How can it be that the season with the least amount of clothing can leave the most room for fashion mistakes? Perhaps there’s something about the heat that makes us shamelessly abandon any sensibility we would normally exercise during the rest of the year. Maybe we feel like the slowness of the season gives us permission to take a vacation from discriminating taste. Either way, big, baggy board shorts and wraparound sunglasses make one thing clear: Summer has a set of style no-nos all its own. These are the seven deadly style sins of men’s summer fashion, and lucky for you, their seasonal solutions.
Socks and shoes
Any other time of year, we seek to keep our feet bundled up in warm socks: argyle ones for work, a low-cut athletic pair for the gym and, on occasion, the heavy-duty wool variety in the cold months. But summer calls for no socks at all, especially with the footwear of the season — namely, men’s sandals, drivers and boat shoes. Suffocating your feet in any of these with a bright white pair of socks should also require a camera bag and return ticket to Bratislava. Still insisting on coverage of some sort? Invest in knot socks, the no-show alternative to the tourist-favored tube.
You remember cargo shorts — the circa ’97 type that you could use to store everything from lunch leftovers to a small child. Yeah, well, those are so two decades ago, and this brings us to the next men’s summer fashion mistake.
The huge pockets bow out at the sides and force the shorts to sag. It’s time to try a silhouette from this century. Cuts are slimmer (like your favorite pair of jeans) and patterns range from bold plaids to seersucker; even everyday khaki is a fine choice. The secret to a great pair of men’s shorts is finding ones that don’t stray away from a straight line running from hip to hem. And speaking of hems, yours should always end an inch or two above the knee.
Summer may be hot and heavy, but that heavy cologne from last winter is just too much musk for summer’s sweat-inducing temps. The combination of a weighty, woodsy scent and your natural eau can be nauseating this time of year. Summer is the signal to switch to something light and lean. Anything with citrus notes or hints of grass like vetiver is exactly what you want when the sun kick-starts the water works.