Outerwear Made For Summer
August 8th, 2014
If you’ve been following Articles of Style, you know that I collect outerwear. It’s by far my favorite category in menswear. The variety of shapes and styles, the intricacy of the designs, the emphasis on functionality…outerwear really emphasizes what we all love about menswear.
One thing we probably don’t mention enough if the seasonality of outerwear. Just like there are heavy coats for those brick cold days of winter, there are lightweight jackets for those cool summer nights.
A summer jacket can really set your wardrobe apart, and give you much more to work with when layering seems difficult. Here’s a few of my favorites that I’ve collected over the years.
Unlined Cotton Trench
This trench coat by Burberry Prorsum (purchased on eBay years ago) is one of my go-to pieces for cool summer nights, whether I’m in NYC or Hollywood.
It’s only one thin layer of very lightweight cotton (almost feels like a shirting cloth), and the light-to-dark Columbia blue gradient screams summer. The best part about this garment is the way it moves and flows, since it’s so light. It doesn’t move like a coat, it moves like a t-shirt.
The photo above is from the early days of Articles of Style, shot almost four years ago. I don’t love to re-use old photos, but it goes to show how lasting menswear can be. I’m still wearing every one of these pieces, and I would wear that same outfit today.
It’s also a good example of summer fabric mixing: cotton trench, poplin shirt, seersucker waistcoat, silk-blend trousers.
White Linen Safari Jacket
A white, or off-white/cream, linen safari jacket can pull together a lot of different outfits. I found this one at a vintage shop for a few dollars and did the alterations myself. All in it was less than $30, which means I don’t have to worry about roughing it up or getting it dirty.
Black Waxed Denim
A denim jacket is cool, but a little over-played at this point. Look for one in a black waxed denim as an edgier alternative that’s more ‘city’ and less ‘country’. I’ve recently re-discovered this Helmut Lange piece in the back of my closet and I’ve been wearing it plenty for nights out in LA…you know I feel most comfortable in all black everything.
Of course, I’ve already said plenty about the black leather jacket, which is a natural alternative here.
Olive Suede Bomber
As another alternative to the denim or leather, a lightweight micro-suede can be extra suave, without being extra warm. Just like any other fabric, skins like leathers and suedes have weights to them as well. Some are heavy, padded and lined for protection from the elements. Others are thin, lightweight and unconstructed – better for the cooler days of the warmer months.
Cotton Golf Jacket
There seem to be several names for this style of jacket. Golf jacket, baracuda, racer… Regardless, this style of lightweight cotton jacket with tab collar had a moment of popularity a couple decades ago. This means that vintage and second-hand stores are full of them, in every color, with little branding. I paid a couple dollars for this one and had my NYC tailor Franklin at the Tailoring Room hook it up.
Summer Baseball Jacket
If you’re a varsity jacket kind of guy, here’s a perfect summer alternative. A sporty baseball jacket in a very lightweight synthetic (man made) fabric. Probably one of the only polyester jackets I’ve featured on Articles of Style, but it’s done with such finess. This piece is super lightweight and I love the crispy sheen for summer. Extra points for the white leather trim on the pockets too. Have to show love to good design.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Great content coming up!
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.