It’s a dilemma guys face each and every year.
The cooler months at the start of the year enable men to proudly sport dapper winter pea coats, that new pair of suede chukka boots or perhaps even a go-to pair of favorite selvedge denim.
Then summer comes, and all of a sudden, it’s time to re-think what you’re going to wear for a while.
As the levels of mercury rise, and you begin to search for lighter fabrics, it may seem as if any sense of personal style you previously had is coming to a screeching halt — but it doesn’t have to. There are several easy ways to still dress well, look, and feel good while doing it. Build multiple outfits, mix and match shirts, shorts, shoes and accessories, and most importantly, don’t sweat breaking the bank — you can accomplish looking your best on a budget. After all, just because you may take a four-month summer hiatus at the beach, doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to.
Make that Polo shirt pop!
Polo shirts are summer wardrobe essentials that have stood the test of time. This tried and true collared shirt can either be dressed up with a nice pair of khakis or jeans, or dressed down with other articles of clothing that scream summer such as seersucker shorts or a traditional topsider shoe. Most Polo shirts are made from 100% cotton, a very breathable fabric that keeps you cool even in the most brutal temperatures. Some are even mesh or waffle-knit, which is just an added bonus. Here’s another tip: choose light colors such as pastels, and other muted shades of yellow, blue, green or pink. These colors are not only widely recognized as summer classics, but they also don’t absorb heat as quickly as darker colors, ensuring you’ll stay comfortable all day long.
Pick your favorite pattern
In case you haven’t noticed, patterns are in this season! Classics such as seersucker, gingham, plaid, argyle and stripes are staples of summer, but even if you’re the more adventurous type who lets your clothes speak to your personality, you can always go bold with patterns such as cheetah, camo or others. As a rule of thumb, choose one pattern and accessorize with other articles of clothing that are solid. Just remember, mixing stripes and plaids together tends to be a no-no.
Insider’s tip: I’ll let you in on one personal favorite of mine that’s been tried and true, at least in my experience, to be a killer combo. For formal occasions, try pairing a gingham shirt with a paisley tie of the same color, albeit a different shade to achieve a monochromatic color scheme.
Don’t take lightweight lightly
For years, maybe you’ve heard to invest in wool suits for purposes of both look and quality. And you still should, just not during the summer time. The good news is that formal suits, blazers and even a nice pair of jeans come in lightweight fabrics such as sateen, linen, cotton, or cotton/denim blends. Retail outlets such as H&M and Uniqlo, and brands such as Topman and Asos, seem to specialize in creating stylish, sharp-looking clothes manufactured with these same fabrics, all at a reasonable price. Even designer denim brands such as Joe’s, 7 For All Mankind, Citizen and specifically Paige Denim (whose soft, lightweight jeans are my personal go-to) can be found at bargain prices at outlet malls or retailers like Saks Off Fifth and Nordstrom Rack at just a fraction of the cost of the department store price.
Find your scent
If you thought that one bottle of cologne you had was enough, think again. As the seasons change, so should your scents. Both spring and summer call for lighter aromas with hints of citrus, lavender, bergamot and more, while winter scents for cooler weather are heavier on notes of spice and often contain woodsy undertones. There are plenty of options for summery, light scents that won’t break the bank, so go ahead, have fun and select three or four to enjoy a different option every day, and to build up your collection.