Heatwave Season: How to dress for hot weather
Cremating sausages on the barbecue, declaring it ‘too hot’ to anyone that listens, flipping pillows over to the cold side… with 2018 recording the hottest summer of any year in recent memory, these scenarios are sure to feel very familiar by now!
Unfortunately, the unexpected British weather brings with it a number of unique challenges. Our country is largely inept at dealing with dramatic temperature change, but one issue that desperately needs tackling is how best to dress for the hot season, in a way that keeps you looking sophisticated. We’ve put together a few tips and potential looks to heat up your summer wardrobe and still keep you cool.
RULES OF COOL
1. Cut from a different cloth
Be sure to opt for lightweight and loose-woven fabric. A loose weave enables air flow, and gives heat and moisture the chance to escape easily. Linen, cotton and some wool options are great for warm temperatures due to their breathable and absorbent nature. But it’s worth noting, even if you already own the best fabrics under the sun, (no pun intended!), you could still find yourself hot under the collar if the garment doesn’t fit. Summer clothing should look sharp and fit well, but there’s sure-fire scope to opt for looser sizing to aid air circulation.
2. Lighten up
Choice summer shades are typically lighter in colour. Don’t be afraid to add vibrant tones to match the (hopefully!) bright weather, either. Lighter tones combat the sun’s heat by reflecting infra-red radiation. This keeps you much cooler than a similar piece of clothing in a darker colour does. White, khaki, grey, light blue and pink are all tones that keep you sweat-free and cooler than black, olive and navy. Look to inject a pop of colour in your sunglasses, belts, pocket squares, and wrist-wear.
Cooler than you (wears Stratton Belt)
3. Don’t get burnt!
“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” I’m assuming there are no mad dogs reading this, but for all the Englishmen, be sure to opt for outfits that offer some protection. Not only does sunburn make you look ridiculous, but it’s also a serious, (and avoidable), health risk! Make sure your clothing is made using materials that offer UV protection. Shirt styles with long sleeves or a collar also provide further sanctuary to sun-exposed areas. Linen absorbs UV very well, but be wary of cotton, as a white cotton t-shirt is equivalent to UPF 5 sun lotion, and even less when wet.
Just to note, we are also firmly against topless men in public, unless you're at the beach or swimming pool. A little self-respect goes a long way in today’s often shameless world!
So now you have the basics, here are a few ideas to help you on your way:
1. Casual Mediterranean
If you’ve ever travelled to the Med in summer, you’ll understand the heat it harbours. For those that haven’t, it’s significantly hotter than anything we usually experience on British soil. As a result, the men in these countries know a thing or two about dressing for the heat, but still retain an effortless air of sophistication about them.
A simple crew neck t-shirt in a light shade easily subs out to a lightweight linen shirt and rolled-up sleeves. Chinos are also great, as they’re more breathable than jeans, and when hemmed to ankle height, allow plenty of airflow to the legs. Opt for khaki, or if you’re feeling brave – red or green. This look provides the perfect opportunity to add texture to your outfit with a woven belt. Pair with light trainers or Boat Shoes, and you’ll look as though you’ve just stepped out of a Ferrari on the French Riviera, ready for afternoon drinks on the top yacht deck.
So Euro (wears Harston belt)
2. An Evening Out
Is it possible to look your best but also avoid calling time on a night out due to chronic heat exhaustion? The answer is yes, and the secret lies in the detail. A blazer is a fantastic way to smarten your outfit, but if you opt for one in the summer, make sure it doesn’t feature lining. Even though the wool and linen is often breathable and lightweight, any sort of lining will completely counteract these properties. If you want to know why breathability is important, try wearing a bin bag as a top on a hot day!
Replace your regular cotton or silk dress shirt for a looser weave or alternate material. A tie and matching pocket square also adds a touch of class to your outfit, and the colour accent will brighten both the look and your mood. Once again, hem trousers higher than normal, or even opt for jeans if the evening air brings the temperature down. Rock this outfit with suede loafers and a matching suede belt to add further attention to detail.
Ready for the night (wears Ridlington Belt)
Hopefully, our tips and ideas offer the style inspiration you need to keep your summer cool. Whether you’re jetting off to an exotic destination, or simply preparing for the next UK heatwave, you now have the knowledge to intelligently shape your wardrobe around the weather.