Summer Fashion For Men: Your A to Z Guide to Looking Sexy in Summertime
Note from Chase: this is a guest post from Darius B. over
on Sexy Style for Joe. Darius has really overdelivered here putting
together a comprehensive and classy post on getting your summer style
tightened up exceedingly well to make you look stylish, attractive, and
put-together. This our second post devoted exclusively to men’s
fashion, after our 2013 piece, “Fashion for Men: The Primer on Looking
Amazing.” If you’re ready
to get suited up for summer and get yourself looking crisp and sexy,
this article from Darius will leave you in excellent shape. Here’s
Can you feel it? Summer is getting closer and the weather is getting warmer every day. Well, even if you can’t feel it yet, I’m sure you’ve noticed how sexy women look on those beautiful days when they drop layers upon layers of unnecessary clothing and swap their sweaters and jeans for light, almost see-through sundresses. Ah… just writing about it makes my imagination go wild.
But what about us, men? The signature tight dress shirt and blazer or coat with a scarf to accessorize that used to get the job done in making us look sexy as hell is not exactly a comfortable option on warmer days, as we’d be sweating like a shy teenager on his first date.
We also don’t really have a clothing equivalent to what sundresses and cut off shorts are to women. The best the fashion industry has managed to come up with are shorts that either look very unflattering on most physiques or that are straight up lame and make even male models look asexual.
And so, is it possible for us to dress on the hot summer days in a way that make women go “Wow, who’s that guy?”?
Yes. Though summer brings a set of challenges to dressing sexy as a man, it also enables us to go for a bit more of a raw, sexual look, without appearing try-hard.
This article in turn is about giving you some ideas on great styles of clothing for summer and helping you build outfits that will not only look very sexy on you, but will also feel comfortable. We’ll start off with some core concepts, followed by some tips on picking (or not picking) specific items, then sum it all up with some practical examples you could model.
Choosing the Right Colors
Before we move into specifics, I’d like to address something universal about dressing during daytime in spring and summer – regardless the style of clothing you choose, try keeping dark colors to a minimum.
Don’t be that guy walking around in a black Metallica T-shirt, dark jeans, and black boots (yes, I know that T-shirt is really awesome.) You can still pull out your black slim fit jeans when going clubbing at night, but for daytime, learn to utilize brighter colors like pink, light blue, light brown, and, especially, white.
Bright colors like those make you stand out in the best way possible: they are attention grabbing, they make your look more exciting, fun, and adventurous. Even more so, it makes your frame look visually bigger, and it does a lot for skinny guys who look like stick figures in tight, all black outfits. Lastly, bright, bold colors, because of their attention grabbing qualities, are very dominating. I know it might seem counterintuitive, but something like a tight pink T-shirt on a muscular frame and proper body language is as masculine and alpha as you can visually get without being half-naked.
Now, it‘s also crucial to not overdo it with colors; you don’t want to look like you’re covering yourself in a LGBT flag.
As a rule of thumb, you want to have one main color in your outfit and another one or two additional colors that make the look more exciting and complete (you can see how this looks in practice in the final section of this article).
Time to get to the core of this article: ideas for specific pieces of clothing and tips on how to wear them when the weather is getting hot. We’ll start with buttoned shirts.
When it comes to wearing buttoned shirts in summer, we have one main issue: tight shirts that look particularly flattering on most male physiques are terrible at ventilating heat. Without getting technical, this means that the moment you leave your house you’re getting sweaty, uncomfortable, and soon very miserable.
Shirts made from synthetic fibers, like polyester, are the biggest offenders here.
To battle this we have several options:
First, pay attention to the fabric that your shirts are made of and try to stay away from all-synthetic shirts. Also, as a rule of thumb, if the fabric feels thick, better save it for autumn and winter. For summer, light, thin, almost see-through fabrics are the best, e.g. linen.
Secondly, don’t be shy to open another shirt button like in the example above. Remember I mentioned in the intro that some things that would potentially look try-hard in other seasons are more acceptable in summer? Well, having three buttons open on a shirt is one of them. This way we create some extra space for the heat to get out.
Now, before guys working in formal environments start getting complaints from their HR department about dressing inappropriately (I personally had comments from female colleagues about how it’s “distracting” and “how would I feel if they walked around the office with their cleavage in the open?” ha ha), this point should not be taken at face value for job interviews, business lunches, and other formal occasions – after all, this article is about dressing sexy.
Lastly, as much as hate to write it, picking up slightly looser shirts might be appropriate to keep yourself cool. If you must do this however, go for linen ones, because at least then you can create that laidback, sex-on-the-beach look.
For most guys, T-Shirts are their bread and butter when it comes to summer-wear. And indeed, picking the right T-shirts can be a quite successful approach for a more casual, laidback look. I won’t differentiate in this section between regular cut T-shirts and V-necks, because both pieces of clothing serve more or less the same purpose. In my book, V-necks and deep V-necks are simply a sexier version of the regular cut. So just to clarify, in this section I will be using the term “T-shirt” for both V-necks and regular cut.
What I would like to talk about here is the choice you have between plain, clean T-shirts, and printed/patterned ones.
- Best for men with a great physique – you don’t want too many details drawing attention away from the goods.
- If the T-shirt is of a more neutral color you might want to accessorize (covered later in the article) a bit more to make the outfit more differentiated.
- Use V-neck cut to draw attention to your neck and shoulders.
Patterned / Printed T-Shirts
- T-Shirts with elaborate patterns can look very sexy but are a bit more difficult to pull off.
- To avoid looking all over the place, it’s best to incorporate such T-shirts into otherwise plain outfits.
- Both guys with great physiques and those of us who love our beer maybe just a little too much can get away with wearing patterned T-shirts.
Now, I’m sure there are style experts out there who would be willing to fight me to the death for what I’m about to say, but here it goes: I think humorous, sexual, engaging, cute printed T-shirts also have a place in a sexy man’s wardrobe, especially in summer.
Pants & Jeans
Okay, now that we covered some basics of upper body wear, let’s discuss what sexy options we have for pants and jeans.
First, we need to understand that the always popular and flattering slim-fit has the same problems as tight shirts – on hot days you will get sweaty and uncomfortable very soon. No matter how sexy they might look, if by the time you take them off your crotch smells like a biohazard accident due to gathering sweat all day, it’s probably not a good idea to wear them.
Please note, this also doesn’t mean going all baggy, as chances are you wouldn’t find yourself in a situation where someone other than yourself is eager to take those jeans off in the first place.
As a rule of thumb, both pants and jeans should firmly mold around your buttocks and thighs (this is applicable for all seasons), but when it comes to how tight it surrounds your calves, it’s okay to have some extra fabric for ventilation.
What about colors? For summer, owning a pair of white pants (personally, linen is my go-to choice) and a pair of washed, light blue jeans will enable you to build pretty much any sexy daytime look you want, and for nights you can still pull out your sexy black slim-fit jeans.
What about shorts?
This is another point on which I disagree with most experts. My short answer is: if your goal is to look sexy, don’t wear them.
A long answer would be that there are some occasions when shorts look good: the beach, camping, playing sports, etc. It’s also okay if you have a great physique and magnificent legs, but if that’s the case, you can get away with pretty much anything anyway.
Other than that, from my perspective, shorts are one of the few pieces of clothing that make even male model look lame. To illustrate this point, below you can see David Gandy wearing shorts in one photo and pants in the other one. I rest my case.
It’s time to cover the part that separates the good from the great: accessories. In his Style Primer Chase nicely covered why scarfs are awesome accessories and how to choose them.
When the days are getting really hot however, your options with scarves become very limited and in most cases they would look out of place and feel rather uncomfortable. Also, as one of the key characteristics of a good summer style is the feel of lightness and freedom, you don’t really want to cover yourself in too many unnecessary items.
But does this mean that we should avoid accessorizing in summer? Not at all, it just means that our priorities slightly shift.
Instead of wide, thick, black belts that look great with slightly classier outfits, you might want to consider picking a slimmer, brighter belt, e.g. light brown.
An item like this will look great with almost any outfit that has white pieces of clothing. One big exception is if you decide to wear black shoes, but we’ll cover this later in the article.
Bracelets & Watches
Have you ever smelled a thick leather bracelet after it absorbed sweat after being worn whole day? It’s not nice. It’s also quite uncomfortable to wear. Because of practical problems like this, it’s best to put away your thick rockstar leather bracelets and instead pick something lighter and a bit more colorful. Examples below are my own “weapons of choice” when it comes to hand accessories.
Same goes for watches: if you like wearing one, pick one with a slimmer strap.
I’m one of those guys who like to look in the eyes of the person he’s talking to, so, more often than not, you will see my sunglasses hanging on my shirt instead of being worn. Still, even I have to admit that modern sunglasses can be very stylish and help improve almost any outfit.
The problem here is that experts in the industry make picking a pair of sunglasses almost a science, similar to picking the right watch – it can be real headache. Instead, I would like to share a short, simple checklist to help you pick a pair of sunglasses without stressing about the details.
- Do you like them? Good.
- After trying them on, do they look good on you and the rest of your outfit? Great.
- Do they fit, as in are they comfortably set on your nose and ears? Perfect.
- Are they designed for a particular sport or other outdoor activity? You can wear them for those occasions, otherwise, put them down.
- Do they have some weird, unorthodox shape, form, or color? Put them down, unless you really know what you’re doing.
That’s it, there’s really no need to overcomplicate things. You also might be wondering what are appropriate occasions to wear sunglasses. The answer: whenever you would need to squint to see without them.
Let’s start this section with what not to wear in summer:
- Flips flops – Just like shorts, they’re perfectly fine on a beach, camping, and similar situations, but that’s about it.
- Black dress shoes – A good looking pair but just very impractical and out of place during sunny summer days. Your feet will sweat as if you’re in a sauna, and you will feel uncomfortable and miserable – just not worth it (same problem applies to most sneakers). If you must wear dress shoes, pick a pair that has a way to ventilate heat. Also, a brown pair would look much better with most summer outfits.
- Sandals – Unless you’re doing it sarcastically or as a dare, there’s never really a good reason to wear sandals.
What Should We Wear?
The above are just some ideas, but can you notice the pattern?
- They are made from mostly light materials that don’t reflect heat back
- Or they have other means to ventilate and keep your feet cool.
- Mostly brighter colors.
- Loafers/boat shoes are usually good options for summer footwear.
- I’ve included converse for guys who really want to maintain their sexy rockstar look during the summer, when wearing those badass boots they own is not an option.
Quick tip: when you pick shoes that have more than one color, pick a belt to match the less pronounced color. For example, if you’re wearing white shoes with brown stripes like in the examples above, pick a brown belt for this outfit. Regardless of what else you decide to wear, it adds a nice, sexy touch, and makes the whole outfit look much more stylish.
But what about evenings? Surely we can afford to add one or two additional layers.
A really good summer outfit for men should be able to transition from a daytime one to something more suited for bars and night game. Usually it’s done by adding one of the following: a blazer or a leather jacket.
Leather jacket - Best for those occasions when you want to add a touch of raw masculinity.
Blazer – For those occasions when you plan of visiting classier venues and need to make sure you’re still one of the sexiest men in there.
How It Looks in Practice: Model the Masters
As promised, the last section of this article is dedicated to showing a few examples of how you can use the tips above to create some really sexy looks for yourself.
Why it works:
Exciting and inviting bright colors.
Items are cut to fit slightly looser.
A single accessory – belt that matches with shoes is enough to make the whole look well put together.
Rolling up the pants is optional and actually in most situations would look better without being rolled up.
Facial hair also plays an important role here, as it adds a more masculine touch to an otherwise clean outfit.
Why it works:
Barely buttoned linen shirt – sexy and keeps you cool (both literally and figuratively).
Because the outfit mostly consists of soft colors, a few extra accessories don’t look overwhelming and try-hard.
A nice touch – rolled up sleeves.
Why it works:
Great, clean look.
Extra button open on shirt.
Strings on the boat shoes matched with the shirt.
A belt to break the outfit, so it doesn’t look like a costume.
Once again: rolling up the pants is optional.
Hopefully by now you have a much better idea how to dress when the weather gets warmer while still looking sexy and masculine, and actually feeling comfortable doing it.
Do you have any other practical tips for summer or simply want to say how much you liked or hated the article? Please, don’t be shy and share your thoughts in the comments section.
Darius B. runs sexystyleforjoe.com, where he helps regular men who don’t particularly care about fashion and trends look hot. Check this page to get a free guide on how to give yourself a sexy style makeover!
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