One of the most popular looks this summer has been the smart/casual look, taking inspiration from sartorial and preppy trends. This smart casual mix was heavily featured at Milan Fashion Week, and is starting to hit the high streets in the UK. There’s one important factor when it comes to achieving this look, and that’s getting the right balance between smart, and you guessed it… casual. It’s all about taking the key elements to the look and then deciding whether you need to casual up the look, or add some elegance. So what are the key pieces?
A Blazer – Sound ridiculous wearing a blazer in summer, but designers have obviously grasped this concept. Find a men’s summer blazer made from linen or cotton, something, which is going to be extremely lightweight and isn’t going to create any warmth. A neutral colour such as a light grey, beige or navy will give you endless possibilities to wear the blazer, but if you’re feeling brave go for a bold colour (it is summer after all.) All Saints have a great range of Linen Blazers in stock now, if not look for brands such as Gant and Hackett.
Tailored or Chino Shorts – Go for something slim fitting, and go for something similar to the principle applied above (Either a neutral colour or a block colour.) Tailored shorts that have the same fabric as suit trousers are going to add that elegant touch, but a pair of light weight chino shorts are going to add a more casual aspect to the look. Roll up the shorts but don’t go too high, a Sartorial Gentleman doesn’t tend to opt for the hot pant look. Topman have a good selection of Tailored Shorts in currently, but if you’re looking for a bargain try your nearest Primark.
Red Chinos From Asos
Applying the key elements
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it’s all about getting the correct balance between smart and casual. You have the two key elements in place, the blazer will add the smart aspect and the shorts will add the summer feel.
Now if you want to casual the look up, layer a t-shirt underneath the blazer, accessorising with a leather belt and a pair of boat shoes, espadrilles or Converse. If you’re looking to smarten the look up, layer a shirt underneath the blazer, accessorising with a pocket square and/or a tie, a leather belt and a pair of loafers or brogues. Both work extremely well, but it’s all based on personal opinion and whether you’re looking to achieve a smarter look or a more casual look. You can use accessories to implement inspiration from trends into the look also; vintage ties will add that traditional yet historical touch to a look. If you’re looking to implement a bit of the nautical trend into the look, layer a striped t-shirt underneath a navy blazer with white tailored shorts.The opportunities are endless, just make sure you have the two key elements in place then have fun with it!
By Paul McGregor of Brighterman – Specialising in Mens Accessories