A minor heatwave has struck the capital and left the men of this town digging down the back of drawers and pulling out what is left of last year’s summer threads. But this isn’t going to be just any old summer and the gents will have to do better than tatty gap year flip flops and a faded tee. For the first summertime — in what feels like a lifetime — travel is back, so a wardrobe upgrade is warranted.
The first task? To decide the tribe you want to join in 2022: effortlessly sleek, or brave, bright and celebratory? “Summer dressing in London can go one of two ways, whether that be super clean colour palettes, minimal prints and elegant shapes or brights, and edgier silhouettes,” says Simon Longland, head of menswear at Harrods.
“For the cleaner, elegant dressers, there is always a trend of white, navy and camel linens, classic leather sandals and luxurious silks,” he says. For this look, lean towards slouchy jackets in neutral tones, classic Birkenstocks and/or the cream tracksuits and striped collarless shirts Grace Wales Bonner made for her SS22 collection.
“For the bolder man, bowling shirts are a winner,” he says. Mr Porter’s style director Olie Arnold agrees, and thinks loud and proud is in. “The forthcoming spring/summer season looks to encapsulate the mood of our times,” he says. “Bright coloured pieces and standout styles.” This is our checklist of the summer staples to stock up on now.
The Bowling Shirt
Whether you call them bowling or Hawaiian shirts is beside the point, because one thing is absolutely certain: they will be everywhere this year. “Printed shirts are the easiest one piece update to the summer wardrobe,” says Thom Scherdel, menswear manager at Browns.
“There’s a range of options including lighter fabrics, shorter sleeves, different collars — take your pick.” He recommends Bode, which does neutral tones with a touch of embroidery to make an impression. Look to Casablanca, Endless Joy and Ahluwalia for more elaborate prints and constructions, while Mango, Tommy Hilfiger and Rails are the place to start for a subtler look with the same silhouette.
Bode, £397, matchesfashion.com
Zara, £32.99, zara.com
Ahluwalia, £470, harrods.com
Rails, £120, uk.railsclothing.com
The Beach Birkenstock
It may be your first or fortieth pair, but the Birkenstock is set to continue its reign as sandal of the summer. Already, fashion shopping app Lyst has seen interest surge, with demand for the men’s Birkenstocks up 59 per cent since the start of the month. Pick from a string of new collaborations, including Rick Owens, Adder Error, Stüssy and Dior (which are Brooklyn Beckham’s favourites), or stick with the £40 Arizona classics stocked at Arket. “Birkenstock Boston Sandals are [also] flying right now,” says Emerson Stevenson-Lake, senior menswear buyer at Flannels. “Sexy dad vibes.”
Birkenstock, £40, arket.com
Birkenstock, £120, birkenstock.com
Rick Owens x Birkenstock, £330, harrods.com
The Ochre Lens Aviators
For sunnies, channel your inner Top Gun Tom Cruise with a twist. Stick with the classic aviator and add a burnt ochre shade lens for the optimum sundowner style. For beach days, acetate frames provide a more relaxed aesthetic, while a gold metal structure adds polish. “You can never go wrong with aviators, they really do suit everyone,” says Harrods’ Simon Longland. Head to the department store in July, when they launch Europe’s largest men’s sunglasses section. Prada does a deep, orange tone pair, £340, if you are after an investment, while Copenhagen-based Messy Weekend has a similar “Burt” option for £90.
Messy Weekend, £90, messyweekend.com
Prada, £340, prada.com
Lanvin, £205, lanvin.com
The Loud and Proud Trousers
After a striking summer statement? Prints with pizazz are here to up your trouser game. Flannels’ Emerson Stevenson-Lake needs no convincing. “Gone are the understated, stay-at-home dressing days. We’re out to be seen,” he says. “It is time to turn the electricity back on — go hard or go home!” London-based designer Daniel W Fletcher is no stranger to high-voltage flair, and has recently worked with cognac brand Courvoisier to make upbeat, hand painted-effect cotton trousers, £280. Wax London has a relaxed teal and ecru floral print pair, £110, while Japanese brand Toga Virilis does delicate, woven styles available at Selfridges.
DW.F X COURVOISIER JEANS, £280, danielwfletcher.com
Wax London, £110, waxlondon.com
Toga Virilis, £340, selfridges.com
The Slouchy Beige Blazer
Opt for a smart and sophisticated slouch when selecting a blazer, which will be perfect for dressing to impress at BBQ and al fresco suppers abroad. By shying away from sharper tailoring, you can head to the high street to nail the semi-formal. Gant does a charming, lightweight canvas jacket in dark khaki for £220, while Hackett London has a slick, twill weave fit for £325. If you are after something more runway ready, however, Browns’ Thom Scherdel recommends French designer Jacquemus. His relaxed tailoring comes in a spectrum of shades, from sandy brown to neon green. “Where we do have a social event, people are really taking the opportunity to dress up,” he says. “Now is the time to have fun with it.”
Hackett London, £325, hackett.com
Gant, £220, gant.co.uk
Jacqumeus, £500, jacqumeus.com
The Cosy Cricket Jumper
An essential for any British break is a warm jumper to slip on after dark. For this, lean into the preppy, cable knit cricket white pullover. They popped up at brands like Brunello Cucinelli, JW Anderson, and emerging London-based designer S S Daley during the SS22 collections, and are perfect after sea swims and for enjoying night caps outdoors. The best bit? If you have a rummage, you’ll probably have one lying around. If not, the classic Ralph Lauren version is £135, Lacoste do theirs with a contrast green collar, £160, or mix it up with H&M’s sleeveless choice, £19.
Ralph Lauren, £135, harveynichols.com
Lacoste, £160, lacoste.com
H&M, £19.99, hm.com
To stand out with your swimwear, go high cut and fruit-first. Orlebar Brown, the British trunks company, is leading the way with its new Wham! collaboration of Club Tropicana-inspired prints, as seen on male model of the moment Jordan Barrett. Their summer fruit shorts come for £225, but you can find styles similarly covered in pineapples, lemons or cherries (you name it) at Tommy Hilfiger, Asos and Derek Rose for cheaper. Matches Fashion’s head of menswear, Damien Paul, has just one rule: “Look to short shorts this summer. Get your thighs out!”
Orlebar Brown, £225, orlebarbrown.com
Tommy Hilfiger, £55, tommy.com
Asos, £15, asos.com