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Summer: White trousers, suede shoes, blouson

18 April 2011

I’ve had a lot of questions over the past few weeks about summer clothes, which isn’t surprising given most of Europe has been running through unseasonably warm weather.

For me, the keys to casual summer style are white (or pale) trousers, brown suede shoes and a blouson – the off-duty jacket of choice.

White ducks or pale flannel trousers (grey or cream) look great when the sun is out, and really at no other time. As the Italian tradition teaches us, and the pictures here from Loro Piana demonstrate, brown suede is the best accompaniment to those trousers.

These suede shoes can range from dark Goodyear-welted models (I own and highly recommend the Edward Green Asquiths, in mink) to unlined, pale desert boots. A casual brown slip-on can also work without socks – though only with more casual trousers and suits. Pale Incotex chinos, for example, or a navy cotton suit.

As to the blouson, this recommendation is born out of a common mistake. Some men who buy tailoring revert to off-the-peg when it comes to summer, unlined jackets. It’s a mistake I’ve made myself more than once. Just because the jacket is in an unstructured hopsack does not mean it does not have to fit.

Commission a lightweight navy blazer from your tailor and, in the meantime, find a nice zip-up blouson in a fine wool or suede. Wear it with an open-necked blue oxford or a long-sleeved white polo shirt. Then add white trousers and brown suede.


More on summer jackets here: Unlined jackets.

A summer suit suggestion here: Inspirational lovat.