Linen shirts and unlined jackets are great for summer. But there’s some other stuff that works great mostly when the temperature’s high.
Let’s start with shoes. For a casual summer outfit, moccasins or boat shoes are a nice option. Not everyone likes them, true, but they’re comfortable, and let’s be honest: a little bit expendable. Especially driving mocs: the sole gets worn down easily and there’s no way to replace it, so they’re not really going to last. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend spending too much on them, and getting too attached. This gives you the comfort of not caring too much if they get wet or dirty. Look great with shorts or flowy linen trousers.
Loafers, on the other hand, are “real shoes”. With a real sole, be it rubber or leater, they can be Blake-stitched or Goodyear Welted. If taken care of properly, they’ll last. I think suede tassel loafers look great with summer outfits, but the tassels are too much for some. Penny loafers will work just as well. They can be dressed up and down according to needs, and will work with linen trousers and a polo shirt, as well as with an informal light gray Fresco or brown linen suit.
Suede chukka boots. I know boots don’t instantly scream summer, but suede chukkas work surprisingly well in such conditions. If you want, you can go for very informal classic desert boots, like the ones sold by Clarks. I find them a bit too massive and unshapely. But it’s the soft unlined suede what makes them great for summer, and the shape is a matter of personal preference and what you want to wear them with. Obviously the more elongated, slim last will look somewhat more elegant.
Linen tied around your neck will not make you feel any cooler on a hot day; but a printed linen tie has a nice texture to it, and can compliment a little more formal summer outfits. I also find that beautifully rough shantung silk works nice with a linen or hopsack jacket. Much better than smooth printed silk, in fact.
These kinds of ties are a summer equivalent of wool or cashmere ties you can pair with tweeds and heavier flannels in the winter; they just help the outfit look consistent and fresh.
Hats are tricky. For me especially it’s difficult to find one I’d feel I look good in. And they can be a bit pretentious, and a little try-hardy.
A light-colured panama hat is, I believe, the easiest one to pull off. It’s has this holiday vibe, it looks good when it’s a little crumpled, and works even without a jacket, but with an open linen shirt. If you’re willing to try wearing a hat, but are not sure if you won’t end up looking like an idiot – i.e. if you’ve got the same problem I do – start with a panama.
That’s a very useful thing. And I remember how long I’ve been thinking about a right model before finally buying some RayBan Clubmasters. So by all means, go around some shops and try on as many as you feel you need.
If I were shopping for sunglasses now, however, I probably wouldn’t end up buying RayBans. They’re cool and all, especially the most classic designs, but their charm is now lost on me. Just like Persol and countless outher brands, RayBans are owned by Luxottica and due to near-monopoly this company has, they’re rather overpriced.
I do like my pair of Moscot sunglasses – this brand has been a family owned business for five generations now, has recently celebrated its hundredth anniversary. They still sell classic designs, some of which date back to the 1930s.
And of course there’s The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear, a brand started by Fabio Attanasio. Fantastic, classic designs and great craftsmanship – I had a chance to have a look at those glasses and I must say they look great.
And there’s a lot more to discover – I recommend looking for smaller, local brands who care about the details, the precision of make and often offer some really well-designed stuff.