Late Summer: What To Wear When It’s Still Warm Out
If you were a keen follower of the fast-fashion world, we may have forgiven you for believing the temperature was ten degrees cooler outside, that Hyde Park’s trees had scattered their leaves across the park lawns, and that it was about time you broke out your leather jackets and heavy denims. You’d have believed that fall was in full swing.
However, as the owner of a more refined, considered wardrobe and a keen follower of your local weather network (hopefully), chances are you’ll have found that, in fact, it’s still quite warm outside — depending on where you are, of course. While the world of fast fashion would like you to believe it’s time to switch your thoughts to autumn, that would be quite premature while it’s still so pleasantly warm outside.
With that in mind, here are a few pieces of your wardrobe that work especially well in these twilight days of summertime. At least, these are the pieces you’ll see us wearing until the leaves in Hyde Park genuinely are scattered across its lawns.
THE SHORT SLEEVE KNIT
Back in the middle part of the previous century — when what we know as T-Shirts today were still perceived as undergarments — high-quality short-sleeve knits were what men wore in the warmer months.
Today, any existing pieces of those knitted T-Shirts from yesteryear are considered ‘vintage’ and are highly coveted by menswear and style enthusiasts alike. And it’s easy to see why.
Compared to the mass-manufactured cotton T’s of today, the quality of the short-sleeve knits is nearly unparalleled. Additionally, the practicality of wearing lightweight, looser weave wools in the late summer offers a degree of comfort and warmth — and most importantly, style.
A great short-sleeve knit will have structure, will hug you where it needs to (across your chest and biceps) and will offer more ventilation and comfort across your waist and hemline. For those reasons, the short-sleeve knit is making a noticeable comeback in the world of premium menswear, and we’re all for it.
It’s not too late in the season to grab a few of these essential summer shirts for yourself — check out the Top knitted polo edit as seen recently on Sir David Beckham himself, because if it’s good enough for Becks, it’s good enough for all of us.
Almost no other fabric typifies summer quite like linen. Loose, breezy, and charmingly laid-back, linen has all the attributes we look for in a summer fabric. In fact, if linen could be personified, it would probably be Jude Law’s interpretation of Dickie Greenleaf in the 1990 film The Talented Mr. Ripley.
However, for all of linen’s positive attributes, they somewhat dissolve when temperatures begin to cool off ever-so-slightly. When breezes feel that bit breezier and you long for a fabric with a slightly tighter weave that hugs your frame just a little more, the answer becomes obvious — linen blends. A pair of linen-cotton or linen-wool trousers are a classic late-summer staple, ideal for manning ship when taking your skiff out on the lake or for those extra early tee-times on your local green. Plus, performance-wise, linens blended with that slight bit of elasticity tend to be more forgiving when reeling in a fresh Mackerel or plucking your ball out of the 19th hole.
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As a born-and-bred Brit, it can feel somewhat unnatural to challenge the tailoring DNA makers like Gieves & Hawkes, Henry Poole & Co, and Huntsman & Sons of Savile Row have patriotically imparted on me.
However, when summer temperatures start to feel more akin to those in the Mediterranean than Mancunian, classically styled British tailoring can begin to reveal its shortcomings.
While classic British tailoring is all about using strong lines and firm structures to create bold, masculine jacket shapes, softer, more continental interpretations of tailoring show that suits and jackets don’t necessarily need to be as formal — nor as insulated.
There’s almost no better encapsulation of that idea as the deconstructed jacket, which as the name suggests, is a formal jacket or smart blazer that has been made with little-to-no interior canvassing. In stripping away all of the heavier structural canvas pieces — and commonly most of the lining too — jackets feel more like light knitwear, both in how they look and feel.
For this very reason, deconstructed jackets are a fantastic tool every gent should have on hand, most pertinently during summer (or when travelling, for that matter). They’re the perfect addition to make an otherwise smart outfit that bit smarter, or to help make an overly formal one feel more relaxed and laid-back.
Whatever the occasion, deconstructed jackets always seem to carry that nonchalant charm about them, that ‘sprezzatura,’ if you will — the ability to look simultaneously polished yet perfunctory.
find some of my top picks for deconstructed jackets here, or peruse through some of my suggestions below.
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