Decoding the lead look
Hair: Short on the sides, medium length and textured on top.
Brows: Bushy and plucked at the ends.
Face: One day old defined shadow stubble. Long eyelashes.
Lips: Buffed and fresh.
Others: Silver dangling earring. A wrap around tattoo on the right arm.
Under the over
Start with the basics: underwear, vests, and innerwear that you will need in the months ahead. It is advisable to embrace pure cotton or highly absorbent fabrics and to put away the synthetic, polyester, and wool blends that are sure to make you feel itchy and smell foul, if you wear them.
Choose cuts that you find comfortable: vests can be cut or half sleeve, low or high neck while underwear can be an assortment of styles ranging from jock straps to boxers, based on your personal preferences and personality.
If your summer wardrobe is white or light in colour, then refrain from buying and wearing anything that is dark or bright in colour as its sure to show through and be visible when and where it shouldn’t!
My tip: Keep enough sets ready, because your innerwear must change daily if not twice a day!
The ideal summer clothes are those which are made from natural materials such as cotton or linen. These don’t just keep you cool, but also airy and will dry out faster when you sweat.
Avoid heavy fabrics as they tend to cling to your skin, trap sweat and add a layer of heat between the fabric and your body. Natural fabrics are best to soak up moisture from the skin and allow it to evaporate from the surface as well.
My tip: The easiest way to check a fabric is right for summer is to hold the garment against light. It is lightweight if you can partially see through it.
High temperatures combined with humidity can make you feel uncomfortable. We maintain a cool body temperature by perspiring heat away from the body. It is important to allow air circulation to maintain a cool body temperature. Fabrics for summer should therefore maximize the flow of air, allowing both heat and humidity to escape.
Materials that trap moisture tend to create unpleasant odours. Cotton is extremely comfortable and allows your body to breathe. It absorbs excess sweat. Linen and other natural fabrics are good at absorbing moisture.
Keep in mind, just because a fabric is lightweight does not guarantee that it is breathable. Some fabrics trap heat by creating an insulating layer over the skin. Synthetics and thicker weaves tend to reflect heat back to the body and inhibit the outward flow of warm and moist air.
My tip: Avoid all types of synthetic fabrics as they allow sweat to build up, reduce evaporation and cause irritation against the skin.
Contrary to popular belief, when you step outdoors, the more your skin is covered, the better it will be. If you keep your skin protected from the sun, not only will you feel cooler but also prevent harmful ultraviolet rays, over exposure to the sun and reduce tan marks and patches.
In this season, wearing trousers, pyjamas and track pants is better than wearing shorts. Similarly, long sleeved shirts are better than wearing vests or T-shirts.
My tip: Wear light and airy clothes that don’t cling to the body.
The construction of your overall look is just as important. I suggest layering your look in summer to stay cool and dry. For a casual look, wear a vest with a top or a T-shirt under a half or full sleeve shirt. For a formal or work look, wear a fitted shirt under a looser jacket.
Additionally, wearing a relaxed fit, helps the circulation of air. Loose-fitting clothes provide better air flow, which means you end up feeling cooler. Do not confuse this with wearing baggy or oversized clothes, as that seldom looks flattering.
My tip: A comfortable linen or cotton shirt is better than wearing a snug fit one.
Light reacts to colours in different ways, depending on how much is absorbed or reflected. Pale colours reflect light, which means you will be cooler in white or pastels than you would be in dark clothes, which tend to trap heat.
Dark shades of blue, purple, grey and green generate thermal energy when exposed to intense sunlight. Lighter colours generate less warmth under the same sunlight conditions. Black absorbs more light and reflects and retains heat. Therefore, pastel shades like beige, baby blue, pale pink, mint green, lemon and saffron are strongly recommended. You can also go with varying shades of mushroom, olive and yellow.
My tip: Wear as much of white as possible as it reflects and retains less heat.
Keep your choice of accessories such that do not feel sticky when you get hot and sweaty.
It is yet too early to switch to sandals and other open footwear, so a good pair of sports / running shoes and socks that are made in absorbent fabrics would be best.
My tip: Start stocking up on caps, cotton handkerchiefs, sweat absorbing face or hand towels that you will need in the hot months ahead.
The pre summer must haves:
Sunglasses prevent harsh light and ultraviolet rays of the sun and therefore keep your eyes cooler. The frame of your sunglasses needs to fit close to your eyes and contour to the shape of your face. This prevents exposure to UV rays from all sides.
I recommend: These matte black frame sunglasses which will give you all around coverage. If you wear regular glasses or lenses, then get your pair powered so you don’t have issues. Always choose frames that compliment your face cut and match the dominate colour, look, and feel of your wardrobe.
Street wear has evolved from low hanging styles and brightly coloured clothing. With athleisurewear taking centre stage, the emphasis is now on comfort and colours have graduated to more a sombre and subtle palette including pastels and muted tones of blue, pink, coral, and mushroom.
I recommend: This very soft and comfortable pair of sweatshirt and lowers that have a relaxed, comfort fit and are great to lounge or hang around in. The top has an easy round neck (which allows ample neck movement) while the lowers (though a bit heavy weight) feel as good as second skin when you put them on.
Lightweight custom-made jeans
If your suits can be custom made, so can your jeans. It’s always good to wear a pair that fits you well and has the shape, fabric, colour and cut of your choice.
I recommend: When you customise, opt for soft and lightweight fabrics, a silhouette that enhances your natural shape and which highlights or conceals the areas that you want to flaunt or hide. Choose between zippers or buttons (whichever is easier). Pick non-treated and non-weathered fabrics as they work well for almost all occasions.
Style tip: Lighter colours for the day and darker ones for the night.
Footwear on the go
Running and hiking shoes shouldn’t just look good but also offer optimum support and comfort. Make comfort, versatility, and durability your deciding factor and try and go with this season’s colour combinations: red & yellow or blue, white & green!
My pick of the two best new shoe launches:
I recommend: This trendy pair of running shoes which have a soft engineered mesh upper and a flexible midfoot panel, making it both more breathable and comfortable, especially for long runs. It also includes a knitted tongue construction that comfortably wraps the foot with a soft and supportive feel. Ideal for your jog or run.
I recommend: These eye catching, bright coloured hiking lace up shoes which are ideal for hiking and exploring rough, tough terrains and trails. They come fitted with a memory foam breathable insole and offer the right traction, stability, and durability. They look great and feel the same way too.
Life + Style
My pick of the two best lifestyle essentials for men:
The trend: Fluid prints over structured geometrics.
This Caviar and classic grey hand tufted rug has a modern design and a masculine look. Works well to style a modern or contemporary space like your den, living room or workspace. Has a rich, luxurious texture, look and feel.
My lifestyle tip: Rugs should not match but ideally contrast the space they are used in.
2. Clean tech
Why you need it: A remedy for pet hair on clothes and dust in your surroundings as this is the time for pets to begin shedding their hair, the build-up of summer dust and allergens that sit on your floors, carpets, and even the upholstery of your car.
The solution: This stylish multi coloured vacuum cleans better than everything else. Use daily for minor, and weekly for major cleaning in your home or office. Easy and lightweight to use and replaces the need for hired help. A must have for men who want to keep their bachelor pads as spik and span as themselves!
The author is an image, style, grooming and etiquette consultant and trainer.
From HT Brunch, February 27, 2022
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch