Oliver Cheshire, photographed for Gentleman's Journal by Olivier Yoan

Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

From softer constructions, to lighter fabrics and relaxed silhouettes — these are the key rules for mastering evening style this summer

Summer is finally upon us. And, if the temperatures we reached last year are anything to go by, we can expect the mercury to continue rising as we hurtle headlong into the year’s hottest months. However, for some gentlemen, an impending heatwave might be enough to bring them out in a premature sweat — not least if they have a formal dress code to prepare for. 

Fortunately, we’re on hand with recommendations to ensure the heatwave doesn’t play havoc with your sartorial standards. From softer construction, to lighter fabrics and relaxed-yet-elegant silhouettes — these are the key rules to follow if you want to master evening style this summer.

Keep cool in a linen shirt...

You’ve probably heard it a million times but linen truly is the best option for keeping smart and cool when the mercury rises. Linen – which comes from the flax plant – is one of the world’s strongest natural fibres so has greater durability and longevity. It is also naturally anti-bacterial, making it the perfect choice if you’re concerned about unseemly armpit patches.

Happily, the diverse array of quality linen shirts on offer makes it easy to find one that can keep you looking smart enough for an evening engagement — whilst preventing you from overheating. For the purpose, we recommend you rely on the master designers over at Emma Willis, Sir Plus and Luca Faloni to keep you looking smart and feeling fresh.

Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Sir Plus Oxford Grandad Shirt

£85

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Emma Willis Linen Shirt

£240

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Luca Faloni White Classic Linen Shirt

£130

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Stride out in lightweight chinos...

Another sure staple in the modern man’s wardrobe — whether you’re dressing to impress on a dinner date, trying to strike the right smart-casual note in the office, or just strolling out for a casual coffee, a reliable pair of chinos will always fit the bill handsomely.

Now that it’s time to turn your attention to some lighter pieces to last you through the warmer months, your trousers must be made using lightweight and breathable materials. These chinos come in as our top choices for ticking all the right sartorial boxes.

Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Gant Regular Fit Cotton Linen Chinos

£84

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Polo Ralph Lauren Stretch Slim Fit Cotton Chino

£125

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Campbell Ash Slim-Fit Stretch Chinos

£175

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Shrug on a light jacket…

With a loose, porous weave that conducts heat away from the body, linen jackets have long been a favourite for smartening up in warmer climes. Naturally crinkly, it is a fabric which will give your tailoring a more relaxed finish without blurring its inherently sharp silhouette.

We like these designs for bringing a relaxed, shirt-like fit. Wear with matching trousers for a smart-casual look.

Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Berluti Navy Slim-Fit Unstructured Cotton And Linen-Blend Twill Suit Jacket

£1260

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

De Bonne Facture Brick Brushed-Linen Suit Jacket

£565

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Club Monaco Grant Light-Grey Slim-Fit Linen Suit Jacket

£395

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Put your best foot forward…

When it comes to sorting out your footwear for a summer evening soiree, your hero item will always be a quality pair of loafers. Originally developed over 150 years ago for the royal family and landed gentry, these slip-on shoes are cast in leather, occasionally decorated and a key part of the mid-century “Ivy Look”. Every man should own at least one pair. 

They look great with a suit and, without any pesky laces to fiddle with, you can slip them off as soon as your feet get too hot.

Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Church's Netton Suede Loafers

£480

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Loro Piana Summer Walk Suede Loafers

£505

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Your guide to nailing evening style in the summer

Tricker's Elton Suede Tasselled Loafers

£395

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Looking for more summer style guides? We asked Luca Rubinacci to give us his top seasonal tips…

Further Reading