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What goes with what

Can I pull off: A blazer with shorts?

Can I pull off: A blazer with shorts?

If you're even contemplating this combination, you're probably the kind of dresser who's up for trying something new. And if that's the case, "this would be a nice outfit to wear on summer holiday or for a smartish occasion that doesn't require a full suit," says Thread stylist Alice Watt. "It's a summer take on smart casual."

Photographed: Private White V.C. navy blazer (£450), Paul Smith navy patterned shirt (£170), Gant navy chino shorts (£80), Grenson brown loafers (£145), Oliver Spencer tortoiseshell sunglasses (£185)

1. Go for fairly smart shorts. "You need to bridge the gap between the shorts (which are usually casual) and the blazer (typically seen as quite smart). So go for smarter shorts and a more casual blazer. For the former, that means chino or tailored shorts rather than denim or cargo."

2. Choose a more casual blazer. "A formal tailored blazer here wouldn't look remotely right; it'd be too smart for the shorts. Instead, go for something unstructured—you could even choose a summery fabric like linen or seersucker cotton."

3. Keep the rest of the outfit between smart and casual, too. "Skip the tie, unfasten the top few buttons of your shirt and go for loafers or desert shoes rather than smarter lace-ups (which wouldn't look good with shorts anyway). The patterned shirt isn't essential; a polo or t-shirt would also work."