How to dress stylishly in a heat wave
Think of these styles as AC for your wardrobe
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In summertime, the livin' should be easy. But when it comes to your wardrobe, Ella Fitzgerald's words don't often ring true. Summer never feels easy when you’re staring into your wardrobe for the third week in a row, bored with all of your clothes. The best things about summer – sun, more social plans, longer days – can also be the hardest to dress for. You want clothes that will be lightweight but still stylish and practical no matter what you’re doing. That, generally, leaves about three shirts and a pair of light chinos. While you might want to throw all your clothes away and hide inside until the heat passes, perhaps don’t. Instead, give a little consideration to texture.
One of the tricky things about dressing in the summer is that everything can start to feel a little flat. Without the different layers and textures of autumn and winter clothes, everything gets samey, which is where texture comes into play. Those same fabrics that are easy and breathable – cotton, linen, seersucker – can also add texture to your clothes which in turn adds interest. We’re not suggesting you embrace head-to-toe velvet (you will melt. And look weird) but we have rounded-up five of our favourite summer textures.
If you can’t face the thought of denim in the soaring temperatures, go for chambray. Similar in look to denim, the lighter fabric adds a different element to shirts but not as heavy as denim. Go for a chambray shirt over a white t-shirt for an easy layered look.
Made for hot climates the slightly puckered texture of seersucker is perfect for summer. It adds texture without adding weight, and today’s way of wearing it is less about the head-to-toe candy stripes suit and more about classic menswear items reimagined, like bomber jackets or even shirting.
It’s true that silk isn’t the most breathable fabric out there, but when it comes to texture, it can’t be ignored. Instantly luxe, it elevates the most simple out outfits. A silk-linen or silk-cotton blend will give you the lightness of silk, and the texture, without too much worry over being too hot in the sun. Alternatively, semi-man-made materials like rayon and lyocell give you all silk's sheen, with more air flow.
When it comes to summer fabrics you can’t overlook linen. A natural fabric, it’s lightweight and breathable but also works as a great contrast alongside plain cotton. Think outside the traditional linen shirts and give trousers or jackets a try.
Banish thoughts of towelling capes on the beach from when you were a kid. Modern towelling is more sophisticated than that. Great on polo shirts, like this Orlebar Brown one, it’s breathable and absorbent and adds a little texture to your summer tees.
Why should you put away childish things? The best way to be happy is to dress in ways that actually make you happy