Winter is gone. Many of us are looking at our closets, chock full of heavy wools, boots, and dark denim, and we’re thinking: we’re long overdue to make the switch. It’s time to take the cold weather stuff, pack it up, pack it in, and get setup for the warmer months. Don’t worry. You’ll see all that heavy wool and flannel and stiff denim again. But in the meantime, here are ten switches to consider making once the warm weather decides to stick around.
Your Pants: Jeans –> Lightweight Cotton/Linen/Tech/Tropical Wool Pants
- Spier & Mackay Tropical Wool “Fresco” Trousers – $128
- Banana Republic Core Temp Chinos – $58.80 when 40% off ($98) (review here)
- Old Navy Slim Built-In Flex Ultimate Tech Pants for Men – $30ish ($49)
- lululemon Slim Warpstreme Commission Pant – $128
- J. Crew Stretch Chambray Pants in 484 Slim or 770 Straight Fit – $79.50
- Bonobos Stretch Lightweight Chinos – $78 – $98
This is a tough one for jeans addicts (my hand is raised). But denim, even if it’s in a trendier lighter wash, can feel awfully weighty and suffocating once the mercury heads north. The key here is to not just switch to chinos, but chinos that are specifically designed for the warmer months. Lightweight cottons, tech and tech blends, linen, and fresco wool is what you’re after. It makes all the difference.
Your Sportcoats: Tweed/Thick Wool –> Lightweight Wools, Linen, or Cotton
- Bonobos Unconstructed Italian Hopsack Wool Sportcoat – $400
- Suitsupply Havana Fit Jackets in Lightweight Wool, Linen, etc. – $399+
- Banana Republic Slim Linen Blazer – $89.10 ($199)
- J. Crew Slim-fit Unstructured Jacket in Cotton-Linen – $168
- Target Goodfellow Standard Fit Kenwood Blazer in Sage – $39.99
- Spier & Mackay Italian Linen/Wool Sportcoat – $378
- Spier & Mackay Hopsack Wool Navy Sportcoat – $328
- Spier & Mackay Natural Linen Sportcoat – $278
Unless there’s an unusually cold stretch or it’s after dark and plenty cool out, be sure to favor lighter-weight wools, linen, or crisp cotton sportcoats. And the less lining the better. The Bonobos Unconstructed Italian Hopsack Wool sportcoat might be the king of this category. Year-round worthy, but super-airy and thus, excels especially in the warmer months while other guys are sweating bullets under their heavy sportcoats, blazers, and suit jackets.
Your Shoes: Heavy Leather Boots –> Suede Shoes & Chukkas
- Banana Republic Marden Suede Monk-Strap – $53.98 ($158)
- Cole Haan Suede Feathercraft Grand Blucher – $79.95 ($180)
- Jack Erwin “Edward” Unstructured Loafer – $156 w/ JE20 ($195)
- Allen Edmonds Suede Neumok Wingtips – $345
- Allen Edmonds Nomad Bucks – $345
- Nordstrom Men’s Shop Suede Kai Penny Loafer – $56.18 ($124.95)
- Spier & Mackay Suede Wingtips – $248
Bye-bye sh*t kicking boots. See you in September. Meanwhile, suede, with its matte texture, helps reflect the casual feel of the season, all while not reflecting the sun’s rays. Look for lighter weight (physically and visually) shoes for the warmer months.
Your Hair: Long –> Short
No, you don’t have to go full buzz cut. But if you do, more power to you. Ask your barber or stylist for a shorter version of what you’ve been carrying around all winter. Plus, reducing your scalp-sweater can help keep you cooler. Less hair = less product = less weight and better air flow.
Your Sweaters: Heavy Wool –> Lightweight Merino, Cotton, or Linen
- Amazon Goodthreads 100% Merino Cardigan – $40
- Banana Republic Silk Linen Crew-Neck Sweater – $35.77 ($79.50)
- Target Goodfellow & Co. Striped Standard Fit Light Weight Crew Neck Sweater – $29.99
- UNIQLO Airism Cotton-Blend “UV Protection” Cardigan – $29.90
- Brooks Brothers Palm Print Shawl Collar Cardigan – $138.60 ($198)
- J. Crew Linen-cotton Lightweight Sweater in Stripe – $79.50
Heavy winter sweaters are probably the first thing to hit storage once spring rolls around. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to have a couple options on hand for cool nights and the occasional cold snap. For fabric, think lightweight merino and linen blends. Cotton is good too, just be aware that thicker knits can get swampy if it warms back up while you’re wearing it.
Your Drink: Brown –> Something More Refreshing
- The Gins of Spring (and summer) – A Salute to this warm weather Spirit
- 4 Spring Cocktails to Try now
- Ginger Beer: The Ins, Outs, & Eight of the Best
A peaty Scotch and a bright summer day go together like orange juice and toothpaste. Oh believe you me there are summer scotches out there. But sticking to the clear (or clearer) booze might help you avoid splitting headaches. Stay hydrated. Like, with water. Or just skip the booze all together when it gets blazing. You’ll feel better. And you’ll look a heck of a lot better.
Your Suits: Navy & Charcoal –> Med. Blue & Light Gray
- Spier & Mackay Light Gray Tropical Wool Suit – $246 w/ SUIT25 ($328)
- Spier & Mackay Blue Tropical Wool Suit – $246 w/ SUIT25 ($328)
- Black Lapel Custom Baltic Blue Fresco Suit – $499 ($599)
- Suitsupply Light Blue Herringbone Wool/Linen/Silk Havana Fit Suit – $499
- Suitsupply Light Blue Napoli Fit Wool Suit – $359
Navy and charcoal are always appropriate for job interviews and other important occasions, but for daily wear, or, if you’re headed out for a nice dinner? Switch to a color that’s less London financial district in December. There are a TON of medium blue options out there these days, and the pale, almost dove gray look is catching up quick. Skip the black shoes here. That’ll look funny. Go with brown. Shade is up to you. NOTE: That 25% off suits at Spier & Mackay code SUIT25 is a screamin’ deal. It also expires this Thursday, 5/7.
Your Watchstrap: Leather –> Rubber/Fabric NATO
- Crown & Buckle Supreme NATO – $34
- Maratac Silicone Deployment Clasp Strap – 18
- BluShark Nylon Watch Strap – $14
Not only can this give an old, favorite watch a new look and therefor new life… it can also prevent stanky sweat funk from infiltrating your leather strap. Rubber/Nylon/Woven straps are just easier to wash and won’t rot out like leather will after repeated submerging. BUT… if you do end up with a stinky leather watch band? Try washing your strap gently with some saddle soap.
Your Ties: Silk or Wool –> Knit Silk/Wool/Linen/Chambray
- TheTieBar Chambray Tie – $18
- TheTieBar Pointed Tip Knit Ties – $25
- Suitsupply Made in Italy Cotton/Silk Striped Tie – $69
- Kent Wang Made in Italy Knit Navy Tie with White Dots – $70
Sun’s out = skip the necktie-shine. Work in a knit silk (007 approved no less), linen, or cotton tie. It’ll spring-up and summerfy even the most sober of suits or sportcoats.
Your Underwear: Cotton –> Tech or Merino
- ExOfficio Give-n-Go Boxer Brief – $18 – $20
- UNIQLO Airism Boxer Briefs – $14.90
- Ex-Officio Give-N-Go Brief – $20
Cotton holds onto sweat. So unless you want to spend the next four months with perpetual swamp crotch, now’s a good time to make the switch. There’s a bevy of skivvy options these days made from wicking, airy materials. UNIQLO’s airism is famous and cheap. Ex-Officio is expensive but tried and true. But above all else… don’t forget to check Costco.
Good luck to all the well-dressed guys as we head into the heat. Want some advice on sweat avoidance strategies while still looking your best? Head here for those.