The year started so well, didn’t it? Or maybe our recent nostalgia is especially heartbreaking because we had so many plans, just to have them melt away like so many ice caps. But even if the only sunshine you can get is on your way to pick up essentials, dust off and don those summer togs for a little thread therapy. If nothing else, imagining yourself actually enjoying festival activities can transport you to warmer thoughts for a bit of safe escapism. Need some inspiration? Try the following…
Sell Yourself Shorts
It’s no secret I’m a fan of shorts — I grew up in Southern California, after all — but for some reason many guys are reluctant to wear them in public. Fortunately for you, there’s no better time than when no one will ever see you to try a pair, and there’s no better place to start than with good ol’ Birdwell Beach Britches. The nylon boardshorts are a mainstay in sandy scenes, but these classics in corduroy are perfect for lounging on your couch in comfort with your favorite tee, sweatshirt, or shaggy shetland.
Slip Into Some Easy Pants
Shorts aren’t for everyone; I get it. If that’s you, consider easy pants: a catch-all phrase for trousers with a comfortable fit, usually with an elastic or drawstring waist. Can’t decide between the two? Informale offers a pair with both, can be dressed up or down, and are hands-down my favorite for warmer weather.
Greg and the crew at No Man Walks Alone has a good selection of easy pants as well, such as these indigo-dyed linen from Blue Blue Japan and these in cotton-silk seersucker from Kaptain Sunshine. Speaking of Greg…
Let Greg Dress You
Greg at No Man Walks Alone has done much of the thinking for us in his series of quarantine fits, covering everything from relaxed suiting to poolside gear. What I like about his styling is that he isn’t pushing looks that would be out of touch in a casual environment. If you’ve been wearing sweats all spring and are wondering how to dress up without looking “dressed up,” Greg gives you plenty of options to choose from. Bonus: almost everything is now on sale.
An easy way to transport yourself to another place is with clothing. Whereas espadrilles and Panama hats are a common choice, there is much that can be found elsewhere, such as the offerings from 18East. Drawing from influences from Ireland to India and everywhere in between, designer Antonio Ciongoli’s clothes highlight unique prints, are heavy on texture, and can easily be paired with what you already have in your wardrobe.
Camp it up
Camp collar shirts have been around since forever, but if you’ve held off for some reason, now is a good time to try one. Really, any shirt where the collar opens up will do – a guayabera, a Cuban or Capri shirt, and so on. These types of collars are interesting enough so that the shirt can be worn on its own –buttoned or not — and looks just as good layered under a jacket.
Tony Sylvester, who has a great sense of style, a keen eye for small details, and also happens to be Content Manager at Timothy Everest, told me about the company’s offerings this season.
“Our best seller is always our Cuban collar open shirt,” he says, “but we recently added a one-piece collar for the summer.” Some of their Cuban collar shirts have long sleeves and come in a variety of fun colors like red seersucker and a dobby stripe, but the short sleeved one-piece collar, made in Japan using a heavier textured cloth, is especially striking in a bright white, and will go with practically everything.
Canoe Club has a few by Gitman Brothers Vintage (all on sale!) in madras and Ivy stripes, but for something different, try one in kalamkari, or better yet: a print inspired by Italian architect Gio Ponti. The mid-century industrial patterns are a nice way to express a bit of fun if aloha or Americana isn’t quite your bag, and the linen fabric is perfect for the off-chance that you brave the heat. Among the last to be made in the Pennsylvania factory, my favorite is this one in various shades of blue, available in all but the smallest size.
Casual Suits and Tees
A canvassed suit isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a work-at-home fit, but if that’s how you roll, some fabrics are easier than others to dress down than others. For example, Spier & MacKay has some unique suiting options this summer, such as emerald green linen and a more dusty gray-green seersucker.
To really take advantage of the inherent casualness of these fabrics, ditch the tie, and try pairing them with a tee. This knit one from The Anthology is available in cream, mustard, and navy, and looks great dressed up or down, with or without a jacket.