The Do’s & Don’ts Of Summer Dressing


When it comes to fashion choices, what to wear in the summer can undoubtedly be tricky to figure out. But fear not, here at The Idle Man we have come up with some useful advice on what not to wear for men during summer.

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Men and their wardrobes are often unprepared to deal with extreme weather conditions and as a consequence resort to drastic measures and how could we blame you? If you can’t get the question “what should I wear this summer?” out of your head, you’re in the right place. We are here to guide you through the dos and don’ts for summer wear during the hot season.

What Not to Wear in Summer

Choosing what not to wear during summer can be a tough process and you’ll have to operate by exclusion. One of the easiest ways to tackle the hot weather would be wearing a skirt but unless you’re Scottish, in Scotland and at a wedding or formal event, please don’t start wearing kilts – they’re also mainly made of wool so it’d be counterproductive.

mens kilt outfit
Unless you’re Scottish, kilts are not be the answer

Summer is also infamous for a rise in fickle trends. Just like with most things in life, some of them are good but a lot of them are really, terribly, awfully bad so stir away from them. And it goes without saying warm clothes are obviously something not to wear in the summer so put them where they belong: in your closet. Ban them from your immediate living space so that way you can avoid any weird temptation to follow silly trends.

What Not to Wear – Tips for Men

It’s warm, we know. Complaining won’t result in lowering temperatures so you better get ready to fight the hot weather in style. Summer is usually really fun, we get to have barbecues, enjoy the great outdoors and so on. But when it comes to what to wear, summer is a minefield of fashion faux pas. Here’s what you should steer clear of.

Sunglasses Indoors

This is a rule for all seasons but it can be more tempting to wear sunglasses indoors during summer. But even Tinie Tempah looks a bit like a twat when he does that. Unless you’re at a rave – and arguably even then you’re pushing it – please don’t wear sunglasses indoors, you’re not in The Matrix. Plus, putting them on your head or on your shirt collar isn’t that hard, is it?

Tinie Tempah sunglasses indoors
Sunglasses indoors doesn’t even work for celebs

Not Wearing a Shirt

If you live in the city and you’re going to the shop or the pub with your mates, not wearing a shirt is not an option. If you’re doing that, you’ve officially crossed the proverbial line. No matter how proud you are of that ripped body you’ve worked so hard for, it’s still not acceptable. It’s understandable that with desperate times come desperate measures but please, keep it classy and by all means enjoy that sun in your garden but in public, keep a little for the imagination.

Leather Jackets

Leather jackets are the epitome of cool, don’t get me wrong. But they’re not exactly ideal during summer. If you’ll be sweating in your leather jacket, it doesn’t really make you look cool, right? Denim jackets and lightweight bomber jackets are perfect for this season so why not give them a go?

Man Leather Jacket adidas trainers sunglasses
Leather jackets may look cool, but they don’t feel so cool in summer

Capri Pants

Just because you can buy crocs, it doesn’t mean you should. The same goes for Capri pants, just because they exist, you don’t have to buy them. Unless you take tourists for rides on a gondola in the canals of Venice for a living, there should be no reason why you should wear them. Capri pants create awkward proportions as they break the natural line of your leg and therefore make you look shorter. Nobody wants that.

Cargo Shorts

The same rules apply for Capri Pants. 3/4 lengths are just not flattering, forget they even exist, put that thought to the back of your mind and hope it doesn’t come back. Sure, all those pockets can be helpful making cargo shorts a tempting option but let’s be honest, no one has that much stuff to carry around.

david beckham cargo pants summer shirt
Even David Beckham can’t pull off cargo shorts

Sandals With Socks

This rule shouldn’t be limited to summertime. You should never wear sandals with socks. Never. Especially white socks. That’s where fashion and style go to die holding hands. It ranks number one in the seven ‘what not to wear as a fashion statement’ deadly sins. It’s the aesthetic and just as painful equivalent of someone punching you in the eye. We can’t really stress enough how horrid they are.

White socks and sandals are never a good option


What Not to Wear to Work

Let’s start with the fact that in a perfect world no one should work in the summer, it’s a borderline capital punishment. Ideally, we should have three months of a holiday but we can’t put business on hold just because we’d rather be at the beach. Nailing the men’s summer business attire can be tricky but here at The Idle Man we have put together a guide to get you thorugh.

Now, no matter how high the temperature is, it’s unlikely that you work on the set of a Sean Paul video. For that reason, avoid exposing too much skin. You should still aim to keep it professional even if the thought of starting to take off your actual skin has crossed your mind many a time.

Vests and Tank Tops

If you’re going to the gym or doing some gardening, by all means, wear them but remember you’re at work! The only profession in which vests are tolerated is being a lifeguard. There’s a substantial difference between a relaxed look and looking like you’ve been stranded on a deserted island for weeks. T-shirts, polo shirts, shirts with rolled up sleeves or striped short sleeved shirts all make an excellent choice.

mens white vest striped top summer
Keep the vests for your own time, not work time

Short Shorts

Shorts are a summer essential, you couldn’t possibly survive the heat without them but don’t get all excited and cut up your old jeans and turn them into short shorts. So, as a ‘what not to wear tip’ for me and no matter how great your legs and bottom look, your co-workers really don’t need to know you that well so keep your shorts at a reasonable length. If you can wear shorts to the office, keep them tailored and smart and make sure you pair them with a polo or short sleeved shirt.

Short shorts suit unfashionable
Short shorts are an all time no


Sweatpants and Sweat Shorts

Once again, save them for the gym or taking your dog out for a walk – if you really must wear them. But the office isn’t your living-room and giving the mental image of you chilling on your couch being lazy is the last thing you want in a work environment – unless you’re a personal trainer, or  a rapper, of course.

sweat pants gym wear mens sports
This is gym attire, not one for the office

How to Dress for Summer

With the summer fashion don’ts now out of the way we can finally take a closer look at some men’s fashion tips for summer. The aim here is to be functional whilst keeping it cool, quite literally as well.


Finding the right sunglasses to suit your feature is vital. Even thought you might use them for two or three months of the year, having the perfect pair of sunglasses is a great investment and it does make one hell of a difference. These classic Ray-Ban sunglasses are famous for looking good on basically anyone but you can experiment with different frames until you find the best one for you.


Summer Layering

As counterintuitive as summer layering sounds, we all know that you can’t rely on British weather. One second it’s sunny and the sky is totally clear but before you know it you’ll find yourself in the middle of a thunderstorm. Don’t be fooled by the nice weather, it lies. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and carry a summer blazer or a lightweight or denim jacket with you.



T-Shirts are one of the best ways to keep cool during summer. You can play around with colours to create a summery look but beware of the dreaded sweat patches, if you know you can handle it a bright coloured T-shirt will channel the summer vibes. However if the weather is unbelievably hot beware of fitted t-shirts as they will contribute to making you feel warmer and show off sweat patches very easily, so choose a relaxed and flowy fit instead.


White T-Shirts

The colour white is that friend you hang out with all the time during the summer. During the year you don’t really keep in touch but when summer comes you’re ready to party. The benefits of stocking up on white t-shirts are many. As opposed to black, white reflects sunlight instead of absorbing it and therefore making you warmer. White tees are incredibly versatile and go with anything from jeans to chinos to shorts. Plus, they really show off a good tan.


White and Washed Jeans

The beauty of summer is that you can put those dark and tedious winter colours on hold for a bit. Not only faded and white denim is fresher than your autumn/winter raw rinse jeans but they’re also great to channel that cowboy vibe. These Nudie jeans are exactly what I’m talking about.



With flip-flops finally out of the picture, canvas plimsolls are the quintessential summer shoe. There are so many different kinds out there and some of them are just waiting for you to pick them. Brands like Converse, Vans, Keds and Superga are an obvious choice when it comes to plimsolls but they come in different varieties so you can shape your style and keep it original. Why not try with these slip-on Vans or this pair of Spring Court Canvas Plimsolls?


Summer Casual Attire

Baseball Hats

Baseball hats and caps are a summer essential and a constant source of shade to protect your face from the sun. Ideal for a relaxed stroll in the park and they’re an excellent everyday accessory while also looking effortlessly cool. Caps and hats are the key to nailing the street style look and can be paired with many casual outfits.


Henley and Patterned T-shirts

Men can’t really have enough Henley T-shirts in their wardrobes, they are a basic essential and convey an effortless street style. Patterned and printed T-shirts are always a fun and more visual way to give that extra kick to your look. This is your chance to be more creative and perhaps experiment with more unusual designs and motifs.


Short Sleeved Shirts

Summer always calls for short sleeved shirts, they’re a mandatory men’s fashion tip for summer. Can’t recommend them enough. Patterned shirts are a great example of how functional and versatile dressing for the summer can be, spot on for any casual gathering with your friends. They add some fun and festival vibes to your outfit while also keeping you super cool.

Just like cotton, linen comes from a natural fibre and it’s a great ally to have during summer. Linen’s natural fibre makes clothing absorbent and incredibly fresh, breezy and transpiring. A linen shirt feels like wearing a cloud and it helps create that seaside vibe when it comes in its natural colour.


Distressed and Ripped Jeans

Distressed and ripped jeans can make anyone look cooler and there’s a reason why they will probably never go out of fashion. Apart from that, they guarantee extra ventilation thanks to the rips in the fabric. Try them with a nice pair of white sneakers. They may not seem like you’re immediate summer piece but paired with a loose shirt or T-shirt, they can be perfect for a summer BBQ.


Summer Office Wear

Suit Shorts

Unless you’re required to wear a suit, wearing shorts to work will do wonders for you. If you’re lucky enough to work in a casual office you can treat yourself to a pair of chino or denim shorts. Although, if you must wear a suit you can find your way around stuffy dress codes by wearing cotton or linen suits or suits with tailored shorts. They are the perfect solution to your summer business wear dilemmas. Nick Wooster is the godfather of suit shorts if you’re after some inspiration. Take a look at our best shorts.


Chino and Denim Shorts

Remember when we discussed not showing too much skin? When it comes to wearing shorts, fit and length are key. If you can wear shorts to work, don’t throw your privilege away by wearing tight short-shorts or worse, booty shorts. No matter how great your legs are, your co-workers really don’t need to see that much of you. Keep the length slightly above the knee, perhaps with rolled up ends and always opt for a relaxed fit over a more revealing skin-tight pair.


Shirts With Folded Up Sleeves

If Ryan Gosling can wear shirts with rolled up sleeves on the red carpet in Cannes, you can definitely wear your sleeves rolled up to work. It’s a great way to fight the heat with elegance, but rolling up your shirt sleeves to perfection can be a tricky business. Here are some shirts that will work great for this look.


Polo Shirts

A polo shirt can be romantically described as the love child of a shirt and a t-shirt. With polo shirts, the best qualities of shirts and t-shirts come together and are a great asset if you’re undecided on what to wear to work. They come in a variety of fabric compositions but just like t-shirts, cotton polo shirts are indispensable for the summer and the collar they’ve inherited from their shirt side of the family make them an excellent choice for the office.



Tennis Shoes

Canvas, rubber-soled sneakers such as All Stars, Vans and others are a great option to keep your feet cool and can be easily dressed up with some sand or navy chinos and a white shirt. They can be elevated to a smart/casual look with minimum effort with these Dickies chinos and before you know it you’ve nailed your summer business attire.


Boat Shoes

Boat shoes are a great alternative to trainers if you’re looking for something slightly more smart-casual. But remember, try not to wear them with socks or if you don’t like the feeling of wearing shoes on naked feet, make sure you wear a pair of rich cotton invisible socks. these are lighter and perfect for summer while also look smart and suitable for the smart casual office.


Desert Boots

You can never do wrong with a classic pair of desert boots. They will suit any occasion you might find yourself in so you can go to your barbeque straight from the office without having to bring a change of shoes with you. Suitable for both the summer and winter months, investing in a pair is definitely worth your time.


How to Wear Pants in the Summer

With a huge variety of trousers to choose from, let’s have a quick look at the ones you need to include in your summer wardrobe.

Wide Legged Trousers

No matter how timeless the skinny jean and skinny fit in general is and probably always will be, wide legged trousers have made one hell of a comeback in this season’s catwalks. This is one of the few summer trends that actually make logical sense and for that reason, you shouldn’t dismiss it, quite the contrary. Having a wider leg guarantees a relaxed and comfortable fit and it won’t constrain you like a skinny fit would. An additional layer of skin in the summer is more than unwanted.


What Not to Wear During Summer

  • Be selective when it comes to accessories such as hats – you can always count on a baseball cap.
  • Forget about ridiculous trends, save your warm clothes for when they’re actually needed.
  • Please remove the existence of capri pants, cargo shorts and affiliates from your brain. They don’t suit anyone.
  • Wearing shorts to work is always a good idea as long as they’re not too short and fitted.
  • Make sensible choices when it comes to footwear. Carefully avoid flip flops and espadrilles when at work and opt for desert boots, boat or tennis shoes instead.
lookbook mens summer style blue denim jacket floral shirt blue chino shorts clarks
The perfect outfit to go from day to night

On That Note

Battling the hot weather is no easy task but now you have the know-how to avoid all the fashion crimes that unbearable temperatures might lead you to commit. You’ll never be in doubt on what to wear to work so if you feel like you need to edit and update your wardrobe, this is the perfect time to do so my friend.


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