The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

From fine fabrics to handy summer accessories, here’s how to beat the heat in six simple steps…

Open your windows! Unfurl your beach towels! Dig out the rosé! Because the heat has hit — and it’s time to learn the sticky, tricky art of summer dressing. 

Warmer weather, as you know, can play havoc on our tightly tailored, carefully curated wardrobes. It throws our well-planned outfits into disarray — and leaves us pulling on and putting together garments that simply don’t go. So, to save you from any fashion faux-pas this summer, we’ve created six sweat-proof style rules to beat the heat this summer. 

Find a soft, lightweight shirting material

First things first; buttoning up a good summery shirt. And we’re not talking about frondy, flowery patterns — we mean a practical, versatile, go-anywhere, do-anything shirt that can weather the warmth. And that means finding a lightweight, breathable materials that works for you.

For something silky-yet-strong, turn to Turnbull & Asser’s sea island cotton shirts. Incredibly rare, this ancient fibre is grown in the Barbados and Jamaica — so knows a little something about heat. Emma Willis’ linen shirt is lightweight, but has a deep denim colour that would have you think otherwise. And, from Thom Sweeney, this camp collar shirt is crafted from seersucker for a casual summer style.

The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Turnbull & Asser Sea Island Cotton Shirt

£395

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Emma Willis Demin Linen Shirt

£240

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Thom Sweeney Seersucker Shirt

£260

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Take the lining out of your jackets

Not literally, of course. We’d never recommend taking a blade to your blazers and tearing out those beautiful silk or satin linings. Instead, you should invest in a new type of outerwear; the unlined, deconstructed style. 

Something like New & Lingwood‘s ‘Nehru’ jacket, cut from an airy basketweave wool and perfect for travel. Or this herringbone, unstructured blazer from Sir Plus; crafted from lightweight linen and subtle detailed with Italian cotton piping. Or, for the most versatile option, Sunspel’s cotton-linen navy blazer — lightly tailored and completely timeless.  

The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

New & Lingwood Deconstructed Nehru Jacket

£445

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Sir Plus Unstructured Linen Blazer

£250

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Sunspel Linen Unstructured Blazer

£295

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Deflect the sun by dressing bright, light and white

There’s a reason summer suits are lighter in colour than their wooly winter counterparts. The fierce, flary glare of the sun is less likely to affect you if you wear brighter, lighter colours this summer — so try to incorporate as many white, off-white or pastel-coloured clothes into your wardrobe during a heatwave.

Things like Aurélien’s vintage-styled polo, spun from terry towelling fabric and designed to absorb water by the poolside — while reflecting the light. Hemingsworth’s raglan sweatshirt is another option; bright blue and as cool and comfortable as summer clothing comes. Or, for a subtly statement piece, pull on Connolly’s ‘Fangio’ long-sleeved polo, a versatile alternative to your usual, button-through shirts. 

The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Aurélien White Terry Towelling Polo

£69

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Hemingsworth Blue Raglan Sweatshirt

£135

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Connolly Cream Fangio Long Sleeve Polo

£320

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Find the perfect pair of versatile, ventilated shorts

Shorts can be tricky to get right. But, once you’ve taken the plunge and invested in the best pair you can find, you’ll want to spend every sunny, sticky day of the heatwave in them. 

Swim shorts are a good bet during sweaty season — especially pairs such as these trunks from LOVE BRAND & Co that can double as everyday shorts. Similarly, Mr Marvis are mavens of the multipurpose; ‘The Easies’ shorts from the brand are super-soft, extremely stretchy and incredibly breathable. Or just find a good pair of well-ventilated trousers — we’d recommend this well-tailored tencel pair from A Day’s March.

The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

LOVE BRAND & Co Staniel Swim Shorts

£100

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

A Day’s March Tencel Trousers

£110

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Mr Marvis ‘The Easies’ Shorts

£69

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Don’t resort to flip-flops — whatever the weather

Leave your boots in the bottom of your wardrobe during a heatwave. Chunky leather lace-ups will do nothing to keep you cool — and that goes for your Oxfords, Derby shoes and double-monks, too. Instead, slip on the holy trinity of summer footwear; loafers, boat shoes and sneakers.

First up, these ‘Salcombe’ loafers from Crockett & Jones. Named for the British seaside town, these suede slip-ons are the perfect option for formal summer occasions. Sebago’s ‘Dockside’ boat shoes, similarly, have been crafted with hot, watery weather in mind — and will keep your feet cool until autumn. Or, for a more stripped-back, simple approach, how about a pair of canvas sneakers from Car Shoe?

The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Crockett & Jones Salcombe Loafers

£375

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Sebago Docksides Boat Shoes

£155

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Car Shoe Canvas ‘Supernova’ Sneakers

£195

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Keep yourself safe from the sun with sunglasses (or a hat)

And, finally, let’s contend with the sun itself. Big, bright and burning, there’s nothing worse than catching an eyeful of rays during a heatwave. So, to protect yourself from the sun’s fierce flashes, find a pair of sunglasses you can rely on.

Perhaps a pair like Oscar Deen’s bold, vintage ‘Carril’ frames — with heavy brows, prominent angles and lots of protection from the sun. Or Cubitts’ ‘Herbrand’ sunglasses, delicately designed in a timeless round-shaped style. If all else fails, carry a cap (we’d go for Frescobol Carioca’s simple nylon option) to shield yourself.

The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Oscar Dean Carril Sunglasses

£130

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Frescobol Carioca Artur Cap

£50

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The gentleman’s guide to dressing for a heatwave

Cubitts Herbrand Sunglasses

£125

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