Summer is officially upon us! I am British, which means I don’t get to enjoy many of the things which you lucky dapperQs located in more exotic environments do, such as beach days, chilling by the pool and the possibility of a sun tan. However, there is one thing which we are all united in having the pleasure of attending: a good old fashioned summer BBQ! And, I hear that American dapperQs will be attending many BBQs this week in celebration of 4th of July!
While great fun, BBQs can be tricky to style for. They are a party, which may involve seeing family you haven’t seen in a while or meeting new friends of friends, so you’ll definitely not want to compromise style (PUT. THOSE CARGO SHORTS. AWAY.) However, it’s also an informal affair; when it comes to menswear, striking a balance between casual and formal can be reeeally hard. Throw hot weather into the mix and a less courageous dapperQ might be inclined to decline that BBQ invitation and stay home. However, I’m here to offer a handy guide so you won’t have to resort to this…
1) Polo shirts are your friend
Don’t look at me like that! While not the traditionally considered the stylish piece, the polo shirt has had a recent fashionable makeover, coming in trendy silhouettes and cool patterns. Polo shirts are absolutely awesome for injecting some formal into your summer outfit: they are effectively like wearing a t-shirt, but the relaxed collar makes sure you won’t get mistaken for your teenage brother. (This has happened to me on way too many occasions!)
Not only are tropical prints all the rage right now (according to both GQ and Qwear), but even hipsters are combining the two trends – tropical prints and polos – for a more updated, modern polo look. L-R-G Hawaiian Safari Polo, $59. Click here to purchase.
I also personally love polo shirts whenever I’m feeling body conscious – they are so relaxed and comfortable in a way that a shirt just isn’t. One of my faves I’ve seen in stores is this super cute light blue textured polo shirt from River Island, which even has a contrast collar giving it a really professional, adult feel.
Overall, the polo shirt is a classic, masculine piece which can really look great on anyone. Check out more advice on how to up your polo game here.
2) Linen is also your friend
Linen joins the same camp as the polo shirt in having been labelled frumpy over the past decade or so. However, I personally can’t disagree with this more. Linen is an absolutely key piece in the wardrobe of anyone who wears menswear; really amazingly cheap and is the ultimate summer fabric when our wardrobes are mostly dominated by much heavier, less breathable pieces. When it comes to linen, if possible get a linen mix. This will not only make it look more structured while keeping the fabric’s breathability, but it will also go some way to preventing the major downside of linen, which is epic creasing.
I’ve been really impressed by all the linen H&M has had in this summer. I picked up a really gorgeous linen blazer which has been my absolute go-to piece so far this summer:
H&M also has some lovely linen blend shirts in stock this summer:
To pair with your polo shirt though, I’d really recommend these linen trousers or shorts from ASOS:
They are 100% linen, so I’d therefore recommend going for a darker colour, just to make any creasing a bit less visible. However, lighter colors are available.
3) Shorts are NOT a bad thing
Speaking of those ASOS linen shorts, you 100% do not have to wear trousers and you can definitely look elegant and mature in a pair of shorts. The real key with shorts is a flattering silhouette: the baggy shorts look is a thing of the past. Flat front chino and linen shorts are definitely the way to go: they are both comfy and stylish at the same time. The safest way to look stylish is to go for a block colour, and chino shorts come in every colour from classic colours like navy, to more exciting colours like orange! However, there are also some really wearable prints available, such as florals or stripes.
In terms of length, most of us probably think of men’s shorts as being knee-length or longer. However, if you’re comfortable with going a bit shorter, I’d really recommend it. It can actually result in a more stylish silhouette and overall making your outfit look more thought out. A lot of us may not be used to bearing our legs – I certainly wasn’t until relatively recently! – but remember this is just because you’re not used to it! Confidence is your best accessory and you will look great.
4) Go for summer shoes, not sandals
dapperQ has a really amazing and thorough post about how to make masculine sandals look great here. But, if you’re still feeling unsure about sandals, I wouldn’t risk it and try and make them work. You want to keep your outfit cool while still looking put-together. The perfect footwear option to do this is boat shoes.
via Mattoo’s Place
The classic incarnation of boat shoes is Sperry Top-Sider. However, you can pick up more budget friendly options in loads of places, including ASOS, River Island and New Look. They come in an array of colours and I’d recommend matching at least one colour on them with your shirt, to pull your outfit together and make it pop.
If boat shoes aren’t your thing, check out more masculine summer shoe ideas here.
5) Do not forget your layers!
It may be 80 degrees when you arrive, but, especially if the party is in the evening, you do NOT want to forget that it may be significantly colder by the time you’re heading home, and you certainly don’t want the temperature dropping to ruin your fun. A cardigan is a great thing to bring to throw over your outfit as it gets cooler, and you’ll still maintain your polished look. Keep your look “summer-y” by bringing a cardigan in a light colour.
If you’re bringing layers, you’ll probably also want to bring a bag so you don’t have to be holding onto them all day. As we’ve seen, the trick to a great summer outfit is making sure you don’t fall into any of the traps which make you look like an overgrown teenager, so I recommend a holdall over a backpack. Check out dapperQ’s advice on bags here, and go for one in a nice summer shade or pattern. Holdalls are easy to carry and a good size, so you’ll also be able to fit any other BBQ necessities you need in there.
Bags ranging from $20 – 100 on dapperQ.
Are you heading to a BBQ this summer? Got any plans for what you’ll be wearing and will you be trying out any of these tips? Let me know in the comments!