Men’s summer fashion: Warm weather outfit and style ideas

man enjoying the sunshine

The UK’s summers are notoriously unpredictable, so refining your warm weather style isn’t always easy. This means, when we get to enjoy the odd hot weekend, or you’re packing for your next holiday in the sun, choosing the right clothing can be a struggle.

Fortunately, you can make everything much simpler by having a range of summer staples on hand, and knowing which fabrics are going to be the most comfortable when it’s hot and humid outside. To help you out, we’ve put together this men’s summer fashion guide that includes all of the advice you could possibly need to create cool and stylish summer outfits, whether you’re going to the office, heading to a beer garden, or sitting by the pool on holiday. We’ll cover:

What are the best lightweight fabrics for summer?

You’ll want to look stylish, whatever the weather. But, in the summer months, you’ll also want to pick out pieces that are going to keep you cool and comfortable. After all, you can be wearing all of the latest trends and must-have pieces, but your look will be let down if you’re accessorising it with a sweaty brow. So, we would highly recommend filling your summer wardrobe with lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as these.

Linen

man in a green Hugo Boss polo

Hugo Boss Green Rash Linen Shirt (£99)

There’s a reason why linen is such a popular choice for summer shirts and suits: it’s loosely woven, which means it allows heat to escape. It also dries very quickly, which means you don’t have to worry too much about sweat patches — if they happen, they’ll be gone soon enough!

Linen is also durable and holds its shape well, although it is prone to wrinkling, which can be a problem if you prefer a clean and crisp look. We say embrace the wrinkles but, if you would rather avoid them at all costs, going for a linen blend, or a fabric with a tighter weave, should help to reduce the risk.

Cotton

man in a white short sleeve shirt

Paul Smith White Short Sleeved Shirt (£105)

Cotton is a natural fibre that allows air to circulate and move freely through the fabric, which makes it perfect for summer clothing. The fabric is also great at wicking away moisture, which will help to prevent you from getting too sweaty when you’re on the move.

It’s also one of the most versatile materials, which means you should have no trouble getting your hands on all of the cotton pieces you need, including shorts, shirts, T-shirts, polo shirts, and even caps.

Chambray

man in chambray belstaff shirt

Belstaff Chambray Steadway Shirt (£120)

Most of us will wear denim all year round but, because it’s a relatively heavy fabric, it traps heat and can leave you feeling a bit too hot and sweaty. So, why not swap some of your denim staples for chambray alternatives? Because the fabric is made from cotton, it’s incredibly breathable and comfortable to wear, Plus, it’s great at wicking moisture away from your body, which can be incredibly helpful on particularly humid days.

Another advantage of chambray is that, much like with denim, there are plenty of colours and washes for you to choose from. So, you should have no trouble finding the perfect chambray shirt to complement your summer wardrobe.

What colours work best in summer outfits for men?

Now that you know what kinds of fabrics you’re going to be shopping for, you need to think about what kinds of colours are going to work best. There are some hues that tend to be popular among fashion-forward men during the warmer months, thanks to the fact that they have a summer vibe, and can also help to keep you cool. But you also need to think about how all of your pieces are going to work together: if you stick to a particular colour palette, you can essentially create a capsule summer wardrobe of garments that all complement each other. Here are just some of the summer-appropriate colours that have already been tried and tested.

White

man in a white polo shirt

Paul & Shark White Polo Shirt (£80)

There’s a reason why people in hotter countries often paint their houses white: the colour does a fantastic job of reflecting light, which helps to keep the building cool. And, in the summer months, you can apply this logic to the way you dress.

Of course, we’re not necessarily saying that you should dress in white from head-to-toe (although, if that’s your vibe, then go for it). But, doing something as simple as swapping a dark-coloured shirt or T-shirt for a white one can do wonders — especially if it’s made from one of the fabrics we’ve previously highlighted.

White can also look incredibly stylish and goes with everything, so any pieces that you pick up in this colour will make a great addition to your wardrobe.

Pastels

man in a psycho bunny pastel polo shirt

Psycho Bunny Celery Green Polo Shirt (£75)

If you would like to give your summer wardrobe an injection of colour, pastels are ideal. Much like with white, they’ll reflect plenty of light, which should help to keep you cool. Plus, they’re on-trend and seen on the Spring/Summer catwalks every year, so adding some subdued hues to your collection of warm weather clothing will go a long way to ensuring you look fashion-forward.

There are plenty of pastel colours for you to choose from, too. Pale blue and green are great everyday shades, as they work well with staples like light wash jeans and beige chinos. Lilac, pink, and coral are often seen at more formal events — think weddings and garden parties — as they tend to work particularly well with light-coloured linen suits.

Bold hues

fred perry twin-tipped polo shirt in yellow

Fred Perry Yellow Twin Tipped Polo Shirt (£60)

If you prefer to make a statement with your clothing, you could also pick out some bright and bold pieces to pair with more neutral garments. You can take plenty of inspiration from the season’s catwalks for this.

Royal and duck egg blue are set to be bang on-trend, with the likes of Balmain and Giorgia Armani creating several monochrome looks in these hues. Highlighter shades are also huge this season. Whether you choose to don a neon yellow top a la Comme des Garçons, or take a hint from Dsquared2 and pick out neon accessories or clothing with hi-vis accents, you’ll earn your place in the fashion pack.

If you’re more of a reserved dresser, wear your colourful pieces with more neutral basics or, if you like to go all out, opt for a colour clash.

Patterned pieces

man in a gant patterned shirt

GANT Cardinal Red Windblown Oxford Check Shirt (£90)

Experimenting with patterned garments can be a lot of fun, so don’t think you need to stick to block colours. Checks, florals, and stripes are all incredibly fashionable and, if you choose patterned pieces in classic colourways, you’ll be able to wear them year after year.

Garments emblazoned with logos, or decorated with chain or animal prints, are also huge this year. So, if you’re fashion forward and like to follow the trends, these would make a great addition to your summer wardrobe.

Men’s summer style staples

You can make it much easier to get dressed on hot days by investing in a range of summer staples that you’ll be able to rely on. Here, we’ll highlight the garments you should have on hand for when we next see a heatwave or you’re packing for a holiday in the sun.

Cotton T-shirts

man in a fred perry cotton t shirt

Fred Perry Charcoal Marl Panel Logo T-shirt (£50)

T-shirts are an obvious summer staple, but they aren’t all created equal: some are still heavy and won’t keep you as cool as you would like. So, we would recommend opting for cotton T-shirts on particularly hot days. As we’ve mentioned, cotton is especially breathable and also great at wicking away moisture, which is ideal when temperatures rise and you start to sweat.

Fortunately, cotton T-shirt are available in a whole host of different colours and designs, so you shouldn’t feel limited. If you’re looking to update your existing collection with some new styles, make sure you browse our collection of designer T-shirts for men, which includes tops from iconic fashion brands like Paul & Shark, Fred Perry, and GANT.

Lightweight polo shirts

gant pique polo shirt

GANT Light Pistage Melange Pique Rugger Polo Shirt (£70)

For occasions when a T-shirt is going to be just a bit too casual, a lightweight polo shirt can be the perfect alternative. Again, it’s best to choose those made from cotton, as they’ll keep you cool and are quick-drying, which is great if the heat causes you to sweat.

There are also so many cotton polo shirts to choose from so, whether you’re looking for a simple white one to wear under a blazer, you would like a patterned one that’s going to make a statement, or you think an array of colourful designs would be great for everyday wear, you should have no trouble finding the perfect style to suit your needs.

We stock a selection of men’s designer polo shirts that would make a fantastic addition to your wardrobe. Many of them are made from cotton, and they’ve all been designed by tops brands including GANT, Baracuta, CP Company, and Fred Perry.

Breathable long- and short-sleeves shirts

side by side shirts

Fred Perry Deep Atlantic Tartan Shirt (£80), Norse Projects Blue Striped Oxford Shirt (£90)

It’s a good idea to have a few summer-appropriate shirts in your wardrobe, as these will work well for more formal occasions, such as garden parties, and possibly even summer weddings if you choose one that has a particularly formal vibe.

White and pastel shirts tend to work very well during the summer months, as they reflect light, which means they’ll help keep you cool. Plus, they have an undeniably Spring/Summer look. Choose shirts in cotton, linen, or chambray, and these will have the added benefit of being breathable, too.

Our range of designer shirts for men includes a whole host of styles that would work well for the warmer months, and they all come from top brands including Norse Projects, Hugo Boss, and CP Company, which means they’re fashion-forward and of a very high quality.

A couple of light jackets

man in a paul smith green overshirt

Paul Smith Olive Green Overshirt (£140)

Even in the summertime, there will be occasions when you require a jacket. This might be because you’re attending a formal event, you’re going out at night when temperatures can drop, or the weather’s being unpredictable.

For casual occasions, a denim jacket can work well. They’re timeless and are available in a range of different washes, which means you can choose one that’s going to complement your existing wardrobe best. A cotton overshirt or ‘shacket’ can also work well as, while they don’t look like a traditional jacket, they add an extra layer of (light) insulation, which will help to keep you warm on a breezier day.

If you’re going to a more formal occasion, a light blazer or perhaps even a suit jacket will be required. Choose one made from cotton or linen, as this will still give you an extra layer of insulation, but also stop you from overheating when temperatures rise.

If you don’t have any outerwear that’s suitable for the summer months, make sure you browse our range of men’s designer jackets, where you’ll find most of the styles we’ve mentioned here. We have designs from great brands like Paul Smith, Belstaff, and Hugo Boss.

Shorts for different occasions

blue gant shorts

GANT Mid Blue Sunbleached Shorts (£80)

Much like T-shirts, shorts are an obvious summer staple, but you’ll need different pairs for different occasions. While swim shorts are great for the beach and by the pool, they shouldn’t really be worn anywhere else. So, if you simply have a few pairs of boardshorts that you rotate through every summer, consider upgrading your collection with some other styles.

Denim and cotton shorts work well for everyday wear and casual occasions, whereas chinos and twill styles look slightly more polished, which means they’re great for smart-casual events.

If you’re running low on shorts and could do with a few pairs in preparation for summer, you might be interested in some of the men’s designer shorts we stock. Our range includes a variety of fashionable styles, which come from some of the best brands around, including Paul & Shark, Hugo Boss, and GANT.

Swimwear

cp company navy swim shorts

Navy Nylon Swim Shorts (£125)

If you’re going on holiday or planning to spend a lot of time by the British seaside this summer, you’re going to need a pair of swim shorts. Patterned styles can be fun but, if you want a fashionable pair that you’ll be able to get plenty of wear out of, we would recommend going for a colour blocked pair in one of the summer-friendly hues we’ve previously highlighted. Blue, green, and pastels are all great choices, as they look particularly stylish by the pool or beach.

Chinos or lightweight trousers

man wearing paul and shark tapered chino in stone

Paul & Shark Stone Slim Tapered Chinos (£130)

Although shorts are the obvious choice for the summer months, they aren’t always appropriate — for example, if you’re at work, celebrating a special occasion at a fancy venue, or attending an event with a formal or smart-casual dress-code. In these situations, you’ll want to opt for trousers, but choosing those made from lightweight fabrics will help to prevent you from getting too hot.

Chinos got their name because they were traditionally made from chino cloth, which is a twill fabric made from 100% cotton. As we’ve already discussed, cotton is the perfect summer fabric, as it’s lightweight and breathable. Plus, it dries quickly, which means you don’t need to worry too much if you do start to sweat — it’ll be gone soon enough. These days, the word chinos refers more to the style than the fabric of the trousers, so they mightn’t always be 100% cotton, but they’re usually still a much lighter choice than some of the other trouser options out there.

If chinos are going to be too casual and you need a more formal pair of dress trousers, we would recommend going for a linen pair as, again, these will be very breathable and light, which will prevent you from overheating.

Here at Pritchards, we stock a wide range of trousers and chinos that are summer-appropriate, which would make a fantastic addition to your warm weather wardrobe.

Summer outfits for men

Of course, even when the sun is shining, you won’t be able to get away with wearing the same outfit to the office as the pool. So, when you’re putting together your summer outfits, you need to think very carefully about what is and isn’t going to be appropriate. Here, we’re going to give you some inspiration that will hopefully help you to put together looks for a range of different situations, so you can get it right every single time.

Summer office wear for men

Every office has its own dress code but, in the summer months, you can get away with a smart-casual look in most workplaces.

Unless you work in an incredibly relaxed office, it’s likely shorts will be off the table, but you can still keep your bottom half cool and comfortable by opting for a pair of cotton chinos or linen trousers.

Edwin Braxton Blue Birger Wash ED-85 Slim Tapered 12oz Jeans (£90)

Some men’s jeans can also work well if you aren’t required to dress more formally.

It can get a bit more complicated when it comes to choosing the perfect summer top to wear to the office. Again, if you work in a relatively casual environment, a plain T-shirt or polo shirt can work well. One in a classic colour like white or grey will be a fail-safe, but you can also have a bit of fun with colour if you think it’s appropriate. If you prefer to look a bit smarter, a cotton or linen button-down shirt will also work well — you could even layer it over a T-shirt, so you have one look for the likes of meeting and pitches, but another for when you’re just working at your computer.

Some workplaces will also require you to wear a jacket and, while this isn’t necessarily the most comfortable look when it’s hot outside, you can reduce the risk of you overheating by opting for a linen blazer. One of these will smarten up everything, from a shirt and chinos, to a T-shirt and jeans.

Beach wear for men

hat and sunglasses

Paul & Shark Navy Baseball Cap (£55), Pretty Green Men’s Black Walbrook Sunglasses (£75)

Whether you’re planning a day at your local beach, or you’re packing for a holiday abroad, it’s worth putting some thought into what you’re going to wear while you’re exploring the seaside. We would recommend picking out a versatile pair of swim shorts that are long enough to wear all day long. This way, you’ll be able to go for lunch and enjoy the arcades, but then hop into the sea at a moment’s notice if you’re starting to feel a bit too hot.

For your top half, you can’t go wrong with a T-shirt or polo shirt in a colour that’s going to complement the shorts you’ve picked out. Of course, white will work with any other hue, but you could also opt for a colour clash if you’re feeling more daring.

We know you’ll be excited to get out in the sun, but you should still take some precautions to protect your head and eyes from its rays. We stock a selection of designer hats and caps that will offer you sun protection, but still help to keep you looking your best. A classic baseball cap or straw trilby will typically work best for the beach. And, some men’s designer sunglasses will finish off your holiday look perfectly.

Men’s summer wedding outfit ideas

It can be tricky to dress for a summer wedding, because a formal dress code is often non-negotiable, but you’ll still want to stay as cool and comfortable as possible. In this situation, linen and cotton should be your secret weapons.

hugo boss suit jacket in charcoal grey

Hugo Boss Hooper Charcoal Grey Jacket (£449)

A men’s suit made from linen is going to be your best bet, because it’ll look incredibly smart, but the loosely-woven fabric will mean that it’s still breathable. We would also recommend forgoing the usual black or charcoal, and instead opt for something lighter, like a subtle shade of grey or beige. If you like to be fashion-forward, you could even opt for a more daring suit in a pastel colour.

You’ll want to pair your suit with a shirt, and you have plenty of options when it comes to picking out the perfect one. Firstly, consider whether you’re going to go for a long-or short-sleeved shirt. If it’s going to be a particularly formal affair, it’s usually better to be safe than sorry, so we would recommend going for a classic button-down but, if you know it’s going to be more of a relaxed occasion, short-sleeves shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, you’ll need to choose the perfect colour or pattern, as well. A subtle tropical or floral print will look incredibly stylish but, if you’d rather play it safe, a plain shirt in a pastel colour will look great, too.

Summer party wear for men

When you’re considering what you should wear to a summer party, the most important thing you need to take into account is how formal the event is going to be. If it’s a casual barbecue at your friend’s house, a pair of denim shorts and a stylish T-shirt should work just fine. But, if you’re attending a fancy garden party for work, it’s likely to be more of a suit and shirt affair.

It’s also a good idea to opt for breathable fabrics and light colours, as these will help to keep you cool all day long. Plus, there’s something about linen and pastel colours that just screams “summer”, so you’ll certainly look dressed for the occasion!

Casual style ideas for summer

Most of us will plan our outfits for special occasions but, if you always want to look put-together and effortlessly stylish, ironically, the best way to achieve this is by planning even your most casual outfits in advance. Alternatively, you could assemble a summer-appropriate capsule wardrobe with pieces that will all work together so, even if you are just grabbing your clothes out of your wardrobe 10 minutes before heading out the door, you can be confident that whatever you pull out will look good.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to have an array of plain T-shirts in a range of versatile colours. Of course, white and grey will work well, but muted blues, greens, and even pinks can add a dash of colour without making too much of a statement. Polo shirts in these hues will also work well on days when you think a T-shirt might be just a bit too casual.

If you like to look on the smarter side, even when you’re off-duty, make sure you also have a collection of cotton and chambray shirts that you can throw over T-shirts or wear on their own. These will still be nice and light but should also help you to get the put-together look that you’re going for.

We would recommend having an array of shorts that will work for a number of different occasions, too. Swim shorts will be perfect for particularly hot days when you’re relaxing and there’s a chance you might end up taking a dip in the pool or sea. Denim shorts are also very versatile and will work for most dressed down days when you want to look cool, but still comfortable and casual. Finally, a pair of twill chino shorts will be ideal on days when you want to look like you’ve made a real effort, but you can’t bear the idea of wearing some full-length trousers.

However, there will be times when shorts just won’t cut it, so you’ll be glad to have some summer-appropriate trousers on hand for when this is the case. Cotton chinos and linen trousers will allow air to circulate around your legs and also wick away moisture quickly, which is perfect when it’s hot and sweaty outside. Light wash jeans can also work very well when you need to find the middle ground between a casual pair of shorts and some smart trousers.

We don’t get a great deal of sun here in the UK, which means we don’t always get to practice dressing for it. But, as we’ve outlined here, you can ensure you still look cool, comfortable, and stylish on even the hottest of days by ensuring you have some summer-appropriate essentials waiting to be pulled out of your wardrobe when temperatures eventually rise. Take these tips on board, and you’ll look and feel your best all summer long.

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