For a man, looking good in winter is as easy as it gets. Owning a single quality jacket can pretty much get you through the entire season. Layering is such a powerful tool that you don’t even have to put much time or effort into your fashion choices. But, what if this option of layering is taken away from you? What if it is summer?
Is Summer Fashion Really Challenging?
The large majority of men see summer fashion as difficult and confusing. Many even claim that it is impossible to craft unique outfits in summer due to the severely limited clothing options.
While dressing up in summer does require a bit more effort than winter, calling it impossible would be disingenuous. In fact, crafting outfits in summer can be much easier than winter if you know what you’re doing since there are fewer individual items to account for. All you have to do is choose one pair of pants, one shirt, and accompanying footwear; that is it. There are no middle layers to account for, no outerwear to match, and no winter accessories to choose from.
So, to answer the question, yes, summer fashion can be a real challenge. However, getting familiar with summer styles, learning about clothing items that work together in summer, and spending some time and effort crafting unique outfits will help you get past this hurdle quicker than you think.
Must-Have Summer Clothes
The first step of getting acquainted with summer fashion is to have the necessary stuff in your closet. Luckily, most of these items will already be in your closet because they are extremely popular in men’s fashion as a whole, not just summer fashion. You can use this already existing clothing to get started. But you need most of these items in your closet if you want to unlock the full summer outfit arsenal. Let’s get started.
Shirts are just as important in summer as jackets/coats in winter. They are the focus of attention for most outfits, and you need to be wearing the right one to look stylish.
White t-shirts are the best summer shirt, and nothing else even comes close. They look great while also being lightweight. More importantly, white t-shirts are universal. You can wear them over any pair of pants with any set of boots, and they will just fit right in. If you’re ever not sure what shirt to wear on a summer day, just go for the white t-shirt as it will work flawlessly. They are so good, in fact, that you are encouraged to own multiples of the same basic ones.
Polo shirts and summer are like a match made in heaven. Sure, polo shirts are not the lightest thing in the world or the best looking. However, there is nothing else that combines a professional feel to a casual summer t-shirt better than the polo. This is precisely the reason why you would see so many business people wear polo shirts with shorts on their off time.
T-shirts are great for most casual situations in summer. However, they fall apart as soon as you need anything, even slightly sharper. Having a cotton button-up in your wardrobe for such situations can be a lifesaver. Blue is the most popular color of these shirts, but different shades of gray, cream, or maroon are also fantastic choices.
Cotton button-ups are the way to go if you need something sharper than a t-shirt but below the formality level of a dress shirt. However, they are fairly plain and basic. If you’re looking to be colorful and expressive with your summer outfit choices, then the Hawaiian shirt is for you. They are also the perfect upper for beach outfits.
The next step is to pick out a pair of pants, and unlike shirts, there are only a handful of options here that you need.
Jeans are the most popular pair of pants in the world, and it is easy to see why. They work with almost everything and in every season, which includes summer. You might think that denim is way too thick to be a viable option in summer, but it isn’t. In fact, it can keep the lower half of your body protected from direct sunlight. Blue is the most popular color, but you can also own gray, charcoal, brown, or black jeans.
Khakis are the pants equivalent of the polo shirt, AKA a perfect match for summer. Their light color combined with the breathable fabric makes them ideal choices for the hottest days of summer. Additionally, khaki pants are great for a professional look when combined with any decent button-up.
A great way of staying cool in the summer is to have better airflow over your legs. This is not possible even with the most breathable pants. So, the only option to get that airflow is to wear shorts. Knee-high cargo shorts in khaki or light brown color are the most well-known. But you can also try other variations like thigh-high shorts in black, maroon, and blue.
Outerwear is not a good idea in the middle of summer. However, you should definitely layer up if you can get away with it, especially at the start and end of summer. These are your best options.
Dressing with professionalism in summer can be quite difficult. After all, it’s not like you can just wear a navy blue suit and call it a day. Instead, you have to rely on outwear like blazers to sharpen up your look. White blazers, in particular, are ideal for summer as they absorb the least amount of heat compared to other colors. Plus, styling a white blazer is as simple as wearing it over jeans and a white t-shirt combo.
Just like jeans, denim jackets are completely wearable in the scorching heat of summer. They block most of the heat from the sun while looking stunning in the process. You, of course, can’t wear winter denim jackets with fur lining, but single-layered jean jackets are the way to go.
Just like everything else in summer, accessories are also very limited. There is only one must-have item you should own.
Bandanas have a lot of aesthetic as well as functional reasons to be with you. Most importantly, they block your head sweat from reaching your face and eyes and causing any irritations. Even if you don’t sweat much, having a bandana tied around your neck or forehead can be a dapper stylistic choice.
Summer Outfit Ideas for Men
Now that you have your wardrobe situation sorted out, it is time to craft some unique summer outfits. Take a look.
The first outfit on our list is also the easiest one to emulate. All you need for this one is a pair of blue jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and a pair of white low-top sneakers. You can wear this basic yet effective outfit almost everywhere, from grocery shopping to hanging out with your friend on the weekend. If you’re not a big fan of plain white minimalistic aesthetic, then you can swap out the shirt for a graphic tee of your favorite color.
Trying to look professional can often go opposite to the hot weather. Most outfits that one would wear to look professional are not a good match for summer. Luckily, looking decent is less about wearing lots of posh layers and more about focusing on the core of the outfits. So, all you need to fit in your workplace with a fantastic summer outfit is a pair of khaki pants, a light blue button-up, and a pair of brown suede loafers. If you have the option to go a bit more casual, then swapping out your shirt with a well-fitted polo is just as stylish and much more comfortable.
Shorts and Polo
Polo shirts look great with khaki pants and even jeans. However, if you want to get the most out of them, then wear them over khaki knee-high shorts. This specific combo is the pinnacle of summer comfort and fashion, all concentrated into one package. The shorts can be in other colors like white, navy blue, or black as well. Similarly, the polo can either focus on one specific color or match the color of the shorts.
If you’re planning on going to the beach, then nothing will work for you better than a pair of shorts and a colorful short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt. But did you know that you can rock a similar style in your day-to-day life? All you have to do is swap out the shorts for light-colored chinos and wear printed shirts with limited colors.
Layering is still possible in summer; you just have to be smart about it. A great example of a layered outfit for summer would include a pair of black jeans, a white V-neck t-shirt, and a navy blue denim jacket. However, before you go out wearing this ensemble, remember that this is still much hotter than regular t-shirt and pants summer combos. The ideal time to rock a denim jacket would be at night or during the start or end of the season since that is when temperatures are noticeably lower.
Frequently Asked Questions
The only way to get better at summer fashion is to understand its basics, and the answer to these questions will further help you with that.
In short, summer clothes need to be breathable and lightweight. Things like leather jackets are a big no-no as they completely restrict airflow. Additionally, dark colors are not a good idea either, as they tend to absorb noticeably more heat than lighter colors. Lastly, do not skimp out on footwear just because it is summer. There are plenty of summer sneakers and loafers available on the market, so don’t pair your outfit with flip-flops unless you’re headed to the beach.
There is no single “best” outing outfit for men as it depends on a few key factors. Namely, the time of the day and the place you’re going to. For example, if you’ll be spending time at a bar at night, wearing a denim jacket on top of a gray V-neck and a pair of jeans is the most optimal option. On the other hand, if your meetup is for lunch during the day, then outfits similar to khaki shorts and white button-ups are the way to go. You can also wear polo shirts in this scenario, and they will look great.
The key to looking classy is to choose classy colors. Navy-blue, white, black, light brown are all great choices. Secondly, endure a bit of heat, but avoid shorts. Wear full-length chinos or jeans and top them off with solid-colored button-ups. To complete your classy look, invest in a good summer hat. Fedoras and trilby hats are fairly safe but highly popular choices.
The first step of dressing as a gentleman in hot weather is to accept the temperature. Do not try to ignore it or fight it. So, don’t pretend that a suit is just as comfortable as it would be during the colder days of the year. Instead, create a list of outfits that fit the weather and then choose the most gentleman-like from those. A great example of such an outfit would consist of white jeans with a blue cotton button-up and a pair of white low-top sneakers.
Many men have zero association with fashion in summer. In their mind, summer is just a season to wear comfy shorts and t-shirts, that is it. However, the summer season can be much more than that. All you have to do is get your wardrobe sorted with the must-haves and then combine these items in your closet to create neat outfits. You can faithfully emulate the outfits we mentioned and look great with minimal effort. Or you can take inspiration from those and add in your personal flair to create something truly unique to you. In either case, just remember that summer can be just as fashion-filled as winter. You just have to give it a try.