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HOW TO ADD PERSONALITY TO YOUR SUMMER WARDROBE
IT'S TIME TO EXPERIMENT WITH ELEMENTS OF COLOUR, PRINTS, ACCESSORIES AND SHAPE
The winter coat has returned to hibernation in the back of our wardrobes and boots are firmly back on the shoe rack, gathering dust for another six months or so. We’re moving closer and closer to summer and while that’s great in terms of pretty much everything, it’s not the best time of year for style conscious guys. You see, where winter increases our wardrobe options tenfold, summer does the exact opposite and more often than not, we as menfolk, find ourselves trapped in a three-month cycle of shorts, T-shirts and trainers. What else can we do? Well, the answer to that question is ‘we can get creative’. Experimenting with elements of colour, prints, accessories and shape can allow us to inject some personality into our basic summer wardrobes.
So, with some help from our friends in the world of menswear, we’re going to break it down for you, so that you can bring your default summer wardrobe to life.
It’s very tempting to reach for the plain white tee when the sun comes out, and don’t get us wrong, that’s absolutely fine. However, if you want to liven things up, you’ll need to add some colour. Where neutral, earthy tones are your best friend through autumn and winter, pastels take their place for the warmer months; think powder blues, lemon yellows and peach. Obviously, you don’t have to build your entire outfit out of these colours, simply adding a light jacket in a pastel tone can work wonders. Or, if you’re feeling a bit more daring, then why not try a tonal outfit? A pair of chino shorts and a T-shirt in different shades of the same colour look great layered with a contrasting crew neck or a light jacket. “As we've seen, pink and yellow are massive trends this season, and a personal favourite of mine, as well as other pastel hues,” says Tom Courcey, Editor of menswear retailer The Idle Man. “Teaming a more vibrant colour with something quite neutral is something I'm going to be channelling when the weather decides to buck its ideas up.”
Layers, oh how we love layers. The endless possibilities that they bring to the table, but it’s summer now, so layering isn’t an option anymore, right? WRONG. “As a stylist, I often see men take the less layers factor too literally and end up looking like they are going to the beach, even though they live in a city,” explains Elin Mai, founder of long-running personal styling service Style Doctors. “Look at unlined lightweight blazers that are not as heavy. Finish off with a pocket square to add another pop of colour… Or for style purposes you could even wear a sweater around your neck to add some depth.” Unlined blazers, crew neck sweaters, overshirts and light jackets are all good choices when it comes to adding more layers to a summer outfit. If it does get too hot, just wrap it around your waist or drape it across your shoulders.
“Prints are another great way to add interest to your summer outfits,” Elin of Style Doctors tells us. “If you're more adventurous you can even mix prints. Think; smaller prints from the same colour family to add depth.” Like experimenting with colour in your summer wardrobe, introducing some prints and patterns into the mix is another great way to spice a dull outfit up. For summer 2017 the go-to styles are vertical stripes, camouflage, checks, Chinese-inspired embroidery and Hawaiian florals. “Stripes have been seen everywhere, and this season we're turning away from the classic breton stripes we're all so used to,” The Idle Man’s Courcey tells us. “Think big, block stripes on shirts for an eye-catching detail and a nod to a more Scandi-inspired feel. Team with a pair of chinos and white leather trainers for a casual and stylish look.”
Adding a few extra bits and pieces to your outfit is a powerful way to boost your summer style. From hats to sunglasses, belts to necklaces – make sure you harness the full potential of your look by accessorising accordingly this summer. “Although I’m not a massive accessory person myself, as I like to keep it simple, more and more men are sporting smaller and more compact bags,” says Courcey. "I myself, for instance, plucked up the courage to invest a new Louis Vuitton bag just to hold my daily necessities." A small bag is a great shout for the warmer weather, as the heat causes us to shed a lot of pocket space that we’d have otherwise had in jackets, coats and shirts. Something like Tom’s LV bag could be just the ticket! Elin from Style Doctors suggests changing your belt game up for the warmer weather too: “Woven belts are a great way to break-up outfits and add some texture and colour into the mix too.”