Summer fashion: the long and the short of men’s style

You can’t go wrong with all-white, or a Converse and shorts combo – but whatever you do, ditch the sandals and socks, and go easy on the chinos

 

However difficult women imagine dressing in the heat is, this challenge is compounded for the male of the species. Are shorts acceptable office attire? (Hardly.) Can a short-sleeved shirt be worn to a wedding? (Probably.) Can sweat marks ever truly be avoided? (No. Wear white and hope for the best.)

While men can, by and large, get away with a uniform of sorts, worn to a variety of engagements and on a range of occasions – trousers or jeans with a shirt and perhaps even a jacket – when the sun comes out, things get tricky. Bright colours can seem too foppish; chambray shirts, too hip; sandals are for one’s father.

James Kavanagh, youth communicator with Thinkhouse in Dublin, will be wearing all-white this summer. “I plan to look like I’m permanently playing tennis,” says the stylish PR maverick, who was spotted at the Ben & Jerry’s EngageMint Party in an “I Heart NY” T-shirt with white denim cut-off shorts.

You could get the look with a little less bleach by investing in these palm-tree-print shorts from Topman (€46 or £30 on topman.com). You could go match-matchy by pairing your shorts with a linen shirt from Debenhams (currently on sale, at €31.50 – was €45), which will keep you cool, and wash and dry easily.

It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that linen creases – so hang yours up as soon as the wash is done, and iron while damp. Fred Perry trainers from Office (€60) will finish off a preppy look, plus they won’t get quite as filthy as an all-white pair.


‘Go easy on chinos’
Garrett Pitcher, founder of Indigo & Cloth, has decided to “go easy on chinos” for the summer – so he’ll be wearing short-hemmed pants to show his ankle, “with no socks”.

“I then add a clean, block-coloured tee or a printed shirt and finish the look off with tortoiseshell sunglasses.”

Start from the bottom up, with tan suede slip-ons by Timberland at Louis Copeland (€90) – sock-free – and then add New Look’s teal slim-fit chinos (€17.99), which fit slightly cropped and can also be rolled up for a more preppy feel. Finish up with H&M’s navy ethnic printed tee (€9.95) and Zara’s rubberised tortoiseshell sunnies (€22.95).

If you really, truly, hate the idea of wearing leather or suede shoes without socks, you could opt for a pair of slip-ons, such as these navy perforated shoes by Hudson at Arnotts (€85).


The safe option
Despite Pitcher and Kavanagh’s recommendations, it’s fair to assume that most Irish men won’t be wearing all-white ensembles, or roll-up chinos to pick up the messages. So I conducted a scientific study, and asked Twitter.

The resounding reply? Shorts and Converse runners – a summery twist on the regular Irishman uniform of jeans and Converse runners.

For a slightly different type of Converse, woven plimsolls – with a thinner sole than traditionally found – are a great shout (€59.65 at Asos.com). The colour is close enough to denim to mean it’ll go with everything you already have in your wardrobe, and the thin sole and light, woven fabric are perfect for summer.

Wear them with reversible shorts by Hackett (were €165, now €109). Yes, you read that right: on one side, they’re red check, while on the other, they’re beige. They also come in navy.

Add a tee – the smart money’s on checking out some of the bargains in Arnotts and BT2, where brands like Selected are heavily discounted – and you’re good to go, in your comfort zone and out of the heat.

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