Ah, August after dark: perfect for romance, bonfires and waxing nostalgic about your pre-desk-job days as a lifeguard.
Why would you ever waste the time indoors?
But the thing is, once the sun sets, it has a way of getting pretty darned chilly out. And since nothing can ruin a beautiful beach day’s epilogue like a set of chattering teeth, we’d like to advise you to take the necessary precautions and invest in a bit of lightweight knit protection. That way, you’ll be able to focus more on achieving the perfect s’more-char and less on maintaining your body temperature.
Nothing brings out a gentleman’s most pragmatic sense of personal style more than facing the hot, hot heat.
And with Coachella kicking off its two-weekend run of concerts in the sweltering California desert tomorrow, there’s no better place to witness this firsthand—especially onstage, where true wills of sartorial resolve are tested.
Which is why there are some valuable lessons to be learned from those who manage to maintain a rakish poise even when performing high-kicks in the unforgiving desert sun. (Hint: sometimes you’ve got to embrace the sweatiness.) So we present to you...
It’s easily the most stylish trophy in sports: the Masters’ green jacket.
Coincidentally, a green blazer also happens to be the perfect spring accomplice—especially if you can find one in an airier weave, with softer shoulders and in a less glaring tone than the mostly ceremonial number slung over the winner’s shoulder each April. Luckily, with a little digging, we’ve found a surprisingly plentiful spectrum of solid options out there right now, from pale to Rockham green, Gucci to Woolrich, that you can wear today, without having to beat out Tiger in a shootout down the back nine. (Though we’re not saying you couldn’t.) So, without further ado:
Cotton blazer season is upon us and—assuming you’ve already got one in the requisite tan or navy—here’s one worth considering.
Yes. It’s bright red. But one of the more pleasant side effects of the Italian renaissance in menswear is that something like this doesn’t look as out of place as it did three seasons ago. And it’s just landed at Context by way of Band of Outsiders. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: Designer Scott Sternberg has been twisting classic Americana into new, brighter, striped iterations for some time now (see: the polo shirt), but this blazer might be his most adventurous move yet.
Who to Channel: Lapo Elkann (but not going double-breasted means you could actually wear this to something other than a yacht christening); Craig Sager on an impossibly good day; an American-Lister in Paris.
When to Wear It: This has got a shelf life of spring to late summer. Wear it loudly and proudly.
Degree of Difficulty: Somewhat high. You might want to review your office dress code before showing up in this. Garden parties, rooftop bars and the like are fair game.
With the weather heating up, we prefer our outerwear thin and portable—and if possible, we’d like it to have lapels.
So naturally, we were drawn to this waxed-cotton blazer from the newly launched Private White V.C. The wax gives it enough weight to get you through those impromptu summer rains without adding too much bulk.
And more importantly, it’s a fully British item, woven by the British Millerain Co. and stitched together by James Grove and Sons in the West Midlands—so that whiff of Churchill-era military style is entirely authentic. Hopefully you’ve got the paratrooper pants to match.
When summer rolls around, we usually jump pretty fast for cotton sneakers, but there are plenty of other options—and a few of them put your plimsolls to shame.
This one comes from Osborn Design, with cotton uppers and leather soles. The result lands somewhere between a weejun and an espadrille—the kind of thing you’d wear to a semi-formal beach party. It’s also one of the most discreet ways to pull off that loose, sockless, “I’m-almost-barefoot” vibe that tends to surface in July.
Now that the weather’s warming up, we’d like to direct your attention to one of the most overlooked items in your spring/summer arsenal: the cotton sweater. It’s an airier version of the wool and cashmere pullovers in your closet, and perfect for those couple weeks in mid-March when the summer sun butts up against the last gusts of winter. These will fare well against both.
As we head into cotton suit season, Aussie tailor P. Johnson has put together a near-impeccable guide to the camicia spalla or Neapolitan shoulder. It’s the puckered version on the left, compared with the regular, unstructured shoulder on the right. By our lights, the non-Neapolitan version is a little more classic, a little less trendy, but it’s still useful for anyone looking to spice up an otherwise standard jacket. It’s even better as a way to test your tailor’s chops. Any suit maker who can pull this off is worth whatever he’s charging.
These scarves just arrived at Barneys courtesy of cravat artisan Alexander Olch. They’re all rough-edged summer weight cotton, woven into the same classic checks and stripes as his ties—and all made in New York city limits. Save this one for the first sunny day...
These days, we’re pretty much living on linen pants and camp shirts these days. And since that doesn’t leave much room for thick leather belts, we’ve had to get creative with our trouser support.
Our solution of choice so far is Industry of All Nations’ Faja, a strap of woven cotton Argentine gentlemen have been using to hold up their trousers for ages. It’s light, casual, and a much-needed breath of Southern Hemisphere style. But since there’s no buckle, first you’ll have to figure out how to tie it.
So once the weekend rolls around, we understand if you choose to take to the streets in a weathered t-shirt that normally doesn’t see the light of day. It’s not ideal, but desperate times call for desperate measures—and sometimes, that means dressing like an unusually well-groomed mechanic.
It’s easy to forget in a world of e-commerce and blogs, but how a shirt feels can be every bit as important how it looks—especially when you’re dealing with clothes more suited to Sunday afternoon than Monday morning.
Which brings us to Sunspel. They cut their teeth making some of the best undershirts in England, but their latest lookbook finds them branching out into hoodies, sweatshirts, and something they’re referring to as “long john pants” that probably shouldn’t leave the house. In other words, it’s loungewear made from some of the softest cotton and wool you’ve ever laid hands on.
That means no side seams under the arms, since the fabric comes off in circular sheets—a pretty neat trick if you manage to pull it off without a tailor. The shirts will be arriving at TdN next season, but in the meantime…there’s always factory pics.