Summer weekend fun jackets — A year ago, I would’ve worn something like this to the office during the workweek, but no more.
I’ve said this before, but when I first started this blog and began trying stuff out, I tended to dress quite “loudly” (like I think a lot of guys do when they first discover this hobby).
But over time I began to thinking about context and consequently toned things down. I don’t consider myself a dandy — it’s not my personality — as I’m more conservative and reserved around people. For work, I don’t want to meet people and have them be distracted with the obnoxiousness of color in my clothing. This is why I’ve chosen to stick to monochromatic outfits.
Since purging my wardrobe of nearly all colors outside of blue tones and neutrals, these are the two jackets to survive. Why? Because I think summer weekends deserve some jackets that tend to reflect my mood and they are something that allows me to break the rules of the uniform and have some fun. For me, I think loud jackets like these only work on summer weekend days, as I can’t really think of a situation in my life where they would be appropriate otherwise.
The jackets are both in the “sack” cut and vintage finds I had altered by my tailor. The madras is a 3/2 roll, the cotton navy a 2-button. Both have wider lapels, flap pockets, center vents and half-lining (my only gripe). Of course, I do have some personal rules for wearing these jackets:
- White shirts: I don’t think light blue or a striped shirts would go well with either of these jackets. The neutrality of white contrasts the best against the multiple colors competing for visual attention. White also tends to look better against tanned skin in the summer, bringing a richness to your face. In this case, I’ve gone with a long-sleeve cutaway-collar polo shirt, but white linen dress shirts work nicely for humid weather.
- White trousers: Again, white offsets the loud colors nicely as a neutral. They’re a pain to keep clean and sangria is their sworn enemy, but nothing says “summer” better than being able to wear white linen trousers. You could go with stone or a light tan, too.
- Suede laced shoes: I’d prefer bucks or saddle shoes, something distinctly American with a blobby toe for the reason that these jackets have an American cut. If you’re wearing Italian-influenced jackets that are cut super slim and unconstructed, then perhaps suede tassel loafers or driving moccasins would be better.
- White linen pocket square: The jackets are overwhelming, keep the accessories simple.
The key here is to keep the jacket as the only “shouting” element you’re wearing — after all, if everyone’s shouting then no one gets heard. This is pretty common advice whenever someone asks a question like, “How do I wear bright color chinos?” and is given the answer of surrounding that element with toned-down pieces.
I feel that advice comes from the right idea, but is explained incompletely. A blue OCBD or denim or khaki chinos are all “toned-down” pieces that according to the advice should work, but actually would result in a less coherent look. Perhaps in another season, but for the jacket’s full radiance to work, you have to set it against a background that’s optimized to not distract from its color in any way, which is why I’d argue for white above all colors.
This is also why I don’t think loud jackets using bright colors work outside of summer. You can’t often successfully wear white during the other seasons. Fall and winter is more muted in color palette and requires a different way to incorporate the idea of “loud”. You either use color in a variety of earth tones and complimentary colors with darker hues in a loud pattern for countrywear or you use high-contrast neutrals in a monochrome palette for citywear — and neither of those really appeal to me. The former is too English, the latter too “fashion-y”.
So, enjoy the summer of bright color while you can. Mojitos will be out of season all too soon.