Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reader Question: Summer Shirt Cycle


Hey Style Blogger,

Spring is here and weather is getter hotter which really limits the items in my wardrobe. I have a ton of polos and long sleeve button downs that I wear in warmer temps and I mix them with jeans, cords, and chinos, but after a while that just gets boring. I don't like the look of short-sleeve button downs because the sleeves are alway so baggy. I was thinking of getting a linen sportcoat to mix it up a bit. What are your thoughts on this or any other ways to break the summer shirt cycle?

Style Blogger:

That damn summer shirt cycle! So boring, I know...there is certainly a lack of options for men in the summer...but that just means we need to be more creative. As Saul Steinberg once said, "The life of the creative man is lead, directed and controlled by boredom".

The trick to being able to switch up your summer looks is not having a polo shirt in 45 different colors, but rather mixing different lightweight elements together. You can still layer in the summer, you just need to stock up on lightweight materials (linens, cottons) and unlined jackets.

A linen sport coat is a good idea...especially if you wear it with shorts (see post "Stand Out", Tuesday May 5th). I also love linen suits, especially slim ones with sockless loafers (or go hipster with boat-shoes) and an open shirt. You could also invest in some linen knitwear, like a cardigan. I love a cardigan over an open collar washed dressed shirt with a pair of shorts.

You don't need to stay away from short-sleeved "dress" shirts, they are a great look, you just need to find the right fit. Try Theory for great slim fit short-sleeved button downs that are slim through the arm. As an alternative, too, you could roll up your sleeves on your lightweight dress shirts. For the perfect summer weight casual dress shirt, try Steven Alan.

Lastly, to make up for the lesser number of options, use accessories to make your look more interesting. Slip on a pair of stylish sunglasses, a nice grosgrain ribbon watch, and/or a lightweight straw fedora or trilby hat, ala Brad Pitt.

Cheers to not giving in to the everyday polo that dominates the summer.

Yours in style, Style Blogger.

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