With summer comes warmer temperatures and a flood of social invitations. The beautiful weather outside is the perfect backdrop for summer barbeques, garden parties, weddings, regattas, and other festivities. While sunshine and high temperatures often necessitate a more relaxed attitude or comfortable approach to clothing, they don’t have to mean sacrificing your style.
Modern day gentlemen can still dress for the warmer, summer weather while still looking presentable. Dressing for style is easy to do with a few general guidelines and tips to highlight your inherent taste.
Simple Rules for Summer Attire
When it comes to dapper dressing in the summertime, there are some simple rules to keep in mind:
- The first pillar of summer dressing is to keep it light. When the heat rises you don’t want to be stuck wearing heavy, dark clothing. Ditch the wool and cashmere and the layers in favor of light colored outfits. Dark colors absorb light, while light colors reflect light to keep you cooler. A white long sleeve cotton shirt is cooler than a dark short sleeved one in warmer weather.
- Clothing should also be breathable and made of natural fibers. Instead of velvets, heavy denim, and chunky knits try to choose linen, cotton, and tropical weight wool options. You should be able to move around and enjoy yourself without being overwhelmed with fabric. Looser fabrics also facilitate more airflow. Just be sure to still keep your items sleek and tailored, you shouldn’t start wearing things two sizes too big just because of the weather.
- Next, keep it understated. A true gentleman exudes style in the cut and shape of his clothing that compliments his attitude and figure. An understated, yet refined dress code demonstrates respect to those he keeps in his company and shows that he knows how to turn out for an event. No one wants to be remembered as the overly dressed or disheveled and under dressed guest.
- Finally, keep it clean. The hot weather can be difficult, but keep your clothing free from stains and perspiration. You don’t want to look like you stepped out of a sauna, so use soaps and deodorant wisely and keep a second shirt on-hand. Having a second shirt allows you to keep yourself looking fresh if the heat and sweat take a toll on your attire. You should also keep your hair groomed and opt for a close shave in the warmer temps.
What to Wear to Summer Formal Events
Once you have the basic rules of summer attire down, you can branch out into properly dressing for summer’s many social and formal events. Whether you’re heading to a big summer garden party or a summer wedding, nailing the right look is crucial.
When dressing for a summer wedding, be sure you read the invitation so you can follow the proper dress code. The same rules of dressing also apply here; lighter and more natural-fiber clothing is the best way to go.
Many of the components of the summer formal dress code include:
- Bow Tie: A bow tie is a crucial element of formal summer dressing. The bow tie should coordinate with the shirt, jacket and pocket square. Choose a summer bow tie that brightens your look and makes a bold statement.
- Shirt: Keep it light and tailored. Tucking, pinning, or hiding it in a suit jacket or blazer won’t disguise an ill-fitting shirt. A trim and tailored shirt in 100 percent Egyptian cotton is a great choice. The shirt should breathe and move with you.
- Watch: Choosing the right timepiece is important. In the summer months you don’t want anything too clunky, but it should still be stylish enough to punctuate your outfit. Switching out your darker leather bands for a lighter shade or even canvas version is also a great option.
- Jacket: Your jacket should act to enhance your outfit and can be used to dress up or down according to the occasion. When paired with the right tailored shirt and trousers it elevates your look to the next level. You can also try a light blazer over a sharp crew neck t-shirt for a more casual outfit. Choose a blazer in a soft, washed, natural fabric to maximize comfort and breathability.
- Pants: Your pants can be used to match your jacket or add depth to your smart casual look. Select pants that are dressy and tailored enough that they will still look good without a jacket for more relaxed garden party events.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses also make the man. There is nothing like slipping on a pair of shades to give a confident first impression. Pick a pair in a classic Wayfarer or aviator that match your face and exude summer style.
- Shoes: You can’t be totally well dressed without the right pair of shoes. A great pair of handmade Italian leather brogues or loafers are the right attire for your summer feet.
No matter what events you have on your summer calendar, remember to keep it light, bright, cool, and natural. Following the simple steps to stylish summer dressing will make you a memorable guest at any occasion whether it’s a wedding, garden party, barbeque, or regatta. Just remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your style when the temperatures soar.
Randall Hanauer has been in the menswear business since the day he was born. His father, Randy Hanauer, founded R. Hanauer Bow Ties in 1985 and Randall joined his father in the family business soon after graduation from Virginia Tech. R. Hanauer Bow Ties are widely known to be an American classic. Hand-cut and sewn in the Hanauer’s Fort Mill, South Carolina workshop, the bow ties are a classic staple in high-end menswear stores across the country as well as a staple in gentlemen’s closets. Please visit www.bowties.com to learn more about their history and to view all unique styles of the “best tying bow ties on the market.”