Summer Is Here


There are certain things that to me signify summer has arrived. The weather, obviously, is a pretty big one. But it really hits home when I start to see that favourite clothing combination of mine, the blue cotton jacket with white/off-white cotton trousers (read jeans and chinos). Whether you pick white or off white is, I believe, a matter of location. You’ll rarely see an Englishman in white trousers, whereas on the continent, in my experience, the reverse is so.

A look that seems at once both familiar and current, it is essentially a modern reinterpretation of the blue blazer and white flannels, which was the casual uniform of the yacht club, tennis club and seaside promenade of the 20’s and 30’s. As with its forbear it works by playing with contrast.

As I have mentioned before, I consider contrast an invaluable tool for pulling off the label ‘welled dressed’. In the case of the blue jacket and white/off-white trouser there are various contrasts at work. Firstly, there is the contrast of tone; and while at opposite ends of the spectrum they are in my view more sympathetic and less jarring to the eye than mere black and white combined. Both are cold, clinical colours, which sets up a contrast with the heat and dust of a city summer. There is also the contrast of the formal and the informal as represented by the sobriety of the blue jacket and sporting heritage of white trouser.

A look I adopt without fail, the garments combined have a versatility that belie their obvious simplicity. The base colours provide a perfect ground for almost any colour of shirting, and you can alter the relative formality by merely playing with the extremities. Combining these garments with suede loafers and a tie or pocket square and you’re suitable for an afternoon at Lords Cricket ground and dress down Friday. Alternatively, substitute the loafers for coloured Italian driving mocs and an open collar and you’ve covered alfresco lunches by the river.

The summer time wardrobe leaves me cold, but here is one look I have definitely warmed too.


  1. Jake said:

    I think this is a great look, and for a more formal (and sadly rarely needed) style, the jacket can be swapped for a blue DB blazer.

    That said, I think it’s marred in some of these photos by the decision to wear such crotch-hugging trousers. Especially in the top-right picture where the jacket is, in my opinion, a little on the short side, the result is a bit… well, distracting. The chap at the top left has done very well though – I like the small, simple, white line of the pocket square.

    I do actually own a pair of truly white trousers: some cotton ducks that I bought in my rowing days to wear for crew photos with a club blazer, and which now come out just once a year for Henley.

    June 17, 2010
  2. Ron Hitson said:

    That’s a classic traditional look. It’s unfortunately a look we rarely see anymore. Most guys are into wearing “athletic” clothing as apart of their daily wardrobe. Causal is the new formal/semi-formal. I hear many people giving Steve Jobs credit for starting that trend.

    I like semi-formal to formal. I like to look sharp. Even when I go to a baseball game I can be found in a pair of loafers and linen trousers.

    I’m just old school……

    June 17, 2010
  3. John said:

    I can’t quite bring myself to dress like that. It feels too much like a school uniform (yes, I did go to Catholic school).

    June 17, 2010
  4. Patrick said:

    yeah what’s up with the too-tight pants. Those too-tight clothes and overly-shrunken clothes (e.g. Thom Browne) look uncomfortable and impractical and therefore unstylish.

    June 17, 2010
  5. gary said:

    rare is white pants in italy milan where i live

    June 21, 2010
  6. gary said:

    check out pearl grey with white pants and with blue or dark blue suede shoes

    June 21, 2010

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