Have the British lost the art of dressing for warm weather?
Here are some dos and don't for a stylish summer wardrobe*
It's very easy to crawl out from under the duvet in your crumpled boxers and pull on scruffy cargo shorts and a washed-out tshirt. But how much nicer would it be to wake refreshed in a cool cotton nightshirt and put on a crisp linen shirt, tailored shorts and soft suede driving shoes?
Much nicer, is the answer ... and your nearest and dearest will certainly appreciate the change.
Track suits, trainers and quasi-military baggy shorts have democratised men's summer dressing to the lowest common denominator.
What is suggested is not a return to formal summer dressing but clothes that are comfortable because they fit well and look good, made to the highest standards in natural fabrics, such as a relaxed linen suit.
This style of dressing is no more difficult to wear than jeans and a jacket, it's practical and comfortable, suitable for every occasion and keeps you looking cool on a hot day. Classic and bold colours add panache to any outfit. Classic shoe style range from deck shoes to loafers and desert boots - all making for happy, cool feet. Throw out the gnarled sandals, washed-out tshirts and shorts that only ever suited teenage skateboarders. Look at these suggestions and raise your game with clothes which will work for any occasion.
And here are a few style notes for summer:
- Don't wear a baseball hat unless you're playing baseball. We're Brits and have our own headgear.
- Do wear a summer straw hat, preferably a Panama, when the heat is on but beware of cheap paper imitations, sold as 'Panama style'.
- Always remove your hat indoors or in the presence of a lady.
- Don't wear shorts with pockets on the legs, they can make you look 'hippy' - but not in the laid-back sense - and 'youthful' in entirely the wrong way.
- Do wear trousers or shorts in natural fabrics and good colours. Try wearing suede shoes without socks and your trousers casually rolled a little shorter.
- Don't wear any shoe or sandal with a Velcro fastening or constructed from nylon webbing. Just no! Keep toe nails strictly to yourself and your chiropodist.
- do wear suede for summer. You don't have to own a Lamborghini to wear driving shoes, nor a polo pony to wear chukka boots. Embrace colour: red, navy, ginger.
* from Nicholas Anderton in the Daily Telegraph, Saturday 22 June
Also see: peterchristian.co.uk.