In our new series, TOPMAN Wears, we look at current trends and best-sellers and explore ways that Top Men can (and do) wear them. This week it’s all about summer workwear. Let’s get inspired.
It’s one of the hottest summers on record and the idea of pulling on a pair of jeans in the morning feels barbaric. Even though the office has AC, the idea of wearing them on the tube is even worse. But you don’t need trousers to look smart and you don’t need to be in a tank top to stay cool. No matter your office dress-code, we’ve got the answer.
CASUAL AND COOL
If your office is mellow about what you wear, then summer is your season. More for those in the creative industries, you’ve got a little more wardrobe freedom. Now, it’s time to break out the shorts. Hallelujah.
Chino is always a good fabric choice (as long as they’re not too tight) and can add a pop of colour. Some people find it easier to be more adventurous with shorts than with trousers and if you keep the top half plain, you have an instant summer look.
Textured formal shorts are on the suit end of the formal spectrum and are appropriate, even, to wear to semi-formal dinners after work. With these, try a crisp white long-sleeve shirt with a loose and easy rolled cuff.
For the feet: a simple white sneaker will pair with a shirt of the same hue and create a look that’s put-together and still relaxed.
THE SMART END OF CASUAL
Generally the dress-code for client-facing jobs or people who don’t need to wear jackets to work. And with no jacket required, you’re already half-way there. I’ll say it again, you cannot go wrong with chinos. A smart navy trouser in an original fit will be breathable and roomy and still looks sharp.
If shorts are not quite right for your office, you can get a little air up top. Short-sleeve shirts are still smart and don’t need to be tucked into chinos if you don’t want to.
When it comes to footwear, the rule is: don’t show the toe. You don’t need laces and you might get away with a slim-profile trainer but if not, try a smart loafer, summer loafer.
SUIT AND TIE KINDA GUY
Maybe the trickiest of the bunch, super formal offices (law firms, inner-city; basically anywhere that might have a ‘casual Friday’) don’t tend to let you roll to work up in old basketball shorts and vintage tees even if the mercury is rising. If a suit is the only option, then the focus needs to be on fabric, colour and fit.
Super Skinny options don’t leave a lot of room to breathe so for summer, it’s best to go for a looser, more tailored fit. The worst colour for sweat stains is grey so if you think you’re in danger of overheating on the commute, try blue or patterned fabric.
When it comes to shirts, cotton is key. It’s breathable and light and wicks moisture so you don’t create your own mini sauna.
If a touch of flare is appropriate, you could roll-cuff the hem of the trousers and try loafers and loafer-socks.