Summer dress codes – decoded in an infographic

summer dress codes

Summer dress codes explained

Does dressing for warm weather leave you hot under the collar? Our visual guide to summer dress codes will ensure you keep your cool.

When should you avoid wearing shorts? Are linen suits appropriate for business? And, what are ‘Planter’s Orders’?

Our infographic will answer these questions and ease your summer wear worries in seconds:

summer dress codes infographic

Frequently asked questions about men’s summer dress codes

If summer dress codes have you stumped, we have just the thing – a complete guide to what to wear and when this summer. Taking you from laid back days at the beach to summer business attire and formal-wear, here’s all the info you need to make the right wardrobe selections every time.

What is appropriate beachwear for men?

You do see some menswear horrors at the beach during the summer, but whether you’re holidaying here in Blighty or venturing further afield, it’s easy to stand out for all the right reasons.

Beachwear for men is simple. You need a hat and sunglasses, a short sleeve shirt, chino shorts, and deck shoes or leather sandals. The trick is to choose classic items that make you look classy not tacky – a Panama hat and Wayfarer shades; a linen, cotton, or seersucker shirt; sharply pressed summer weight chino shorts; and appropriate footwear.

Make sure that whatever you wear is unbranded; never go for t-shirts with slogans; and should you be tempted to swim, a pair of plain swim shorts is the way to go, gents.

How do I dress casually for summer?

Your everyday summer casual wardrobe sees you pick out a nice polo shirt to pair with summer chinos and deck shoes or loafers. If it’s hot, you might consider switching shoes for sandals and chino shorts or, if it’s a bit on the chilly side, stick with trousers and pull on a thin cashmere mix sweater.

For headgear, a lightweight microfiber cap is a tasteful alternative to a baseball cap and wears well with a classic summer jacket – try a Harrington or a bomber, and pair with suede trainers or deck shoes.

What is smart casual summer dress?

Are you off out to a summer garden party, semi-formal dinner, yacht club regatta, or meeting friends for lunch or dinner? This is what you need to do: base your outfit on your choice of men’s jacket.

The hottest of days or the muggiest of evenings will see you reach for seersucker or linen. These are wonderful hot weather jackets made from fabrics with a natural ability to keep you cool. Pair with summer-weight chinos in a bright, contrasting colour and reach for a snazzy Panama hat, sunglasses and loafers – with or without socks.

Cutting a bit of a dash? You’ll need your boating blazer. These wonderful jackets feature bright stripes which rowing teams wore to make one crew easily distinguishable from another. These days a boating blazer will really make you stand out, but if you’re wearing one, make sure your choice of shirt and trousers is subtle – pale chinos and a plain shirt is the way to go.

For cooler weather, a cotton Oxford jacket is a good choice, as is summer-weight tweed. Again, pair with chinos and accessorise with a nice watch and a pair of lightweight suede brogues.

What should I wear to work in summer?

Unfortunately, as a man, your summer workwear choices are rather limited in that you can’t just dump your suit for a pair of linen trousers and a laid back polo. Having said that, there are some subtle alterations you can make to your ensemble which give it a summery vibe while keeping you more comfortable in warm weather.

First, switch your worsted wool suit for a summer-weight suit – summer tweed is always a nice choice. You might also, depending on your work dress code, swap wool for a cotton twill suit or even linen if it’s allowed.

Also consider choosing a lighter colour – an airforce blue rather than winter navy or light grey rather than charcoal. Now is also a good time to give lighter browns and tans an airing – these colours give you a crisper look for summer and because lighter hues reflect more light, they’ll also keep you marginally cooler.

Do remember to wear your hat when you step outside into the sunshine – a Panama is really the best choice for summer wear. Finally, look for sunglasses with a classic vibe – think aviators or clubmasters.

What do I wear to a summer ball?

If you’re dreading wearing your midnight blue or black dinner suit for a summer ball, the good news is that you can switch out your dark evening wear jacket for a white one. It looks dazzling against a dark tan and a martini – just ask James Bond.

Summer offers the discerning gent plenty of season-specific menswear options to ensure you look magnificently dapper, and keep you well within the confines of whichever dress code you happen to be embodying at the time. Need a dress code guide for a cooler climate? See our men’s dress codes infographic here.

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Posted in Men's style guides, Mens clothing visual guides and infographics.

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  1. Pingback: Solving the smart-casual conundrum

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