7 Spring-to-Summer Fashion Tips For Style-Focused Guys

We’ll get to spring weather eventually (even though Mother Nature is taking her sweet ass time this year), and when we do you can step out in style (like you do) with these 7 seasonable fashion tips that’ll keep all eyes on you.

Skip the heavy hair products

Spring and summer are about being light and fresh, and that extends to your complete look, including your hair.

“As the weather gets warmer, men should change out the gel and heavy hairspray for a more natural and casual look with a sea salt hair spray, says Matt Rutter, resident grooming enthusiast at Otter Grooming Co. “Hair always looks better after a day at the beach and recreating this look at home is not as relaxing as swimming in the ocean, but it’s also not as difficult as it may seem.”

First, wash with Barber Surgeons Guild HCO1 shampoo and conditioner to restore the moisture the sun sucked out after a day at the beach, then style with one of Otter’s sea salt hair sprays, like coconut or Citramint, or tussle with BSG’s texture liniment.

Stock your closet with warm-weather basics

Classics never go out of style, which is why the foundation of your wardrobe should consist of always-in-fashion cotton T-shirts, polos, and oxfords, along with chinos pant and shorts in an array of colors.

Adds style expert Devoreaux Wilson, “A few [other] spring and summer men’s stylish essentials include a field jacket, fabric watch, and white sneakers. In the spring and summer seasons, colors you wear should be lighter and brighter. The fabrics you wear should be lighter and thinner as well. For example, navy chinos work as a year-round wardrobe staple, but particularly in the spring and summer a khaki pair of chinos is great to wear.”

Layer for more body confidence

I always layer in the spring and summer because you never know when there will be a swift shift in temperature because of a passing storm or because of the variation inland versus by the shore. It’s good to have a light jacket or sweater on hand.  

Image consultant Patrick Kenger also reveals another reason to layer that many of us will find helpful if the beach-body-by-Memorial-Day plan didn’t quite pan out.

“Guys with a little extra in the midsection get nervous when the warmer months come around since this is the time of more revealing clothing,” he says. “If you are a bit heavier, use layering as a way to disguise your belly. Wearing a darker colored T-shirt with a lighter colored unbuttoned collared shirt on top will drape over the midsection from the shoulders, making things look symmetrical. The lighter color on top with the darker color on the bottom will draw the eye away from the centerline of the body.”

Express your creativity with prints

I wear a lot of plaid in the fall and winter months – when I’m not bundled up in wool sweaters – so I like to get out of that rut ’round about June by introducing exciting prints to my closet that both capture the essence of the season while allowing me to express myself creatively without saying a word. Personally, I love J. Crew Factory’s printed short-sleeves, but I’ve found printed tops – from tees to button-downs – at plenty of other retailers that have made their way into my mix.

Limit the trendy items, especially if you’re a man of a certain age

I’m not saying you need to dress like dirty grandpa after age 30, but you should dress like a grownup – and that means avoiding the most obnoxious trends of the season. (I’m looking at you, man romper.)

“Trendy is a bit of a bad word in my industry,” says Vanessa Valiente, author of the blog V-Style for Men. “My clients don’t want to look like they’re dragged with the tide of fashion. Instead they want to dress appropriately for their lifestyle, but in a fresh and personal way.”

For conservative dressers, she recommends long-sleeve microprint dress shirts, but for more daring clients, bolder prints that involve bananas or animals are perfectly acceptable.

“A lot of designers are producing these great whimsical prints, but Bonobos is killing it,” she says.

Wilson also urges limiting trendy pieces.

“If you happen to like a particular trend – for example, a spring/summer 2018 men’s style trend is vertical stripes – you can always get a few trendy pieces, but I recommend you buy fewer trendy items and truly invest in the classic, basic wardrobe staples,” he says. “Season after season, you can continue to wear the classic wardrobe staples and mix and match with a few trendy pieces throughout the year.”

Have a summer suit on hand

If you enjoy a robust, sometimes fancy social life, you’ll need a suit for summer –one that won’t leave you soaking wet out in the hot sun. In that case, you only have two options – seersucker and linen – and I highly recommend the Thompson collection from J.Crew Factory (I’m not a paid spokesperson for the brand, by the way; I just shop there a lot), which features both styles of suits for around $250 when it’s on deep discount (buy around holidays for the best deals). I own several styles of this suit, and I’m quite loyal to it. It’s slim without being tight, fitted without being stuffy, and it allows air to hit all the areas that need to breath. Plus you’ll look fly AF, and that’s really what it’s all about.

Limit the neon and pastel

Light and bright pinks, purples, yellows, and greens are everywhere you look on racks from March to June, and while you should throw those colors into your rotation, don’t go overboard. Keep it simple with neutrals as a base and then add in a pop or two of louder color.

“This keeps you fun and stylish without making you look like you just finished yachting with the Easter bunny,” Kenger quips.

I use my pops in accessories like printed slip-ons (Bucketfeet is one of my favorites), sunglasses and backwards caps, while keeping my top and bottom game neutral and unbranded. This tactic satisfies my desire to stand out from a room full of boring outfits while drawing attention to fun accessories that I’m excited to talk about. Compliments all day. No complaints here.