: How to wear the most powerful, romantic, statement making hue at your sartorial disposal — Red :
1. You will need to rotate your wardrobe to not only better befit the unique demands of the season but to also help maintain a reasonable level of personal comfort throughout the warmer months;
2. The season will likely be all too short and fleeting (is it not always?);
3. You will likely be advised (ad verbatim) to abandon the darker hued palettes, fabrics, and heightened level of formality attached to the colder months in lieu of a more breezy, laissez faire approach to styling that is headlined by lighter colours and pastels, deconstructed suiting, and the sartorial demands of a social calendar filled to the brim with travel and celebratory (ie. weddings) occasions.
So, while there is certainly nothing wrong with wearing navy, grey, or black every and anywhere ( or in adopting lighter shades of brown or crisp whites) all summer long, one colour that is routinely lost in the midst of summer dress appropriateness — often being thoroughly avoided by the masses at all costs — and that deserves more spotlight is that of red.
On the contrary, my advice is rather then simply dismissing the stylish merits of red due to some preconceived notion that you should instead look to embrace it and broaden both your sartorial horizons and personal colour palette in the process as it will — no matter which shade you decide upon — surely inject a touch of vibrant panache that may very well help reinvigorate your wardrobe for the better.
For you see, while being a loud statement making colour without question, it is also regarded as the most romantically passionate (lustful), emotionally sensual, and visual striking (and dominating) of any colour at your creative disposal — which is something you should truly being taking advantage of.
The benefits are aplenty: Women (apparently) are attracted to it more then any other colour, you will feel more confident and able while wearing it, and your signature style will be all the more versatile (and charming) as consequence of its mere presence alone.
The key to success rests in taking to heart your personal confidence (be honest with yourself + your comfort level) and in creatively approaching the styling of any article of clothing in red with both a subtle hand and gradual implementation in mind.
What this ultimately alludes to is that instead of jumping in head first by investing in a wine coloured suit — and looking disharmonious while doing so —that for many the ideal route to take is one that sees you slowly introducing red into your wardrobe by experimenting with like-for-like substitutes of wardrobe staples whenever you can — think red t-shirts, chinos, blazers, belts etc in place of your usual suspects.
Fundamentally this would imply that if you are the type who typically wears solid (one colour) polos then try one with red cuffs and hems; if you are blazer man, substitute in a crimson sports coat in place of our usual navy; or if you would rather take the look below the waist then why not give your white trainers a day off and wear a pair of woven red espadrilles instead.
Whatever the case may be, its safe to say that at the end of the day that confidently (and stylishly) wearing red is by no means an insurmountable task in which only a select few can master but rather is something in which any man can succeed in accomplishing given he has the personal aplomb, will, and desire to do just so.
With that in mind, here are three looks that tastefully highlight various staple menswear essentials (naturally in red) that will collectively ensure you look the commanding part all summer long whether you are planning on attending a music festival, a weekend barbecue,a formal summer garden soiree, plan on spending the day at the beach (resort/camp/island getaway) or even have your heart set on celebrating Canada Day (or Independence Day) in true patriotic style…
Easy, effortless, practical, and comfortable. Those are four tenets to great festival style.
That said, this ensemble admirably checks off each of those needs whilst eschewing the common (cliche) festival wardrobe trappings of leather boots, band t-shirts, and overly ostentatious vests (a-shirts/tank tops).
Featuring two contrasting (yet distinct) splashes of red, from the carnally intriguing heart patterned short-sleeved button-up shirt (go with a camp/cuban collar if you want to bring your look bang up to trend) to the peacockish (in vibrancy) red backpack, this look is one that can be pulled off with relative ease given its tonally subdued parameters (navy + white in line with red) and structured dependence upon timeless wardrobe staples that arguably every man likely already owns: white minimal canvas sneakers (trainers), dark rinse denim, and a lightweight parka.
In highlighting the denim specifically, a pair that is fitted (slim or skinny for the rock-star vibe), constructed in a stretchable fabric (ie. leave the raw denim at home), and that arrive smartly cropped an inch above the ankle (allowing both your feet and legs to breathe more freely) is strongly advised.
Beyond that, another nonnegotiable festival essential is a technical raincoat that fuses functionality and style in one economical package — namely an anorak, mac or parka (which I've chosen above). Individual styling preferences aside, due opt for a jacket that is reliably waterproof, lightweight (easy to pack, transport, and strip off when need be) and that has an abundance of pockets for any essentials that may be of use throughout the day (cash and cleaning wipes for example).
As for the finishing outfit touches, both headwear and sunnies are classic essentials when one is faced with the prospect of a day spent basking in the sun (or rain) so why not try some coloured or mirrored retro metal lenses (or opt for a classic pair of aviators of club masters if you prefer) to stylishly shield your corneas alongside a cotton bucket hat — a luxury baseball cap would work equally as well.
And seeing as it is crucial that you have everything on hand at all times should any peculiar need arise, a proper luxury backpack to carry all forms of supplies and daily provisions is surely also in the cards. In this instance it would be difficult to beat the highly acclaimed practical style offered by a Herschel Supply Co.backpack in a vibrant shade of red.
And on a final note, don't forget your umbrella!
Breathe life into your smart-casual rotation (and tailoring) with a sharp injection of colour that is delivered by means of this red (Hudson) blazer (Suit Supply) alongside a tonally subdued contingent of visually understated whites (tab waisted trousers + vertical striped grandad collar shirt) and naturally-hued browns courtesy of the charming two-tone leather brogue bluchers that come with a contrasting sole and fine fringe detailing.
Cut slim with patch pockets, the aforementioned two-button blazer can be an excellent statement addition to your casual summer tailoring arsenal given it is constructed of a lightweight jersey, cotton, breathable linen, or a hemp/wool blend (like the Hudson featured above) that will ensure that you can ably transition to any occasion at hand whilst wearing it with both your comfort and style in tact throughout the warmer months.
In regards to outfit accoutrements, I’ve chosen to honour classic gentlemanly summer hatting tradition by banking on the timeless elegance of a handwoven straw panama hat in this instance. Lightweight, finely textured, and durable, it will undoubtably lend a touch of genteel flair and sophistication to any look you pair it with.
To close matters out, insert your favourite pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses, a tonal pocket square of your choosing (I’ve elected for a convertible 4-tiered white + red pocket square with red tipping), and a breton-striped red anchor bracelet (Brooks Brothers) to properly sort out your accessory game in a very polished manner.
Charmingly playful yet formally grounded, this look will play well at almost any summer function, from Sunday brunch to breezy summer dances and garden parties…just keep it out of the office and boardroom as it is a touch too fanciful and professionally inappropriate for traditional business wear.
Laid-back yet refined and highly stylized albeit easy to wear, this casual summer ensemble will have you looking the gentlemanly part no matter where you find yourself spending your halcyon days this season: from a tropical island resort right through a family BBQ or a day spend at the beach.
A true testament to the virtues of the less-is-more approach, nothing more neatly expresses that ideal in this look then the pair of tailored — for style, comfort and functionality — swim shorts from Orlebar Brown (or Frescobol Carioca if you prefer). Not only do they channel the timeless sartorial nonchalance of the '60s Riviera set but will also effortlessly transition from an early morning run on the beach and a midday dip in the ocean to after-hours drinks at a seaside bar or an evening spent relaxing fireside without a styling blip in sight nor looking out of place at any moment.
Tag on a simple white retro-inspired towelling polo shirt and combine the two with a pair of finely-crafted tan leather handwoven slip-ons, round tortoiseshell Ray-Ban clubmasters, a classic panama hat, and (should it get on the colder side of things) a red palm tree embroidered lightweight crewneck pullover sweater (jumper) to create an effortlessly stylish high summer look that demands attention for all the right reasons.
And should you have the intention of spending the day at the beach and are looking for a sporting event to entertain and occupy your time, then the hand-made beach bats above (Frescobol Carioca) are sure to please and have every passerby eager to join in on the game.
En masse, this ensemble truly embodies the laid-back summer spirit in one alluringly stylish package whilst highlighting the versatile styling merits of red no matter the occasion at hand.
Living within a seasonal deluge of sun-drenched pastels and washed out palettes one could honestly say that there is no better time of the year to not only fully embrace but also harness and celebrate the commanding power, gentlemanly charm, and sheer vibrance of red then that of summer.
And if the three looks styled above have anything to say on the matter it would be that it is — in spite of its innate boldness — actually quite inviting, easy to wear, and is a colour that you are sure to fall in love with it in short oder given you approach it with an open-mind and minimalist styling in hand.
Which is to say that while it is traditionally renowned as the colour of romance and a hue ensconced in unbridled emotion, red needn't be something you turn to only for date night or on special occasions that call for it in one form or another (such as Christmas).
On the contrary, it’s a surprisingly versatile primary shade that has a long and rich history in menswear lore that you should be taking full advantage of year-round.
: Alternative Style Inspiration :
And if this feature has had no inspirational effect upon changing your personal stance on red in the slightest then possibly the reality that it is a universally flattering colour — it works equally well with both lighter & darker skin complexions making it very wearable by one-and-all — that has an innate sophistication built into it that actively imbues upon its bearer an authoritative presence and an aura of unwavering self-confidence may very well have you considering otherwise.
To that account, red is in fact not as difficult to pull off as many would have you believe, can be dressed up or down as you see fit, and will add an elevated level of personal panache to your signature brand of style.
Consequently, my advice at the end of the day is to experiment with different shades and pieces — from knits/jumpers through formal tailoring — of red attire until you settle upon one you feel most comfortable and powerful wearing and then sport it until it feels like a second skin…you will not regret it.
So, it is with that that I shall propose you go forth in adopting red and burning bright in all season long!
So, what do you think about wearing red (whether in the summer or winter seasons)? Are you confident enough to wear a cherry red suit or would you rather add subtle touches of red throughout your outfits that beg for attention in a more calculated manner? And, do you own any red articles of clothing already/how do you like to wear them?
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