Thanks to Zoom, your legs probably haven’t been seen by anyone other than people in the park for the past few months. If you need a transition between your go-to joggers/shorts/pyjama bottoms and proper tailored trousers, look out for a pair of smart-casual slacks with a part-elasticated waist that’s both forgiving and comfortable.
L’estrange London 24 Trouser
The beauty of L’estrange London’s ‘24 Trouser’ is that, thanks to the waistband only being elasticated at the back, people are none the wiser from the front. With a tailored fit that tapers through the calf and a chic tab closure at the front, they’re the sort of lightweight smart trousers that are suitable for work and play.
£125, available at L’estrange London.
Sunspel Drawstring Trouser
Quite possibly the most perfect summer trouser out there, these drawstring slacks from sleek British label Sunspel are cut from a light fabric that provides all the breathability of linen with cotton mixed in for minimal creasing.
£145, available at Sunspel.
Wax London Kurt Trouser
Cut from floral jacquard fabric woven in France from recycled yarns, this eye-catching new iteration of Wax London’s ‘Kurt’ trousers is a great way to remind people you’ve been Zooming with that you still have a lower half.
£90, available at Wax London.
Vilebrequin Gabardine Pants
Famed for its swimwear, French beach brand Vilebrequin has now taken things below the knee with its new range of tailored silhouette trousers that combine a stretch fabric with an elasticated waist to ensure maximum summer comfort.
£215, available at Vilebrequin.
Mr Marvis The Defenders ‘Long’
Available in one of the widest ranges of waist measurements and leg lengths, Mr Marvis’ trousers also come in a veritable rainbow of colours meaning that there’s not only a pair that’s perfect for your style sensibility, but also for your body type.
£109, available at Mr Marvis.
After the past year indoors, even a casual round with your mates at the pub will feel like a momentous event. Do it right by getting a shirt that’s extravagant, joyous and shows off your sheer joy at being allowed outside again – whatever the occasion. Thankfully, there’s plenty out there to choose from whatever your vibe.
Sir Plus Cuban Shirt
There’s something about a boxy, light, Cuban collar shirt that just screams holiday mode. Combine that with an artfully eclectic print, such as this mosaic pattern created by the team at Sir Plus, and you’ve got instant abroad vibes.
£110, available at Sir Plus.
Slowear Indigochino Overshirt
Not only does this shirt look great (thanks to a print that recalls the traditional patterns used for Japanese kimonos), but it also does double duty for our unpredictable British weather. Cut from cotton, its relaxed fit and buttonless cuffs mean that this can work on its own while the sun’s shining or used as a light top-layer over a t-shirt should things take a turn for the chilly.
£275, available at Slowear.
Casablanca Alchimie Silk Shirt
We probably won’t be actually traveling to Italy anytime soon – but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring Italy to the UK. This joyously louche silk shirt from Paris-based label Casablanca features seasonal views of Lake Garda that’ll give a chest-based hit of Mediterranean sophistication.
€650, available at Casablanca.
Mr Wood Midnight Palm Shirt
London-based label Mr Wood is becoming known on the shirt scene for its bold prints on sustainably minded viscose fabric – a silky material created from plant pulps. Of the current drop on offer, I’m a big fan of this midnight palm print, which holds the promise of good times far beyond sundown.
£98, available at Mr Wood.
Albam SS Miles Shirt
Usually famed for its minimalism, I had to do a double take when I saw this new season shirt from workwear Albam. With its graphic painterly print in zingy colours, it’s a summertime masterpiece – perfect with shorts or a pair of breezy pleated cotton trousers.
£95, available at Albam.
You can bet that as soon as pools re-open, we’ll be first in line for a sun lounger. However, until that time happens, get a pair of shorts in your wardrobe suited for swimtime, but which can be used on dry land too. From bright colours to bold patterns, here are a few of my new season favourites.
Adapted for the beach, what makes Osmari’s ‘shorties’ notable is that they’re also designed for other situations too. With a bit of added stretch in the fabric and large zipped pockets for all your on-the go accoutrements, they’re just as appropriate for wearing to the gym, on the yoga mat or just catching some rays on your thighs while out and about.
$62, available at Osamri.
OAS Labyrinth Swim Shorts
Four a country with a distinctly chilly climate, Sweden sure does foster some great beachwear brands. Take Stockholm-based label OAS, founded by Oliver Adam Sebastian in 2010, which produces swim shorts with some of the most eclectic, cool prints I’ve ever seen: green tiger stripes, tie-dye, and these, which feel like they’ve been inspired by paper marbling.
€69, available at OAS.
Onia Liberty Hibiscus Swim Trunks
New York beach brand Onia has teamed up with Liberty on a selection of shorts featuring the London department store’s legendary floral fabric. And before you get nineties Hawaiian short flashbacks, take a look at this version, featuring hibiscus flowers on a black background. Far more Mapplethorpe than Maui.
£179, available at Onia.
Marda Navy Mid-Length Swim Shorts
Fresh out of Copenhagen, recently launched swim label Marda crafts quick-drying shorts from ocean plastic. Seven re-used plastic bottles (chopped up, spun and reformulated into a highly technical fabric) go into each pair – even the packaging they come in is recycled.
$100, available at Marda Swimwear.
RUI Sunny Side Up Swim Shorts
James Braddon founded Rui after he couldn’t find striped swim shorts that really fit his personal style – and, boy, has he committed to the genre. Now he makes some of the most deliciously colourful striped shorts around. This exuberant pair, aptly named ‘sunny side up’ can’t help but make you smile.
£105, available at RUI Swimwear.
MR P Mid-Length Printed Swim Shorts
Since launching in 2017, menswear e-tailer Mr Porter’s in-house clothing line, Mr P, has gone from strength to strength. Despite erring on the minimal side mostly, when the line does get experimental with prints, they’re done with the sophistication the site is always associated with – and this mid-century, abstract floral print on its new season swimmer is no exception.
£85, available at Mr Porter.
Love Brand Swim Shorts
Founded in 2010 by Oliver and Rose Tomalin, Love Brand’s USP is that it donates a percentage of revenue – not profit – from its shorts to helping save elephants and endangered species. To underline this commitment, the seasonal prints reflect the wildlife the founders are passionate about – case in point, this all-new starfish print, launching in April.
£120, available at Love Brand.
Tom Ford Leopard-Print Swim Shorts
Designer Tom Ford is one of the menswear world’s rockstars, so it makes sense that his eponymous label would release one of the most rockstar pairs of swim shorts around. This darker take on leopard print feels as rebellious as it is rakish.
£350, available at Mr Porter.
As we leave our computer screens and stagger, blinking, into the sunlight of the real world once again, your eyes might need some protection. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself to justify a new pair of shades. I suggest you do the same.
Kirk Originals The S.A.D. Aviator
English shade-maker Kirk Originals first teamed up with New York tailor FE Castleberry on a collaborative pair of shades last year: a ballsy, amped-up tortoiseshell aviator frame fitted with light yellow lenses to make even the darkest winter day feel brighter. Only 15 pairs were made and they instantly sold out. Now the collab’s back with an added ebony frame/grey lens iteration, for those who like to live their summer days on the darker side.
£225, available at Kirk Originals.
Serengeti Eyewear ‘Geary’
Inspired by the golden age of motoring (a fact you can take as literally as you want given that two of the models come with a gold frame), these Geary shades take the era’s excitement around technology and channel it into a little tech of their own. These sunglasses not only look great, but also come fitted with lenses infused with Spectral Control, which filters blue light to reduce blur and improves colour balance – a bit like looking at everything on an HD screen.
£350, available at Serengeti Eyewear.
Brioni Titanium Double Bridge Sunglasses
Whether you’re enjoying tanning in it on the country’s south coast or squinting as it bounces off the ski-runs in the north, Italians know a thing or two about sun glare. So it makes sense that legendary Roman tailoring house Brioni produces some of the most versatile around. With frames crafted from titanium and smoked lenses, these shades are as eye-catching as they are timeless.
£395, available at Brioni.
Ace & Tate ‘Jack’ Sunglasses
While Ace & Tate offer a wide variety of frame shapes, what I really love about the company is that they tend to offer up the kind of colours and fabrications on them that give options for the man who wants something a bit bolder. For example, these ‘Jack’ shades in a cool, striated green acetate with grey lenses.
From £100, available at Ace & Tate.
The Reference Library ‘Eddie’ Black Sunglasses
Inspired by some of the most stylish Hollywood actors of all time, The Reference Library launched last year with a small but perfectly curated selection of vintage-vibing shades. The squared-off Eddie frame takes its cues from black and white photobooth shots from the 1950s – but will look just as great in a selfie today, if you ask me.
£395, available at The Reference Library.
The aviator frame shape might be a stone cold classic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be tweaked from time to time. Just-launched eyewear company Wires, who specialise in 3D printed bio-plastic rims and hinge less arms, has done just that by beefing up the shape and adding a zing of gold.
£175, available at Wires Glasses.
Billy Ruffian Kendal Brogue
You might not be ready to go full-on flip flop yet, but the lighter, brighter weather begs for something lighter and brighter on your feet too – even if you’re keeping things smart. Whether slip-on or lace-up is your preference, suede is a great way to go. These navy-blue suede brogues from Billy Ruffian are an excellent example. Cut from a material that celebrates that there’s no threat of rain on the horizon, the more casual colour is versatile with both on and off-the-clock attire. And, hey, if it was good enough for Elvis, it’s good enough for us.
£150, available at Billy Ruffian Shoes.