There are no two ways about it, dressing for summer isn’t especially fun. With the autumn and winter months, you can experiment with layering, combining multiple garments and styles of clothing to create outfits full of depth and interest. There’s much more room for individuality, allowing you to flex your style nous in the process.
With summer, you’re usually limited to some variation of a T-shirt/polo shirt and shorts look, with what you wear largely dictated by the heat. But there are a few ways you can subtly jazz things up.
Warm-weather accessories can make or break a look when temperatures rise. For instance, a well-chosen pair of sunglasses can elevate said T-shirt and shorts combo into something greater than the sum of its parts. The right cap, jewellery or watch make all the difference too, with complementary pieces working together to inject that much needed slice of individuality into an otherwise pedestrian outfit.
From socks and summer fragrances to bracelets and tote bags, these are the summer accessories every man needs.
It’s easy to go wrong with sunglasses. There are thousands of styles out there, and it can be tempting to jump at the first pair that takes your fancy.
However, it’s pays to take your time when buying a new pair, and try as many on as you possibly can. Why? Because there are certain styles of sunglasses that suit particular face shapes and head sizes.
Go for a style that’s slightly too small or, on the flip side, too large and heavy, and you’ll find them uncomfortable at best and painful at worst when wearing them all day in the sun.
If you can’t try pairs on in-store, many brands now have a virtual try on service, which can make choosing the right pair that much easier. If in doubt, stay classic, as keyhole or Clubmaster styles tend to suit most men.
When it comes to frame colour, go all black for an easy, versatile option, or try a tortoiseshell frame for something a little less severe in the sun.
A bracelet is an incredibly easy way of injecting a bit of flair into an otherwise simple summer look. But again, the choices are practically endless, so where should you begin?
The trick is to keep it minimal, and unless you have a preference and your heart set on a particular design, stick to something that’s understated and subtle.
Classic silver bands are a great entry point, and will complement most outfits ranging from casual through to tailoring. Or alternatively, try small Cuban links or woven metal bracelets, which are just as stylish yet more comfortable and flexible on the wrist.
Pendant chains are more popular today than ever, and offer a great way of wearing something (a logo, script or family related emblem) close to your chest. They’re also a subtle way of introducing jewellery, especially if you go for a thin silver chain and a small matching silver pendant.
Wear it on the inside of your clothing and nobody will know, or have it hanging out for a flash of metal, which can look especially cool over a vest and Cuban collar shirt combination.
When choosing your own, look for a thin to mid-width chain and opt for a pendant with your chosen insignia – it could be initials, a crest, a religious emblem, or pretty much anything else that means something to you.
Moisturiser should be something you use daily anyway. It’s essential to stop your face from drying out, providing your skin with the daily nutrients (and moisture, duh) it needs. In short, it can help you look younger for longer.
When summer rolls around though, you should update your daily routine to include one loaded with SPF protection. Whether you go for something lightweight like an SPF 15 or a strong SPF 50 depends on your sun exposure. But whatever you go for you’ll be stopping the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your face. It’s as simple as that.
Tote bags have long been noted for their ease of use. The once humble canvas design beloved by vintage hoarders and Whole Food shoppers has blown up into its own fully fledged product line, with luxury brands reimagining them in leather, suede and waterproof cotton.
The original style remains a summer staple though, thanks to the fact you can just throw them over one shoulder, put all your essentials in the large central compartment and go.
Ideal for popping to the shops or heading to the beach, the tote is still an old-school classic, and always look cool matched with stone chinos, a striped Oxford shirt and tortoiseshell sunglasses.
Baseball caps have had something of a glow up in recent years, with everyone from high-street retailers to luxury fashion houses producing them.
Originally part of the uniform for American baseball players, the hat has transcended its sporting roots to become a casualwear icon, whether you go for one emblazoned with your favourite team’s logo or a more minimal take.
Try the latter with a tonal look consisting of navy shorts and a light blue tee, or go for a more retro-styled colourful cap to finish off a preppy outfit.
While not an accessory per se, a well chosen fragrance can no doubt make you feel (and smell) better in the heat.
Make sure said fragrance is weather appropriate though and avoid heavy notes of musk, wood and tobacco, which are better suited to the autumn/winter months.
Instead, turn to citrus, floral and vetiver combos, which are light, fresh and won’t overpower on warm days.
You can get away with wearing socks made from any material in autumn and winter, whether thick cotton or chunky lambswool. Even heavy polyester blends are fine, providing the colour complements the rest of your look.
Yet in summer these fabrics become obsolete. Instead, you’ll want something as lightweight as possible, so your feet don’t overheat and start sweating profusely.
Look for cotton or modal socks, which are far more breathable than winter weight ones, and will help prevent your overall body heat from rising.
There isn’t really any such thing as a ‘summer’ watch. But there are timepiece with traits that lend themselves better to warmer weather. Those with water resistance, for example, which can withstand the occasional dip in the sea, or those with a bit of colour, which can help brighten up your day to day outfits.
But if buying a brand new watch for three months of the year doesn’t appeal, you could just swap out the strap. Forget metal bracelets, which cause your wrist to sweat, and leather which can quickly absorb sweat and smells.
Instead, try a NATO or canvas strap, which is far lighter and can easily be washed in the sink. Canvas straps are also readily available in colourful stripes, so even if your watch has a bog-standard black dial, it can be made summer appropriate in an instant.