Dressing for a Summer Party with M&S

By Adam Friday 11th May, 2018

Unlike our European comrades, we’re sadly not blessed with guaranteed blue skies, warm seas or scorching temperatures during BST. Many UK-based Chappers also aren’t filled with the knowledge or ability to successfully innovate an eye-catching and seasonal outfit, especially for more formal occassions such as a garden party or wedding.

Fear not, we’re here for you.

Whether you’re provided with a dress code or not, it’s imperative you absorb the idea that with a change in season comes a transition in colours and materials. Nail this concept and you’ll arrive with confidence in your style, instead of stressing over potential sweat patches, as you melt in thick, and frankly inappropriate materials.

I.e. the woollen suit you wore to your office Christmas party won’t work at your corporate trip to Wimbledon. 

Although it’s often thought men don’t have many options when it comes to dressing for formal summer outings, I very much beg to differ. Us Chaps actually have fantastic scope when it comes to what to wear; it just take a bit of know-how in order to navigate your way to the perfect attire. 

Linen is your best friend…

Summer parties can be joyous affairs, especially when the sun is shining, so an injection of colour is a fantastic style move that can add vibrance to your look. Now, it’s well known that many chaps see anything other than a navy or charcoal suit as too outlandish for them but I’d urge you to step out of your comfort zone and embrace the pastel colours!

A light blue can look fantastic during the warmer months and this wonderful double-breasted suit from Marks & Spencer really embodies the summer tailoring ideal. Colour is a fantastic way of demonstrating your personality and highlighting your sense of style – what’s more, pea-coking has gone amiss from British men’s style, so why not lead the charge instead of jumping on the bandwagon. 

A key factor in nailing a double breasted jacket is the fit – it may sound obvious but the amount of chappers who simply buy off the peg and ‘make it work for them,’ is worryingly high. The jacket wasn’t made for you, thus it won’t fit you perfectly – get it tailored. Capiche? 

No One Ever Said, ‘Why is he wearing that white shirt?’

I’ve overheard conversations surrounding the white shirt, which have rather upset me. Copious amounts of comments stating it’s a very boring option, whilst others have uttered it’s only right for school, work or black tie…Wrong.

Perhaps a regular fit, oversized, white shirt for under a tenner wouldn’t get you very far during a summer event but when you can play with the fit, material and structure, it’s a whole different ball game.

A textured shirt will spruce up your outfit and push you a little closer to the formal side but please, please, pleasure ensure it’s not too heavy, otherwise you’ll be continuously checking for sweat patches – not a good look, I assure you.

What’s more, be adventurous and go for a new collar style – it’s a fantastic way to make your outfit more interesting and stand out from the crowd, with or without a tie. 

DC Tip: Air on the side of caution and stick to white wine or clear spirits…if you spill a fruity cocktail, everyone is going to know about it.

Accessories, Accessories, Accessories (Keep them simple)

When it comes to accessories, you’re ideally looking for a very happy medium I.e. little details that embellish your outfit, without overpowering your apparel and shoes, because after all, they’re the key pieces. Accessorising is another great way of showcasing your inventiveness and personality, so whether it’s an exuberant pocket square or statement, Paisley tie, give it a spin, just be sure you don’t crowd it out with seven other accessories.

These pocket squares from M&S compliment the suit, without attempting to mimic any other part of the ensemble – It’s a fantastic way of subtly adding an extra layer to the aesthetic.

Alas, there is definitely such a thing as over and under accessorising. In this case, I’d say anything more than three is a crowd.

When it comes to a tie, if you’re donning one, texture is a great avenue to go down, especially if there’s a sheen to your jacket. It adds an extra element to your look and can also add flexibility, giving you a more informal exterior, which is ideally what you want during the summer months.

The Shoe is on the Other Foot

When it comes to summer footwear, I’d always advise embracing the season and going for something a little more on the casual side to complete a slightly more relaxed ensemble – please be aware this doesn’t mean lackadaisical. All I’m saying is an Oxford shoe isn’t the most comfortable thing to wear on a hot summer’s day.

Premium white sneakers or a pair of suede loafers will do the job brilliantly, offering an elegant balance of smart and casual when embracing summer tailoring. We loved these loafers from M&S – they fit the bill of smart casual perfectly, and the colour is very transferable meaning you could wear with an array of different suits. 

DC Tip: Ensure you get the break on your trousers correct – they shouldn’t fall over your shoe, nor flash too much ankle. Nail this and the outfit will look twice as refined.

Visit: M&S