Style Edit: Summer Wardrobe Essentials 2020

Summer Just Got More Fun

It’s safe to say we’re all looking for a bit more joy wherever we can get it right now, and nothing fits the bill better when it comes to wardrobe updates than a ‘fun shirt’. The story goes that its origins lay with Brooks Brothers’ Vice President in the 1970s, Ash Wall. While he was visiting one of his factories, he spotted one of the training shirts made by his factory trainees out of scraps of fabric, tried one on and reportedly said, “these are some fun shirts!” Fifty years later, these perky, preppy mash-ups of bright colours and bold stripes will still bring a smile to your face.

Rowing Blazers OG Fun Shirt, £142 ($175)

Rowing Blazers OG Fun Shirt

One for die-hard ‘fun shirt’ fans, Rowing Blazers has released a faithful remake of Brooks Brothers’ Seventies ‘fun shirt’ in its original colours – made in its spiritual home, the USA.

Available at Rowling Blazers.

J. Crew Slim Seersucker Shirt, £89

J. Crew Slim Seersucker Shirt

Cut from various colours of texture-rich, breathable cotton Seersucker, this will not only keep you looking cool but also feeling cool in the blazing heat this summer.

Available at J Crew.

Drake’s Multi-Colour Cotton Poplin ‘Fun’ Button-Down Shirt, £225

Drake's Multi-Colour Cotton Poplin 'Fun' Button-Down Shirt

For full Franken-shirt effect, take a look at this shirt from London tailor Drake’s which not only combines clashing colours, but also clashing stripes for pleasingly eye-popping results.

Available at Drakes.

Ralph Lauren Button Down Oxford Shirt, £105

Ralph Lauren Button Down Oxford Shirt

Ralph Lauren made his name in the Eighties pushing the Ivy League agenda, so it’s no surprise that this pastel number from his Polo line has a Graduate-meets-MiamiVice vibe.

Available at Ralph Lauren.

Your Shirt’s Softened Up

If you’ve been watching Hollywood on Netflix you’ll know that it’s not only a reminder of how morally messed up the town was in the 1950s, but also that the leading men back then had an unimpeachably good dress sense. Luckily, one of the key items of the era, the knitted button-through, is having a comeback just in time for sun season. Wear it open with a white vest underneath or tucked into a pair of double-pleat cotton trousers for maximum matinee idol effect.

Yuri & Yuri Rallison Shirt, £370

Yuri & Yuri Rallison Shirt

A relative newcomer to Savile Row, Yuri & Yuri specialises in tailored separates crafted from rare fabrics sourced. This dusty pink-brown number is cut from Serie, a man-made fibre with a silky feel that, according to the tailoring house, is also robust enough to last a decade in your wardrobe.

Available at Yuri & Yuri.

Scott Fraser Collection L-Stripe Knit Shirt, £245 – £265

Scott Fraser Collection L-Stripe Knit Shirt

As a king of the mid-century menswear aesthetic, it’s no surprise that London-based designer Scott Fraser Simpson has a variety of terrific takes on the button-through polo. We especially enjoy his bright, colourburst graphic iterations.

Available at Scott Fraser Collection.

John Smedley Creek Shirt, £190

John Smedley Creek Shirt

For a more minimal option, take a look at John Smedley’s ‘Creek’ polo. Available in easy-to-wear colours of navy blue and light grey, this shirt features a slightly slouchier cut as well as a casual covered pocket.

Available at John Smedley.

Sunspel Indigo Dyed Piqué Camp Collar Shirt, £145

Sunspel Indigo Dyed Piqué Camp Collar Shirt

In the grand scheme of things, there’s very little a navy shirt like this from Sunspel’s new Indigo-dyed line can’t be worn with. Hanging loose over mid-wash jeans? Sure. Tucked into Gurkha shorts? Go for it. Slipped under a chino suit? Superb.

Available at Sunspel.

Bring the Beach to Your Feet

You’re probably not heading outside much right now, so there’s never been a better time to test out shoes in a devil-may-care colour – and seeing as the last thing many of us will be stepping onto this summer is a beach, we’d suggest slipping your feet into the next best thing: sandy suede

Morjas Plain Toe Blucher Sand Suede Shoes, £249

Morjas Plain Toe Blucher Sand Suedes

Beaches might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Scandinavia, but that hasn’t stopped Swedish shoemaker Morjas re-making every one of its styles in sand-coloured suede in time for summer.

Available at Morjas.

Herring Shoes

Herring Shoes

If you’re going to wear a shoe the colour of a desert, it might as well be one made explicitly to walk across them. Initially made for South African soldiers in the 1940s, the desert boot has yet to fall out of fashion – and it’s best worn this summer with military shorts and some chunky socks.

More details at Herring Shoes.

Myrqvist Oaxen Beige Suede Trainers, £169

Myrqvist Oaxen Beige Suede Trainers

Generally known for its more formal styles, Stockholm-based cobbler Myrqvist also offers brand fans a sleek, sandy take on a sneaker. Made in Portugal, it’s just arrived back in stock – so get a pair before they sell out again.

Available at Myrqvist.

Grenson ‘Bennet’ Shoes, £255

Grenson 'Bennet' Shoes

Rugged and preppy, Grenson’s ‘Bennet’ with its distinctive tasselled laces is cut from Italian pearl suede and finished with a chunky commando sole. Great-looking even if the only manoeuvres you’re being sent on is to get supplies from the corner shop.

Available at Grenson.

Spray on a ‘Sun Lounger Scent’

Mourning the loss of a summer break sitting under a palm tree or sipping a Margarita by the pool? Fake it. There are plenty of scents out there right now with big hits of coconut and rum, spliced with tropical florals, warming musks and crisp citruses. Close your eyes, spray on and bring the beach to you.

Virgin Island Water by Creed, £230 for 100ML

Virgin Island Water by Creed

Inspired by a sailing trip in the Caribbean, Creed’s Virgin Island Water combines sexy, deep splashes of rum, sugar cane and musk with coconut, before amping up the freshness with lime, bergamot and jasmine.

Available at Creed Fragrances.

Sundazed by Byredo, £170 for 100ML

Sundazed by Byredo

What sets Swedish perfume house Byredo apart from its peers is its willingness to take risks – even if it might raise an eyebrow. Nowhere in its collection is this better seen than in Sundazed, which cuts its otherwise citrusy-musky juice with a big, bold hit of summery candy floss. Eyebrow-raising on paper? Sure. But trust us, this one’s seriously addictive.

Available at Byredo.

Eau De Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford, £83 FOR 50ML

Eau De Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford

You know that incredible sun lotion smell? Well, this is it bottled and refined as only Tom Ford can. Creamy notes of tonka bean, coconut and pistachio combine with crisp citrus, warming spices and fragrant florals to instantly transport you to an exclusive resort, Piña Colada in hand.

Available at Tom Ford.

Beach Walk by Maison Margiela, £80 for 100ML

Beach Walk by Maison Margiela

This might say ‘female scent’ on the label, but we all know a liquid can’t be gendered – that’s bonkers. Instead, focus on what’s inside the bottle: a salty, sweet, citrusy blend of coconut, lemon, ylang-ylang and musk that smells like brisk coastal air on a warm day.

Available at John Lewis.

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About the author

Nick Carvell

A lifelong fan of double denim (even triple on occasion), Nick started his career as Social Media Editor of before working as Associate Style Editor at British GQ then Editor of The Jackal. He is now a freelance menswear editor – as well as Oracle Time’s Style Editor-at-Large – writing from lockdown at his kitchen table in South London.

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