Spring (and subsequently summer) is just around the corner. This means that unless you live in a colder region, you need to start storing those thick coats in the back of your closet again. Scarves, pea coats, and thick shirts need to be put away.
You’ve worked on your cold weather wardrobe and have a couple decent outfits. Time to do the same for spring and summer. It is actually easier to pick out clothes for warm weather because you don’t have to wear as much.
Lightweight long sleeve button downs, polos, v-necks, and plain t-shirts. Fit is especially important with warm weather shirts because you can’t layer other things on top of them. Before you buy any shirts, make sure that the shoulder seams end exactly at the point where your shoulder ends. Ensure that the shirt does not billow out around your waist even when you’ve been moving.
As to where to try getting polos that fit well, I suggest H&M. Their polos are only $9.95 and fit better than other stores. Another alternative is Target, but their polos don’t fit as well and cost about the same. You can find polos in just about every clothing store out there. They should meet the same general fit measures: shoulder seam at the end of your shoulder, slim fitting, and the sleeve should only go halfway to your elbow.
Lightweight button downs are also easy to come by. But most affordable stores sell button downs that are designed to fit most people, meaning they won’t necessarily be slim fitting. If you find a shirt you just have to buy and it fits decently other than around your waist/stomach, then try buying it and getting it tailored. This will probably not be as cheap as just buying a shirt that fits decently to start with though. Target is a decent source for button downs; I particularly like the Converse One Star shirts they sell. There are probably better options out there, go and look.
Jackets and Sweaters
If you’re in a cooler region, you may want a lightweight jacket or a sweater to keep you warm on chilly evenings. A thin sweater on top of the previously mentioned long sleeve button down will look classy and keep you warm. Lightweight jackets will go a long way to act as a wind breaker and are useful with typical spring rain. If you’re somewhere warmer (like here in Georgia), avoid layering like this because you will sweat.
Pants & Shorts
Both are viable options. If you wear pants or jeans, find something light/thin. You can buy lighter weight denim (8-12 oz instead of thicker 22 oz) if your usual jeans are too stifling. Crisp, slim fitting chinos will always look clean.
For shorts however, I have one point. Avoid cargo shorts unless you’re actually using all those frakking pockets. Instead, try to find slim fitting five pocket chino shorts, ideally with a narrow leg opening and ending just above your knee. Too short and you’ll look like you are going to play tennis in the ’80s, too long and you’ll look like a teenager again.
You can get away with different colors for both pants and shorts during warm seasons. Red chinos are even a possibility. But tan, white, navy and other neutral colors will do well.
This is easy since we’re talking about casual situations here. Canvas shoes (Chuck Taylors, Vans Authentics, etc.), boat shoes, bucks, and mocs are all options. Open toed shoes and sandals are not, avoid them unless you’re at the beach or have ridiculously good looking feet (you probably don’t). Toss some baby powder in those shoes and go without socks or buy some no-show socks.
I highly suggest trying some Sperry Top-Siders.
Sunglasses, hats, and other accessories
For sunglasses, go with some aviators or wayfarers. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money on sunglasses, I suggest these cheap wayfarers. I have two pairs and I treat them terribly, yet they are still holding together. So they aren’t bad for being right at $4 after tax and shipping.
Avoid hats unless you’re at a sporting event or need one to keep the sun off your head. If you must wear a hat, please don’t wear a fedora. Wear something simple with a color that is close to another that you’re already wearing.
A watch is the only thing you should have on your wrist. Keep it simple and cheap, get something with a NATO strap and a white face. Try a Timex weekender for a cheap option, which is available for $20 after shipping/tax over at Gifting Grace after the coupon code “FebFamily”. Assume that this code expires at the end of February.
-billow-y, ill fitting shirts that make you look like a cloud
-Thick fabric. You will sweat.
-cut off denim shorts (or denim shorts in general)
-wrap around sunglasses
-flip flops and sandals
-running shoes unless you’re actually going running
After getting a decent couple of outfits put together or at least gathering warm weather basics, you should be able to look classy and relaxed around your friends.