I love summer. Sunshine changes things; people are in a good mood, you can go outside without freezing to death, bright colors look great, all is right with the world. To mirror this change in attitude your closet should adjust accordingly, summer suits are wonderful pieces of clothing but can be tricky to pull off, we hear ya. Have no fear, LT’s got you covered: When it comes to suits, summer is your time to experiment. You can easily stick to traditional styles or throw them out the window (they should be open anyway). We like to take a few risks and stick out without being ridiculous. Some words of wisdom before we get started: The name of the game in summer is light and bright; remember that when you’re shopping and you’ll be good to go wherever you are.
For the days when you need to meet the board of trustees or ask a lady-friend’s father if you can marry her, it’s best to wear a “conservative” summer suit. Neutral colors remain deliciously stylish as always in the summer heat but you need to make sure the shades of the suits are lighter than normal to catch the classic warm weather look.
Navy: The “summer” in this navy suit will shine through what you choose to put underneath the jacket. Feel free to get a little colorful with the tie or bow-tie. The navy here is lighter than your standard business-professional navy but is by no means inappropriate. That means you can push the envelope in other parts of the outfit and know the reserved navy will temper any craziness underneath. This suit – and most summer suits for that matter – will look excellent with a boutonniere (floral lapel pin).
Check out the world-class boutonneires offered in red and blue at www.mrporter.com and for the frugal consumer, venture over to this Etsy Shop and explore their lapel options. They’re inexpensive and handmade to boot!
Should you feel particularly daring and want to show a room who’s boss, command attention with this double-breasted blue pinstripe suit from Suit Supply. The pinstripes keeps the suit conservative and restrained while the deep blue sets it apart from typical navies and charcoals that grow boring in summertime. Remember, summer is the season to play with your closet, pinstripe is an excellent place to start if you’re a bit reluctant to go nuts. If you wear this suit or one like it, keep the shirt and tie light but not extravagant. The suit is the main player and you don’t want the shirt and tie to distract from it.
Grey: Grey might be my favorite color for summer suits and for good reason. Nearly every color on the planet looks fantastic with grey, it comes in lots of shades and its areas always make for good debate. The suit maestros at Suit Supply can make a grey suit sing they looks so good. Check out these two…both greys are exceptionally light and as such you have a lot of room to do what you please with the outfit. For a cohesive look pick a dark tie/pocket square like you see in the first suit to play off the lightness of the fabric. The dark colors will pop against the grey background and look great as the outfit’s focal point. If you prefer to be a bit subdued, use lighter neck and pocket-wear and the grey will keep things tame and pull it together, (see the second suit).
Khaki: Truly a summer staple, khaki looks good on everyone. A summer without khaki is like winter without blue jeans, inconceivable! Just kidding, it’s not that serious, but everyone does look good in khaki. Another phenomenal formal choice for summer, this khaki suit will flatter almost all colors and look good in situations from teatime with the Queen to tearing up from hot sauce in Tijuana. As you can see in the picture, khaki looks great with every blue under the sun. To stay on the Tea Party side of conservative wear a classic blue like the Blue Gregor Royal Oxford, ($135) from Ledbury and solid color tie. If your occasion allows a little sartorial freedom, pair the suit with the awesome Navy Armour Check, ($165) or Blue Wilton Linen, ($155) also from Ledbury and contrasting bow-tie.
Not quite khaki but definitely in the same vein, brown suits have their place in summer wardrobes. A conservative color through and through, brown offers many of the same benefits as khaki. While not as many colors go well with brown, the ones that do look good, really good. Try light purple or pink, blue, orange or white. There are other colors that work well too, play with what you’ve got.
Oftentimes summer calls for a bit more than the status quo. It asks you to take risks and leave brief cases at home (think double back flips off the high dive, belly flops, etc.) These unique suits may not serve you well in the pool but they’ll certainly make you feel like a million bucks walking up to it. Take a chance and wear one, you won’t regret it. Leading the pack is a gorgeous blue linen/wool suit from Suit Supply; light enough to go with most colors, different enough to stand out.
Second is a double-breasted off white suit, just look at her…beautiful. Go all out with this.
Rounding out the group is a casual dark green cotton/linen suit for when kicking back is the thing to do. Best paired with a hammock.
And For Lounging…
Summer is far from serious and you shouldn’t wear a full suit all the time. For the days that don’t call for a suit, grab a jacket like these and keep on keepin’ on. Match the clear blue skies everyone loves so much with this pale blue suit jacket from Mr. Porter. You’ll definitely want a white shirt underneat, any other color will be a bit too much for the eye to follow and you’ll look like a painter’s palette rather than the dapper fellow you really are. Keep the tie laid back as well or go without. The jacket will work, all you need to do is put it on.
This unconstructed dark navy blazer from Bonobos is a versatile piece. We love how the model has a unusual floral print underneath. There’s a lot going on but isn’t in your face about it, a critical idea in fashion. A lot of men think style is having the most “out there” clothing, that’s not the case. Subtle touches make the man. Also, because the blazer is unconstructed there is little lining inside the coat and it breathes like Egyptian cotton…er, Italian wool. Great for warm weather.
Last but not least is the Red Bennett Sport Coat from Ledbury. This coat is a bit pricey but fully worth the extra bucks. Sure you’ll have to save allowance for a couple weeks but if you splurge on this bad boy you won’t be sorry. Save the jacket for cooler days in the summer months as it look fabulous contrasted with dark colors like black or navy.
Like we said from the top, summer is a time to be bold. Try something you wouldn’t normally try: go in for the kiss, order the weird looking food, travel to Europe…the season’s yours.