By this time of year, white canvas sneakers are thick on the ground.
And while we’re fans of the simple, utilitarian pleasures of the common plimsoll, they’re nearing their saturation point—meaning, it’s about time you started venturing into the even summerier depths of footwear. Madras. Linen. Seersucker. Swimsuit material. All proven summer fabrics that have found their way onto shoes, so we rounded up your best options.
The sun is out. The air is hot. And you’re going to need a drink.
But before you start ordering or mixing up cold, refreshing adult beverages at will, you’ll want to choose wisely. Because with the vast number of blended, lime-y, tiny-umbrella-wielding options before you, what you ultimately end up sipping on is making a statement. And since we’re here to help, we’ve gone ahead and laid out a handy road map for you:
The Fourth of July is so close, we can nearly taste it.
And we’ve always been of the mind that when it comes to dressing for the most patriotic day of the year, you’ve got permission to get loud. Therefore, to fully commit to the spirit of the day, we’ve rounded up your finest options for donning an all red, white and blue kit—made entirely in the good old US of A, naturally.
If you haven’t been following the NBA Finals, well, that’s a shame. But you’re in luck because you haven’t missed the grand finale—tonight is Game 7.
And to get you up to speed, here’s what you need to know:
A) You’ve been missing out on arguably the most exciting series since the Jordan era.
B) Of all the storylines that have emerged, the most captivating one happened late in Game 6: LeBron James lost his signature headband during play, and in a reverse-Samson-effect, he seemed to gain power from shedding the headwear, willing his team to a spectacular overtime victory.
C) Which brings us to:
The international menswear cognoscenti are descending upon Florence as we speak, for the 84th installment of Pitti Immagine Uomo.
And as any well-read menswear enthusiast will tell you, it pays to know what exactly all the fuss is about (especially if you find yourself flipping through Tumblr or in a heated debate with your tailor in the next few days). So with that in mind, we’ve prepared an A-to-Z primer of talking points and trivia that should get you through the semi-annual spectacle of peacockery.
Formalwear, by design, is usually pretty stuffy.
But with the warmer, more carefree summer party circuit on the horizon—weddings, society croquet galas, et cetera—you’ve got permission to lighten things up a bit. That means cotton instead of silk, linen instead of cotton and, for the love of all things holy above 90 degrees, not a stitch of velvet in sight. So we’ve rounded up a few lightweight substitutions for your tuxedo routine that will keep you just as dapper through the hotter months to come. No sweat.
We’ve spent the entire week speculating on the heirloom futures market, but sometimes it’s good to have a little head start.
Nothing too crazy, just 50 to 60 years or so.
Luckily, our esteemed colleagues at the Washington, DC, bureau of UrbanDaddy have just tipped us off to Hugh & Crye’s recently launched vintage stock. It’s mostly ties, pocket squares and lapel pins—which is a good start in the trinkets department—from the Eisenhower era, but that shouldn’t mean you’ll relegate these to the gray flannel suit days. In fact, a good amount of the ties sport a surprisingly modern slimness. (Plus, there isn’t a more timeless icon than the oriole bird.)
Typically, one thinks of an heirloom only after it’s weathered a few generations of patina-gathering. But before it got handed down to your father and his father and his father’s father, it started out shiny and new on some store shelf. And since there are still a few companies out there making stuff that looks timeless and will last longer than you, we’ve set out to find the new breed of future heirlooms in this weeklong series. Today we’re finding you weapons handsome enough to mount on your wall…
Typically, one thinks of an heirloom only after it’s weathered a few generations, gathering its own uniquely handsome patina and lived-in warmth along the way. But before all that, it started out shiny and new in some factory or on some store shelf. And since there are still a few companies out there making stuff that looks timeless and will last longer than you, we’ve set out to find the new breed of future heirlooms in this weeklong series. Yesterday we began with watches. Today we’re looking at cars…
Typically, one thinks of an heirloom only after it’s weathered a few generations of handsome patina acquisition. But originally—before that watch, or briefcase, or sword earned its perfectly imperfect nicks, battle scars and lived-in familiarity—it started out shiny and new on some store shelf. And since there are still companies out there making stuff that will last longer than you will, we’ve set out to find the new breed of future heirlooms in this weeklong series. Today we begin with watches…
Surf culture has been enjoying a moment in some of the more laid-back corners of menswear (look no further than Manhattan’s beach bum outpost, Saturdays Surf NYC).
And one of the more recent developments has been the beautification of the actual surfboards themselves.
It’s the sort of cross-cultural gambit that marries form and function—boards that’ve got the chops to keep up with any die-hard surfer, yet they’re handsome enough to be displayed as art. So we’ve gone ahead and found some of the most handsome examples of surfboards this side of Borneo for your riding/viewing pleasure. (And even if it never crashes a wave, it will certainly lend you more cred than a Point Break poster.)
The beach prep’s almost complete.
You’ve already determined your stance on tank tops, bought a beach blanket and assessed what it takes to don a Hawaiian shirt. And that’s all a great start. But the true be-all and end-all of summer readiness is deciding exactly how much pre-knee skin you’re willing to show. It’s a choice that’s left many a man blushing and befuddled, and that’s where we come in.
Now, you’ve probably seen the articles on swimwear selection that lump suits into classes like “the European,” “the confident man” and “the grandfather.” But we don’t believe in that sort of unnecessary categorization. Instead, we’d like to put on display the whole host of diverse beachwear selection. And show you that with a little strut in your step, any length will do just fine.
With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, it’s hopefully just a matter of time before we’re all feeling a little sand between our toes. And when that day comes, the difference between you and the next schlub will be that you took the time to prepare for the occasion.
Right now, though, we’re not talking about packing sunscreen or deciding on your level of thigh exposure. (Though we’ll most certainly get there.) No, today we’d instead like to examine that essential component of any sunbather’s seaside HQ: the beach blanket. Whether it’s adorned with a bikinied lady friend or simply keeping sand out of the potato salad, no day at the shore is complete without one. And there are some handsome options in the menswear market that are more than worthy of your consideration, available as we speak.
Memorial Day weekend is finally here, and with it: the unofficial start to summer.
In preparation for the big festivities, this week we’ve helped you choose the right grilling apron, pick up a nifty bottle opener and learn the ins and outs of spending an entire three-day weekend pleasantly sloshed. And now, there’s only one thing left: the music.
There are a million ways you could go with this sort of thing, but there’s one theme that every barbecue party in America is going to have this weekend: summer. And that’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive, multi-genre-and-era-spanning playlist in which each song either has the word “summer” in its title or the season plays a major part in its lyrics. And we conveniently turned it into a Spotify playlist.
When it comes to shorts, we’ve always been of the mind that if you’re going for it, you have permission to get loud. (With the caveat: not at the office.)
And until recently, your only options were of the plaid or embroidered-critter variety meant for rebellious trads. But this season has seen more new patterned shorts on the market than perhaps ever. Stripes, ikat, paisley, liberty and batik prints. There are a lot more ways to get tastefully loud these days (which means you’ll want to outfit the rest of your body in a solid-color oxford cloth button-down, pocket tee or polo shirt—for the sake of everyone’s retinas, keep it to one pattern). So we rounded up our favorites of the bunch, to get you ready for the season.
The trick to spring-summer dressing is pretty much the opposite of fall-winter: the less layers, the better.
And one way to remove a layer while still pulling off a tailored look is to opt for an unlined blazer—preferably in the airiest weave you can find.
The giveaway of a good unlined blazer is the taped seams (our bearded friend here is doing a good job of demonstrating this, by showing the neon-taped interior of his blazer). Most blazers don’t have finished seams because they’ll never see the light of day once the lining has been sewn in. It’s a neat trick—the taped seams—but mostly a good sign of what you should be looking for in a lightweight blazer.
Plenty of ink has been spilled extolling the virtues of chinos, so we’ll presume you’re well aware of their essentialness.
In fact, you’re probably wearing a pair now.
We’ll just say this: a classic is a classic, from British officer khaki to the go-to-hell variety. And it doesn’t matter what the menswear rags are telling you this month—you’ll be wearing chinos of every stripe, year after year, regardless of #menswear’s current whim. So in the event that you’re in the market for a new pair or two, we’ve rounded up your best options on the Internet right now.
Not to belabor the point, but… it’s still spring.
Hence, we’re not into the sockless, throw-caution-to-the-warm-breeze weather quite yet. Odds are, you’re still spending most of your week in socks, but you should be ditching the wool blends for lighter, airier cotton knits—the same way you switched out your sweaters a few weeks ago.
|ALL Good Idea|
By now you’ve already begun the monumental wardrobe shift into summer—but your most important move: summer-izing your shirts.
Once the temps start climbing past 70 degrees, it’s a whole new world of chambray, gingham, seersucker, madras and festive summer prints. And, as always, we’re here to help guide you through it with:
The inimitable Southern dandy shopkeeper Sid Mashburn has just unveiled a nifty little guide on shoe care he’s calling The Mashburn Shoe Shine Playbook.
It plays out like a flowchart of footwear maintenance based on what material you’re working with (suede, calfskin or shell cordovan) and how much time you’ve got (no-huddle, two-minute drill, etc.), which then leads you to the proper tools and procedure. It’s especially well timed as the spring and summer footwear comes out of storage.
Which means you ought to just bookmark it now.
Menswear has a tendency to get ahead of itself—the spring/summer gear began trickling into shops months ago, the fall shows have already come and gone and the editorial spreads have moved to the beach. (Yes, Kempt is just as guilty as anyone.)
But take a look outside, we’re still smack-dab in the middle of showers-and-intermittent-sun weather. And dressing for that sort of uncertainty can be dicey unless you’ve got a trusty lightweight jacket stashed somewhere—whether it’s a packable anorak tucked into your briefcase or a linen-blend field jacket hanging on your desk chair.
|ALL Good Idea|
One of our favorite things about watching spring head toward summer is seeing all of the bright colors blooming—not from the local flora, but from well-appointed breast pockets.
Which means your own pocket squares should be getting brighter, airier and more spring-like. (If they haven’t already.) Luckily, we’ve scoured the market for all of the brightest and boldest new cotton, linen and cotton-linen pocket squares out there for your spring transition.
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