This is the time of year where my mortgage payments are put under severe stress by my email inbox. Every brand and online store I have ever browsed or bought from sends me offers of 50% off this and 60% off that or 70% off this other thing that I really “need”. The Summer sale season is here and as a certain Oscar Wilde said “I can resist anything except temptation.” It does give an opportunity to get a couple of stylish items at a fraction of their full price though, so as long as I am only tempted by stuff that I actually do need, I’ll be alright. As will the family home repayments.
It’s a bit mad that you can be offered the chance to pick up swimming shorts at half price before even the first summer package holiday suitcase has been zipped shut. That’s the way that clothing commerce works these days though, so we won’t be looking any stylish gift horses in the mouth. Money is limited for most of us, so prioritising is vital. So-
What I consider important is;
- How much wear am I going to get out of it?
- How long is the item going to last me?
- Am I going to wear it next year and the year after?
- Do I need it?
- If I do, is it definitely an upgrade on what I already have?
Obviously seasonal, but a good pair will last you several summers. They will keep their shape, size and comfort if they are good quality. I have bought brands such as Paul Smith & Hugo Boss in sales season in recent years and these have kept their shape and colour. You may not necessarily want your shorts to be around in 5 years time, but I don’t see the point in buying for the short-terms sake.
Orlebar Brown are setting the style bar high just now for men’s swimwear. You may baulk at the prices, but worth checking them out and knowing the cut to look for as they are right on the money with the cut and colours. Think Mad Men poolside look. Beautiful blues and greens. I do covet a pair!
There are some lovely patterns around just now. Not sure about how they would age though. I’d be more inclined to go for a subdued pattern if anything. A smart plain blue, red or navy would probably be a better bet.
The style setting for swimming gear is short to medium length recently. Long shorts are out for us older guys. Forget anything that doesn’t end significantly above the knee. Looking like a man-boy is not the aim here. We want to project the image of a Dad, older guy, mature man….whatever, who has his shit together.
Much same as for swimming shorts, but longer shorts are definitely ok for strolling around in at my age. Depends on what you have already. Go for some tailored shorts if you don’t have any of these. My wife loves them, especially when teamed with a shirt before getting some dinner with the kids on the balmy evenings abroad. Navy, beige, green all work well with white or blue shirts for daytrips or nightime. Unsurprisingly, mine don’t get many outings in Ireland or Scotland. It does feel good having exclusive holiday-only clothes though! Change of scenery and wardrobe.
A “special relationship” should exist between chinos and older guys. Yes, I love wearing denim, but it doesn’t really work in August in Italy or the south of France. Chinos are your ally here. Chinos are always in the summer sales and are really versatile. Massimo Dutti do nice ones. H&M have an extensive range (go with premium or ethical lines). Paul Smith, NN07 (No Nationality), Gant and J Crew are more expensive, but last well. I love grey (see below) at the moment. Nice change from sand or navy.
Take them on holiday and wear them with loafers and a shirt. Bring them home and wear them to work. Result. A definite one for the summer sales and versatility makes them great all-rounders.
A few guys I see down the supermarket at weekends could do with swapping chinos in for the tracksuit bottoms that depressingly seem to be the go-to option for a lot guys my age. Sorry, you can do better lads. I know tracksuit bottoms are easy, but so are chinos. Chinos look a hell of a lot better though.
Espadrilles (Rivieras pair below) or loafers are summer shoes of choice for me. Relatively inexpensive, but the good ones are quite robust. Comfortable without socks as well. These are always marked down in the summer sales. Expect to pay 40-50 quid in the sales for a good pair. Go for a good sole on your espadrille. It will wear better. Wear them as slippers after the holiday if you like. Value for money or what?
Driving shoes can also be great for travelling in. As if you are tackling airport security queues then you better be lace-less or lose an extra 2 minutes from your life removing your shoes.
All can be worn in a recklessly cool and casual manner poolside, with the kids at playground or with your partner over a bottle of wine at a candlelit dinner (here’s wishing!)
Enjoy the shopping!