Dressing during the summer can be confusing. Can you wear jeans without suffocating or are chinos a better choice? And should you try to dig through your closet for a button-front shirt that’s lightweight enough to wear in the heat and humidity, or should you just throw in the towel and go for a classic tee instead?
Those are all questions that are worth asking, but we think there’s one choice that’s simple: You need a warm-weather blazer. Unclear on exactly what you’re looking for? Read on for a step-by-step guide to wearing and styling your perfect blazer this summer. And the benefit of looking now is many options will be on sale as the end of the season nears.
While any man can wear a blazer in the summer, not every blazer is suitable for warm weather. So to find a blazer that will work in the summer heat, you need to make sure that it’s constructed the right way. Anything that’s unlined and unstructured is going to be the most comfortable kind of blazer to wear in the heat. If you’re shopping for a blazer and run across a “deconstructed” style, you’ve hit warm-weather gold: A deconstructed blazer jettisons lining, padding, canvas, and other traditional extras, which results in a blazer that’s easy to wear and easy to style in both formal and casual situations. Blazers constructed of fabrics like chambray, linen, seersucker, or even a lightweight twill are made to look sharp and look cool even on the hottest days.
But shopping for a new blazer doesn’t have to mean ditching your tried-and-true favorites. For instance, if you’re one of the many stylish men with a favorite navy blue blazer, you’ll be happy to learn that a navy blazer can be your go-to not only in the fall and winter, but also on the warmer days of spring and summer. Trade in your usual wool blazer for a cotton-linen style, and you’ll realize that the classic navy blazer is the perfect companion for the lightweight shirting you wear to the office or the marinière you throw on to take your significant other out to dinner on a Friday night.
Other great colors to try? Try a twill blazer in olive green, which can easily be paired with white chinos and a navy tie, or a tan blazer paired with a crisp white shirt. Other favorites include a medium blue blazer, which looks great styled with a classic blue oxford; a light grey blazer, which works with everything from indigo chinos to white trousers; or a tan blazer paired even with casual ensembles like a pair of jeans and a chambray shirt.
Summer is also a great time to try out a new silhouette, whether you’re sticking to your favorite color or branching out into new shades. If you want to stick with a navy blazer, for example, you could look for a linen blazer in a double breasted silhouette. A navy double-breasted blazer in linen will look a little more casual than a wool version would, and will elevate summer staples like white oxford-cloth shirts and tan chinos to a new level of stylish.
Whatever color and fabric you choose, make sure that your blazer (and all of the other pieces of your outfit) are suited to the occasion and weather at hand. Take the opportunity to trade a heavy dress shirt for a lightweight linen shirt or even a classic tee for casual occasions. Ensure that your chinos or jeans are lightweight and trim to stay comfortable even in the heat and humidity, and make certain that your accessories — including your tie, your pocket square, and your shoes — are also appropriately summery.
Make sure that you aren’t opting for an ensemble that doesn’t look or feel like something you’d regularly wear, just for the sake of dressing up for your buddy’s wedding or for a date night at a hip new restaurant. Your blazer, as with all of the other pieces in your closet, should all be things that you can easily wear and re-wear, styling it with many different pieces that reflect your aesthetic and your personality.
Ultimately, the most useful piece of advice to remember is that a blazer is simply a jacket. Style and experiment with it like you would with any other piece of outerwear in your wardrobe. Just be prepared to look a little bit cooler than you would if you opted for a field jacket or a denim jacket instead.