The Worst of Summer, Style Wise

I hate summer. Well, I like running and biking and playing sports, but I strongly believe that sweating should be reserved for the gym, the track, and the soccer pitch. Yesterday, with the temperature in the high eighties and the humidity reaching 93% (and in my opinion, anything over 50% humidity is unconscionable), I was sweating just going a block to get lunch. And getting home, it was even worse. I grew up in Canada, so spare me the “You’d miss it if it were gone” speech. No, give me cool, crisp air that nips at your nose and a hot drink in hand any day. Yesterday, I was threatening to move our family to Norway, where the weather is reasonable year round.

I have been looking forward to fall collections, and already have a charcoal wool herringbone Bedford jacket by Engineered Garments and a Wings&Horns thermal henley preordered. Just the last week I bought a Martin Margiela jacket in the vain hope that global warming was just a hoax, and that it would dip into the 50s in mid-July. One additional thing I hate about summer is that no-one really knows how to dress for 90+ weather. I wear jeans and a tee or short sleeve shirt, figuring that even naked, I am not that much more comfortable. And I wear interesting belts in an attempt to look reasonably stylish. But all the little things that irk me in the winter about poorly dressed men irk me more in the summer.

Yesterday, I was at the airport. There was a fat, balding, jowled man with a Nascar t-shirt (supporting Dale Jr., if it matters), khaki shorts, and hiking boots. Hiking boots? Hey buddy, you have trouble climbing a few flights of stairs. He was also wearing a Bluetooth headset, as if someone important, like the president, might need him, pronto. Fooling nobody.

And then there is the Young Gangsta look, favored by suburban urchins everywhere, and seen at a mall close to you. These young men favor fitted caps by brands like New Era (tags kept on), baggy tees, shorts probably the right size for Shaq, and, the worst of all, pool sandals with white socks. My interpretation of the narrative in their look is: basketball player gets hit with a dose of shrinking formula, takes of basketball shoes and slips on sandals while they lounge around the locker room trying to figure out a new career.

These guys are typically accompanied by their father, the Corporate Warrior. The corporate warrior wears polo shirts tucked into high waisted khaki shorts, often pleated. Everything is ironed, including his hair and underwear. He wears deck shoes. He has a Blackberry, a cellphone, and a few more digital gew gaws clipped to his belt. He is like a slightly out of shape Batman at Disney world. He plays a round of golf on Saturdays and is secretly in love with his boss.

And the bigger brother of the Young Gangsta and favored son of the Corporate Warrior is the Fratboy. He too wears a polo, but untucked and with the collar popped, baggy khaki shorts held up by a trendy ribbon belt, and a dirty white baseball cap that announces what college he is currently attending. And he is always wearing flip-flops. He lifts weights so that he can impress the girls with his guns. Speaking of which, are there going to be a lot of hotties at the keg party tonight?

At least in the winter, these guys are more typically found indoors rather than walking around outside, messing up the scenery.

See, now aren’t you starting to hate summer a little too:)?


  1. Matt said:

    What does one wear in the summer? It always seems that for men to dress nice means to put on more clothing and for women it means to take more off (I’m refering to dresses, skirts, short shorts, tank tops and such for women). So what do men wear to combat the heat? Jeans hardly seem practical, nor any pants for that matter. I’ve been going with a polo and shorts for the most part, with plain t shirts and some button down short sleeve shirts thrown in on occasion. Yet this sound somewhat like your flat boy look, minus the baseball cap, popped collar, and bagginess.

    July 14, 2007
  2. Bilal said:

    Well, Matt, that’s why summer is hated by many clotheshorses but for me… Call me old fashioned, but summer is pure style when you’re in espadrilles (these are not really original espadrilles but great option:, slim flat front lightweight cotton chinos or linen pants or even “dress” shorts, and casual (could be linen) shirt sleeves rolled up or even plain worn out tee that is a bit short. Look through for some nice summer outfits beyond jeans and t-shirt look.

    July 14, 2007
  3. Eowan said:

    Here’s another “worst of summer” favorite that appeared before me the other day – dark boxers under light seersucker pants. This guy had on his Christmas tree undies, as I was forced to see against my will…

    July 16, 2007

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