Summer may be the most difficult season in fashion to expertly navigate – and late summer is no different. As the temperature outside alternates between blazing hot and comfortably cool, finding ensembles that strike that precise balance between functional and elegant is daunting. One surefire way to beat the heat (or the breeze) and avoid sartorial frustration is to use separates to create wardrobe combinations that never fail and always keep you comfortable and highly styled.
1. Lightweight Suit + Lightweight Shirt + Loafers
For us modern gentlemen, suits are paramount to the dapper lifestyle. But during summer, suits made with heavy wool or tweed are more stifling than stylish. For summer suits, go with suits that are made from lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, or chambray. Suits made from tropical wool are lightweight, breathable, and tend to be wrinkle-resistant.
Linen suits are versatile in terms of where you can wear them, though they are probably best reserved for casual Fridays at the office. For more summer suit and fabric ideas, check out our “Seven Wonder Suits of Summer” blog.
Lightweight suits are ingenious – they keep you cool and looking your best, plus you can pair these suits with a light dress shirt or with a tee shirt or polo, depending on the event and the weather. Matched with a solid pair of loafers, the Lightweight Suit + Lightweight Shirt + Loafers combo has every element of dapperness.
2. Lightweight Knit + Trousers
Needing to go more casual? This combo is about as classic as it gets. And while the thought of pulling on a sweater during late summer may make you sweat, there are many lightweight summer options that are perfect for wearing near the water, on the boat, and for summer night dinners.
Light colored cable knits tell the story of New England yachts and early morning fishing. These sweaters are authentically timeless and pair well with any neutral colored pant or dark denim.
Breton striped sweaters and shirts look great with khaki or white trousers. They are a nod to both classic Hollywood, hardworking nautical industries (and style). Cropped trousers with stylish street sneakers or brogues give the feeling of relaxed timelessness.
The crew neck sweater makes us think of both rowing and savoring scotch after dark. Go for lighter colors, such as grey or beige, during the summer months, and feel free to pair with cropped neutral or dark trousers. After all, JFK did.
3. Long or Short Sleeved Tee + Casual Tailored Pants
Remember being a kid in summer? It seems now like the days were spent waking up late and meeting up with friends, riding your bike through the afternoons. This go-to combo harkens back to a more devil-may-care age, with a strong sense of casual cool. Add an updated debonair sense of style, and you’ve got a time-honored staple that’s undefeatable.
The combinations for summer styles are endless. Think Long-Sleeved Shirt + Tailored Shorts or Summer Shirts + Cropped Trousers or Shorts Suits + Oxford Shirts. Think Linen Blazer + Tailored Shorts + Tee Shirt. Think Linen Pants + Polo + Unlined Jacket. The trick to summer is to be creative and, as we say at Berel & Co., unapologetically classic.
For an easy-to-use quick guide to summer attire, take a look at this helpful chart from The Idle Man:
What to Wear In Summer