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30 Principles of Men’s Summer Style

During the golden age of men’s classic style, a man still got dressed.  Contrast that to today where comfort rules and t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops are seen just about everywhere.  In terms of style, this just does not compare.

Jake Gyllenhaal Leaving A Medical Building

Granted, we don’t see many high-waisted pants, straw boater hats, and suits at the beach these days but there are still plenty of solid options for you to bring a sense of panache to the dog days of summer while still staying cool and comfortable.

5-27-13 Tailored and Styled Blog--Golden Age Summer Dress

(Photo Credit: Gentleman’s Gazette)

What I intend to do in this series of posts is two things: 1) list 30 principles of summer style in terms of how they contribute (or not) to casualness vs. formalness and 2) apply those principles to a system of “low, medium, and high” casual dress and “summer formal” dress.

By using the principles and the system, you’ll be able to select the perfect summer style for every place and situation.

First the principles.


1.    Wearing your shirt untucked is more casual than having it tucked
2.    Flip-flops, sandals, and running shoes are considered very casual shoes and will lower the style quotient of whatever you’re wearing
3.    Shorts are much more casual than pants
4.    Jeans are casual pants period, dot
5.    Denim is generally too hot for summer wear
6.    Not wearing a belt is less casual than wearing one
7.    If you’re wearing a belt, match to the main color of your shoes.  Caveat: unless you’re wearing a ribbon belt, then coordinate it with the colors of your shirt and pants
8.    Shoes without laces are considered more casual than those with (running shoes excepted)
9.    Not wearing socks is casual
10.    Always wear socks with lace-up shoes
11.    A short sleeve shirt is more casual than a long sleeve shirt
12.    Linen is a more casual fabric than cotton.  Wool is less casual than both linen and cotton
13.    If you’re wearing a linen jacket, it’s usually best to wear a linen shirt and linen pants with it, although cotton is acceptable.  Same principle applies to silk
14.    If you’re wearing a jacket but not a tie, it’s a casual look
15.    If you’re wearing a jacket, always use a pocket square
16.    If you’re wearing a jacket, always wear a long sleeve shirt
17.    If your jacket and pants contrast it’s more casual than if they do.  Suits are therefore more formal
18.    Seersucker suits look better with ties
19.    If you’re wearing a tie, don’t wear loafers, wear lace-up Bluchers/Derbies or Balmorals/Oxfords
20.    Cufflinks are formal.  Only wear them with a wool suit and tie
21.    A watch with a metal band is more casual than one with a leather dress band
22.    Loafers are more casual than Bluchers (Derbies) and Derbies are more casual than Balmorals (Oxfords)
23.    Snazzy socks can make an otherwise formal outfit less so, especially for summer wear
24.    Sports sunglasses are more casual that wire-framed “dress sunglasses”
25.    Baseball hats are very casual hats.  Wear them if you are either participating in or going to a sporting event
26.    If you intend to wear a hat, Panamas and even Boaters are much more suitable for dressing with strong summer style
27.    If you have a choice between shorts and pants, wear pants
28.    If you have a choice between jacket and no jacket, wear the jacket
29.    If you have a choice of wearing a tie, wear the tie
30.    Dress one to two levels up from what the masses normally wear in a particular situation or event.  Caveat: except where the dress is specified (e.g. wedding, work dress code), then dress as specified.  In these situations, be content with an additional small detail for individual flair.

Now notice that I did not call this a list of “rules.”  They are principles upon which to build a menu of style options for summer wear.  To be sure, some of the principles apply to more than just summer dress (e.g. match your belt to your shoes), but they are basic enough to include, especially if you are going at this for the first time.

Stay tuned for the system which I will present over the next few days.

By Joe Scherrer | Tailored and Styled Writer

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/05/2013

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