Best Men’s Summer Fashions to Wear to Work
Summer’s Best Office Styles That Keep You Cool While Looking Professional
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Venerable Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs has implemented a relaxed dress code, getting in line with JP Morgan Chase, as well as most hedge-funds, technology firms and hosts of other industries. This is a big deal. The move was as much about attracting talent as it was to ensure the comfort of its employees. The general caution remains, though: don’t show up in a tank top, cargo shorts and flip-flops; even though we’re headed into warmer, steamy months and summer Fridays.
RELATED: 8 Essential Summer Shoes
We actually like to think of the weather heating up as an opportunity to show off our refined style, clearly demonstrating that we can keep our cool as those around us get overheated. Here are our thoughts for winning strategies that work for the intern aspiring to be remembered, through the C-Suite executive inspiring respect.
First and foremost, remember to stick with cool, lightweight fibers and fabrics that will keep their good looks when running out for lunches, coffee or appointments. Second, remember these pieces should also do double-duty when stepping out on summer’s longer days and warmer evenings for rooftop cocktails, sidewalk café dinners or resort-bound commutes.
Business Casual Men’s Summer Clothes: Entry Level
Whether this is your summer internship or your first job out of college, show that you’re taking the position seriously but also ready for whatever the weekend throws your way. Build your professional wardrobe with key pieces such as a classic sport coat. It will pair just as nicely with a dress shirt come interview time, and will keep you looking competent and qualified. Keep color choices neutral with blacks, whites, navies and charcoals, to maximize wear, but celebrate both summer and your youth and don’t be afraid to add in the occasional subtle pop of color with fun laces or socks.
Pair a classic slim-fit jacket in dark blue with everything from dress trousers to khakis to jeans. It’ll be your go-to year round, and best of all, you’ll look neat and smart when everybody else is shivering during that overly air-conditioned brainstorming meeting.
We recommend Topman Skinny Fit Textured Suit Jacket, $130 at Nordstrom.com
We like a cool, classic summer polo, particularly in crisp, clean white. This style from Mack Weldon features unique TransDRY technology in a 100 percent soft sueded cotton jersey with a stay-put collar and tuckable longer tail for a more formal look. It’ll give you mileage from the office to a club (including restaurants that require a collar) and ages particularly well for when it’s time to retire it to your strictly weekend wardrobe.
We recommend Mack Weldon DryKnit Polo, $58 at MackWeldon.com
Get some serious wear from these comfortable knit joggers that will feel like sweats; but keep a polished look. They’re easy-care polyester, but with Uniqlo’s Dry technology to keep things cool. What’s best is they go right from the office to the park, trail or wherever your Friday afternoon takes you.
We recommend Dockers Signature Khaki Duraflex Lite Pants, $29.99 at Dockers.com
It’s summer. You’re allowed to have some fun with these colorful, cotton-blend socks … and nobody will see them under your desk, anyway.
We recommend Happy Socks Ice Cream Socks, $14 at HappySocks.com
Go for classic, well made shoes that will provide you with long-term wear, won’t go out of style, but won’t break the bank either (student loans, anyone?) Need to brighten things up? Try some brightly colored shoelaces to give classic styles an updated pop. They’re a great way to freshen-up a pair of older shoes, too.
We recommend Cole Haan Feathercraft Grand Blucher Ox Oxford, $190 at Amazon.com
Make sure you’re never late for a work or a meeting, and use this Fossil watch to track fitness goals, as well. The minimalistic styling and silicone band make it great for work as well as weekends.
We recommend Fossil Sport Smartwatch, $199 at Fossil.com
This pack offers sophisticated flexibility for school, travel or that first job. It’s carry-on size, so you’re always ready to help out the boss on a last-minute business trip. Plus it’s Eagle Creek, so it’s also designed for adventure, easily converting to a backpack for weekend exploits.
We recommend Eagle Creek Convertabrief, $149 at Amazon.com
Business Casual Men’s Summer Clothes: Middle Level
When moving up the corporate ladder as an account executive or manager, it’s time to show a certain level of restraint and seriousness; but with style that gets noticed. Keep your cool with fibers designed to cool you off, but don’t be afraid to show off those smoldering sartorial skills, either.
A subtle, warm weather-friendly navy sport coat in a wrinkle-resistant linen blend brings a sophisticated, modern-fit that commands attention without bullying. We like pairing it with summer’s khakis, but the textured finish looks great with modern-fit trousers. Knock us out and wear it with trim-fit white jeans this weekend.
We recommend Bonobos Unconstructed Italian Blazer, $450 at Bonobos.com
By now you’re dressing for the boardroom but not yet sitting in the corner office, which means the hustle isn’t over. Go for a shirt that talks the executive-meeting talk by looking sharp and stylish but walks the 12-hour-day walk by wicking away moisture, staying wrinkle free and stretching when and where you need it to.
We recommend Rhone Striped Commuter Dress Shirt, $118 at Rhone.com
These clean-fit stretch-cotton pants keep things comfortable, allowing for movement whether dodging the competition or spitballing ideas. It’s a relaxed fit that tapers to a slightly cropped hem for an updated look that’s perfect for travel and lightweight fabric that perfect for summer.
We recommend Everlane Air Chino, $58 at Everlane.com
As much as we love not wearing socks, depending on the feet, doing so can kill a great pair of shoes. Bombas’ lightweight no-show socks come in an ultralight fine-gauge cotton, engineered to stay on your feet. They also come in a great range of colors, not that anyone will have to know.
We recommend Bombas Lightweight No-Shows, $10.50 at Bombas.com
In the end, isn’t it all about the shoes? Grab these classic Gucci loafers and wear the hell out of them for work and play. Yes, everyone will notice. Pair them with these no-show socks for a clean, summer-y look.
We recommend Gucci Roos Horsebit Loafers, $690 at MrPorter.com
Since you have made it to the next round, you’re well on your way to the big leagues. If you weren’t lucky enough to get one upon graduation, then consider this the time to give yourself the gift just about every businessman secretly (or publicly) craves — the Rolex.
We recommend Rolex Oyster Perpetual, $4,295 at BobsWatches.com
Head off to meetings (or take work home for the night) with this a classic briefcase. Opt for nylon fabric which makes the case weather-resistant, and use the shoulder strap when needed. Add a subtle leather trim for serious style.
We recommend Lambertson Truex Jordan Commuter Brief, $375 at LambertsonTruex.com
Business Casual Men’s Summer Clothes: Top Level
You’ve arrived, you captain of industry. It’s time to dress to command respect from the entire organization, not to mention the rest of the world. Dress like you mean it, but dress like you know you can head out early any day of the week for that corporate golf retreat, weekend on the Vineyard or private spa getaway. These pieces are cool and casual, but never lose sight of the goal.
Go for a gorgeous, Italian style with a deconstructed saturated navy sport coat in a perfect summer fabric blend of wool and cotton. It should be lightweight, so it can move from meeting to meeting without breaking a sweat.
We recommend Isaia Slim-Fit Checked Wool-Blend Blazer, $2,900 at MrPorter.com
You’re at the point in life where you should be considering custom-made shirts. But for those moments when you can’t wait a few weeks, go with a custom shirt clothier’s ready-made options. You can always go back to them for tailor-made later. This classic blue stretch cotton should keep you cool and dry.
We recommend Proper Cloth Albini End-on-End Shirt, $150 at ProperCloth.com
Some say pleats are back, but you will be best served by featuring a simple, flat-front style in a lightweight cotton twill blend. This style pant should work from the office to the country club and everywhere in between.
We recommend Incotex Four Season Relaxed-Fit Cotton-Blend Chinos, $380 at MrPorter.com
Pantherella’s classic cotton lisle socks are light as a cloud, providing a lightweight layer for summer, in a wide range of colors. Hey, you’re the boss, go for fuschia or scarlet and dare anybody to ask.
We recommend Pantherella Danvers Socks, $15.95 at Amazon.com
This sophisticated classic tassel loafer is deconstructed to keep it soft and light. The burnished leather adds venerable sophistication, while Bruno Magli’s Sacchetto construction provides a glove-like fit.
We recommend Bruno Magli Iko Leather Tassel Loafer, $450 at BrunoMagli.com
Let’s face it, the vintage Rolex collection probably can’t come out every day, but on those days when you need to stay connected, do it with panache with the Apple Watch Hermès. It features a rich Hermès leather band and deployment buckle with Apple Watch’s outstanding tech, including GPS+Cellular, so you won’t even have to have your iPhone on you.
We recommend Apple Watch Hermès, $1,499 at Apple.com
Anson Calder brings old-world craftsmanship to the USA, showing off clean, modern styling, and offering tons of options to customize each bag to fit your personal everyday carry.
We recommend Anson Calder, $1,150 at AnsonCalder.com
There is no getting around sweat in the summer — it’s a fact of life, but staying stylish will help avoid awkward conversations about sweat stain because you’ll just look so damn good.
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