Q:Hi there, Truly an inspiring blog you have, thanks a lot! I have a question about my search for the perfect summer jacket; I'm searching for a jacket that is versatile - so I want to wear it with a denimshirt or simple t-shirt but also with an more dressed way (shirt + cardigan + tie). And because it's for the summer, I prefer it to be colorful (light red for example). Hopefully you can help me with some suggestions. Thanks again :) Kind regards, Andy
Hi Andy, thanks for the support!! =) The search for the perfect summer jacket may pose somewhat of a challenge, especially when you throw light red to the mix. For me, it should be unstructured, fully unlined or just sleeve lined and made from a lightweight fabric such as cotton or linen. Several brands offer these features although with different price tags, but since you didn’t mention a budget, I’ll leave with some alternatives to cover the whole spectrum:
- Beams + (the closest to light red)
Hope this has been of help!
Acne Ben Worker (Over)Shirt - €200,00 @ Acne
J Crew Slim Fit Crewneck Tee - €29,03 @ Mr Porter
Incotex Slim-Fit Cotton Chinos - €229,80 @ Mr Porter
Paul Smith Ripley Shoes Maroon - €217,00 @ Por Vocação
Paul Smith Striped Canvas Belt - €84,66 @ Mr Porter
Hixsept Moucha Scarf - €79,00 @ Hixsept
Mr. Porter 1st Birthday Limited Edition Pocket Squares
Top to bottom: YMC, Our Legacy, Richard James, Band of Outsiders and Alexander Olch
#16 - Corgi Thick Fair Isle Socks @ Mr. Porter - the next best thing once you see the price tag on those Junya’s jackets.
Play It Fair…
If it’s generally accepted that certain colors have more in common with specific seasons, the same can be applied, although to a lesser degree, to patterns. To name but a few, stripes and gingham are usually sported in Summer whereas argyles, for instance, are more wintery. Even if within a fashion forward universe, this traditional approach is being overlooked, the concept still remains to a large extent. It there’s one such pattern that symbolizes Winter in all its frost white glory, it has to be Fair Isle.
Named after the homonym island located in Northern Scotland, it consists of a local traditional knitting technique where up to five distinct colors are combined in rows, creating a uniquely characteristic mosaic pattern. Originally found only in this island, its visual appeal has captured the heart of designers and stylish individuals alike, earning it a place in runways and shops worldwide. Its recent burst in popularity placed it on most Christmas wishlists and allowed designers to create a never before seen variety of items, in an array of fabrics and shades.
Urban Menswear Myths #4
When it comes to outerwear, choosing among the myriad of available options may be intimidating at times. Apart from the so called “traditional” models which we all should have in our closets, there are alternatives for everyone out there: heavyweight versions for those who like to sport nothing more than a shirt under it, or lighter ones for the layering adepts. No matter which group you fall into, you need to get your basics covered, starting with classics in neutral shades such as navy or black. I’m a supporter of color, but when it comes to investing considerable amounts (outerwear doesn’t come cheap), you want to have a few all rounders. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that neutrals are the only way to go, especially if basics are no longer an issue and you’re looking for a new addition to spice things up.
To those of you on the next level, aiming to step away from the outerwear comfort zone, there are two paths: go for bold design or experience with color/pattern. As I’m not the biggest fan of overly designed items, I’ll address the colorway. The first thing to bear in mind is that the visual impact is proportional to the size of the garment itself, which colorwise, poses a challenge as few other pieces pack such a punch as jackets/coats. So, the choice of color is crucial: a safe bet on not so usual colors would be camel or hunter green, whereas if you really want to stand out, neon like shades such as yellow, orange or royal blue are the way to go.
If you throw pattern into the mix, the task of finding the perfect piece becomes all the more difficult, but the outcome may be that more exciting. Achieving a balance between both is the key to success, but requires a keen eye, so when in doubt go with solid colored fabrics. Experiencing with bold outerwear is not for the faint of heart, but when you get the hang of it you’ll have a hard time going back to classics.
Urban Menswear Myths #3
Inherent to our perception of color and its earthy, warm or cold tones, we are keen to associate it with different seasons of the year. As a rule of thumb brighter/lighter shades become Summer staples, whereas warmer/darker ones are usually considered for Winter.
This division of the color palette into strict seasons always put me off in a way, but I can relate to it simply by taking human behaviour into account. We’re moody beings, subject to humor variations which besides our personal issues, are undoubtedly influenced by the weather itself. Our usual good Summery mood, a kind of temporary euphoria, leads us to express it through the use of color; in Winter however, our gloomy disposition is the perfect match for darker shades. Nonetheless, we were also given the gift of thought and decision making, which should overcome our humor when it comes to outfits.
One of the colors which is discarded right off the bat come colder days, and regrettably so in my opinion, is white. The epitome of lighter shades, it’s usually viewed upon as a SS alternative not only for its shiny mood but also for the ease of getting dirty. There’s no argument there: white will always be prone to stains, even more so in rainy, windy days. Sporting it in the rain might be a bit of a stretch, but it shouldn’t be left out of your wardrobe as it’s likely you’ll experience a few nice days during the season. Pulling off your white jeans with a hunter green cashmere sweater, topped with a navy duffle coat and snuff suede double monks is well worth the trouble of throwing them in the washer afterwards… and besides, they aren’t meant to look pristine all the time. After all, you still sport your crisp white shirts, so why give up the bottoms?
I had something like this in mind: Gloverall Mid Length Duffle Jacket, Kitsuné V-neck Cashmere Sweater, Rugby Solid University Oxford, Zara Jeans, Ovadia & Sons Snuff Suede Milford Double Buckle Shoe and Anderson’s Woven Belt.
Still looking for that colorful, original bracelet to complement your timepiece? Miansai’s got you covered: made with utility rope of different colors and featuring a distinctive “fish hook” fastening, they’re the perfect way to add color and that extra flare to your everyday attire.
Available at Mr. Porter
Give it up for…Camel
As AW offerings begin populating stores, both online and off, the time has come to focus on the upcoming season. As one delves into new collections and begins defining his wishlist and essentials, one key aspect to bear in mind other than style and function, is definitely the color palette. This year’s been all about bold, eye popping colors making their way into all sorts of garments… and Winter is no exception. Although in a toned down version of current pieces, one that accurately reflects and adapts to the wintery atmosphere, color is ever present on AW creations.
Apart from the traditional all-rounders shades of navy, grey and black, there seems to be an overall bet on deep, rich colors such as green, burgundy and camel. For me, the latter will be one of the season’s staples. This lighter shade, as counterintuitive as it may seem for rainy, gloomy days, is the perfect way to brighten and liven up not only your outfit, but mood as well. There’s something luxurious about it, almost royal, that immediately carries on to you the moment you put it on.
I favour its use on all sorts of coats (sports, toggle, top) as these are the items that really make it shine, but do consider knits or cardigans as they work wonders as layering pieces. The perfect match for raw denim or charcoal slacks, camel seamlessly adapts to the outfit’s degree of formality. I’m really excited to see it at its peak, paired with burgundy, another of the season’s must haves (as Derek covered earlier)… such a killer combo.
Paul Smith and Etro
Brooks Brothers and Paul Smith
Ralph Lauren and Martin Margiela