The summer months are often littered with invitations to weddings or birthday parties when you need to dress up but rarely to these events require the formal attire of black tie or even cocktail attire since many of them begin in the day. That's wear lightweight unstructured tailoring comes into play, and especially suits and separates cut in fabrics such as linen and linen blends.
It's also the one time of the year that you can ditch navy, charcoal and the darker hues and opt for lighter, brighter tones such as pastels, and our favourite, cream. The cream, ivory or beige suit is the perfect tone, not only for smart summer events but also everyday wear. It's like a blank canvas that you can dress up or dress down with ease, using tonal colours and pastels to create a soft, sophisticated look, or by incorporating much bolder or darker hues to create a strong and confident contrast. Those are the two definitive ways we'll be styling our cream tailoring year so let's get into exactly how...
The tonal look
Going for a tonal look that doesn't deviate away from soft pastel tones couldn't be easier with our relaxed unstructured cream linen suiting. Keep the tones understated and let the softly tailored cut of the suit do most of the talking. A dusty pink shirt, or baby blue polo is a nice way to complement the suit tone, likewise a pale yellow tee, or even cream on cream.
Perhaps what's more important when opting for a tonal look are the textures rather than the tones. This season, we've incorporating an amazing diversity of tactile fabrics that would nicely complement the slubby texture of a cream linen suit. From waffle-knit jersey to terry cord, varying your textures gives the look much more depth than if everything was, say, flat cotton. When it comes to bookending the look with shoes, that's your chance to vary the colour scheme with a pair of tan loafers, but again, think textures such as suede or a perforated leather slip-on.
The contrast look
A stronger, bolder look but just as simple to pull off, the contrast look is all about putting the suit in the passenger seat and allowing the your more visible shirt to do the driving. Cream is the perfect backdrop for darker tones and more vibrant patterns so think about colours such as brown, forest green, navy as well as brighter hues such as burnt orange. Patterns that really pop work well too, so don't be shy when it comes to incorporating geometric styles such as stripes and polka dots.
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One way to boost the contrast is by wearing a camp collar shirt outside of your cream suit lapels rather than inside. You can also add a contrast pocket square to dial up the volume. The same goes with shoes as per the tonal look - goes for dark tones with interesting textures or shapes, so double monks or suede loafers always make for a fine flourish. Lo-fi white or cream sneakers will pass the test too depending on how informal the occasion is.