Menswear Monday: The Summer Uniform Part 1

For those of us in warm (or even tropical) climates, the rising mercury presents guys with a challenge.  After a fall whose fashion hallmarks were heavy flannels and military-rugged outerwear,  what can you do in the spring that won’t reduce you to a puddle of sweat and style.  For the next six weeks, we’ll look at essential warm-weather pieces and how to wear them. Week 1:

The Slim Khakis

boot tucking: save it for the fall

Look, khakis will never be really, really cool.  Despite the many cool guys who’ve worn them well (Newman, McQueen), they’ll always be synonymous with pleated Dockers for guys our age.  They’re your dad’s pants, just like relaxed fit Levi’s.   But look again at the basics of what khakis are: lightweight, durable, neutral-colored cotton pants that look best when a little rumpled, not pressed.

That works for the summer, doesn’t it?

Now, since you’re not going to wear your dad’s Dockers, what about the new Dockers?  The venerable office-wear pants got an update last year, with new cuts and colors.  Check out the D-1 slim fit, or if you’re rolling, the K-1, a note-perfect reproduction of military uniform khakis like your grandfather wore, with higher quality fabric and fabrication.

Beyond the hallmark brand, J. Crew, Save Khaki, and Club Monaco all have plain-front, narrow (but not skinny) leg khakis in a variety of colors.  Match it up with simple shoes lik Sperry Top-Siders, slip-on Vans, or some colorful Zuriicks, and one of the shirts we’ll discuss later, and you’ve got a perfect slumming on Saturday outfit that can drag into drinks and dinner in the evening without needing to change.

Next week: the only t-shirt you'll ever need.  Really.

-Rob Hays