Inspiration: A List of Summer Essentials

Inspiration: A List of Summer Essentials

I’ve spoken about the need for a seasonal wardrobe before, and heavier fabrics for fall/winter are wonderful. There is an advantage to colder weather in the ability to layer for warmth. You can’t layer for cool. Choosing the right fabrics for warm weather is key – especially if you’re like me and are sensitive to the heat! Let’s get onto the list of summer essentials.

Linen Blend Sport Coats

I’m a big fan of textured solid fabrics in general, and I particularly enjoy wool/linen blends in bold colours. There’s something about the rustic variation that linen brings out in a fabric that makes it a summer essential for me. I have a couple of sport coats that really show off this detail: my Samuelsohn made up in a burgundy fabric from Ermenegildo Zegna, and my Spier & Mackay made up in a bright blue fabric from Botolli.

Here’s that beautiful Zegna fabric up close on my Samuelsohn sport coat
linen blend, sport coat, grenadine, pocket square, after the suit, spier & mackay, summer essentials
Bright blue wool/linen from Botolli via Spier & Mackay

The linen adds a subtle, almost checked look to the sport coats. Those vertical and horizontal striations are what give linen blends extra visual interest. It’s also important to note that the jackets are lightweight and breathable – something essential for warm weather.

Bold Patterned Sport Coats

Another summer essential for me is a bold patterned sport coat, especially in a blend of linen, wool and silk. E. Thomas makes some of the finest combinations of these, in some wonderful patterns. Here are a couple that I own.

Both of these jackets feature a large scale pattern, and neither in a particularly subtle colour combinations. The first is predominantly grey, with oatmeal, brown and a steely blue. I think what makes it feel summery to me is the light colourway, and the wonderful fabric blend. The second jacket is a similar blend, in a vastly different palette. A brick red, with rusty tones is highlighted with orange, cream and blue checks. These jackets feature a ton of texture and visual interest, but from further away resolve to a less busy and striking pattern.

Here are a few of the releases from Spier & Mackay this season that I love, but haven’t bought (yet):

Linen, Linen and More Linen

You’ve probably read that the key to wearing linen is to embrace the wrinkles. Well, I don’t have some insightful statement that contradicts that. Linen wrinkles. A lot. There’s a playful juxtaposition wearing tailored linen. You’ll want to stay away from anything too formal to coordinate. I picked up this suit from Spier & Mackay, done up in a killer shade of tobacco linen from Hardy Minnis. The first photo I’ve worn it as a suit, but I feel like I’ll mostly wear it as separates.

Safari Jackets

I’ve had a Safari jacket on my list for quite some time… I think this will be the year I finally pull the trigger. There are four that I’ve been looking at for some time, and haven’t quite decided. Each has something I quite like about it. The first is from Craftsman, a brand I’ve been following on Instagram for a couple of years. The second is from Lopez Aragon, and I’d only loosely define it as a “safari” jacket. The third is from Amfeast. The last one is from G. Inglese via No Man Walks Alone. It looks to be a kind of safari style overshirt.

I really like the proportions on the Craftsman – the pocket details, the collar, the size of the buttons. It’s all really well balanced, and this olive shade of linen would be quite versatile. If you’re interested, here’s a link for 10% off! The option from Lopez Aragon is called the Borneo model. I love the single, angled breast pocket and the belt. It’s a rakish take on a “safari” inspired jacket. Amfeast’s safari jacket is a wonderful shade as well, and offers a simple and elegant silhouette. I’d looked at the G. Inglese, but it was after seeing some posts on Styleforums’ Instagram from Pitti, featuring Greg from No Man Walks Alone wearing one, I had to revisit my thoughts. I quite like the way it looks when worn.

Since I began writing this post, I have picked up one of these… You’ll find out which one soon!

Loafers

cavour, loafers, tassel loafers, green suede, after the suit, tobacco linen, hardy minnis, spier & mackay

Recently, I picked up a pair of green suede tassel loafers from Cavour (review coming soon!). The shade of green is more versatile then I thought it’d be, though I still wouldn’t recommend green as a first pair of loafers. Fortunately, they do offer some other colours, and they’re having a site-wide sale up to 30% off! I’ve also got a pair of leather loafers from Paul Evans that I enjoy, and a pair of dark brown suede pennies from Velasca. Slip on footwear like loafers are definitely summer essentials.

Sunglasses

soft tailoring, summer essentials, sunglasses, shades, kent wang, spier and mackay, after the suit

Obviously another item on any list of summer essentials is sunglasses. I’ve a pair of Kent Wang’s keyhole shades that I absolutely love. I opted to upgrade to the genuine dark horn frames, and they are totally worth it. At some point I’d like to try a “wayfarer” style frame, and would love to hear some suggestions.

summer essentials, sunglasses, keyhole sunglasses, kent wang, after the suit

Mid-Summer Review

So, that’s my quick hit list of summer essentials. Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.

-Colin

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