Summer has finally arrived most places. At least according to the calendar. Around here we’re still short a few degrees to make it truly pleasant, but that hasn’t stopped most guys from getting out their summer wardrobe. This is the season where sartorial inelegance meets hairy white flesh in an uneasy mix that will make you want to study the pavement until cold weather sets in again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the warm summer weather as much as the next man. Most aspects of summer are wonderful. All winter we look forward to summer. The long, sunny days. Swimming, barbecuing, being outside, cold drinks, driving vintage cars with the windows down, the list could be endless.
One point though, in two words: Scantily clad. Now this works well for ladies. Most men will agree that for the fairer sex the summer attire works quite superbly and that women in general are improved by more summery garments. Ladies also have a superb range of summer clothing to enhance their charms. So why is it so difficult for men? Let’s take a look at the issue at hand, staring at the top and working our way down. A case of going from bad to worse really, a sartorial descent into the netherworlds, if you like.
Starting off at the top, head-wear:
Unless you need something on your head, drop it. Legitimate use can be to cover up the effects of hair loss or to keep the sun out of your eyes, but in general hair looks better than head-wear. If you insist on wearing a cap, make sure the brim is pointing forwards and that you have selected something without a tacky company logo on it. There is head-wear available that isn’t totally awful, so if you insist on wearing something on your head, there is no excuse for looking like a homeless red-neck. And wearing things ironically doesn’t really work, don’t kid yourself.
Next stopping point down from the head is … the upper body! We’re talking shirts! Now, shirts for summer are much easier. If I was to make a short list of point for shirts, it would go like this:
- The first rule of shirts: Don’t wear shirts that are too large. The shoulder seam should be at the edge of your shoulder, and you should be able to pinch an inch at the most on the sides of your torso. It is a misconception among fat people that oversize clothes hide your girth. It doesn’t. You just look overweight with a clothes that are too large. The truth will out.
- The second rule of shirts: Don’t try to wear shirts that are too small. While wearing oversize shirts looks like a shopping failure, trying to squeeze into something that is too small is even worse. It’s uncomfortable for you, and it looks terrible.
- Wear something in a lightweight fabric, in lighter colours so as not to soak up the sun.
- Don’t make it so lightweight that it’s semi-transparent, you’ll look like a pervert.
- Long armed shirt or short armed shirt, I don’t mind.
- Epaulettes and lots of pockets just look silly. You’re not in the army.
- Football shirts might be OK for kids, but it’s time to grow up. You didn’t make the team.
Oh, you’d like to wear t-shirts? Well, you can do that too, but there are a few things that are red flags when it comes to t-shirts:
- Freebie t-shirts with company slogans
- “Amusing” t-shirts, especially with vulgar content
- Worn out or discoloured specimens
- Oversized shirts
- T-shirts with a V-neck, also known as the Douchebag-Tee (this isn’t a good thing, trust me)
Apart from these, fell free to express yourself! I’ll confess to having a huge crush on SuperDry t-shirts 3-4 years back. At the time the designs were fresh and new and the shirts were of good quality. Oh, and most of the designs had to do with cars, oil and Japanese writing, all cool stuff. Since then of course everyone has been busy ripping of their designs and it’s become totally overused. Nowadays I go for much simpler designs, most often with no graphics or text at all. The more recent trend of adding pockets adds a little interest to an otherwise nondescript garment, but make sure you don’t have two pockets, that would look very wrong. Right?
That’s it for today. So far it’s been easy. No caps, and be careful with your t-shirts. The next instalment will cover the lower half of the body. That’s more of a minefield for the unwary.
Part 2 now available here!