Top looks for men this summer Featured

From executive to trendsetter, advice on suits and styles for summer 2011

On the search to be stylish, infinite wardrobe options can often leave us lost and confused amongst the endless possibilities. The summer season is a difficult one to discern which outfit works for a business meeting on the patio or a weekend getaway. If you're a man who takes pride not just in who you're wearing, but how you wear it, then read our tips on how to put four distinctive menswear looks together for the season.

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The Executive
Whether it's a meeting in the boardroom or stepping out for an after-work drink, the dress code stays the same. Remember that your suit speaks before you do and so it has the power to make or break your first impression with an important new client. One can never go wrong with a fine Italian suit, it's classic and crafted from the finest sourced wools and cashmeres that go through a rigorous, quality-tested process before being weaved into their final form.

Wool fineness is classified on a 'super' scale according to a micron count, the higher the count, the more lightweight the wool. A high super count and lighter wool are the best for warm weather. Brioni is a name we trust when it comes to men's bespoke suits and business attire, producing suits with a Super 150's (15.5 microns) count. They have a 100% made in Italy claim with nearly 70 years of fine craftsmanship under their belt.

Go with a double breasted pinstriped suit from the label. You can play it safe with dark colours like black, gray and navy blue or lighten things up this season and go for a tan hue. On a three button suit we recommend that you only button the middle button, it creates an 'X' shape that looks just right allowing the jacket to break away nicely against the trousers. For a two button jacket, just button the top.

While we are in favour of colour and pattern in a man's wardrobe, a business setting might not be the best place to showcase your inventive style choices, so we'll save that for another category. Here we suggest a solid-coloured shirt and a tie that brings the outfit together. The tie is the one article you can play a bit with, it should have a silky look to it and while it can be colourful with a print, it should remain subtle. If you have the time, we suggest you going for the full Brioni suit experience and have their tailors design you a made to measure suit. Tailors base the design on your posture, movement and tastes to determine your suit's personalisation.

Relaxed British
British style has been widespread from colonial times when Englishmen traveled abroad along with their fashion sense in tow. British heritage is a big trend this season with many fashion houses looking to recapture old English charm and a countryside feel in their collections.We choose Burberry to set us on the right path with its fashion credentials that go back to London circa 1856. Creative Director Christopher Bailey found inspiration for this season's collection from old motorbike jacket designs from the early 1900s and the dress of the day.

The key to mastering this style is to play with lightweight fabrics for a seasonal feel, but layer your look with something heavier like a leather jacket or short trench to give it that 'brit' edge. It is important to go for fitted shirts and trousers, tight and baggy are two words that are not in the British style vocabulary. The wash of jackets and trousers should be one dark or neutral shade, no distressed or acid washed denim here – classic khaki, dark denim and olive green shorts and trousers are the way to go. Going casual you'll want a pair of black or brown trainers that keep the attention on the outfit. Burberry has a line of smart footwear with materials like calf leather and suede trims to keep you classy.

The Trendsetter
Individuality is refreshing in fashion, it is often more exciting to create your own look then have a an outfit thrown together according to some pre-determined A,B,C's. Fashion can be used as an extension of your own personality and imagination so if you like to be different from the pack and want to make a statement with your clothes, then summer is definitely the time to do it. We suggest you go for slouchy and slightly oversized jackets and trousers, play with light and mixed materials as well as vibrant colours and patterns like stripes and print.

Be careful not to overdo it, if you're going to wear bright blue for instance, don't throw another bold colour into the mix, either keep the rest of your ensemble consistent or pair a bright blue jacket with a dark pair of trousers.

Kenzo is a fashion house that has defied style norms and gone to imaginative lengths with its designs. The house uses innovative fibre mixtures like leather mixed with jersey or linen with denim so their materials look different from the rest of the crop. Prints that play with watercolours, micro-patterns and floral prints will have heads turnining, as a trendsetter you'll also become accustomed to getting asked “Hey where did you get that?”

Dressing for the Occasion
At times the lines get blurred between office and occasion wear. For starters, silhouette is important for formal wear, because most functions take place in the evening. Pal Zileri's new collection is a good bet for deconstructed suits that use ultra-light canvas and wide lapels for a formal yet comfortable look. What we especially like about the line is the 1950s style contrast of colour between jacket and trousers, perfect for a cocktail party. Remember that trousers should fit slim and jackets should have a shorter cut. Monochromatic colours like grays, whites and blacks are best, avoid brown.

A silk pocket square adds a touch of elegance and should colour coordinate either with your shirt, tie or trousers. It is also a good idea to play with texture when it comes to belts and shoes whether it be patent leather or an exotic print like python. So whether you fit into all of these categories or just one, keep our suggestions in mind the next time you take stock of your wardrobe and look for quality fabrics and cuts when purchasing the missing pieces to your outfit.

Keep Browsing

Brioni Fall/Winter 2011-12 collection  
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Kenzo boutique listings 
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