This week, since I’m in New York, I wanted to feature a few summer items from a friend and one of my favorite New York-based designers. On top of that, I’ve been meaning to hang out with Barron from EffortlessGent.com, so what better way to kill a few birds with one stone?
The 100% high quality linen coupled with the navy and white color palette of the shirt will keep you cool all Summer long for years to come.
The champagne suede sneakers are a great way to add a stylish, yet neutral color to your summer wardrobe. Wear with the floral shirt and some white or light blue denim, navy or charcoal chinos or shorts.
You get what you pay for. High quality materials and construction coupled with well thought out, sharp designs are hard to come by. Trust me.
Did I mention these are neutral items that are easy to incorporate into your existing wardrobe?!
I’m quite excited for my pick of the week because I’ve been constantly checking for the last few weeks to see if they’re available. Annnnnnnnd they are!! I’m sure you’ve already read my Essential Polo Shirt article so you know what to look for in a polo – so I present to you, my favorite polo shirt.
The cotton fabric feels like a really soft t-shirt.
The collar has just the right amount of structure.
The price is very affordable. They’re currently on sale for $10.
Do yourself a favor and pick these up right now because they go in and out of stock constantly, and sometimes for weeks on end. The second I see them come up, I immediately order them because I’ve been burned in the past by waiting.
During this time of year, Dorian lives in these polos. He wears them all the time, but especially during the Spring and Summer months. I do want to point out, though, that the darker colored polos are not the most durable. I baby these by washing them in cold water with detergent, specifically for dark colors, and I let them air dry, but even still, the color for the darker polos will fade so you’ll need to replace them yearly if not sooner.
With all that said, these are still some of the best fitting and best looking polos ever.
Best Ways to Wear
I love polo shirts because they can easily be dressed up or down. If you’re running errands or want a super casual, yet put together look, then pair your polo with some dark wash jeans and white low top sneakers. Check out my Polo Shirt article for lots of other ways to wear a polo shirt, as well.
My articles and videos almost always center around a specific piece of clothing or accessory, so I thought it would be fun to switch it up and talk about 3 head-to-toe foundational outfits every guy needs. Once you have these 3 outfits, you can build an entire wardrobe around them. And here’s the beauty of them: from these 3 outfits, you can switch things in and out to add your own personal touch and truly make them your own.
If you’re thin to average build, you can also wear a white t-shirt. However, if you’re a broader man that’s not in shape, and you decide to take off your jacket, then a white t-shirt will actually spotlight how big you are (and not in a good way). Also, the reason why you want to go with black chukkas is because black is the dominant color in your jacket. I went with leather chukka boots over suede and lace-up boots because the latter options won’t look appropriate for every season.
A bomber is a very stylish, modern alternative to a blazer that works in almost all the same occasions and looks great for every man, regardless if you’re a teenager all the way to a retiree. A younger gentlemen in high school or college, for instance, wouldn’t necessarily need a blazer, so that’s why I’m not recommending it over a blazer. If the occasion does call for a sport coat or blazer, in a pinch, you can use the jacket in my next recommendation and dress it up like I did in the picture below.
I was doing a pull for a client when I randomly stumbled on this indigo blue chambray shirt and I had to share it with you. It’s not often that a simple shirt like this blows me away, but this one was something special. It was the perfect shade of indigo blue, the buttons where a similar color to the shirt, so they blended in nicely. And the fit was really darn good. If you don’t already have one (or a few) of these in your closet, get one – or many!
This shirt will definitely not be available for too long so be sure to order yours if you’ve been wanting a chambray shirt for awhile now because it’s so tough to find one this good.
Best Ways to Wear
Chambray shirts look great year round. You can wear it dressed up with a sportcoat, dress it down with a bomber jacket, or wear it on its own with the sleeves rolled up and paired with some chinos or grey or black jeans.
These are, to me, the 16 accessories every guy needs to own, regardless of your age, occupation, and lifestyle. Some of these items you may not wear often, but there will be an occasion, as a grown man, when you will need them and you’ll be thankful that you thought far enough ahead to take care of them before it’s too late and you’re scrambling at the last minute. I’ve also included my favorites for each of these items below. But these points below are just skimming the surface compared to the much more through Men’s Essential Accessories Series I did recently.
Like I’ve mentioned before, every man should have at least a grey suit. Even if you only wear it once every year, you’re going to need a suit. Along with that, looking well dressed is always about the details and a white pocket square is an easily overlooked item that really does make a big impact and it’ll only set you back a couple of bucks.
This is another overlooked item. I talked about this in my article about the 12 Things Men Wear That Women Love, but a tie bar is something that adds that special touch to your outfit. It’s also so cheap to own so order it once and you’ll never think about it again.
Get rid of your white socks. These socks can and should be worn as your everyday socks. If you need heavier duty, thicker socks for your job or because of the weather, there are plenty of companies that offer warmer versions.
Whether you’re a sunglass man or not, sunglasses are important because they’re going to protect your eyes from the sun, prevent you from squinting, which creates wrinkles around your eyes, and they can add a stylish, cool touch to your outfit. Check out my sunglasses story so you choose the right frames for your face shape.
We all have those lazy days, myself included, where you just say F it, I’m gonna throw on a hat. When it comes to baseball hats I have very specific opinions about them so I shared some of my recommendations below.
Everyone travels. Whether it’s to some exotic country, or across town, you’ll need to put your clothes in something AND trash bags are not an option. Like every accessory you own, it should not only serve it’s purpose, but look damn good at the same time. I have a whole article about weekender bags you should check out.
This item goes great with your weekender bag. Again, doesn’t matter if you’re traveling to another city or to the gym, a dopp kitt is essential because it’ll keep your grooming products organized and contained in a respectable manner.
Everyone has casual days, and white sneakers look so sharp on every guy regardless of your age or body type. If you’re really scared of wearing white, or think that it doesn’t look right, ease yourself into it with a nice low top lace-up black or navy sneaker.
These are the top 4 men’s shoes for Spring that I really love. You’re probably not going to wear these with your Fall and Winter wardrobe, so it’s time to pull these shoes out of your closet and let them shine! Footwear is a great way to inject new life in your existing wardrobe, and these 4 shoes will make a stylish statement during Spring and Summer.
Here are my top 4 favorite shoes for Spring:
4. Suede Double Monk Straps
I included these in my Top 10 Essential Items for Spring as well. Suede Monkstraps, whether you get a dark brown, grey, or navy pair, can just take an outfit to another level. It’s such a stylish touch to any outfit and can be worn with a suit, chinos, or jeans. Make sure to Scotch Guard them before you wear them for the first time – always gotta protect your suede items!
I absolutely love penny loafers. They look so good when worn with no-show socks and a little bit of ankle exposed. Whether you cuff your jeans or chinos, or hem your pants so there’s no break or a little ankle showing. A leather loafer looks so chic and luxurious. I love Ferragamo’s loafers (I got a pair for my fiancé Dorian 2 or 3 years ago) and they’re totally worth the price because they definitely hold up and still look great after years and years of wear.
Think of them as the middle ground between sneakers and penny loafers. They’re just as comfortable as sneakers, yet dressier like a penny loafer. I also included these in my Men’s Summer Essentials ebook because they work during the warmer months in general.
My hands down, favorite suede driving shoe is from Tod’s. Everything about that shoe – construction, design, and color choice – is so damn sexy and incredible. It’s worth every penny, and there is no close second for me.
Henley shirts are one of the few items that, to me, don’t really have a specific season they’re best worn in because there’s so many different versions for men. Other shirts, like T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and DressShirts don’t really have this problem since they’re pretty standard across the board no matter the season.
I love henleys, because they look sexy and masculine, especially when the top 1 or 2 buttons are undone to draw the eyes to your chest and shoulders to show off your physique in a flattering way. Hence, the image below.
BUT, and this is a big mistake I see a lot of men making – they’re not for every everyone. More on that shortly.
Let’s get into what to look for in your henleys based on the time of year.
Generally, henleys will be made out of cotton, so there’s really not much choice outside of that, but you still need to consider fabric weights depending on the time of year. The main thing to know is that lighter weights should be worn in warmer months or in warmer climates and thicker, heavier fabrics in cooler months or climates. You can get them in everything from a lightweight summer weave, where it feels like a t-shirt, to thicker, quilted versions which will keep you warm during the cooler months.
You don’t have to worry too much when buying them because, based on the time of year, the brands will carry the appropriate weights. But I still want you to be aware of it just in case.
Like all your clothing, including henleys, they should have a trim fit throughout the body and arms – no matter your body type. You never want it too loose anywhere because that’s when you’ll look sloppy and not put together. You shouldn’t be able to pinch more than 1-2 inches of fabric on one side of your stomach and no more than an inch around the bicep.
The image below highlights the proper fit around the torso and sleeves.
I mentioned earlier that henleys aren’t for everyone, so let’s get into that right now since we’re talking about fit.
For Thin Gentleman
If you’re a thin guy, no matter your height, if you want to wear a henley, you absolutely need to nail the fit, especially if you’re going to wear a long sleeve version. If the fit is too loose, it’ll make you look thinner and more frail than you are – not good!
I only like long sleeve henleys on thinner men if they’re layered underneath a jacket, like the below right image. When worn on their own, it really spotlights and elongates your thinner torso, like image on the left. So if you’re a thinner guy and want to wear a henley on its own, then wear a short sleeve version since it’ll look similar to your t-shirts.
If you’re a rotund gentleman (aka you’re not in the greatest shape and have a belly), you cannot wear a henley shirt, period. Allow me to show you why and explain. See exhibit A:
Because of the button placket on the front, coupled with the lack of a collar, a henley will shine a massive spotlight on your bigger neck and torso. This is when a polo shirt is perfect and should be used instead, because a polo shirt’s collar will visually keep your torso balanced and in proportion, so your top half doesn’t look so big compared to your bottom half. The image below of James Corden shows a guy with the exact same body type as the image above, but in a polo shirt. Talk about a night and day difference…
Best Ways To Wear A Henley Shirt
Think of your short sleeve henley as a t-shirt, they’re interchangeable in the same outfits, so that means they can be worn on their own or underneath a jacket.
For a long sleeve, you would normally wear these during the cooler months as a layering piece, so I styled Dorian in a long sleeve henley shirt underneath a bomber jacket, dark wash jeans, and sneakers.
There’s going to be some items in your closet that’ll need to transition for the Spring and Summer seasons, and that definitely includes your suits. If you’ve seen my other suiting articles and videos, then there’s some suits that’ll work year round, but there’s always room for some seasonal specific suits.
So let’s go through what you should look for in a Spring and Summer suit and the best shoes to wear during this time of year.
I love brown, green, and burgundy during these seasons, but I’m also a big fan of lighter colors such as: light to medium blues, light greys, and camel.
For bolder colors, like green and burgundy, I prefer that they’re solid because a pattern can be too bold of a look and make you look like a goofball.
Experimenting with patterns is a perfect way to inject some fun and personality into your suits. I love windowpanes, plaids, checks, and stripes (ie. seersucker striped pattern).
It is perfectly fine to wear a darker color, like navy, but I always prefer to go with a navy windowpane or a nice navy plaid suit to help slightly break up the big swath of a dark color.
During this time of year, there’s a lot of fabric choices to choose from – linen, cotton, seersucker, or a lightweight wool fabric.
Most Spring & Summer wool suits will generally be around 8 – 10 ounces, which is your typical year-round fabric weight. I tend to prefer 8-8.5 ounces as that’s a nice lightweight wool that’ll keep you comfortable.
If you live in a more tropical environment that’s hot and humid, I recommend going with fabric that is around 6 ounces, since it will be much lighter and more breathable. Linen is typically a very lightweight, breathable fabric choice although you will have to deal with the immense wrinkles that will accrue throughout the day – there’s just no way around it with linen, unfortunately.
Another really great fabric that doesn’t wrinkle and that’s quiet breathable is seersucker, which I really love. Traditionally, seersucker fabric is blue and white but there are a lot of different color variations these days.
Aside from pattern, this is another area where you can add some flair to your Spring suiting.
There are 3 different hem lengths I recommend:
Exposed ankle – If you want a little bit of your ankle to be exposed than hem pants so they hit the top of your outer ankle bone. Make sure your pants are tapered pretty slim towards the ankle so that there’s not a bunch of fabric flopping around.
No break – When you want to wear loafers, have your pants hemmed so they’re barely skimming the top of your shoes. Again, pants should be tapered pretty slim towards the ankle.
Slight break – More versatile and appropriate for all occasions.
Pairing Your Spring/Summer Suit with Dress Shirts & Ties
For ties, I love polka dots, florals, and fun patterns during this time of year. I also really like using silk knit ties in solid colors since they complement the visually lighter suits. Just please, make sure your ties are proportional to your body type.
If you want to inject some color in your charcoal or navy suit (that you already own), pair it with a gingham or striped dress shirt, or even a lavender or light pink dress shirt. This will help give a more Spring-vibe to your outfit.
If you go with a patterned suit, then make sure to keep your dress shirt and pocket square a solid color because you don’t want to go overboard with mixing patterns. The tie can have a pattern, though.
If you’re wearing a solid Spring colored suit, then gingham and striped dress shirts in pastel colors look really good here. You’ll want a bolder solid colored tie so that it stands out from the shirt and compliments your suit.
If you’ve watched or read any of my other shoe videos and articles, I’ve specifically mentioned that you should save your suede items for Spring and Summer, and guess what? Now it’s time to bring them out.