While women can bare or dare, for most men sartorial summer means suffering in sweat. However with thoughtful consideration regarding cloth and construction one can feel comfortable and look elegant, even in the hottest of climates.
If a suit is a must, then be careful about your choice of cloths. Pick open weave wools called fresco cloth or lightweight summer kid mohair (the summer shearing of the young mohair goat, a very fine hair) to keep you cool. These materials do not wrinkle too badly either.
Colours are as per winter but a bit brighter so greys a bit paler, blues a bit brighter and beige also can be nice. Summertime allows you to make a bolder choice with your colour combinations.
Look for light construction, half or unlined and fine linings. Certainly not polyester unless you like to pong! Bemberg Cupro (a natural silk-like fibre with hypo-allergenic, thermo regulating qualities) is the ideal choice, very strong and light as a feather. Regarding shape, we recommend single breasted jackets but look for a nice shape: slightly waisted, with natural shoulder.
When choosing a suit think about the cloth choice so that perhaps you can also use the jacket on its own. Cotton and linen suits are easy to mix and match with different trousers, given the casual nature of these fabrics.
On less formal occasions, when a suit is not required go for a classic summer blazer or a stylish sports coat, preferably with some pattern. Pair these with nicely toning cotton trousers, chino type, which is easily machine washable. If you want to be more daring, consider bright colour combination shirts. Traditional British shirt patterns are quite wild, and anything but ‘conservative’. Think nice stripes and small checks. Keep the colours clean and bright and preferably with a bit of white.
If it all gets too much and the jackets have to come off, you’ll still look chic making the most of your beautiful shirts. Fine cottons or Irish linen, always with long sleeves, rolled up twice when worn on their own.
Straight out of the remake of Great Gatsby, the season’s hottest ticket is linen – a notorious fabric and look, which can go horribly wrong in the wrong hands (cheap material and poor cut). We are big fans of the linen suit, not the nasty cheap linen, but real Irish linen that tailors like a dream. It doesn’t wrinkle but crumples very nicely, and to those in the know it is the height of elegance. It can also be made completely unlined.
For shoes, look for fine, light leather. Calf leather loafers are a stylish choice to wear with a summer suit, while suede versions work well with casual trousers. If you want to don a “sockless” look, go for invisible socks, they don’t show at all, while keeping your feet dry.
If you survived till Friday, it’s time to pull out some tailored polo shirts, unbranded of course. Combined with some fine cotton trousers, a pair of soft loafers and sunglasses, you will have that cool “Je ne sais quoi” reminiscent of Sean Connery as James Bond.
After all this you probably fancy a dip, but don’t forget as you emerge from the turquoise waters you can still do it in style. Even your swim shorts should be tailored and in this case fine cotton feel nylon looks good, dries fast and maintains that 007 look.