4 Essential Picks for the Summer—Chris Gregory talks Hot Menswear
Summertime is upon us and the itch to get back out is growing more and more. With that and the fact that we have been fairly cooped up for the better part of the last year, there are a lot of us that find ourselves looking to rebuild our wardrobe. In my role at Roosevelt and Company, every day we have someone coming in and saying they want to update their closet and get some core pieces that will create a strong foundation in the process. A lot of men emphasize that they want their clothing to be breathable—adapting to the never-ending summer we seem to have here in North Alabama. It was in the 90’s until late October last year, so it is necessary to have core pieces that will be comfortable to wear in the heat! So, let me walk you through my four essential picks for the summer and why I love them!
1. A Good Soft Coat
A Sportcoat is a staple piece no matter what. There will always be an event where you need to dress up, so it will never hurt to have a good sportcoat option. What makes a soft coat so unique is its construction. Usually made entirely without body lining, they are built to be breathable and comfortable in warm environments. They are also made with incredibly lightweight canvassing through the body (usually a Cotton/horsehair blend or a lightweight horsehair). The two coats pictured are both soft jackets with little to no canvassing, a soft shoulder, and at least a quarter of the body unlined. These jackets are perfect for a warm summer and will definitely work hard to keep you cool when you have to wear them!
2. The Perfect Summer Shoe
A good shoe is another summer essential. There are some shoes that are timeless and suitable for the entire year, but there are some silhouettes best suited for summer wear. In my opinion, a driver falls into that category. This driver here is a braided leather complete with a very durable rubber sole. They wear just like many loafers out there, but the braided leather uppers give a very nice tropical look.
3. Denim or Chambray Shirt
This essential is more for our readers in more temperate summer weather, but definitely can be a staple for everyone else! A good denim shirt is a new love of mine, I never realized how versatile one could be until I played around with this one from Billy Reid. It’s the perfect throw-over when you want to jazz up a basic tee, and it also is a great statement piece to wear alone. I usually suggest “layering” with a denim shirt to add depth, but you could absolutely wear it alone with jeans. Another denim-like option would be chambray — chambray has the aesthetic appeal of denim, but with a much more lightweight fabrication. Chambray shirts tend to have more subtle finishing so it could also be dressed up a little.
Chambray photo by Simon Crompton of 100 Hands
4. Lightweight & Fun Summer Shirts
The final summer essential is a gimme. I feel like a lot of guys look for fun shirts for the season, but most of the time they have a novelty feel. I think a shirt that is a “summer shirt” but is also very refined is definitely a must-have. Take the turquoise seersucker on the left, for example, it’s a shirt that is very easy to wear, and can flow through many different levels of dress. From jeans and sneakers to sitting under a nice muted navy coat, this shirt can really do it all. Plus it’s a seersucker fabric, so it is extremely well suited for heat and humidity. The other two shirts in the center or the right are just great examples of shirts that pull on the fun without becoming too specific. The custom boardwalk print on the grey Billy Reid is perfect for adding a bit of interest to what would be a very muted grey shirt. The stone color to the polo, also from Billy Reid, does the same thing. It’s a traditional silhouette with a nice pop to give it interest. You really can’t go wrong with any of these or any shirt like them.
When I’m working with my clients, I like to give them pieces that can transition well with the rest of their wardrobe. I feel like everything on this list can do just that. It doesn’t have to be the exact pieces mentioned, but using the template for styles you could absolutely create a cohesive closet with key pieces that flow together!
All photos were taken by Kadie Pangburn unless otherwise noted.