Menswear: How to dress cool

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// ]]>625700_10151535682317560_87201956_nWe all long for those long summer days when we can wake up to the sun and shed our overcoats to walk to work in our shirtsleeves, feeling the warmth of the sun on our face – especially after the winter we’ve just had!

In our heads we have dreams of long lazy days, of barbeques, sandcastles and sipping Pimms on the lawn in between rounds of croquet. The grim reality is that we are battling on the trains, buses and tubes getting to and from work sandwiched between which is a day sitting in a hermetically sealed air-conditioned office where, for all we know, it could be hailstones and hurricanes outside!

But we’re British – we’ll make the most of it!  Whilst you could look upon commuting in this heat a bit of a trial – equally, it could be looked at as an opportunity, time at the beginning and end of the day to indulge in a bit of summery style.  Why not try walking rather than taking the tube?  I’m always surprised how close things are in London and it’s pleasing to take in some London atmosphere – I’ve also done this in Paris with equal pleasure and I’m sure it easily applies to any capital city around the globe.  Perhaps start out a bit earlier and stop off for a frappachino and a pastry before work – very continental!

Lose the jacket and tie – you can always keep them at the office for meetings – and  if you can get away without wearing a tie, that’s great, but wearing a suit with an open-necked shirt can look a little unfinished. My suggestion would be to wear a pocket handkerchief in your jacket to add that finishing touch of style.

Chinos and blazers are a great alternative to a suit, office rules permitting, and they don’t have to look like the ones your dad would wear! There are cropped blazers out there with contrast buttons and even look for a bit of contrast piping. Chinos too don’t have to be boring – go for a flat-front, low-rise styles that have narrow bottoms (15” or less) and have your tailor hem them so they are just shy of your shoes. Or simply roll-up the bottoms to show as much or as little ankle as you dare.

If you are brave enough to get away with the total continental summer look then go for penny-loafers without socks: this requires a narrow trouser, cut slightly short to show a little ankle, and of course a healthy Mediterranean tan! Wear it with a cotton or linen suit with a ‘buggy’ lined jacket (this means it is only half-lined making it much lighter to wear) and solid colour shirt.  White always makes you feel cooler, so get a selection but with different aspects in the weave designs so your colleagues can see you are wearing a different shirt each day!

Wearing shirts un-tucked can look a bit dishevelled unless they are specifically cut for the job – generally formal shirts are a bit long and you are best to tuck them in otherwise you are in danger of being asked for a copy of the Big Issue!  And, whilst flip-flops are the most comfy thing to come out of Brazil, wearing them with a suit is a definite no-no.  All the big names in design have included a shorts-suit in their recent collections, but I suspect that showing a flash of ankle is as far as us Brits will be willing to go this season!

Have an enjoyable city summer.

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