Killer summer style moves are hard to come by, unless you consider too-short shorts or a radioactive sunburn a means of bagging menswear kudos (FYI, they’re not).
If, however, you’re able to drag your weary eyes away from summer’s interminable procession of angry-looking T-shirt tans and knackered flip flops and instead lock your gaze on some well-dressed celebrities, you’ll find plenty of style nuggets worth swotting up on.
Each offering their own way of dodging the sweat-soaked style bypass that currently constitutes as dressing for the heat, here are eight men that it’s worth getting schooled by this summer.
The Master: Johannes Huebl
The Lesson: Rethink Your White Jean Aversion
The male population is by and large trusted to exercise good judgement on matters sartorial. This is mostly without serious calamity, except in the case of white jeans. Club promoter chic, skin-tight swole showcasers, identikit lads holiday uniform: the list of serious misuses is way too graphic to detail in its entirety.
Instead think of Johannes Huebl and his consistently correct application of white denim: he’s basically the walking embodiment of the all-too-rare white jeans outfit that doesn’t end in disaster.
Huebl’s not particularly concerned about showing off his leg gains and usually opts for a denim fit that follows the shape of his legs, but doesn’t cling on to his flesh for dear life. This genetically blessed German doesn’t do muscle fit up top either. Loose chambray shirts and slightly oversized T-shirts make excellent companions for Huebl’s tailored white jeans, and they’ll do exactly the same for you should you choose to follow his lead.
The Master: Virgil Abloh
The Lesson: Perfect The Art Of T-Shirt Tucking
As anyone who was forced to wear a school uniform will instinctively know, tucking a shirt in isn’t cool. In fact it’s a notorious murderer of swag, only permissible at work or formal events. The T-shirt on the other hand, has been deemed totally tuckable by the coolest man on the planet, Virgil Abloh. So, if your tee is currently hanging loose, start gathering at your waistband.
Although Abloh’s T-shirt tuck may seem like one of those things that aloof menswear types can suss out instinctively, making like Abloh is actually just a case of following some simple sartorial science which works on the law of balance.
A buttoned shirt is already smart, so when tucking you’re doubling up on formality. On the other hand, the T-shirt is a casual staple so any time you wear one during summer, you’re at risk of looking like you picked up a few things from your bedroom floor. By tucking your T-shirt into your trousers you’re subtracting sloppiness and adding formality. Abloh, we’re onto your game.
The Master: Donald Glover
The Lesson: Don’t Underestimate The Printed Shirt
This guy’s a Renaissance man, one of those annoying guys who can turn his hand to seemingly anything without even trying. Under normal circumstances this would have us turning a WhatsApp shade of green. But, taking into consideration all of the positive PR that Donald Glover has generated for the printed shirt and the fact that he’s serving up unreasonably large amounts of wardrobe fire consistently, it’s hard to stay too salty.
Most men have just about wrapped their heads around wearing printed shirts in winter, with lashings of black serving to steer even the gaudiest examples into safer territory. The printed shirt for summer however comes with that crass, comedy barbecue uniform thing strongly attached.
Not for Glover. He has successfully divorced the printed summer shirt of its lame rep by demonstrating that bold but wearable prints do exist and by styling the printed shirt in a way which crushes the cringe factor. If you’re going to do a bold shirt this summer, make like Glover and go open at the collar, keep the colours to a limited palette and don’t double up. Childish Gambino levels of lyrical confidence wouldn’t go amiss either.
The Master: David Gandy
The Lesson: Learn To Love Linen
Inexplicably, David Gandy is a man whose appearance inspires slack-jawed awe and simultaneously jolts us into thinking that we could be a little more Gandy if only we had access to his wardrobe. This assumption is risky: only the DG himself can pull off miniscule budgie smugglers on a yacht for D&G, and even then he does so by a whisker.
Linen, however, is a handy Gandy style move that doesn’t discriminate between a model bod and a dad bod, so everyone’s safe to proceed without caution. Before you scoff at the thought of creased Miami Vice cast-offs, summer linen comes in many guises and it’s also your best method of staving off oil slick skin.
Take a leaf from Gandy’s book this summer and wear mismatched colour linen tailored separates (worn with a T-shirt or an open collared linen shirt). Or go off piste by copping a linen field jacket which will work well with denim down below. Sure, you’ll spend a bit more time getting to know your iron, but that beats a wet back in public right?
The Master: Oliver Cheshire
The Lesson: It’s Hip To be Squared
Such is Oliver Cheshire’s ability to back a trend that’s going to work, we’d happily let him dress us in the dark. So when the official measure of anything that’s destined to be a hit started donning squared off sunglasses, we knew instantly that they’d end up being this summer’s signature shades.
As a model’s mug will afford, Cheshire can carry off these frames without too much thought. If you want to take the square route however, a little caution is advised. Rounder faces can easily pull off angled sunglasses as the lines are balanced by the curves of a round face. Those with more angular or longer face shapes can still slip on these sharp shades: just go for a lens that combines angles and smooth corners.
The Master: Kanye West
The Lesson: Stay Neutral
As one of the planet’s most outspoken residents, Kanye West is probably one of the very last people we’d expect to extol the virtues of neutrality, but ironically enough, his summer wardrobe does just that.
Equally ironic is the fact that when it comes to public opinion on the matter, layered neutrals (understood as white, cream, stone, etc) are every bit as divisive as Mr West himself. It doesn’t need to be this way though: as Kanye demonstrates extremely capably, layered neutrals look can look like a boss level summer styling move. The best part is it’s actually one which involves minimal effort: all you have to do is chuck on a top, some trousers and shoes on in a similar shade. Done.
As you’d expect from a man with improbably high levels of self-confidence, West opts for triple stark white on the regular, though in fairness it’s a strong shout for his skin tone. Those who want to soften the look or can’t even base tan can still get involved by choosing shades of cream, stone and off-white. It’s summer’s less tired answer to all black errythang.
The Master: Chris Hemsworth
The Lesson: Swole Doesn’t Equal Skintight
We’re aware that getting absolutely ripped takes a massive amount of mental mettle and involves an unpleasant amount moving metal: it’s impressive. That said, unless you’re poolside nobody should be able to clearly pick out your individual tendons: if you’ve got it, don’t flaunt it.
Take your summer wardrobe cues instead from professional big man Chris Hemsworth, who has built a body of mythical proportions for his titular movie role as Thor, but doesn’t see summer as one big showcase for his tits. This guy with gainz knows that a relaxed fit looks way more flattering on those lucky enough to be in possession of a god bod.
Hemsworth is a master of the loose-fit plain T-shirt, which although classic, imparts some much needed IDGAF vibes to his hammer-honed frame, so there’s no suggestion of comically vain posturing. He also avoids another cardinal swole style sin by making sure that his jeans have room in the leg without being baggy. This summer be more Hemsworth by letting your stacked speak for itself without hammering it home.
The Master: Ryan Gosling
The Lesson: A Denim Jacket Is Your Way Out Of the Darkness
Thanks to his turn as an impossibly cool man with a car in Drive and a follow up as an impossibly cool man on a motorbike in The Place Beyond The Pines, it’s fair to say that whatever Ryan Gosling’s selling, we’re buying. His gift for your summer wardrobe? A comprehensive guide to pulling off the denim jacket.
Granted, a denim jacket in the warmer months is hardly breaking new ground, but Gosling’s penchant for brightening up his signature darker staples with a mid-wash jacket thrown on top is a game changer for those who are firmly wedded to grungier style. By recruiting a denim jacket, Gosling is able to brighten up his outfits without straying too far from his annoyingly cool signature style.