What are you going to wear? Sometimes there’s an easy answer. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. So you’ve been invited to something, maybe a benefit or a wedding, and it’s outdoors. The temps during the day might creep up on triple digits, but at night it’ll be comfortable. And you’re set to arrive as the sun is starting to go down. This outfit will get most from cocktails to a twilight stroll with minimal sweat and maximum style.
The Blazer: J. Crew Ludlow Sportcoat in Italian Herringbone Linen – $238 ($348). Just went on sale for a bit more than 30% off. And yes, a blazer on a summer evening is doable. This one’s linen exterior + Bemberg Lining is nicely breathable. Just field tested the similar Irish Linen suit jacket in triple digits, and as long as you’re not standing in the sun for extended periods of time, most will be fine. Take a cool shower before you get dressed. The dark indigo color means you can easily wear this year round. Especially with jeans. (For a cheap option, maybe this one from UNIQLO?)
The Pocket Square: Cotton Gingham Pocket Square – $14.99. A faded light blue gingham. Enough of a pattern difference that it won’t clash with the herringbone on the jacket. Sold by Amazon.
The Shirt: B.R. Slim Fit Stretch Dress Shirt – $41.65 w/ EVERYONE. Don’t go with a non-iron shirt on a hot night like this. That non-iron finish can get stiff and stuffy real quick. Wrinkles are to be expected. Banana Republic’s Slim Fit Stretch dress shirts are nice and light, airy, with decent sized collars and good buttons.
The Belt: L.L. Bean Canvas D-Ring Belt – $24.95. Keep it lighter than leather around your waist. A nice color mix of charcoal, soapstone, and brass. Ships free too. Also, there’s a more expensive, Made in the USA O-ring version over at L.L. Bean Signature.
The Pants: Banana Republic Vintage Straight 5-Pocket Pant – $27.99 w/ EVERYONE. Starting to get scattered in sizes, but any white or off whitechinos will do. The white pants and grey shoes avoid the navy blazer + khaki pants + brown shoes = yacht club look. It leans more Italian, and less golf course banquet hall. Throw it in your cart with that shirt and it ships free.
The Shoes: Transcript Grey Suede Tassel Loafer – $99.95. Summer + smooth leather can look a little stuffy. Suede is the smartest play. Bucks work as well, but an ultra sleek loafer like these from Nordstrom do the trick and then some. More on the Transcript option over here.
The Watch: Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph – $225.00. Cleaner than the board of health. More here. You could also go with a Timex Weekender Slip Thru for 10% of the Citizen’s price.
The Face Mattefier: Anthony Logistics Oil Control – $23.99. Launch a preemptive strike against the forehead shine that would otherwise build up over the evening. $24 for the 3 oz tube. Hat tip to ChavaM over here.
The Drink: The Americano. Part Campari, part sweet vemouth, part soda. Not as much alcohol (or gut-rotting high fructose corn syrup) as a gin and tonic. Bitter enough that you have to take it easy and sip it slow. Less alcohol = less sweating. Oh, Bond didn’t like it? That’s fine. Bond was a (loveable) drunk (see his health report in Thunderball). It’s no surprise he didn’t like a drink that you can’t start your car with. If the bar is well stocked, and your taste buds are trashed after years of drinking Campari, ask for an Americano but with Gran Classico switched in. It won’t look or taste as “kool-aid red”. OH YEAH.