What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. “But aren’t dark colors gonna soak up the heat in the dead of summer?” Well… sort of. We’re threading a needle here, but if you’re a worker-bee who moves in-between indoor air conditioned environments, and spends little time baking directly in photons, then perhaps favor breathability over reflectability (not a word). Wool and tech-fabrics breathe much, much better than cotton. So unless you’re camping out on a sunny beach in a suit, you can trust that even in hot air, a lighter weight wool suit and tech polo will be noticeably more comfortable than a pair of all cotton chinos, cotton dress shirt, and cotton socks. That said, if it’s sweltering and you’ll be in the sun, wear lightweight breathable fabrics AND lighter colors. But if there’s room for nuance, don’t be afraid of the dark in the dead of summer. Especially if it’s after dark.
The Suit: Spier & Mackay Medium Gray Half Canvas Wool Suit – $368. Back in stock and still the best suit value in the business. Half canvas construction, nice wool fabric, lined in a breathable bemberg fabric, and available in two fits. A note that only your first suit, shoes, or sportcoat purchase returns for free with Spier. After that, you’re on the hook for a $15 return label.
The Sunglasses: Carfia Polarized Men’s Sunglasses – $25.99. Recently featured in our best sunglasses under $100 round up. And these are well under $100. For around $25, they’re pretty great. Nicely weighted acetate frames, polarized lenses, no silly/obnoxious visible branding, and at 53mm they should fit most guys just fine. That and it can be weirdly difficult to find tortoise frames with gray lenses. Usually the lenses are brown on tortoise frames. There’s something a little more “luxe” looking with that gray lens + tortoise combo.
The Watch: Orient Kamasu Automatic – $190 on a Crown & Buckle’s “Repp” Supreme NATO – $34. Or whatever your favorite dive watch happens to be. A slim dress watch would absolutely work here too, but since the polo dresses down the suit noticeably, you can wear a favorite diver if you’d like.
The Belt: Marino Ratchet Belt in “Deep Charcoal” – $18.99. It’s basically black. About as comfortable as a belt gets. Ratchet system leads to super precise, easy to adjust fit. And unlike a lot of other ratchet belts, which can look clunky, these look like a regular belt.
The Polo: Rhone Delta Pique Hidden Button Down Collar Polo in Black – $88. Yes you can wear a (smart) polo with a suit. Especially now in the heat, but polo + suit also works in the cooler months. Just make the right choices. Meaning: short sleeves in a tech fabric (like Rhone’s Delta Pique) when it’s warm. Switch over to a long sleeve polo sweater (or turtleneck if you wanna get fancy) when it’s cold. The rules have changed. Now’s a great time to merge in something more relaxed like a polo with something more dressed up like a suit. The hidden button down collar on the Rhone keeps your collar from curling or drifting over your lapels, even after a long day of wear. It also looks terrific in the event that you decide to take the suit jacket off.
The Shoes: Nordstrom Dane Cap Toe Oxfords – $99.99. Having a pair of black oxfords is about as close to a “must” as it gets in menswear (there just aren’t nearly as many rules as others would have you think.) Yet at the same time, most guys won’t wear their black shoes as much as their brown ones. Therefor, while they’re a “must,” you can cheap out on your black dress oxfords a bit since they probably won’t see frequent wear. Full review of the Nordstrom Dane can be found here, albeit in brown. Want to spend? Can’t go wrong with the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue. Want to hit something in between the Nordy budgets and the AEs? Try Spier’s new line of blake stitched footwear.
The Socks: Nordstrom Signature Windowpane Merino Wool Blend Socks – $12.50. Black base with a charcoal windowpane pulls it all together. Breathing, wicking merino blend. Affordable too. Ships for free. Machine wash and dry.