Sport Coat: Spier & MacKay
Belt: W. Kleinberg
Pocket Square: Drake’s
Sport Coat: Spier & MacKay
Belt: W. Kleinberg
Pocket Square: Drake’s
Even though most of us dread the unbearable humidity and heat that comes with summer, we still need to dress professionally. While we can likely endure wearing year-round or three-season suiting in air conditioned offices, the clothes that tend to bring us the most joy in summer – as in winter – are those made from fabrics specific to the season. Our garments for summer can be as particular, as interesting and as beautiful as those for winter, in that they have different characteristics in make, color, weave, and the like. However, in order to complete the outfit, you still need the right accessories; only then will you ensure that the ensemble is complete.
Fabrics for summer ties are similar to those for our garments. While there are ties that can work all year long, or for most seasons – grenadine, silk rep, printed silk all come to mind – you might want to add a little seasonal variation by adding an interesting element into an outfit. Just as is the case with an odd sport coat, crunchy or slubby textures, open weaves, or unstructured designs all help make a tie more summer-friendly. Playing with color, as you would with said odd jacket, also helps a tie to be more appropriate for warm weather – pastels or subdued neutrals work well for summer. Personally, I enjoy a six or seven-fold tie for less structure, especially when paired with a more open weave, such as grenadine in a light but muted blue or green. It gives it a sort of nonchalant look that works for most occasions, excepting the most formal or serious business meetings.
Shantung, or tussah silk, offers a slubby texture that helps bring an informal element to the tie. This is a wild silk that is obtained from silkworms that feed on leaves in an uncontrolled environment; because there is less control over the process, the silk worm hatches to break the filament length, creating shorter and more coarse fibers, which provides a more ‘matte’ look.
Ties made of linen or linen blends have the benefit of inherent slubbiness, but they wrinkle easily. They do retain that crisp nature that all linens share, which allows these fabrics to drape well especially when lined. Just keep in mind that they work best for less formal outfits, and work especially well when paired with linen or cotton suits.
Cotton and cotton-blend ties are similar to linen, serving as a more relaxed option. They tend to wrinkle – like linen – but do not have that crisp characteristic; this means that they exhibit less of an elegant drape. I recommend cotton ties for the most relaxed environments, and they would be at home more with an odd jacket or a cotton suit.
Here is a list of some examples for summer appropriate ties that we think are worth considering, and a few tips on how to pair them.
This tan shantung silk tie from Calabrese 1924 via No Man Walks Alone provides a classic stripe, but the subdued, neutral tan and the slubby fabric help to make it more of a summer affair. This self-tipped tie provides a structured neckpiece that could work in most occasions.
This Liverano&Liverano seven-fold silk tie is the epitome of a tie for the more conservative striped style. The colors scream Ivy League (if you ignore that the direction of the stripes are European instead of American), and it begs to be worn under the staple hopsack blazer in everyone’s closet. The orange almost evokes that quintessential go-to-hell attitude that you might not dare pull off with colored trousers.
This tie from Drakes features tussah silk in a natural color. Paired with an odd linen sport coat, the tie would wear well, seeing as it has hand rolled blades and less structure than a normal tie.
How many times in your life have you seen a seersucker tie? This gorgeous muted green tie from Vanda Fine Clothing is extremely neutral, and would pair lovingly under blue, tan and brown jackets. The handrolled edges and light lining complete the nonchalant air.
This tie made by hand from Vanda Fine Clothing out of Solbiati linen is a great warm weather accessory. The texture and wrinkles with the classic Glenplaid pattern and subdued neutral colors makes this an exceptional tie under a wool-fresco or linen jacket.
I’ve long been a fan of printed blazers, and Post-Imperial, started by Styleforum member @Tirailleur1, brings a beautiful and unique perspective to tailored clothing. The garments are adire-dyed in Nigeria, the founder’s home country, before they’re constructed in New York. It offers a nice counterpoint to the European take on the flaneur, and is cosmopolitan and bohemian in a way that few brands manage to be. If you don’t believe me, believe Yasuto Kamoshita, who is often photographed wearing the ties.
Since it’s getting warmer out, a linen shirt is in order, and a popover is perfect for wearing tieless. Drake’s keeps releasing hit after hit, and their spring lookbook is fantastic – this wide-striped shirt will look equally nice under the jacket or alone, with the sleeves rolled up. It also comes in a spread collar variation, so you’re welcome to choose whichever style better suits your life.
Now, let’s take a moment to discuss white pants. White pants can be, in the right cut and setting, incredibly elegant and well-styled. The problem that I see most often is the propensity to wear them far, far too tight, which is really not something you want to do when wearing white pants, no matter the material. Jeans with a wider thigh – such as these bog-standard 501’s – will be more comfortable in the heat, and look better as well. If you’re really wanting to embrace the artiste vibe, hem the jeans to your ankle and leave them frayed and raw, just as the jacket sleeves are.
To finish it off, add a pair of woven loafers and a printed square. I like these from Barbanera, which are a little sleeker than your usual woven shoe without being too casual. The square is from Kiriko Made, and offers a nice complement to the tonal linen belt.
Finally, you may remember milliner Ana Lamata from our “Best of Pitti” series, and her gorgeous, sculptural, handmade straw hats are perfect for spring and summer. Keep in mind that she is also offers a fully bespoke service, should you decide that you want to work with her directly. The amount of work that goes into each hand-made piece is astonishing, and the results are beautiful.
When the weather’s spitting, most men turn to dark colors – navy, black, and charcoal – out of a fear of raindrops, mud, and cars driving through puddles. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does mean that it’s sometimes just as easy to get locked into a spring wardrobe the same way as can happen during winter. With that in mind, we propose a light colored suit for springtime.
First, it’s a nice way to break up the monotony of winter. Second, khaki, beige, or ivory has a touch of old Hollywood about it, which – and this is important – makes it fun in a way other things aren’t. In this case, we’ve chosen a beige, easy-wearing patch-pocket model from Camoshita, which certainly skews toward the casual. That gives you the option to lose the tie, which we all know is important in springtime, because who wants to wear a tie when the tulips are coming up?
Of course, to fully embrace the monochromatic look, we suggest giving a nod to unpredictable weather by wearing a classic Mackintosh. With a belt and a collar that can be turned up against the elements, you won’t be making any stylistic concessions the next time it rains – by which we mean: please stop wearing your gore-tex jacket over a suit. Thank you.
Finally, after you’ve picked your pocket square, a light scent such as Frédéric Malle’s Geranium Pour Monsieur is a nice finishing touch to match your light color palette. This one smells about as fresh as a spring shower, and opens with a pleasant blend of geranium, mint, and star anise, that later gives way to a suggestion of musk and sandalwood. Like the clothing we’ve picked, it’s a welcome burst of brightness after a long winter.
The next time you find yourself pining for some uplifting clothing, try a light colored suit and a tonal ensemble. It’s a great way to embrace springtime, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll find yourself clicking your heels as you hop over puddles.
It’s no secret that Gerry Nelson posts some of the better-liked outfits on Styleforum. He dresses in a very approachable mix of tailored and casual clothing, and has a great eye for colors. In particular, he often pairs an indigo, work-style jacket with either jeans or trousers, which, though simple, is a fantastically good look if you get the fit and shade of your clothing right. With that in mind, here’s an example of an outfit that at touches on some of Gerry’s sensibilities.
First, our outerwear is casual but neither sloppy nor boring. A deep indigo, such as you’ll find on this Blue Blue Japan gown coat, goes with just about anything, including the Eidos pullover we’ve chosen. A Drake’s shirt with a button-down collar is a good casual accompaniment, and will look just as good on its own with the medium-wash Orslow jeans. Finally, a pair of tassel loafers in a rich brown suede means you can easily wear this outfit into springtime, and the addition of a giant robot on your pocket square is the kind of detail that keeps your wardrobe from boring you to tears.
Now, I’ve never had the opportunity to smell Gerry Nelson in person, but I am a fan of Tom Ford’s Plum Japonais, which is a pleasantly soft and alluring blend of plum, oud, and incense. It seems a perfect fit for the deep colors shown above, and is sensual without being overbearing.
Altogether, this outfit is the very definition of comfortable, just likemost of Gerry’s looks. It’s the kind of combination of sharp and relaxed that’s perfect for most of today’s offices, as well as for most of the weekend. Gerry may have perfected his own particular style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with similar ideas, and embrace a palette of deep, rich colors this spring.
With the British pound at a historic low against the dollar, American shoppers can finally indulge in guilt-free purchases of fine British accessories by treating themselves to some exquisite items from the land of Her Majesty. It’s even sweeter if you think that a recent change in tariff regulations now allows buyers to spend up to $800 each day without paying duty on products shipped from abroad.
In case you’re short of inspiration, here’s a shortlist of some of the best and finest British goods that will instantly make you look like a distant, distinguished, cousin of the Prince of Wales.
Instantly up your style with one of Ettinger’s classic billfolds. Lined in contrasting leather, you can choose to have 3, 6, or 12 credit card slots, a coin purse, and even opt for silver or gold corners to protect your precious pocketbook from wear and tear. Pretend to not notice all the glances of admiration as you pull it out to pay for your next coffee with the money you saved from the weakened pound.
If a Burberry trenchcoat seems way too clichè nowadays, you can class up your wardrobe with one of Purdey’s stunning outerwear pieces. The highlight of the collection is a luxurious leather quilted paddock coat (a type of traditional hunting or sporting coat used in the UK) that is both lightweight and warm.
It would be a shame to buy one without the other. Brigg’s handmade umbrellas are famous worldwide, and it’s not uncommon to see their signature polished chestnut handles hanging on royal arms.
Swaine Adeney briefcases are a monument to British craftsmansip. If you feel like being a touch more adventurous, choose their Attache case: originally commissioned as a Diplomat’s case in the 1800s, this model has been made since then using the same, ancient process that involves hand stitching with natural linen thread.
There will never be a better time to stock up on elegant white shirts, perhaps the one item that everyone can agree is a classic and timeless staple of a man’s wardrobe. Like a blank canvas, a white shirt is the starting point of any outfit. Each T&A shirt is made in Gloucester using hand-operated sewing machines from 33 individual pieces of high-quality cotton, making it a covetable piece for any classic menswear obsessives and fashion aficionados alike. Make sure to splurge on some Sea Island Cotton if you only want the best of the best.
Equus has been a longtime forum favorite, and since you no longer have to tighten the belt on your finances when shopping – thanks to the current state of sterling – you can proudly tighten a new, handmade leather belt on your waist instead. Equus specializes in bridle leather belts using leather from venerable English tanneries Sedgewick and Bakers of Coylton, but recently have been producing belts using leather from European tanneries like France’s Tannerie Haas. They also use buckles specially commissioned from French silver and goldsmiths and Japanese master blacksmiths.
Drake’s website is a cornucopia of goods that would tempt anyone who’s into classic clothing. Styleforum members have a soft spot for Drake’s accessories, and swear by their handmade ties and archival-printed pocket squares. We have it on good authority that our editor Jasper has a thing for the unicorns. Load up on Christmas presents and upgrade to high class stocking-stuffers.
Speaking of knit ties, let’s take a look at an easy way to embrace some color and texture for fall. Tweed sport coats pair wonderfully with knit neckwear, and a simple oxford stripe shirt with easy-wearing trousers and shoes is a simple way to look great. In this case, the green of the knit tie is subdued without being boring, and picks up the texture of the jacket.