Summer Trend 2014: Casual and Professional:
“Be A Color Enthusiast”
Spring and summer seasons are the perfect time to be overly expressive with colors and style. From Derby parties to swank parties, the spring and summer season are usually times of the year when you can be overtly ostentatious. Whether casual dress or professional dress don’t be afraid to spruce your wardrobe up with a mixture of shades. Bringing in a myriad of shade into your wardrobe will spice up your appearance as the eye is drawn to color. Remember the rule “of the eye”. The eye is drawn to color, so make sure you have a balance; particularly if you are going with multiple shades. The professional dress can be spiced up with a colorful pocket square, or tie, but try not to go too overboard. It’s a delicate balance within the professional arena. Try to stay away from colorful suits or pieces, pants, and shorts while at work. Save those for casual dress outside of work. You can definitely be a lot more expressive with color outside of work. If you’re looking to follow the trend, we’ve found that this summer shades of red will be extremely popular.
The casual and more dressy trends that will be extremely popular this summer season include the resurgence of the double-breasted blazer. We’ll see the double-breasted blazer in all fabrics and shades, neon trainers as well as floral prints on all articles of clothing. Men are even finding it useful, fashionable, and chic to carry messenger bags, or hand bags to carry life’s essentials (cell phone, wallet or money clip, keys); particularly in summer with limited means to carry all of life’s accouterments. The double-breasted blazer was a style that could only be worn by men with broad shoulders. They have been refined and can be worn by all casually and dressed up, respectively. For example, I styled one of my clients in a double-breasted seersucker suit worn with a long sleeve polo, sleek loafers, and accentuated with a contrasting and colorful pocket square. He added his own flare with a great pair of sunglasses and a nice watch.
From Paris, France, to New York, New York, we’ve seen an interesting casual look trend. This look has made its way in mainstream, but has not yet become a mainstay. Wait for it…. Capri Pants. That’s right! Capri pants for men are extremely popular and can be a good look when put together and matched right. It’s a delicate look, and is definitely not meant for everyone. When done right, it’s a trendsetting and fashion-forward look.
Shorts with a blazer are also fashionable looks for this summer. If you dare, try wearing a V-neck t-shirt and a bespoke/unstructured blazer. If you’re going to pull off this look, make sure the shorts have a nice length to them (preferable no more than an inch above the knees), and are not homemade rolled up shorts. Many men will accessorize with a colorful lapel flower pin on their blazer, leather bracelet(s), colorful bracelets(s), and sleek loafers. If you’re really trying to make a statement, shed the sneakers and liven up your outfit with a great pair of leather slide on sandals, espadrilles or espadrille-like shoe, boat shoes, or casual loafers. Wearing any of these shoes doesn’t require regular socks. You can rock these looks without socks or with loafer socks. Loafer socks are a great investment and a Godsend. They protect your feet during the sweltering summer heat, help eliminate sweat from your feet, and protect them from the elements when you wear flat shoes such as espadrilles. A wonderful attribute about loafer socks is that they are concealed below the ankle line. No one will even know you’re wearing them when worn correctly.
No matter the environment, popular summer fabrics are always a great acquisition. Steer clear of heavy fabrics, such as thick wool and fleece. Try to wear clothes that are made from rich, summery fabrics like stretch cotton, seersucker, and linen. Cotton blends are also a great fabric palate to choose from. Avoid wearing seersucker to work, but the spring and summer times are perfect times to wear lighter toned/color suits to work. Within many professional arenas, the dress has become more casual. A true gentleman finds it a delightful treat to dress up with at least a blazer. I find that bow ties or ties aren’t always a necessity as corporate rules have loosened a bit on dress requirements. Nonetheless, keep it professional, and try to limit the wear of dark colored suits.
“Accessorize or Not?”
Accessories are not mandatory, but augment a great outfit. Pocket squares, bracelets, lapel pins, and hats are all nice ways to accessorize a look. Hats are always a great addition. Pork pie hats, fedoras, boater hats, and fitted hats help protect against UV exposure. Aside from the protection, they add flare.
No matter your color, ultraviolet rays pose risks. Summer heat can be dangerous, so make sure you protect every aspect of your body. A nice pair of shades/sunglasses is a good accessory to have as well. Limit inside wear of shades for an extended time as your eyes need time to adjust when changing elements. A man should always have a couple of watch options in his collection; casual as well as professional. I’ve found that watches are a great conversation piece. Light it up with color when dressing casual. Add a colorful lapel flower in different materials if you sport a blazer. I’ve seen them in varying fabrics (i.e. velvet, silk, and felt) and they have become increasingly popular. Another newly trending style is to use a silk knot (bar or circle) in the lapel hole on your blazer. It’s subtle, but a great look.
It’s no secret (pun intended) that we all perspire more when exposed to the heat elements. I’m sure you’ve either been directly exposed to this or have seen someone who suffers from “sweaty armpit syndrome” or “yellow armpit” syndrome. As trivial and unrelated to the central theme of this article this may seem, it’s actually very important. Perspiration is a big deal, and many of us may have to change the antiperspirant to mitigate sweaty pits and/or yellow armpits. It can be embarrassing and take away from what would otherwise be a good look.
Remember, style is a way of branding yourself. It is your communication and projection to the world without the exchange of words. For those that read and follow me, I want you to know that I write about style, not from a vain perspective, but as a way to connect the art of style with the human characteristic of projection and preconception.