Five essential summer shoes
Spoiler: they’re not all sandals
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Shorts are the undisputed bottoms of choice come summer, so if you don’t like them that much you might find yourself struggling with what to wear when it’s hot outside. But, trust us, they’re not your only option. In fact, we spoke to our stylist Freddie and he’s come up with three equally as cool alternatives that are perhaps even more versatile. Don’t worry, they’ll still keep you cool and they work for everything from pub lunches to holiday dinners.
So if shorts aren’t really your thing, you’ve come to the right place. And if they are, wearing them 90s days in a row is a bit excessive, so you should probably take some notes too.
The ultimate summer trouser that pretty much all of our stylists (male and female) are obsessed with right now has to be the linen trouser. These are a slight level up in terms of smartness in comparison to jeans but they’re actually a bit comfier and even more lightweight. By nature, linen is super breathable and is essentially the second best thing to shorts in terms of a bottom-half piece that is going to keep you cool.
For this season, the trend we’re seeing most frequently is a slightly wider silhouette. This is spot on for this kind of fabric because linen isn’t as well suited to slim or skinny fits – the beauty is all in the movement. With that said, you’ve got to embrace the crease. Even if you’ve ironed and steamed your linen pieces to oblivion, the moment you sit down, they’ll crease again. But if you opt for a darker colour, it will camouflage some of the damage while making them look a bit more dressed up. This is good because dinner on holiday is where Freddie says these particular trousers will shine.
Ah, jeans. Gotta love ‘em. Most guys' wardrobes have a pretty solid collection of jeans, which is good because they make the ultimate alternative to shorts on casual summer days. You’ve just got to make sure you opt for a light wash and a lightweight stretchy denim so you don’t end up feeling too hot. Luckily, Freddie highlights that there’s some really great innovation going on in the denim category right now which means you can get really light and flexible denim that is both comfortable and breathable.
To find the right pair, as a rule of thumb stick to the lighter washes. Light colours lend themselves not only to the season but to the fabric, plus they always look a bit more casual than a darker alternative. Steer away from raw denim and a top tip from Freddie is to look at the ounce of the jean (it should be in the description). Anything single figures is great, anything double is going to feel a bit heavy.
Save these for your more casual occasions, “pubs, barbecues, that sort of thing.” We would say they’re more of a domestic option so don’t worry about taking these on holiday. When you’re at home though, they pretty much go with anything. A tee and trainers is always failsafe but don’t hesitate to go for boat shoes and a button down if you’ve got something going on that’s smart but not that smart.
Chinos are in general, the safest summer choice. They’re not as casual as a jean but not as formal as a linen trouser either while still working for all the occasions the warm weather season has to offer. Plus, if you go for one in a ripstop fabric they’re even more lightweight than your classic twill chino, with a little more durability and they’re perfect if the weather decides to change its mind.
With a chino it’s always nice to opt for a classic shade like we’ve done here. That way you’ll know they go with everything and they’ll remain a must-have in your wardrobe for years to come. The ripstop fabric of these however implements a very subtle checked pattern which makes them a bit more interesting. Occasion wise, these are definitely for your more casual days but Freddie says if you’ve managed to find a pair that are really nailing it in terms of fit, there’s no reason you can’t wear them in a more formal way too.
Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Freddie Kemp