The onset of summer means the arrival of a season full of events. Whether you’re watching your best mate get married, having a flutter at the races or heading on a slick city break, chances are there’s at least one occasion which you’re already considering what on earth you’re going to wear. As the mercury hits its peak, the wrong tailoring can be stuffy and impractical, but mandatory dress codes mean that often there’s no other option but to suit up. To solve the problem and offer some real solutions, Style.com has created a shoppable style guide showcasing six easy ways to jolt your tailoring to life this season and ensure you’re the best-dressed guest at any event. The accompanying feature film – directed by New York-based visual art duo Hart + Lëshkina, styled by Wallpaper* fashion editor Jason Hughes and starring model-of-the-moment Fernando Cabral – sees unstructured separates and muted prints combine in a mix-and-match approach that feels both current and classic. In short, it showcases the kind of moves that’ll take any look from stale to grail.
Mismatch Your Suit
Thanks to tailoring moving in a more laid-back direction in recent seasons, many brands and designers now offer the flexibility of buying their suits as separates. Combining different jackets and trousers is a subtle way of adding some quiet confidence to a look with minimal effort – ideal when dressing to impress. Often mistakenly considered a faux pas, try navy with black for an understated finish. Or if looking to stand out from the crowd, opt for a checked jacket with some plain tailored trousers. Beware of simply experimenting with what’s already in your wardrobe, though – this only works with a blazer, not a suit jacket, as the latter will likely hang too long in the body.
Swap In A Blouson
Smart-casual is the trickiest of all dress codes to get right – even more so than black tie – as knowing where to fall on that spectrum can be tough. If a two-piece feels too formal, but losing the blazer entirely is too far the opposite way, meet halfway with a collared jacket. When cut in traditional tailoring fabrics such as mohair or wool (or a combination of the two), a blouson will hang like a suit jacket, creating a smart silhouette but with a more relaxed air. Simply throw over a button-down shirt, no tie required.
Try The Tailored Coat
As we all know, summer is no guarantee of good weather. So if you’re going to be standing outside all day, it pays to have something to hand that’s both practical and meets the dress code. A smart, lightweight coat makes a great alternative to suiting for smart-casual occasions and sits effortlessly over a well-cut T-shirt and straight-leg trousers. Opt for a strong-shouldered shape in breathable cotton that hits above or around the knee to keep your look on point whatever the weather.
A simple white shirt goes with everything, everywhere. But it’s precisely this ubiquity that means, sometimes, we just want something a bit different. One of the easiest ways to freshen up staid tailoring is to lose the stiff neck, so try swapping your trusty Oxford button-down for a grandad collar shirt. Despite being immeasurably more comfortable and relaxed than a traditional shirt and tie, this modern essential rarely looks out of place, especially when layered under a blazer or tucked into smart trousers.
Take It Easy
Although sharp lines and neat edges might be what immediately spring to mind when considering tailoring, more often than not, contemporary shapes tend to be softer and unstructured. Fortunately, relaxed jackets and trousers can look as put-together as their more rigid counterparts. Just ensure you opt for high-quality fabrications and keep the proportions neat rather than oversized.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Colour
As a general rule, as the formality edges up, so too does the appearance of monochrome – or for the really adventurous, navy. Shake up the rulebook this summer and step outside of the monotony by adding a hint of spice to your smart-casual arsenal. Military green, rich burgundy and earthy camel shades will help inject life into any tailoring line-up. Better yet, all of these colours will combine perfectly with the neutral pieces you already own.