For many of us, holidays represent a perennial style conundrum - how to purchase summertime kit that will also fit into our wardrobes back home. The simple answer is to go for seasonal styles in timeless silhouettes to create an easy-to-wear transitional wardrobe that will look great year after year. Even if your holiday plans have gone a bit sideways this summer, we've streamlined our seasonal collection into four vacation categories so wherever you do go (even if it's a day trip to the pub), you're the best-dressed guy there.
Staycate, don't vacate
So you don’t fancy traversing an airbridge or want to risk getting caught in a regional lockdown overseas - we hear you. That leaves you with a staycation, which has its many plus points, not least it’s the most sustainable option. But it’s also a great way of reconnecting with the country you’re in, supporting local businesses, and - if you go the camping route - getting outdoors. In fact we’d thoroughly recommend you dispense with a few creature comforts, dust off your tent and head into the wild. Of course, that doesn’t mean your sense of style goes the way of your tent pegs and gets buried - you never know who you might bump into on a hike. From the ground up, we suggest you invest in some rugged footwear and it comes no better than Paraboot. Their Avoriaz boots are a work of art but are designed to put in the miles. When it comes to trousers, the midweight cotton of our Drawstring Trousers in Eden Tobacco is a good idea and the neutral colour will pair with most other hues. A seersucker polo shirt is just the right blend of style and utility, especially on warm days in the field when the cooling air pockets created by the dimpled fabric really coming into their own. A good summer knit is also advisable for cooler evenings so check out our Blenheim jumper which is woven in organic cotton. Kit-wise, we have an absolute treat for you in the form of Snow Peak, new to Oliver Spencer Studio. The Japanese outdoor equipment brand makes stunning camping equipment of the very highest spec.
Summer In The City
The short city break requires some stealthy packing to avoid ridiculous baggage charges so you need to take a tight edit of clothing that can take you from beach to bar without too much faff. Think short-sleeved shirts, casual shorts and sneakers for exploring city streets during the day, then switch it up with a soft unstructured linen jacket and judo trousers when the sun goes down.
Koji, our Store Manager at Berwick Street, Soho, recently came back from a trip to the French port city of Marseille, which boasts Cote D’Azur weather with a distinct urban pulse. “I practically lived in my Havana Shirt Hattison White and Drawstring Shorts Kildale Forest Green!” If you haven’t been to Marseille, it’s one of France’s most vibrant and diverse cities with a rich cultural heritage. Here’s Koji with the intel:
“We stayed in a really nice little area south of the city in the 7th arrondissement, called Endoume, really close to the coast with plenty of swimming spots packed with locals. Most of my days were spent chasing the sun: Head down to Rue Malmousque for a beautiful sunset - it’s a little public walkway along the coastline line near a military training academy where people go to hang out. We saw salsa dancing, high cliff diving and just everyone having a good time. We loved it so much we went back the next day to swim and laze in the sun. Café de Labbaye, also in the 7th, is great for a drink out on the street after a day in the sun. Nestled up in the hill just behind the port, you get a grew view of the sun setting behind the hills.
“If you’re looking for that postcard-perfect scene, catch a bus or a train to Cassis and from there walk over into the Calanque National park through Port Miou over to Calanque d’En-Vau. It’s not a hike for the faint hearted. It is about 2 hours’ walk each way, with a steep incline, which in peak heat is hard work, but well worth it once you get to the cove for a swim. You can only get there by boat or by the hike so prepare accordingly.
“Eating-wise, there are so many amazing places in Marseille, but check out Les Buvards near the old port, which boasts a great wine selection and plenty of fresh seafood and vegetable dishes. La Mercerie, nearby, is also a great spot in the city, serving us a late 5-course dinner with amazing wine. The menu is really well thought out and the owner and staff go out of their way to look after you.”
Jumping on a moped or bike and hitting up a different beach every day of your trip is one of the true joys of being on an island. From Croatia to Greece via the Balearics, island life moves at a different pace and your holiday wardrobe should reflect this cadence. Laidback, doesn’t need to be careless though. Casual fits are the way forward, with striped tees and short-sleeved shirts making for easy and versatile pieces for day trips to the beach. Our Box T-shirts are an easy and sophisticated way to add pattern to a summer look and can be nicely styled with other neutral tones. Add a simple layer in the form of an overshirt for sundown drinks - our Eltham shirts are perfect in this regard, being of a midweight cotton substantial enough to keep your warm on a moped - and switch out the shorts for a pair of judo trousers, our most casual style. Summer tones work best - sand, pastels, khaki - especially if you’re packing light, since they’ll work seamlessly with one another and keep you cool to boot.
Your footwear wants to be comfortable but also pretty hardwearing for scampering around on rocks and coastal walks. US Rubber’s Military Lo-Tops fit the bill nicely, being lightweight, rugged and with minimalist design that works well with virtually everything.
La Dolce Vita
If there is a more stylish holiday than a trip to Italy, then we haven’t found it yet. From Sardinia to Sicily via the Amalfi Coast and Capri. Italy is a smorgasbord of sights, smells, tastes and ridiculously theatrical hand gestures. Italy just knows how to do summer. It’s a source of national pride, so ensure your holiday wardrobe gives it the respect it deserves. Whether you’re living la dolce vita at Hotel Il Pelicano or taking a more casual approach in Puglia, it’s wise to adopt the laidback art of ‘sprezzatura’ when dressing in Italy. That translates to a casually considered approach, with a liberal measure of lightweight unstructured tailoring blended with some classy short-sleeved shirts that will easily hold their own in a smart setting. Linen is the perfect fabric for the Italian climate and straddles smart and casual with aplomb (just mind that spaghetti al pomodoro over your front). Linen shirting and shorts are ideal resortwear items for the day, but for the evening think casual separates such as our Brookes jacket and pleat trousers. Paraboot’s new season loafers are a great way to bookend the look, too.