s trend coming back with brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Fila, Reebok, Kappa, etc. Logos everywhere and whatnot make me reminisce about childhood, but that's where those trends end for me. Don't be a walking billboard for brands this summer. Instead, seek out quality basics like T-shirts and polos that don't feature large logos. Let the quality of the garment do the talking, not the big swoosh marks on your chest.
4. Exposed Feet
To be more specific, exposed feet while not on a beach or pool. I'll generalize here, but for the most part, men's feet are not a pretty sight to see; I know mine are not. So when you're not near a body of water, ditch the flip flops and sliders. If you want a stylish, casual summer footwear option, try a pair of espadrilles or my personal favorites, Riverias Leisure Shoes.
5. Dark Color Overdose
Yeah, we all know that guy who "only wears black" ...when it comes to the summer, don't be that guy. You will feel hotter since dark colors absorb more sunlight, and summer is a time to break out the lighter shades and hues. Sure, it is perfectly acceptable to wear a black suit/tux to a formal occasion, but wear one dark-colored piece and pair it with a light color to provide a striking contrast when it comes to casual outings. For example, you may take a dark navy blazer and pair it with a pair of white or cream trousers. Or, for a casual daytime outing, opt for a dark grey t-shirt and beige shorts.
6. Avoiding Hats
This is more of a practical one than style based one. It gets damn hot in the summer and walking around outside with your bare noggin is an excellent way to end up with heatstroke. Now please save the ratty old baseball caps for yardwork and workouts. Instead, reach for a pleasant wide-brimmed straw Panama hat or a light cotton or linen newsboy cap to keep cool and look stylish.
7. Cheap Sunglasses
Ok, I'll be the first to admit, most of the sunglasses I've owned in my life have been cheap pairs from H&M or J.Crew that break most of the time before the summer is even up. Much like investing in a good watch, investing in a quality pair of shades is something every man needs to do. Again this is a somewhat practical tip to keep those UV rays off of your eyes, so you don't walk around squinting in the sunlight. A good pair of quality sunglasses will look better now and ten years from now than a pair you picked up on sale for $10. Just make sure you find ones that suit your face right. I prefer the Italian brand Persol (Steve McQueen's brand of choice), but there are many options available out there.
8. Fully Lined Jackets
This is something I avoid, like the plague in the summer. If you wear tailored clothing for work or need formal occasions in the summer, get yourself a few half-lined or unlined sportcoats/suits. It's much easier to dress up in +30 degree weather when you have some breathing room that allows heat to escape rather than getting sweat stains in your armpits from a fully lined garment.
9. Heavy Hair Products
I'll say this; I'm a fan of heavy hold products that give the hair a shine and keep the style firmly in place. In the summer, however, using them creates problems for the skin with heat and sweat, which tends to run down your forehead. That's why in the summer, lighter hold products like a sea salt spray or very light clay give the hair a more natural style and "devil may care" aura. You also won't have that nasty feeling of extra greasy/sweaty mix on your hair at the end of the day.
10. No Jeans!
Unless you work an industrial job where jeans are just part of the uniform, why would you want to wear them in the middle of July? I get hot (not in that way!) just looking at people who wear jeans at the peak of summer. All that sweat and chafing in the thighs, no thanks. Instead, opt for chinos in light cotton or even some loose, comfortable drawstring linen trousers. You'll thank me later.
There you have it. 10 Summer Style Sins you can avoid making this summer. Stay cool, stay comfortable and most of all, stay stylish ;)
WRITTEN BY ANDREW MOCELLA (@don_dapper)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew is a veteran of the menswear industry, currently plying his trade in the world of real estate. Lover of the fine things in life (including his wife), such as wine, whisky, cigars, art, and all things beautiful. Andrew is devoted to keeping the tradition of dressing with purpose and elegance alive.