Here we go. After months of lockdown, 2021 is finally about to hit its stride. The sun’s coming out, restrictions are lifting and we’ve got a summer stuffed with beer gardens, long-overdue catch-ups and Michelin-starred meals to look forward to. We’re optimistic, we’re cheerful — and we’re woefully underdressed.
Because, for the last year or so, we’ve spent most of the time switching between pyjamas, sweatpants and even more pyjamas. We’ve lounged around in loungewear, worked our jobs in casualwear and prioritised cosiness and comfort over even a fraction of fashion. So what’s to be done? Easy. Take 21 versatile, reliable items, create the quintessential SS21 capsule — and embark on the most stylish summer of your unlocked-down life…
Everything good begins with a versatile pale blue shirt
And, boy do we mean it. Wear it open, buttoned, untucked or with a tie — nothing beats a blue shirt. We’ve found the ultimate example, too; this blue chambray button-down from Turnbull & Asser. With a Dorset collar, simple cuffs and button collar, it’ll elevate your weekends and refine your workwear.
Turnbull & Asser Chambray Weekend Fit Shirt
Invest in a statement pair of signature summer sunglasses
Perhaps the most important of all your summer accessories. This year, you’ll want to find a pair of statement, signature sunglasses to show off — frames your friends can spot coming across the commons, beaches and parks before they even recognise the man behind them. Oscar Deen’s ‘Havana’ design will do the job; inspired by natty 1960s Italian bifocals.
Oscar Deen Fraser Sunglasses
A navy polo shirt perfectly balances 'smart' and 'casual'
Like that pale blue shirt above, the navy polo is a beacon of versatility. Whether worn with shorts or a suit, it’ll ensure your every summer style need is taken care of. Our pick of the polos comes handsomely from Hemingsworth; crafted from an ultra-breathable, season-friendly soft cotton.
Hemingsworth Comber Polo Shirt
A pair of durable loafers are a seasonal, slip-on staple
That’s right. A pair of easy-going, simple loafers will see you through all spring and summer. Going to the beach? Loafers. Popping to the shops? Loafers. Drinks in the park? Loafers. And few pairs are more finely crafted than Aurélien’s supple suede slip-ons.
Aurélien Beige Yacht Loafers
A sweatshirt spans your weekends and work days
If you’ve spent most of lockdown in a sweater, we’ve got good news: the cosy comfort doesn’t have to end just yet. You just need to update the style for summer. Inspired by timeless Hollywood chic, this pastel blue-hued spin on the sweatshirt is ideal for bright weather layering.
Hemingsworth Blue Raglan Sweatshirt
A long-sleeved polo is perfect for the spring season
Spring temperatures can be temperamental. That’s why, if you’re not quite ready for the navy Hemingsworth polo above, you should invest in a long-sleeved, lightweight knitted option. This beige, slim-fit sweater nails the transitional style, with supersoft Merino construction and genuine mother of pearl buttons.
Aurélien Merino Polo
Seersucker swim shorts will take you from sea to the streets
We’ve long been advocates of seersucker. Hardwearing, versatile and lightweight, it’s a material made for the spring and summer months. And, when crafted into such tailored, reliable swim shorts as these, it’ll take you from your morning swim to al fresco lunch in quick-drying, sharply-cut style.
Hemingsworth Clipper Seersucker Shorts
A pair of Chelsea boots is a summer spin on your winter lace-ups
Winter may be over, and you may already have laced up and hidden away your big, burly boots — but there’s room for such leather shoes in springtime, too. In fact, with the weather being brighter, it’s the ideal time to slip on some suede — in the form of Scarosso’s Italian-made, tobacco-coloured Chelsea boots.
Scarosso Giancarlo Chelsea Boots
Brushed twill trousers will walk you from weekday to weekend
But this is Britain. And, while investing in plenty of pairs of shorts may seem like a smart thing to do, we’ll likely have to endure our fair share of cloudbursts this coming summer. That means full-length strides are in order; such as these trimly-tailored twill trousers from New & Lingwood. They’re a fail-safe addition to your working wardrobe — and they’ll go with just about everything.
New & Lingwood Brushed Twill Trousers
A braided belt is a surefire signal that summer has arrived
Seriously, has there ever been a clearer indicator that summer had arrived? The woven belt — this one’s braided from walnut, full-grain leather and buckled in brass — is a stalwart of the spring/summer seasons for a reason. It pairs well with chinos and shorts alike, and has that easy, breezy touch of fun that should thread through both your belt loops and entire SS21 wardrobe.
Awling Braided Belt
A colourful linen shirt is the ideal breathable button-down
This wouldn’t be a complete list without a linen shirt. A button-down, point-collared staple of any summer wardrobe, this Emma Willis Italian linen option will give your duds the dose of effortless elegance they need this season. Particularly smart is this shirt’s gently curved hem — ideal for untucking.
Emma Willis Linen Shirt
Subtle stripes will be your seaside summer salvation
The seersucker swim shorts above may be fashioned from a versatile fabric, but you could also do with some subtly styled traditional trunks for summer. Enter Morville. The British brand’s classic red stripes add a timely twist on such tradition; using an iconic pattern on a modern, lightweight material.
Morville Classic Swim Shorts
A classic tennis shoe will put a vintage spin on your springtime sports
One of SS21’s highlights will doubtlessly be the return of sporting pursuits. Whether that’s a quick kickaround in the park or a return to the squash court, you should be mindful of both substance and style with your sporting wardrobe. Happily, Oliver Cabell’s retro-inspired athletic trainers tick every suede-trimmed box.
Oliver Cabell GAT White
Wire frames and understated lenses make work-ready sunglasses
Statement sunglasses are all well and good — but sometimes you’ll need a finer, more muted pair of frames. You could be heading to a wedding. You might be enjoying an al fresco business meeting. Whatever the occasion, these tidy grey-blue wire-framed sunglasses from The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear will be perfect.
The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear Vicuna Sunglasses
A lightweight wool bomber is the only jacket you'll need this summer
There’s not a season of the year during which Artknit Studios’ well-woven wool bomber doesn’t work. Classically cut and presented in ever-versatile navy, this is your ideal jacket-slash-jumper for SS21 (and beyond).
Artknit Studios ‘The Wool Bomber’
Pastel-coloured kicks are the perfect shade for spring
Like the Hemingsworth sweatshirt at the top of this list, your sneakers will benefit greatly from pastel shades this spring. These trainers, from Uniform Standard, are bright, lightweight and crafted from suede — to lace up comfort, substance and style in one premium package.
Uniform Standard Series 1 in Sky
A pair of light cotton chinos are a spring/summer staple
You should already own a pair of light cotton chinos. Whether ‘beige’ or ‘camel’ or ‘sand’ or ‘stone’, these neutral tones are ideal for spring and summer style. From New & Lingwood, this cotton pair are gently tapered, meticulously made and feature a contemporary rise ideal for the modern man.
New & Lingwood Cotton Chinos
Give your knitwear a lightweight spin
Like seersucker, there are many materials that were — quite literally — made for the summer months. One such fabric is Artknit Studios’ luxurious blend of linen and cotton. Here, the fabulous fabric has been woven into a silky smooth, breathable sweater. A worthy addition to any wardrobe.
Artknit Studios Linen Cotton Sweater
A good pair of leather driving shoes will fuel your summer road trips
Summer means roadtrips. And roadtrips, naturally, mean driving. One of your most important SS21 investments, then, should be a pair of excellent, elegant driving shoes. These Italian-made, pebble-soled slip-ons from Scarosso are some of the best we’ve ever put to our pedals.
Scarosso Carlo Moro Scamosciato
Bolder is better when it comes to your SS21 swim shorts
Sometimes, summer calls for colour. That may be with the statement Oscar Deen sunglasses above, or your new bright and bold Emma Willis linen shirt. But nowhere is colour appreciated more than on the beach. And no swim shorts will look better under the blazing sun than Ripa Ripa’s magnificent ‘Maestrale’ design.
Ripa Ripa Maestrale Swim Shorts
A pair of Aviator-inspired frames will bring cool to a hot summer
And, to finish off your 21 ways to upgrade your style for SS21, a final pair of sunglasses. You’re bound to lose at least one pair of frames this summer, so it’s good to have a back-up. And, with angular lenses, a bridgeless nose and gold wire frame, you won’t find cooler sunglasses than Cubitts’ Aviator-inspired ‘Collier’ design.
Cubitts Collier Sunglasses
Looking for more seasonal footwear? These are the best men’s sneakers for spring 2021…
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