Hey folks! How have you been? A lot has happened since you last heard from me, the biggest of excitements being that Summer has made its way to Canada! With that in mind, as well as the fact that I come from a land of endless Summer, I thought I’d share with you the trends and pieces that I consider to be staples in this season’s “Fashion forward Man’s” wardrobe.
1. Comfortable Kicks
The white Fred Perry’s in the photo above, easily substituted for white Converse Chuck Taylor’s are my ‘go-to’ for summer time footwear. Paired with anything from shorts and a tank to rolled up jeans with a graphic tee and blazer, white sneakers are definitely essential to a versatile and well equipped summer wardrobe. If these aren’t your style, or you’re looking to add some extras to your shoe rack, casual suede/leather loafers, boat shoes, plimsolls and espadrilles are perfect for warmer weather and can really give you good utility for casual outfits or dressier nights on the town.
2. Travel Bag/ Backpack
So gentlemen, let’s get something clear: the emergence of the “man-bag” and it’s transition into acceptable fashion culture happened with speed and urgency and it’s phase of debate is now over. Especially during summer time, a weekender or a holdall like the one above could not be any more useful for long days where you might need a change of clothes, gym gear, sun screen, water and food, laptops and books or anything else needed to get you through the day. Even for overnighting or taking a weekend trip, these large travel bags eliminate the need to go without the things you want throughout the day because your sunblock can’t fit in the back pocket of your skinny jeans. The fact that you’re now able to make a fashion statement and compliment any outfit with the right bag only adds to the benefit of utility. If these large bags don’t work for you, invest in a sophisticated yet stylish backpack (I’m pointing at you Jansport fans) that holds your possessions and adds to your look.
3. Denim: Distressed is back!
Distressed denim was sort of a thing when I was just trying to move my way through the earlies of high school and I guess it never really vanished from the fashion scene, but never made quite a splash either. Well, this Summer, ripped jeans are taking pop fashion culture by storm and it’s a bandwagon that you probably want to get on. The new wave of distressed denim is focused on tying in fun with sophistication, which is exactly what you’ll be doing in jeans with razor cut rips on the knees, and even up the thigh areas. They’re subtle but impacting, and can work for a relaxed day out with a white crew neck, or make a statement with a printed button down and hardware embellished jacket. Pair as you wish!
4. The Fedora
5 years ago I bought my first one of these (typing that makes me feel ancient), and it wasn’t really a big thing at the time. Today, walk down the city streets or rather, hit the beach, and you’re guaranteed to see less hair and more fedoras. These hats bring an identity of fashion consciousness and confidence that really makes them work for just about anyone. These come in a variety of shades and sizes, with a recent trend leaning towards the wide brim fedoras that give a dressier edge to your look (link below). I’ve heard too many guys complain that they can’t ‘pull off’ a fedora. My advice to you: Making a fedora work is 3% having the right head for it and 97% having the right attitude for it. I mean, if you’re feeling yourself, what else really matters, right?
5. Printed Shirts
While the floral (Hawaiian) print seems to be the front runner lately, prints in general are absolute musts for a truly expressive and fashionable summertime frame of mind. When you think about it, what other season is synonymous with the hyperactivity and energy that you get from colourful explosions of fabric displaying blooming agriculture and abstractly geometric compositions (lol)? Prints are exciting and if you enjoy being recognized for the thought and effort put into a look, a bold print is a fool-proof way to turn some heads. With the added ability to give new life to any neutral trouser or jacket while celebrating the mood of the season, you can’t not have a printed shirt in your wardrobe.
6. Statement Shorts
Long gone are the days when shorts were just that thing you wore in addition to nice button downs and tees to go out in public. Shorts have made their way to the top of the fashion chain as true statement pieces with varying lengths and fits available to express your personal stance on style. For Summer, stock up on bright colours, pastels and printed shorts to pair with pretty much anything for the perfect outfits from the beach to the bruch table. I’m personally a big fan of button down shirts tucked in with belted shorts and loafers for a classic and ever-apporpriate eye-catching summer look.
7. The Chambray Shirt
There seems to be popular misconception that chambray and denim are the same fabric- false! Chambray is actually lighter and more suitable to the summertime heat than denim, in my opinion. Since I pretty much live in these, I can speak to the fact that their light weight and easy flexibility make chambray shirts very fuss-free options to throw on in the summer. Explore the different colours and blends out there and consider pairing them open with shorts and a tank underneath for a casual patio lunch, or tucked in with some beige chinos for a more ‘put together’ dinner outfit. Closely resembling linen, chambray is a versatile staple of your summertime wardrobe.
8. Plain White Crew Neck
No summer wardrobe is complete without a basic white crew neck. If you’re a fan of v-necks, you need to get with the times (Just kidding but really, the v-neck era has passed). My personal favourite is the crew neck with the rolled up synched sleeve. If you’re big on working out, there’s no better way to show off what your protein gave ya, and if you’re not, it definitely aids with creating that illusion! This piece can stand alone with any of the statement trousers described above, or can be paired with pretty much anything to give you the summery look you’re going for. Invest in a good one (or a few if you’re accident prone like me)
9. Swim Shorts- The legit kind of short
Where I’m from, seemingly ‘extreme’ ends of the menswear spectrum are not as easily accepted as they are in Canada. Without venturing into that debate too much, I think the most important thing a modern day fashionisto can do is embrace his personal taste with unapologetic pride. More and more the fashion world has been re-introducing the trend of short swimming trunks, significantly above the knees. Gone are the days when baggy knee length Billabong and Quicksilver board shorts (no offence if that’s your thing) are all that a guy could be seen in, and I could not be happier about that. If you’re confident enough, which al of you should be because you’re awesome, pick up a pair of these bright coloured short swimming trunks and hit the beach like you own the damn thing. As I know the length isn’t for everyone, grab whatever you’re comfortable in but go for the neons, prints and bright colours to really make a splash this Summer.
I know I’m cheesy and I mentioned it a few times throughout this post, but I really can’t stress how important this is in creating a “summertime you” that actually represents your personal style with no limitations. I used to find myself being held back by what I thought other people would think and say about my outfit choices. I’m pretty freaking happy to say that the only opinion that matters to me now is my own, and I encourage all you fellas to adopt the same approach. Living for yourself also entails dressing for yourself and if anyone can’t accept what that means to you, they’re definitely not worth the effort to please. So, you throw on those skinny white shorts, button up that fuscia floral shirt, tip that fedora just the right amount and rock the hell out of Summer 2015. So, till next time!