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Clothes for specific weather

Four ways to wear five summer staples

Four ways to wear five summer staples

An average wardrobe contains tens of thousands of possible combinations. Wrangling that maths into an outfit every morning can result in looks that don’t quite add up, particularly when you also need to keep one eye on the weather forecast. Which is why staples come into their own in summer. “When it’s hot, you want to stay comfortable and cool,” says Thread stylist Millie Rich. “A collection of great staples means you get effortless style as well.”

The collection we’ve assembled here can be worn, if not quite in any combination, then close to it. “If you keep the balance of pattern and colour right, a handful of items becomes a huge number of outfits,” says Millie. “You just need to look out the window and think about how many layers you’ll need.” But versatility doesn’t mean boring. “Pattern and colour are great things to try in summer and if you don’t go too bold, you still get lots of versatility.”

Photographed: MVP Grey Hatton Linen Blazer (£60)Paul Smith Navy Men’s Slim Fit Dark Navy Linen Trousers (£275)Sunspel Pink Men’s Cotton Riviera Polo Shirt (£85); Grenson Tan Lloyd Loafers (£225)

The most important element is balance. This floral shirt might not seem as versatile as something plain, but in summer, it will never look out of place so long as you pair it with those neutral pieces. “Staples aren’t all beige,” says Millie. “Subtle patterns should be considered a staple, because of the way they add personality to safer clothes.” The best wardrobes built on staples still have personality, they just stick to a consistent colour palate, so everything still works in combination.

Photographed: AllSaints Helix Hawaiian Shirt (£85)Levis 501 Original Fit Mid Wash Jeans (£85)H&M Edition Grey Cotton and Silk T-Shirt (£17.99)Converse Neutral Chuck Taylor 1970s Hi (£75)

These sumer staples should slot in alongside things like crew neck tees and chinos. “Something like a linen blazer is just a summer update to the darker versions you’d wear in winter,” says Millie. “It means you can stick to the style you wear the rest of the year and don’t have to compromise to make it ‘summery’ by wearing really bright colours or patterns that are so wild they make you feel uncomfortable.”

Photographed: MVP Grey Hatton Linen Blazer (£60)Levis 501 Original Fit Mid Wash Jeans (£85); Sunspel Men’s Cotton Pocket T-Shirt Stripe (£75)Converse Neutral Chuck Taylor 1970s Hi (£75)

The essential summer staples

A brighter polo

When you want to bridge the gap between a shirt and tee, reach for a polo. “An unexpected colour, like pale pink, makes even simple outfits feel more exciting,” says Millie.

Lighter jeans

Now’s not the time for dark denim. Light-wash jeans in a lightweight denim are the comfortable way to dress down.

Photographed: AllSaints Helix Hawaiian Shirt (£85)Norse Projects Navy Aros Light Twill Shorts (£80)Oliver Sweeney Campiglia Brown Leather Sandals (£99)Sun Buddies Tortoise Shell Lubna Sunglasses (£115)

A shirt with personality

The fewer clothes you’re wearing, the harder they each have to work. “A lot of guys make the mistake of going too bold,” says Millie. “But this shirt sticks to a couple of easy-to-wear colours, which makes the pattern much safer.”

A blazer that breathes

Winter jackets are heavier and more structured than the ones you need for summer. A lightweight, linen blazer is the easy way to smarten up anything in your wardrobe.

Shorts that dress up

If you only have one pair of shorts in your wardrobe, best to steer smarter. A tailored pair in dark cotton will still look good with a t-shirt, but also play nice with a shirt. And even the blazer.