It might sound counterintuitive, but summer is the best time to accessorise. Why, you might ask? Because when temperatures soar, the majority of men will step out the house looking almost completely identical: shorts, T-shirt, sneakers.
However, you can beat this dull uniformity with our essential summer accessories edit: choice accents that will elevate both your outfits and style game.
A Summer Scarf
Jude Law is what you’re aiming for here, while Austin Powers is the look to avoid. There’s a fine line but that’s the accessories game in a nutshell – it’s about subtle power moves, finesse, panache, flair… whatever you want to call it.
The rules are simple: avoid anything that could be filed under ‘jazzy’ or ‘statement’ (a style rule to live by) and instead opt for breathable fabrics like cotton, silk or linen in tonal shades and wear it under the lapel of a jacket.
A Canvas Strap Watch
This isn’t a call to get rid of anything made of metal but when summer arrives it helps to diversify your watch collection with something a bit more breathable and in-keeping with the season. It’s also the perfect opportunity to introduce small splashes of colour and texture via your wrist.
Step forward, the canvas (or NATO) strap. Available in a wide range of block colours and stripes, it’s a subtle and easy way to give your timepiece a refresh.
A Tote Bag
The tote is arguably the perfect summer bag: often rendered in lightweight canvas or nylon, it is easy to carry, has a large practical compartment and comes in a number of vibrant and muted shades. Ideal for everything from weekend shopping trips to beach days, where a holdall feels too much.
A Summer Fragrance
It should go without saying that a summer-specific fragrance is a must own for all men. There’s nothing worse for you and those in your vicinity than a strong, musky fragrance on an especially warm day, so keep it light and fresh.
Key notes to look out for include citrus, ginger, juniper, cedar wood, pink peppercorn and vanilla.
A Webbed/Woven Belt
A belt isn’t just something that holds your trousers up. Stylish men know that belts separate the competing shapes of your frame, can be used to tie an entire outfit together, or inject life into simple summer outfits like chinos and T-shirts.
Like anything else in your wardrobe, a belt should not be skimped on, nor channel any type of novelty. Look for woven suede/leather and webbed cotton/canvas versions which are not only more in keeping with the season but will help introduce some much-needed texture to your looks.
The sock or no sock debate is a style tête-à-tête that we’re not going to wade into here. All we’re going to say is there’s nothing wrong with showing off a bit of ankle when the mercury rises and if you’re going to do that, especially with a fancy loafer, you’re going to need some quality no show socks.
Rather than go for the cheap disposable types, get some that last from a specialist hosiery brand like Falke.
A Baseball Cap
You might scoff but if you get it right not only does it provide a faultless summertime accessory but it’ll also protect you from sun damage. A baseball cap now as opposed to when you were a teenager is an opportunity to show maturity. Avoid logos and sports references like the plague and opt for the best options from premium brands.
Done well, you’re David Beckham. Done badly and you’re Tony Pulis. Choose wisely.
Don’t be afraid to don jewellery. As previously mentioned, there’s going to be thousands of white-T-shirt-and-short-clad men out there on any sunny day. Rise above the crowd by showing a bit of personality.
Invest in a quality pendant necklace in classic gold or silver, or try a subtle beaded bracelet. Wear it often and it will quickly become one of your style signatures.
We’ve read a lot of menswear and etiquette books that state that men should never get their feet out in any circumstance. But for us, as long as your feet are presentable, there is no better option than a refined pair of sandals on a hot day.
Slides are fine in a sport or leisure environment but it’s definitely time to gravitate away from flip-flops. Maturity is key.