Blue is a winning color to wear, whether you’re on your way to a first date or a job interview. So if you’re thinking about how to update your wardrobe for the spring and summer, and hoping to make some good first impressions in the coming months, then you should probably make sure that you have at least a couple of blue pieces tucked into your closet. And after all, what guy doesn’t love blue?
Our favorite kind of blue is indigo, a shade that gets its name from a traditional, plant-based type of dye that’s mostly been replaced by synthetic dyes (though denim devotees can still find jeans that are hand-dyed with natural indigo). But even if clothes dyed with natural indigo are hard to come by, there are still plenty of garments with an indigo look and a workwear feel, and a number of labels that are dedicated to preserving the heritage production methods even as times (and manufacturing methods) change.
1. Band-collar shirt
Blue Blue Japan is a label that’s well-loved for its garments dyed with natural indigo, and this hand-dyed cotton shirt is one of our favorites out of the brand’s current collection. In addition to the indigo shade, the shirt also shows off another of Blue Blue Japan’s trademarks: Patchwork in the form of crepe panels on the pocket and cuffs. With a casual band collar and vibrant shade of indigo, this shirt will pair easily with everything from a dark blazer to a pair of casual white jeans.
2. Indigo-dyed work shirt
A great work shirt is a perfect piece to add to your summer wardrobe. Consider RRL’s indigo-dyed linen-cotton shirt. The lightweight shirt is dyed with true indigo and then washed for a vintage look. The shirt even has embroidered eyelets at the underarms and back yoke, which offer a little bit of ventilation for when you roll up your sleeves and get to work on projects around the house or yard.
3. Dot-print sport shirt
A sport shirt is another versatile addition to your warm-weather wardrobe, whether you’re trekking into the office everyday or heading out on vacation. Brooks Brothers’ indigo dot-printed shirt will pair as easily with a suit as with a worn-in pair of jeans or chinos. Another benefit is that the shirt is available in three different fits, which enables you to choose the cut that’s most comfortable and flattering for your build.
4. Indigo-dyed sweatshirt
The indigo-dyed sweatshirt from J.Crew’s workwear-inspired Wallace & Barnes line is a casual style perfect for windy mornings or chilly evenings. It’s cut from comfortable loop-back jersey and dyed with indigo for a deep hue that will work just as well with a pair of chinos as with the shorts you always wear on your early-morning jog around the neighborhood.
5. Cotton-jersey sweatshirt
Do you need two indigo-dyed sweatshirts? Probably not. But we couldn’t resist pointing out that A.P.C. also has a great indigo-dyed cotton-jersey sweatshirt. The light indigo shade is great for summer days, and will pair easily with navy or tan chinos, or even your favorite pair of jeans if you feel like doubling up on indigo for the day.
6. Indigo striped tee
If you can’t decide on your favorite shade of indigo, try some stripes. RRL’s striped cotton tee features a pattern inspired by vintage blankets, and it’s dyed with true indigo. A striped tee is easy to pair with your favorite jeans, chinos, or shorts, and if you ask us, you can never have too many vintage-looking T-shirts to get you through the summer.
7. Patched breton tee
Everyone loves a good striped tee for the summer, and we’re partial to the timeless breton tee. So we love OrSlow’s version of the style, which combines the classic boatneck and stripes with Japanese boro-style patchwork. The panels sewn onto the shirt are indigo-dyed and feature a range of subtle patterns, including checks and herringbone. The style is part of a collaboration between OrSlow’s team and Tokyo-based label Beams.
8. V-neck tee
There’s no way to get through the summer without an assortment of great tees. Luckily, even t-shirts have gotten the indigo treatment, like this cotton v-neck tee from Ralph Lauren’s RRL label. The tee’s cut is inspired by undergarments from the 1920s, and it’s cut from a textured, slub cotton-linen jersey.
9. Slim selvedge jeans
A must-have for any indigo enthusiast is a pair of great selvedge jeans. This slim-fit pair is from Kapital, a Japanese label that hails from Kojima, Okayama, Japan’s denim capital. Kapital is known for garments that hearken back to mid-century American workwear and are hand-crafted using traditional production methods. These selvedge jeans will work with just about every casual outfit you’ll wear this summer.
10. Cropped distressed jeans
If distressed denim is more your style, particularly in the summer, then consider this pair from another favorite Japanese brand, Chimala. The label’s garments are handcrafted by skilled artisans and undergo meticulous distressing processes, and this pair of slim cropped jeans is no exception. These jeans already feature artful fading and distressing that will look great with your favorite work shirts and vintage tees.
11. Indigo field jacket
While you might not need a jacket everyday or even most days during the summer, a lightweight cotton jacket can be a useful piece to have whether you’re in a cold airplane cabin or spending long days at a buddy’s lake house. Faherty’s indigo-dyed cotton field jacket is a versatile piece of lightweight outerwear and an updated version of a perennially stylish military classic.
12. Denim jacket
The denim jacket is another summer classic. If you’re as devoted to great denim as we are, you may fall in love with OrSlow’s 1950s-fit selvedge denim jacket. Another piece from OrSlow’s collaboration with Beams, the jacket is indigo-dyed and features sturdy brass hardware, plus functional details like buttoned cuffs and adjustable back tabs. A denim jacket is easy to pair with just about everything in your wardrobe, but would pair particularly well with your favorite pair of chinos for an easy weekend look.