We all long for those long summer days when we can wake up to the sunshine and stroll to work in a light shirt, with the rays beaming down on us. But the grim reality is that on the few warm days that we get in the UK we’ll spend them sweltering on the trains, buses and tubes on our way to work. Only to reach an overly air-condition office that makes us feel like we’re still in the depths of winter.
We’re British so we’re not afraid of complaining about the weather, come rain or shine! But it’s time to be optimistic about the new season and all the benefits that it may bring – your sweaty summer commute could become your opportunity to try a experiment with a new style.
We’d recommend that you lose the jacket and tie on a hot summer’s day – you can always keep them at the office for meetings. For those of you who can get away with not wearing a tie at all be aware that your jacket and shirt may look a little unfinished, and that is why we’d recommend wearing a pocket handkerchief to add that finishing touch of style.
It’s very useful to have a summer-weight suit or two in your wardrobe for just this sort of weather; they could be made with a light-weight high-twist cloth that would make them ideal for travel too.
Chinos and blazers are a great alternative to a suit, office rules permitting. A dark navy blazer will still looks classy for work. Chinos too don’t have to be boring – go for a flat-front, low-rise styles that have narrow bottoms 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.
Linen shirts or linen/cotton mixes are a good alternative to cotton and really feel summery, similarly, swap your wool business socks for light-weight cotton or an almost sheer cotton-lisle and wear them with a glove-leather soft loafer or moccasin.
If you’re 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 light suit with a ‘buggy’ lined jacket (this means it is only half-lined making it much lighter to wear) and solid colour shirt. White shirts always make 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. 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!
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