Summer clothes used to be my least favorite. Perhaps it's because I'm an Oregon boy and I've never been huge on summer in general, or perhaps it's because I love layers... but whatever the reason, figuring out how to dress for summer has historically posed a challenge for me, particularly when it's come to shirts. If I had to guess, I'd assume I'm not the only one who's had this struggle! But after a little time, trial and error, and moments of epiphany, I'll share what I've learned so that perhaps you gents can avoid those same struggles!
GET THE RIGHT FIT
I know it's been said before but, for the love... the way something is cut makes a huge difference! Find a shirt that's close to the right fit, then, if needed, get it tailored just a bit. Proper fit means the shoulder seam should land right on the ball (bend) of your shoulder, and the sides should mirror your natural silhouette without being too baggy or too tight. The length is determined by whether you plan to tuck it in, or leave it untucked. If you plan to leave it untucked, the length should hit just below the belt buckle.
STYLE IT WELL
If it fits right, you're already a step ahead. Congrats! But this second step is what will set your vibe apart: don't just wear it, STYLE IT. Seven years ago I was at a thrift store outside of Portland Oregon (insert hipster jokes here) and I found this gem of a button-up shirt for $2. It's a basic, unsuspecting lil' striped fella that you can pair with literally anything. It can be worn casually with jeans or shorts, or dressed under a blazer. When worn as-is, the shirt is just okay. But with a little imagination, it takes on a life of it's own. Here's the "why" behind each styling point. -- Tucking it in accomplishes two things. It compensates for the shirt being otherwise a bit too long, and it creates a finished, "on-purpose" look. I often unbutton the top two buttons. This allows the shirt to flow and look less restricted and thus more effortless, while also expanding the chest portion and giving you a more "V" shaped silhouette from chest to hips. I often roll the sleeves. This is a quick fix for sleeves that are otherwise too bulky or long, and gives any short-sleeved shirt a more finished appearance. If you roll it right to the line where your shoulder muscle meets your bicep, it creates the appearance of more arm definition!
The final step is this: just DO IT. (re: Shia Labeouf motivational clip) Don't take yourself too seriously, but also be confident! Don't get scared! Be willing to push yourself one step outside of that conventional safe zone.
Summer is coming fast, so get up, and get ready. There is style to be had, fellas. Have additional thoughts to add to the conversation? Leave a comment below!