When temperatures rise, especially in a city, breathable materials such as linen and cotton are paramount to ensuring you don’t overheat. With the use of modern technologies and skilled craftspeople, there are plenty of options to keep you cool without having to compromise on style. From a lightweight linen blazer to a pair of single-pleated cotton trousers, here are a few summer staples you should invest in.
Do not dismiss the blazer in this weather. It’s far too unimaginative to assume that a jacket is a layer too far in the heat. This theory is anathema and rejects the basic tenets of The Rake, which is that classic style is perennial, so long as it is done intelligently. Top of the class, as ever, is Huntsman, who has produced this remarkably lightweight, linen, buggy-back jacket. Customarily I stick to double-breasted, but Huntsman is a shibboleth, to me at least, for changing tack. Paired with a dark blue shirt – perhaps not denim – and a matching Fallon cigar case to slot into the jacket’s patch pockets, well I’d say I’ve proved my point.
As the mercury rises, my proclivity for embellishing myself in a more vibrant colour scheme typically follows course, at least when it comes to casualwear. Yet so many outdoor events require a more sophisticated approach, and so a restricted palette of neutral or even pastel hues is always my go-to look. The creamy hue of Richard James‘ single-breasted blazer combined with the Savile Row maestro’s buttery open-stitch polo shirt is the perfect consummation of smart and casual (that these shades effortlessly complement a chilled flute of vintage Krug is no coincidence). Their neutrality allows for a versatile choice of trouser which I look forward to bookending with Baudoin & Lange‘s handmade suede Sagan loafers.
Although people seem to gravitate towards white as a way to combat soaring temperatures, there’s something off-putting about being so vulnerable to the elements. A slightly more gritty colour such as beige, on the other hand, will still deflect the heat, yet won’t leave you apprehensive to sit down. Santillo 1970‘s Pietrangeli polo shirt is crafted from a suitably-summery sand cotton, and is set apart by its longer-than-usual placket. Wear with lightweight shorts, such as Anderson & Sheppard‘s, and a pair of espadrilles, and you’ve got a confident summer look.
I’m not one for shorts, so this year my summer look comprises of a pair of lightweight and high-rise trousers paired with a simple T-shirt. Even though spring has just sprung, London is currently experiencing a heatwave (at least by British standards), which is why I’ve rekindled my love for Anderson & Sheppard’s excellent ready-to-wear offering as the handwork that goes into each garment, particularly trousers, is remarkable. Falke, being a mightily efficient German company, provides reliable staples and I’ve got a stockpile of their plain T-shirts ready to go. The finishing touch is a pair of shades and nothing says summer quite like Ray-Ban‘s original Wayfarers.
If you, like myself, tend to burn when the temperature creeps over 20 degrees, you’ll want to cover up yet stay cool. Linen is the ideal solution for this predicament and Vilebrequin, whilst also being the master of bright swim shorts, provides the ideal answer to a simple and smart linen shirt. Complement this airy look with a summery Panama from Lock & Co and, of course, offset the light ensemble with a pair of round silver Dior Homme sunglasses.
We are all guilty of being a little over-optimistic now again, especially in England after catching the first glimpse of sun. The population’s winter wardrobe is eagerly replaced with shorts and T-shirts, only to be hastily undone when the clouds sweep over. It’s not summer yet, so pair a loose-fitting, breathable cotton or linen shirt, such as this jersey T-shirt by Naked Clothing, with a pair of lightweight trousers. Ambrosi’s single-pleated cotton gabardine pair is handcrafted in Naples and features a gently-tapering leg. Don’t forget to remember a pair of reliable shades, such as these octagonal Ray-Bans, which will add a vintage aesthetic.