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The beauty of a British summer – for your wardrobe, at least – is that you never know what’s coming next. You might not think boundless blue skies could get old but Edenic weather, though good for your vitamin D levels, means a less sunny wardrobe. There are only so many ways to make the shorts-plus-tee equation feel fresh. Variety gives your style spice.

“A British summer requires a bit more thought,” says Thread stylist Toby Standing. “Day-to-day – and even hour-to-hour – you face different weather and different demands on your wardrobe.” The solution is a skill you honed when the days were shorter. Back then, you layered defensively. But in summer, it’s all positive. “Layering is one of the easiest and most effective ways to level up your look.”

Those style wins you get when it’s frosty – the extra texture, the contrast, the play between different colours – will lift warm-weather outfits too. “Summer clothes can often feel flat and, frankly, a bit dull by themselves,” says Toby. Which is why guys so often reach for wild patterns the second it gets warm. “Layering is a more considered way to add dynamism and flair. It makes you look unique, rather than ‘unique’.”

To master the more-is-more approach to summer style, you need to update your approach – right now, you want free and breezy, not buttoned up. “The idea’s the same, but the execution is different in summer,” says Toby. Here’s how.

Work inside-out

The first rule of layering is that your outfit still needs to work when you take stuff off. In winter, you might lose the outer couple of layers; in summer, you’ll strip to your tee. “Make sure your base layer looks good by itself,” says Toby. “A good fit, decent fabric and, of course, clean.” It should also definitely have sleeves. Save vests for the beach.

Photographed: Kestin Hare seersucker shirt jacket (£145)Boden linen shirt (£55)MVP t-shirt (£18)

Think in combinations

Layering works best when each item connects to the ones around it. That could mean the play between different fabrics, their colours, or even how your skin-side layers mean you can choose not to button the ones above. “Build outward from your base layer and make sure each new layer adds something,” says Toby. “You won’t rely on what's outermost to do all the work. Because then, you're stuck if you have to take it off.”

Pick the right, light fabrics

Naturally, summer layering demands different fabrics. “Light and thin should be your go-to,” says Toby. Most men reach for cotton, but speciality materials – the likes of linen, seersucker, pique and tropical wool – are full of tiny holes, which encourage airflow. “They’ve also got lots of texture, which can be hard to find in summer, but immediately gives an outfit depth.”

Size up

Winter layers should fit slim, so you can fit wear chunky fabrics without the bulk. In summer, you want lightweight materials in roomy cuts, so air circulates rather than insulates. “Being able to unbutton things also stops hot air getting stuck against your skin,” says Toby.

Pick trousers with legs

Layering offers versatility, but that means your lower-half needs to work with everything you’re wearing on top. “From the t-shirt to the jacket, they should all go together,” says Toby. Simple, neutral trousers – stone chinos, light denim, navy shorts – are your safest bet.