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BUILDING YOUR SUMMER 2017 CAPSULE WARDROBE
THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT TO STOCK YOUR WARDROBE WITH THIS SEASON
The sun is beaming down and the air is thick with the smell of BBQs. The sound of friends laughing and cracking open ice cold beers echoes across the land. It can only mean one thing: summer is officially upon us. It came out of nowhere didn’t it? So much so, in fact, that you may not have had a chance to sort out your summer wardrobe yet. The problem is, where winter increases your clothing options tenfold, summer does the exact opposite. This can leave a lot of guys settling for the tried and tested ‘plain T-shirt, chino shorts and trainers’ combo. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to spice things up a bit and keep things fresh, you’re certainly not short of options. With that in mind, we hit up our pals at some leading menswear retailers to bring you the lowdown on what to stock your summer capsule wardrobe with this year.
Retro running shorts
As far as men’s shorts go, you’re pretty much limited to around six different styles, so if you’re looking to branch out this is a good place to start. Retro is never not going to be cool and no matter what direction fashion moves in, we’re always looking to the past for inspiration. Jamie Carson, Digital Editor at Topman is definitely on board with the look, due in no small part to Danny Dyer, oddly enough. “Basically, I only watched Danny Dyer's The Business for the first time a couple of weeks ago and now I'm obsessed with 80s lad wear,” says Carson. “I don't really fancy moving to Spain to shift mountains of cocaine, but I will take the iconic retro short shorts.” For the complete look, top them off with a track jacket and a nice set of retro suede runners.
Camp collar shirt
The light and airy camp collar shirt has been around for a few seasons now and it’s ideal for the hot weather. It’s the perfect item for those confusing summer evenings where it’s roasting hot, you’re supposed to be eating out and you have no idea what to wear. Equally, it looks great dressed down with some light shorts and leather trainers. “You’ll be pleased to know that billowing camp collar, short-sleeved shirts continue to be key for this summer,” says Olie Arnold, Style Director at Mr Porter. “They are fun, breezy and perfect for keeping cool strolling along pavements and promenades at the height of summer. My favourites are the tropical prints from Gitman Vintage or a plain option from Japanese brand Neighbourhood.” Arnold suggests wearing yours with swim shorts by the pool, chinos in the city or styled over a plain t-shirt for a more relaxed feel.
Holiday footwear can be a notoriously tricky thing to get right. Flip flops are a bit boring, sandals are a veritable minefield when it comes to picking out a pair that won’t make you look like your secondary school geography teacher and trainers are often way too hot. Enter the pool slider… “There are few examples of summer footwear that are as elegantly simple or suited to wearing on the streets as they are along sandy shores as a pair of sliders,” explains Mr Porter’s Arnold. “Sliders are my must have in casual footwear for this summer, wear with printed t-shirts and shorts and wear a leather pair with jeans and a casual shirt to give a contemporary feel. For ye brave fashion folk, channel SS17 Prada vibes and wear with socks. N.B. socks must be thick, textured and pulled up!”
Knitted Quarter Zip Top
Knitted polos are riding a wave of popularity at the moment which doesn’t look set to break anytime soon. We love them, but if you want to take it up a notch this summer, Topman’s Jamie Carson suggests adding a zip collar into the equation. “I don't cycle because I'd last about 5 minutes on the open road before flying into a fit of rage at passing motorists,” jokes Carson, “but if I didn't have unresolved anger issues I'd definitely be channelling my inner Bradley Wiggins with a casual knitted polo with a quarter zip. This cycling-inspired little beauty is ideal for teaming up with a pair of chino shorts and loafers during the day, or with slim selvedge denim and luxe leather trainers for breezy summer evenings." If you don’t fancy going for a knitted version, you could try taking a look at Fred Perry’s collection with the man himself, Bradley Wiggins. The cycling legend has put his mark on this particular style in Fred Perry’s classic pique polo material.
The Suede Bomber
You might be under the impression that you can prance though the whole of summer without so much as having to glance in the general direction of a jacket, but you’d be wrong. Especially here in England, you’ll be lucky to get through the entire season without having at least a handful of times in which you find yourself out on a rather chilly evening with nothing but a T-shirt. A suede bomber jacket is not only bang on trend, it’s also light, versatile and the prefect companion for breezy summer evenings. “I’ve always felt that the suede bomber is the leather jacket’s lighter, more tactile cousin and my go to item to take the edge off cool summer evenings,” says Mr Porter’s Arnold. “It’s the kind of jacket you could imagine hanging off the shoulder of a style icon such as Mr Steve McQueen. So, find you inner Mr. McQueen and invest in what will become your most worn jacket this summer.” Like we said, the suede bomber is seriously versatile, but a good summer evening look would be to layer it over a crisp white Oxford shirt, with cropped trousers on the bottom and a pair of desert boots to tie the outfit together.