The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

This summer, take your style inspiration from cinema’s King of Cool...

Paul Newman epitomised that rarest of Hollywood star — at once the artist and the muse. As well as holding a treasured place on the silver screen for over 50 years, he was an accomplished car racer, savvy entrepreneur and valued philanthropist. And, if all that wasn’t quite enough, Newman also became one of the most significant style icons of the 20th Century. 

A quick look through his extensive film archive will present you with everything from a masterful understanding of sharp tailoring, to a fashionable take on relaxed basics. Newman’s style can be categorised as a story of wardrobe classics with a preppy American twist — refined and utterly timeless. 

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the wardrobe essentials you should be investing in this summer, according to the King of Cool himself.

For a summer above the waves...

If you’re planning your summer aboard a sailing yacht, there are a few key leaves you should be taking from the Newman style book. Firstly with the temperatures soaring, a polo shirt is the perfect seaside style choice. Ideal for lounging over a long lunch, these menswear staples are perfect for bridging the gap between casual and formal. For a more summery feel, make like Newman in Absence of Malice, and opt for a lighter, pastel shade.

The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

It may seem like you wear nothing but linen in the summer months, but it truly is the best option for keeping smart as well as cool when the mercury rises. Opt for a pair of drawstring linen trousers for optimal comfort on the deck.

The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Orlebar Brown Sebastian Slim-Fit Cotton-Piqué Polo Shirt

£125

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Orlebar Brown Stoneleigh Linen Drawstring Trousers

£175

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Rubinacco Marphy Leather-Trimmed Herringbone Wool Tasselled Loafers

£450

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For cutting a smart-casual figure...

They are two little words capable of filling anyone with dread as an invitation falls through their letterbox. Sat next to the event information is the dress code ‘smart casual’. However, you might be surprised to hear you can take some unlikely inspiration rom Paul Newman’s sartorial combinations in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The combination of a light, open-buttoned shirt, linen trousers, and relaxed-fit jacket will see you through everything from a casual date night to your friend’s BBQ.

The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Emma Willis Linen Shirt

£240

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

De Bonne Facture Brick Brushed-Linen Suit Jacket

£565

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Brunello Cucinelli Dark-Brown Suede Belt

£570

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For long days under the sun…

Now that you’ve read our round-up of the best SPF moisturisers on the market, allow us to make the case for another sunburn prevention method: a hat. From Hombre to The Sting, it’s no secret that Paul Newman could make a wide range of headwear look remarkably stylish — all while keeping himself well-armed against the punishing desert climes.

paul newman hombre

And, while incorporating a wide-brim hat into your everyday summer attire might feel a little too bold for some — a smart baseball cap will do the job just as well. For those slightly cooler summer days, team with a light-knit polo shirt and linen jacket.

The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Bennet Winch The Weekender

£575

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Highpoint 6X Cowboy Hat

£263

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Luca Faloni Fine Silk-Cashmere Polo

£275

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For a summer evening soirée…

Navigating tailoring in summer is undeniably a minefield, since the last thing you’re going to want to shrug over your shoulders is a black tie dinner jacket. However, if you take heed of our expert guides on seeking out the best tailoring brands for the season, getting suited and booted doesn’t have to compromise your comfort.

paul newman black tie

And, once that second negroni kicks in, you’ll be out of that jacket and headed straight for the dance floor, anyway.

The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Rubinacci Printed Silk-Twill Pocket Square

£85

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Turnbull & Asser Black Velvet Smoking Jacket

£1250

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The Paul Newman guide to dressing for summer

Turnbull & Asser Silk Bow Tie

£85

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Further Reading