Warm Weather Staples - How to Stay Stylish When Not Wearing a Suit
Warm weather can mean a blistering summer in your city, or a tropical getaway to an exotic locale any time of the year. Either way, you don’t have to - and shouldn’t - sacrifice style for comfort. You can absolutely look your best without wearing a warm weather suit.
This article will help you navigate the sweltering temperatures with ease so that you will always look cool, calm and collected.
Warm Weather Fabrics for Men
Before we get into specific clothing items, we need to get specific about the types of fabrics you’ll want to look for.
Hot weather fabrics for men need to breathe, be comfortable, fluid and lightweight. As discussed at length in my article, Keeping Cool: 7 Ways to Beat the Heat, choosing the right warm weather fabrics is key to staying stylish and crisp.
These materials will keep you looking good, and feeling fresh (for the most part):
Cotton is the “go-to” material for hot climates. It ticks all the boxes: it’s a natural material that’s widely available, comfortable, breathable and versatile. Thanks to this versatility cotton can be weaved into different types of materials such as poplin, seersucker and twill. Explore the choices for yourself and choose what best fits into your own style. One problem with cotton, though, is that it absorbs moisture and might stay damp for a long period.
Linen is also a natural material made from the fibers of the flax plant. 50% stronger than cotton, this highly breathable material is known, and loved, for it’s wrinkled appearance. Linen also dries pretty quickly, so don’t worry about walking around in damp duds.
Wool is, perhaps surprisingly, a great choice for warmer climates. No, not the wool used for tweeds, but a lighter open weave that breathes, wicks away moisture and keeps its structure even in humid weather.
Men’s Warm Weather Hats
Not only are hats essential for helping to keep your head cool, and for protecting your scalp and face from sun damage, they can add a lot to a look.
Caps - While baseball caps might be the most popular style, and they do provide a nice length of shade over the face. However, when you want to look sharper, reach for a linen summer flat cap.
Fedora - these hats are always cool and classy. But, even though your head will stay cool, some styles have a slight brim that won’t necessarily provide adequate shade cover.
Panama - Originating in Ecuador, Panama hats are classic and a favorite style of many men. This style is created to keep your head cool and the sun out of your eyes, and off of your face.
Fisherman - these hats can be little flopsy with enough space in the crown for air circulation and a brim that provides adequate protection.
As with any item of men’s clothing, be sure to try on a few styles to make sure the hat you choose is the correct fit for the shape and circumference of your head. Also, be sure that you can wear that style of hat with confidence.
Shorts, Shirts, Pants
Essentials of every man’s warm weather wardrobe must include the basics:
Shorts come in all shapes and sizes. But, you should choose the cut that’s right for your body type. avoid wearing cut-offs, shorts that are too tight or too baggy. Either extreme is not a good look for anyone. Bermuda shorts or chino shorts are probably the most “dressy” shorts can get. Choose solid colors like navy blue, brick red, yellow or khaki. Generally, shorts should sit at about 2 to 4 inches above the knee and not be constricting when you sit down.
Shirts can be either long sleeve or short sleeve, T-shirts, polos, or button-down Oxfords. Remember, you’re going for a more dressed-up look, so your shirt shouldn’t have crazy patterns or graphics. Bold prints, however, are perfect for warm weather. You should make sure your shirt is made from a breathable material that absorbs moisture to avoid sopping fabric that sticks to you.
Pants should be fitted, but not tight. Again, the fabric is key. You want your pants to allow for plenty of air flow and they should have moisture-wicking properties. Fitted chinos or a tight-weave linen are always good options.
The overall look and style should be neat and put-together. It also depends on the occasion and setting.
Warm Weather Footwear for Men
Yes, we all know that sneakers are a warm weather must-have. Absolutely. And, you can do a whole lot with white sneakers. But, there are many more choices for warm weather shoes. Just open yourself up to the possibilities.
A great place to start is with a handsome pair of loafers. Paired with shorts, jeans or chinos, loafers are a welcome alternative to sneakers. For example, the Beaumont Horsebit loafers add a touch of elegance to any outfit. And, the Bernard Tassel loafers elevate your look in an instant. With or without socks, loafers can really set you apart from the herd.
Worn with nice pants made from linen or a fitted pair of dressy chinos Oxfords or Monkstraps can both be nice, and perhaps unexpected, warm weather shoes.
As you can see, mixing up your warm weather shoe rotation is an easy way to add some excitement to your outfits.
Men’s Underwear and Socks
The age-old question “boxers or briefs?” can be answered very quickly: are you comfortable? Not only with the way they fit, but also if there’s any sweating, chafing or other discomfort. All sure signs that it’s time to change your underwear.
Socks for men can be a bit tricky. There’s the socks vs. sockless debate, and the one involving no-show socks vs. ankle-length or higher. A lot depends on the style of shoe you’re wearing and if it’s casual or formal. Well, even that can be a little tricky as you can definitely get away with not wearing socks with a dress shoe if the occasion allows for it.
If you do opt for socks, be sure they are made from breathable materials. You absolutely do not want your feet to smother, sweat and smell.
Follow these easy tips to keep your shoes smelling fresh.
Hygiene and Grooming Tips
Aside from showering daily (sometimes more than once), there are other grooming practices that you should employ regularly.
Get yourself a nice trim haircut, or shave it off completely. If you have facial hair, be sure to also keep it well-groomed.
It’s impossible to look stylish and put together if you’re sopping with sweat. No worries - there’s an app for that. Well, an application of a specially formulated antiperspirant that is. You can find several options online. Or, in a pinch, apply your regular antiperspirant to your face, arms, legs and even your groin to keep sweating in check.
Be sure your underarm deodorant is powerful enough to keep the smells at bay, and sweating to a minimum without causing an allergic reaction or plugging up your pores. Try to steer clear of products with alcohol, ammonia and aluminum.
Powder and freshening wipes also go a long way to helping you stay cool and fresh. Also, keep a handkerchief or small, absorbent towel with you throughout the day.
If nothing else, be sure to apply sunblock and hydrate throughout the day.
Presenting a polished look, and staying fresh is possible no matter how hot it is. All it takes is a little planning, trust in yourself and creativity.
Please let us know what some of your favorite warm weather styles are by leaving a comment below.
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