As a nation we're pretty proficient at dressing for cold weather - coats, jumpers and chunky boots come naturally to us, given the determined gloom of our great country's climate.
As a consequence, the summer months tend to confuse us a bit. What do we wear when the sun shines, for instance? How do we prevent turning a shade of tomato the moment we set foot outside the door? And how does one sandal?
Here, to answer all your warm weather-related woes is Esquire's guide to good summer dressing.
1 | Always wear the right fabrics
It sounds simple, but one of the biggest mistakes many of us make in the summer months is to wear the same fabrics we would in winter. In cold weather you can wear as much wool, cashmere and tweed as you like, in summer – to prevent you turning up at the office a big sweaty mess – invest in clothes made of breathable linen, seersucker and fine cotton. You won't regret it, and it'll mean that your winter clothes stay clean and perspiration free until you need them again, in around a week's time.
2 | Get a good deodorant
An extension of the a previous commandment, this. One of the most preventable style mistakes men make is to use a deodorant that leaves white marks on our clothes. You can probably get away with it in the winter when you're not sweating as much and you're wearing layers (though you'll still ruin the fabric under your arm), but in summer it's essential to invest in a white-mark free deodorant, which will not only preserve your clothes but also avoid any unsightly marks.
3 | Invest in three types of shoe
For men who want to push the boat out sandals are fine, but in reality the British summer only requires three pairs of essential shoes. The first is a good pair of leather loafers with a light sole – perfect with smarter outfits and equally good at the weekend - this is your bread and butter summer shoe. The second is a high quality leather tennis shoe in a block colour, perfect for off duty looks and as good with shorts as they are trousers. The final one is a light lace up in suede or leather, which you can wear with a suit or even with a T-shirt and chinos in the evening. Leave your flip-flops at the door (or better yet, in the bin).
4 | Don't be afraid to go loose
Though the baggy trouser trend might seem scary to anyone who doesn't actually work in fashion, in reality we should all be seeing it as an amazing opportunity to loosen up a bit. So do yourself a favour, embrace the relaxed mood and invest in some slightly baggy seersucker trousers from someone like Paul Smith and let yourself hang loose. Your legs will appreciate it.
5 | Invisible socks are FINE
There's been a lot of hating on invisible socks of late, but I'm happy to say that as long as they can't be seen above the line of your shoe, they're absolutely fine. The other option is to have hot, sweaty, smelly feet all day, which will ruin your shoes and lose you friends. Not good.
6 | Get a good hair cut
If you've got a lot of hair, you'll know that the summer is a nightmare for keeping cool. Go to a barber, get a short back and sides and relish the movement of air around your head. There's no point suffering with a sweaty head for the entire summer.
7 | Buy at least two pairs of good sunglasses
The likelihood is you'll break one pair or leave them in the back of an Uber. Always keep a back up pair of sunglasses handy (any of these will do nicely) – particularly when you're on holiday and there's sand around - you won't be sorry.
8 | Wear double breasted
When it comes to smarter dressing, a double breasted blazer is the ultimate summer option. Designed to elongate and slim the frame (perfect if you overindulged over winter), a double-breasted jacket in linen or cotton will look smart even if you choose to wear yours with an aertex T-Shirt. The double breasted fastening will cover the bottom of the T-shirt meaning that only the neck line is on show. Genius!
9 | Don't be afraid of light colours
Another symptom of Britain's permanent state of grey is that we've forgotten how to wear colour. Take summer as an opportunity to experiment a bit with newfangled shades – a sky blue hopsack jacket with some navy trousers, for instance, or a pale pink linen double breasted blazer with stone chinos. You'll be surprised how easy it is to pull off. If in doubt, however, go tonal – a sage green blazer with an olive jumper and some khaki chinos will look like you've made an effort even when you haven't.
10 | Buy high quality T-shirts
This is particularly important in the summer months, when you're likely to be wearing just a T-shirt with some trousers or shorts. A good quality Tee will set your outfit apart without you breaking a sweat. Go for something in Sea Island cotton from Sunspel or breathable cashmere (yup) from Kit & Ace. You won't regret