A Man’s Guide to Summer Dress Part II

by Antonio on June 24, 2010 · 136 comments

in Dress & Grooming, Style

Welcome to Part II in our hot weather dressing series.  In this article we’ll cover general guidelines to remember when dressing for the heat and specifically get into hot weather headwear, footwear, and lower body clothing.  If you haven’t read it already, please make sure to read A Man’s Guide to Summer Dress Part I before diving into this article.  Although I try to make these articles capable of being stand alone pieces, they do build off each other and are best read in order.

Starting Where We Left Off

In Part I we spoke about the three things that you should remember when dressing for hot weather: 1) keep it clean, 2) keep it light, and 3) keep it understated.  Building off those three guidelines, we’ll expand with two more.

4) Natural Fibers – When selecting the clothing you’ll wear in hot weather, always check the label to see what the garment is made from.  Despite all the advances we’ve made over the last one hundred years, we have not yet developed an affordable alternative to nature’s cellulose based fabrics.  Quality plant fiber fabrics, with cotton being the most popular, have for over a millennia successfully wicked away heat and provided protection from the sun.   The natural properties of plant fiber fabrics allow them to dissipate heat and pass moisture through – exactly what you want when the temperature rises.

5) Loosen-up – Please note that I do not advise you to wear your clothing two sizes too big.  What we are aiming for is enough room to allow air flow as you move about normally.  Tight clothing that hugs the body, especially if closely woven, will not allow air to flow over the skin.  You want to encourage airflow so that the sweat on your skin evaporates.

Typically when I wear a sport jacket and dress shirt, I’ll unbutton my cuffs to allow more airflow up into the sleeves.  I’ll also refrain from wearing a tie and instead wear a v-neck undershirt with one to 2 buttons left undone.  FYI, this is where a pocket square comes in very handy as it adds a bit of color and lets others know you chose not to wear a tie, not that you forgot one.

Hot Weather Clothing Specifics

Lower Body Menswear – Shorts, Jeans, Chinos and Dress Slacks


Shorts are casual-wear, period.  No matter how you dress them up they are not in the same league as trousers made from a similar fabric.  Outside the US they are not universally accepted as appropriate for wear in public; many still view them as children’s wear or suitable only when worn for sport.  Looking to make a strong first impression? Think twice about wearing shorts.  That being said, shorts are not going anywhere and are accepted as casual weekend and active wear throughout the US.

How should shorts fit? – For summer wear anything that sits 3 inches above the knee (give or take 2 inches) is perfect – higher it starts to enter the territory of gym shorts, lower and they begin to look like capris…..which along with jean shorts men should always avoid.  Shorts should fit with two to four inches of room in the hips depending on personal preference.

What fabrics? – Short fabric should be cotton; not only is it the perfect fabric for hot weather, but its durable properties allow you to wash it a bit rougher in order to remove any grass or food stains.  As for summer colors, think light and airy.  Light khaki, tan, and even white if you’re not attending a bar-b-que are fine.  Madras, a summer staple with Indian origins, is a multi-colored patchwork fabric made from very lightweight cotton. It was introduced into the US market over 50 years ago and has established itself as colorful but safe summer classic for the younger man.

Short style – The simpler the shorts, the dressier they will look.  Hence cargo shorts with their oversized pockets, logos, and loops are the most casual and best reserved for the young man.  On the other end of the spectrum are the sleek dress shorts you see for golfing – complete with belt loops and pleats; these are meant to be worn with shirts tucked in and are made from tighter woven cotton fabrics.

What to wear with shorts – Shorts naturally are at home with t-shirts and sandals.  Most of us consider it dressing them up when we wear them with a polo shirt, so pairing them with anything more formal than a short-sleeve button up sport shirt requires a bit of sartorial sophistication.  Be very careful when looking to pair shorts up with garments such as a blazer – it’s a look very few can pull off.  Better to move up and put on a pair of trousers.

A quick note on Jeans, Chinos, and Trousers – since we just covered these in the wardrobe series part II, I’ll simply focus on these clothing articles as they pertain to hot weather wear.

Denim Jeans & Heat

Blue jeans are not my first choice when it comes to lower body wear on a day exceeding 90 degrees.  Although normally made from cotton, their extremely tight weave and treated fabric inhibit much of the positive attributes of the fabric and with no vents they can trap in heat and cause excessive sweating.  The only exception would be very lightweight denim that has been washed extensively.

Cotton Chinos & Heat

Often a better choice than jeans as cotton chinos have a looser weave that allows more air to flow between the fabric and your legs.  A gentleman who finds he’ll need to be wearing these throughout a hot summer would be well advised to ensure the length of his chinos are hemmed with no break.  This slightly short length may not be “sartorially correct” to some; however, it will promote airflow when he walks, separating the pant leg from the shoe.

Dress Trousers & Heat

Tropical wools or high end cotton weaves should be the fabrics you look for in a good pair of summer dress trousers.  By far these are some of the best lower body coverings for summer; lightweight and breathable, they promote proper airflow and resist trapping heat.  Wool will drape better and resist wrinkling but is more fragile and less breathable than equivalent weight cotton.  Cotton is usually less expensive, more durable, and found in more lively colors, but unless custom made, is often less flattering to a man’s figure due to the stiffness of the fabric.

Hot Weather Footwear

Sandals – One of man’s oldest forms of footwear, they are nonetheless a very informal type of footwear and should be worn accordingly.  Coming in a wide variety of styles, they range in their level of casualness based on the extent they show the feet and from what material they are made (leather being dressier than synthetic materials).  Hence a pair of plastic flip flops are laid back pool-wear, leather flip flops could be worn to a beach party, while strapped leather sandals are fine for a casual summer get-together with good friends. Keep your toenails clipped and clean when out and about in sandals. Wearing socks with one’s sandals is almost universally considered a faux pas and rather defeats the purpose of wearing sandals in the first place.

Canvas Sneakers – A casual choice perfect for hot weather.  These shoes are often made from natural fibers and are light enough to allow your feet to breathe.  They go great with shorts, especially when paired with low cut socks, and are even better for wear with jeans and chinos.

Canvas Sneaker

Summer Canvas Sneaker

Boat Shoes – Boat shoes serve a practical purpose – their soles are cut to help you avoid slipping on and marking the delicate surface of watercraft.  And like many practical tools, they escaped their natural boundary years ago and have established themselves as a piece of classic summer footwear, due in large part to their variety of color and that they can be worn sockless.

Italian Loafers & Moccasins – I specified the Italian Style here as typically you see these dress shoes made with lighter and more delicate leathers than their English or American counterparts.  Designed for wear in a Mediterranean climate, you’ll find the thin subtle leather very comfortable despite the heat.  However, be careful as this type of footwear is very susceptible to damage from the elements.  Perfect to wear with dress slacks.

For other dress shoes such as spectators or saddle shoes, make sure to check out these classic AoM articles Dressing for the Kentucky Derby and How to Build Your Wardrobe Part II.

Hot Weather Headwear

The first step in selecting a hot weather hat is to understand your personal headwear needs. Ask yourself under what conditions you are going to be using the hat and whether you are concerned with style, function, or both.  Functional hats that simply protect you from the sun are cheap and easy to find; stylish hats that double as functional hot weather companions are more difficult to track down.  However the rewards far outweigh the time spent researching and locating the perfect piece of personal shade.

Panama Hats

Panama Hats - Photos Courtesy of Brent Black Panama Hats

Styles & Shape – Panamas, Straw Fedoras, Tilleys, and Linen Caps are great options available to the man interested in wearing stylish headwear that serves the purpose of protection from the sun.  When you have to stand in the Arizona noon sun on a 100 degree day, the right hat can help you shave 10 to 20 degrees off by providing you a personal section of shade over your body’s most exposed area.  Depending on your needs, the brim’s size can vary widely; my advice here is that you should ensure the brim is large enough to keep the sun off your face and neck when the sun is at its peak.

Material & Weave – The best summer hats are made from plant fibers and woven in a way that they can block light, retain their shape, and allow airflow.  Usually this is why you see such a wide range in price – a panama hat woven from a low quality fiber in one day will cost 1/100th that of a hat woven from a quality fiber that takes a full month to weave and and shape.

Difference in hat weave

This difference in weave is what separates a $20 hat from $200 one.

Airflow – Beware of gummed-up straw hats that do not allow airflow through the crown.  Despite feeling lightweight in build, they are like wearing a plastic bag on your head and more suited for show than function.  Vents are a good thing, mesh crowns are even better!  High quality Panama hats use a weave pattern that although appearing solid does allow airflow – however, be prepared to pay for this mix of style and function.

Fit – You have to get your hat’s fit right.  Anything too tight and you’ll be feeling light headed before noon; too loose and the hat will be resting on the wrong areas of your head and will not promote proper airflow. Look for a quality tanned leather sweatband; fabric sweatbands are OK but will need replacing after extended wear.  Elastic sweatbands are found on lower quality hats – however for a first time price sensitive buyer they are an acceptable compromise.

Other Hot Weather Tips

Don’t forget the handkerchief – It’s not just for your nose, and the handkerchief does a much better job of cleaning off sweat than your shirt sleeve.  Visit this AOM classic article on handkerchiefs.

Bring a change of clothes – Although it requires a bit of forethought, bringing an extra set of clothing to change into can enable you to look your best as the day’s events unfold.  There is nothing like breaking up a hot day with a cool shower and then changing into a new set of clothing.  You’ll be refreshed and reinvigorated.

What are your tips on how to stay cool in hot weather?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Written by
Antonio Centeno
President, A Tailored Suit
Articles on Mens Suits – Dress Shirts – .
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{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

1 andyinsdca June 24, 2010 at 11:23 pm

List fails without a mention of hemp as a great fabric for summer.

2 Elliot R. June 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm

um… respectfully disagree on shorts length. my father wears shorts like that, and like most men his age, his knees look disgusting. I wear my shorts so they at least cover the kneecap, and they look just fine, not like capris. of course, this is probably just a matter of personal preference.

3 David Neeley June 24, 2010 at 11:39 pm

In really hot weather, long pants and long sleeve shirts are better than the short variety of both. Keeping the sun from direct contact with your skin helps–which is why true desert dwellers don’t wear short sleeves. The best varieties of clothing have adequate ventilation and a reasonably high SPF (sun protection factor). One classic shirt for hot weather, for example, is the Air Strip shirt by Ex Officio.
I am about to spend August in Texas, and I’ll be picking up several pairs of Icebreaker light weight wool underwear–wicks moisture, resists perspiration odor, and dries very quickly.

4 Rickster June 25, 2010 at 4:52 am

As a Southern Californian, who wear sandals a lot, I wouldn’t be caught dead in those sandals. Perhaps it is the style else ware but here you would be looked upon strangely.
Great post none the less!

5 Keith June 25, 2010 at 7:45 am

While I wear lots of cotton year round, some of the wicking synthetics are wonderful in summer. The trouble with cotton is that it holds sweat and ends up looking limp, sticking to your body. Russell Athletic, Ex Officio, Patagonia, Under Armor and other athletic clothing manufacturers are making some really nice looking tees, polos, shorts and golf pants (khakis) that don’t have a locker room look.

6 -B June 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

This leaves out the perfect summer hat: the Kangol Ventair 504. Light, vented for airflow, and stylish.

7 Louis June 25, 2010 at 9:23 am

A long time ago, my grandmother – a genteel southern belle, taught me that I would be much cooler wearing very light short sleeved button-up shirts than if I wore my much cooler looking tee shirts. I could always unbutton my shirt a bit more if I really got hot. After many years in the Florida sun trying to stay cool in polo shirts (always unbuttoned as far as they would, I had to admit that she was right. Now, much older, I don’t have any polo shirts – although I like the style for casual occasions,I keep a stock of light weight short sleeves around even though my wife hates them. Thanks, Granny!

8 Ryan June 25, 2010 at 9:37 am

Give up on the handkerchief idea. No one under 90 even owns one.

Where I live it’s been over 95 degrees and humid for weeks now and it stays that way through August. Wearing pants for anything but work is out of the question.

9 evan June 25, 2010 at 9:44 am

muji makes some beautiful light-weight dress shirts that are perfect for hot and humid east-asia summers. not sure if you can find them stateside though.

10 Jeff June 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

Great point about the handkerchief – I just started carrying one this winter, and now I’m transitioning from using it for a runny nose to a sweaty forehead.

11 Luke S June 25, 2010 at 10:11 am

I really enjoy reading all the tips regarding shorts. I’ve always felt lost when it came to shorts. I need some new pairs, and reading this is helpful for what I’m going to buy.

12 Eric Melton June 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

The article fails to mention linen. Linen can be very stylish, normally fits loosely, and has good airflow. Pair white or tan linen pants with an untucked linen shirt, and even with sandals the right combo looks dressy and stylish. For shirts, a linen/cotton blend will help keep the wrinkles from appearing so quickly (or linen/rayon, but natural fibers are better).

13 D June 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

I don’t wear shorts. Like sandals, they’re meant for the beech or children.

14 Turling June 25, 2010 at 10:39 am

No linen? No mohair? Gabardine, even?

15 Thornproof June 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

What about linen and silk for shirts? What about linen pants?

In the summer, I rely more on linen pants to keep me cool than any other single fabric. And, when attending a Jamaica beach wedding, my combo of silk shirt and linen pants kept me fresh, especially compared to the rest of the wedding party in their standard issue white shirts and khakis!

While I agree with most of what you wrote, I think that you forgot too many things for this article to be useful. I hope that number three in this series will cover the rest …

16 Tom J. June 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

Handkerchiefs are indispensable – LOTS of men (well under 90!) are beginning to carry them, especially as the weather heats up. Once again, I take issue with shorts and sandals, however – they are strictly for the beach and for women and children, as D points out. As David Neeley mentions, if you look for short clothing among desert dwellers, you will come up short – wear lightweight long sleeves and trousers to keep the sun off. The same reason we wear hats in summer, of course.

And the fact that they look cool and manly, of course. :)

17 Joey Massa June 25, 2010 at 11:35 am

One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the color of the hat. A dark colored hat will obviously heat up quicker

18 Antonio June 25, 2010 at 11:49 am

OK, OK …..I forgot linen! I admit my error! I thought there would be more interest in the Panama Hat though.

19 Thomas Jackson June 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I’ve found that for summer wear, cotton chinos aren’t the best choice due to wrinkling. Instead, I’m sold on lightweight wool. Wool sounds hotter, but it’s not. On a recent trip to Havana (100 degree days, and humid), I wore a pair of gabardine trousers from Men’s Warehouse almost every day. They wore like iron, and kept their press. Even stains came off easily at night. I was immensely pleased with them, as they allowed me to travel light. That store also has a line of “high-twist” light wool trousers, which are very light weight. Probably not as tough as the gabardines (which were originally designed as a military fabric) but still, an excellent option versus cotton. I got the linings, the perma-crease, etc. Great for work, and they look good after a long day. Other menswear stores may have something similar, but I’m just passing along what I know. -Jax

20 rich June 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I am interested in a panama hat. Where is a good place to get one (online)?

21 Luke Zeller June 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Being in Arizona, this advice probably is suitable for at least 5 months out of the year. I’d never given much consideration to hats in the heat before, but that’s probably because I’ve only ever tried on cheap ones. I’ll have to give them a second look.

22 Bill H June 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Love the comment about the pocket square.

23 Paul June 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I do agree that linen deserves a mention….here in Italy, where shorts aren’t looked kindly upon but it gets HOT, linen shirts and pants are lifesavers! Also I see a lot of “enclosed sandals” – nice leather, similar to what’s pictured but with more straps going over the front/top to enclose the feet from sight but still let them breathe. More formal but with the comfort benefits intact…

24 Shmikey June 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Another vote for linen, it should be a summer necessity and I much prefer linen slacks to a pair of shorts any day.

25 Wayne June 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I love the look of linen pants, and the Panama hat looks great. I need some links to find some for purchase though.

26 Tony June 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Panama hats, pocket squares, hankerchiefs, and shorts 3 inches above the kneee??? I like the idea of the article but come on. If you wear that around town you’ll be laughed at all day or you’ll get your a** kicked.

27 MikeHostetler June 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I kinda disagree with the shorts not being considered dressed-up in the US, but I think that’s a generational thing (Gen-X’ers on down don’t seem to care all that much). I used to work at a place that allowed t-shirts and shorts all year round, so to each their own.

I have a great leather Barmah hat that I get great compliments on. It’s also fantastic at keeping the sun off your face. My wife even lets me wear it (she says I don’t look look in most hats, but I do look good in that one).

28 Erik Byland June 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I love the canvas shoes and headwear sections! Good stuff that I must pic up soon!

29 TJ June 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I’ll get in on this

30 Nic E June 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Never had a real tailored shirt before. Would go well with my seersucker jacket.

31 Jim F June 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Thanks for some great ideas, Antonio!

32 Christopher Wiseman June 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for the great guide on summer dressing! As someone living in Las Vegas and working close to the strip, I wish this were required reading for all visitors. What a difference that would make!

33 Adam McGee June 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I’m stubbornly old school and wear jeans a lot when I am outside in the summer because I am usually doing yardwork or other tasks where I want maximum protection for my legs. This article provides some good tips though. Thanks!

34 Bill Genzoli June 25, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Great article, Antonio!

35 Daniel A. June 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Great piece! I have never liked summer clothing but some great advice. Cheers!

36 kim luoma June 25, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Style is always in play… :)

37 Seth June 25, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I agree. Linen on a hot day is perfect, although I have never ventured to wear linen pants-just shirts.
I’m a bit baffled by the posts that say shorts are for children. I’m no child and I wear shorts all the time. It is perfectly acceptable for a semi-casual/dressy occasion (an outdoor party or dinner) and depending on the cut of the shorts they look really good. Maybe it is simply a generational difference.

38 Blaine June 25, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Great advice! Thanks!

39 Nathan Zimmerman June 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I have a Panama hat but it is lined which seems to be counterproductive…I find it too warm to wear in the day when one would think it would do the most good. It helps me look good in the evening, however.

40 Dustin June 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Fantastic advice, thank you!

41 Angus Nelson June 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I’m a huge fan of linen shirts in the summer. They’re cool, casual and stylish. Never thought about unbuttoning my sleeves under a coat for ventilation… that’s brilliant!

Great article! Informative, classy, and inspiring. Thanks!

42 Chuck June 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Thanks for the write up, it will save my breath all summer. I can just point my friends here. Ok, then I’m off to Antonio’s Facebook then to find some new sandals.

43 Han Kim June 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

In general, men outside of North America do not wear shorts in public, regardless of how warm the weather is (except during physical activity, on the beach or other appropriate venue). This is particularly true in Asia.

44 Ted June 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Great articles… glad this part II was posted since I didn’t see the first one. Living in Florida, where 10 out of 12 months of the year are ‘summer’, this advice is great. Though just sitting thinking about it, not many folks (besides just some of the retirees) do these things!

45 NM June 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Great article… just not sure about the shorts above the knees

46 Adam June 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Leaving a comment so I can win that tailored shirt!

47 Seth Dawson June 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Wonderful article.

48 David Still June 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Great post & i say: bring back the pocket handkerchief (and fedora also)!
thanks for the info.

49 Jeff Brendle June 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I’m with you on a long-sleeved shirt being cooler than what “looks” cooler, especially if it is loosened up just a bit as suggested, or woven to be such (as a seersucker material would be) & made of a good quality organic material like silk or linen or cotton. And very good advice on the linen cap & straw hat being a major way to feel cooler by getting the sun’s rays off the top of your head besides offering protection to the skin from damage by UV rays. Great article!

50 Steve June 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I have to say I’m hooked on boat shoes. I might give the canvas sneaks a try though. I can appreciate that look.

51 Chris June 25, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I agree with the article about the short length, despite what many others are commenting.

I have been looking into getting a pair of boat shoes like the one’s depicted here but I’m hesitant because I don’t normally wear shoes without socks and I hear people complaining about how boat shoes start to smell.

52 Rick June 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Very classy! Thanks for the tips!

53 Dustin B. June 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Great suggestions on summer clothing, thanks!

54 Mohammad June 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Loving your posts. What would you suggest people who don’t have to many bespoke tailors in the area, that want to purchase bespoke clothing?

55 Fr. Dana Christensen June 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Love the article!

56 Richard Rivers June 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm

“Despite all the advances we’ve made over the last one hundred years, we have not yet developed an affordable alternative to nature’s cellulose based fabrics.”


57 Phillip June 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Great article, gives me much more of a direction when shopping for summer.

58 Andrew Kaszowski June 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Excellent article – the photos you picked in particular are all great choices… want to get me some boat shoes or canvas sneakers.

59 John Wright June 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Great article, Antonio. Sound advice for all men in the hot seasons.

60 Gus June 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Interesting comment on the length of shorts at the start of the article. I just got a pair of shorts for Father’s Day and they cover my knee caps. My first comment was they looked like capri pants. My daughters and wife disagreed, but I saw support for that above. I’m headed to Reno in a few hours, so I’ll investigate the styles there, as it’s supposed to be very hot this weekend. Thanks for sharing a good article on keeping cool!

61 MattD June 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm

It’s always a challenge to maintain a put-together look during hot weather! Like the articles Antonio, and spot-on with summer hats, it helps to bring your own shade with you.

62 crollpoz June 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm

It’s hot here in the South. Cotton is the way to go. Been privileged to have some tailored shirts, pants, and jackets made for me. More cost on the front end, but they have lasted years longer than off the rack. Classic tailoring and fabrics never go out of style.

63 Robert Sieg June 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Superb article. Not many summer clothes articles touch on the potentially dangerous subject of shorts. Mr. Antonio does so with great aplomb.

64 Marc Gamble June 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Very nice article. I would add linen to your shirt and trouser choices, and I do like some of the new synthetic/wicking materials as undershirts.

65 Michael June 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Interesting comment on the shorts. Have to agree that for Gen X, its somewhat a non event.

66 Jesse Bonine June 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

All this sure is alot to taken in when you are just starting out your life…

67 Peter Breen June 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I definitely like swapping a pocket square for a tie. I’m a blazer kind of guy and try to relay this message with the people I work with. Great article!

68 Mark Butcher June 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm

For a great casual look a Lacoste polo and khakis with loafers always look great. Add a navy blazer if you like. Great for travel too.

69 Scott A White June 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Antonio, as always I agree largely with what you have to say. This especially hit home after my best friend’s wedding a couple of weeks ago, in which most of the groomsmen were suffering in their synthetic suits. The groom and I were pretty comfortable in our light wool-blends, although black suits in June are still black suits in June.

70 Daniel Curry June 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I think I passed today. I’m going to an evening cocktail party straight from work. I am wearing white, brushed cotton, plain-front slacks, Navy blue buttondown light-weight cotton oxford, blue/white seersucker blazer, Navy blue with small white polka dots pocket square, corodovan Bass Weejuns and a straw boater hat. I am 45 and believe myself to be dressed age appropriately.

71 Tim Feldhausen June 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm

OK, I forgive Antonio for the slip on linen. I love how cool and easy linen is (as long as you don’t wrinkle it too much). Still, any natural cloth that breathes finds its way into my summer wardrobe!

My favorite Panama hat came from the little town of Montecristi in Ecuador. I visited there (I was in the Navy and docked in Manta, Ecuador and took a cab up into the foot of the mountain–positively gorgeous) and bought a hat straight from the maker! A beautiful fino that I love to this day. I have never seen such a fine weave. I still have that hat and it is one of my summer staples!

72 Christopher Robuck June 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Had a lot of great insight for someone with not much knowledge on what really should be acceptable for summer wear. I had still been in the transition on how I should be altering my dress style from young man to adult man. I really loved the article and am thankful for it. Keep them coming they are always very well written and very insightful for most. Thank you Antonio Centeno for the wonderful article.

73 Tim Feldhausen June 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Don’t laugh, but I know in the old days people (read: farmers) used to wear long underwear in the winter and the summer. It was said the cotton weave would protect from sunburn and keep you cool at the same time in the summer. I am not advocating this (give me cotton shorts or chinos), but practicality IS a part of the summer wardrobe, and was even back in the day…

74 Diego June 25, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Great Article.

75 Mike Duminiak June 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

If I’m not in a kilt (which is the best for hot weather), I like a nice breathable fabric shirt and my shady oak summer hat. Just because the temperature rises, doesn’t mean the quality of dress needs to drop.

76 Bryan June 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Totally agree on the shorts thing. Shorts should only be worn for EXTREME casual. Otherwise, pants all the way. It’s kinda odd to see 30-50 year olds still dress like their children

77 Steve June 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Love this series of articles

78 Tim Etherington June 25, 2010 at 10:10 pm

My summer attire is often the same as my winter attire minus the heavy coat. Gotta rethink that.

79 Griffin Talbott June 25, 2010 at 11:19 pm

This is just the info I was looking for. Thank you so much.

80 Phil from OZ June 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Hi Fellow Men,
I strongly agree with everything I have read on this site in the last year. ESPECIALLY the need for a menassasonce (sp). However I must disagree with the statement in this article about denim shorts.

In Australia, NSW, in particular denim shorts worn 2-3 inches below the knee with a plainish collared shirt is a de facto standard in summer. They are functional (think pockets) cool and stylish. They have increased in popularity over the past 7-10 years and are now universally excepted all over OZ. Everywhere excpet the most super upper dupper golf courses.

However it is important to note. The length decides the style. longer shorts, definiitely below the knee and loose fitting are a fashion norm. Denim shorts tighter fitting and above the knee are heavily affiliated with the gay community.

Just thought Id mention it as this site is majorly Yankee orientated. If you guys venture across the pacific pond dont be shocked if you arrive to a sea of denim even in the middle of summer!

81 Zombie Jesus June 26, 2010 at 1:21 am

Wear whatever the hell you want. Shorts are for children? That’s ridiculous. Grow some quads so you don’t have to hide your wimpy chicken legs.

Just because people dressed “better” decades ago doesn’t mean it’s better to dress that way. Function is far more important than fashion.

Of course if it were up to me, we’d all be wearing robes, or kilts, etc.

82 Zombie Jesus June 26, 2010 at 1:30 am

We need a new standard for dress. The current formal dress is way too uptight, and ridiculously complicated. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a sportcoat unless I’m at a wedding, or interview, or simply a situation when it’s required.

We need to find a simpler way to dress up. There’s a lot we could learn from some of the older civilizations.

83 Phthisis June 26, 2010 at 3:21 am

@ Zombie Jesus:
The effort that you put into your appearance is a reflection of how well you take care of yourself. Dressing in a slovenly appearance (e.g. poorly-fitted clothing) would present a poor impression to others; I’m sure that we can at least agree that the wearing of socks with sandals would be ridiculous!

84 Jason Keller June 26, 2010 at 3:32 am

What I wouldn’t be caught dead in is a Panama hat unless it was the penalty for a lost wager(though that is a stiff penalty).

I am a cyclist(read: I have quads), but I find it difficult to feel confident when wearing shorts for occasions other than exercise. I suppose that this is due, in part, to the shorts on the US market. It seems that shorts are too long or too baggy. Ones cut to an appropriate length and circumference are designed for middle aged golfers. Cargo shorts are for young men as are shorts below that fall below the knee. The options are so limited I tend to avoid them all together.

On a side note: there is no defense for tucking a shirt into shorts unless you are a Marine and required to do so by the uniform regulations.

85 Antonio June 26, 2010 at 8:49 am

I wanted to thank everyone for the great comments! It’s always a pleasure to read constructive criticism and the great additional bits of info people from other backgrounds bring to the table. There is no right answer in style – I feel it’s just important that you have enough self respect to take charge of how you present yourself to the world – however you may choose.

The winner of the shirt is Mr. Han Kim! Congratulations Sir!

86 Benjamin Leonard June 26, 2010 at 9:24 am

Thank you so much for all the wonderful ideas and style guides you share on-line. I use your advice as well as share it with other guys. Keep it up.

87 Nolan Lynch June 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I recently moved to California, where I’ve been having to adapt to what is basically summer all year long – so this article is very helpful. Thanks.

88 Rodger June 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Neat article. I’m interested in linen materials and lightweight headwear, since its perfectly applicable to weather here in the southwest, at least 6 months out of the year. I’ll definitely look more into Panama hats and light shirts/pants

89 howard June 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Very helpful!

90 Levi June 26, 2010 at 4:53 pm


91 Henry June 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Great article. A cotton v-neck makes almost every warm weather shirt feel better.

92 Jeff June 26, 2010 at 6:33 pm

This article is a little over the top but enjoyable. Some of comments that followed were pretty good too. I also saw a funny article on Affliction t-shirts and wear at rebel4men.com that you guys might appreciate. It was 3 women sharing their take on Affliction wear and guys who wear it. It really puts it in perspective from the female point of view. A quick, funny read. A must read if youre wearing Affliction. Keep up the good work…

93 Andres Perez June 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I’ve been trying to find a hat to wear this summer. Right now I’m wearing a crappy Nintendo hat I quickly bought at Target and I feel silly with it. Really need to look into better options than just baseball caps. Thanks for the suggestions!

94 Paul Q. June 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm

This is the kind of information fathers should be passing on to sons.

95 Mattie P June 27, 2010 at 5:47 am

am i the only person who noticed the article sugested wearing socks with deck shoes? in my books that is a cardinal sin. deck shoes were ment to be worn on boats, which are a wet enviroment. socks do not go well with water. also worth a mention is the fact that canvas shoes do not require socks. just put them in the washing machine every few weeks.

96 Ozone June 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Great article, but I have to disagree with the emphasis on cotton. The problem with cotton is that it does absorb moisture, as opposed to repelling it. Yes, it does feel better against the skin when dry, but it does not dry as easily as many of the modern synthetics, and bunches when wet, and starts to chafe. And as another poster mentioned, it wrinkles to no end if you’re not careful. If you’re just out and about with minimal chance to perspire, great – go for the cotton. But even in business situations where you’re hoofing it from one place to another in the hot sun (as I was in Spain in late May in +30C weather for a conference), nothing beats high quality synthetics. I find hemp and linen good too, but not for situations where you’re looking for that “polished” look.

97 Eric Granata June 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Interesting about the hat. Last summer I bought a cheap straw fedorah and now I realize why I preferred not to wear it. It go very hot under there. Can anybody recommend a good place to buy chinos? I’ve only ever worn jeans or shorts in the summer but I like the idea of something lighter.

98 Russ June 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Guys be careful about all extended exposure to the sun.

Harnful UV rays are reflected off light coloured surfaces including the underneath-rim a of Panama hats.


Anyone mention sunscreens?

99 Jeffrey D June 27, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I’m Generation X and I’ll agree that wearing shorts is about equivalent to wearing sweat pants. Sure your friends may not care, particularly if you live in a Midwestern suburb, but they’re not at all stylish, either. If you care about how you look, don’t wear them unless you’re at the beach or playing sports. If you don’t care how you look, why are you reading & replying to this article.

On the other hand, most people should not wear Panama hats or carry handkerchiefs.

100 Peter Noy June 28, 2010 at 8:16 am

Concise write up. Thanks…

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