When Call Me By Your Name came out in cinemas last year it was hard not to notice Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet’s impeccable preppy style. This summer the focus is on Oxford shirts and a whole lot of stripes gracing the rails of your favourite high street fashion brands as a result. However, don’t forget about the timeless classics.
I’ve chosen the 10 essentials you’ll need to look stylish from head to toe.
Let’s get the most important aspect of sunglasses covered before we go any further. Always make sure you buy shades with UV (ultra violet) protection. The sun omits UV rays which can damage your eyes. Make sure you invest in a proper pair of sunglasses with strong UV protection. Cheap sunglasses tend to have little to no UV protection causing long term damage to your sight. Pay the extra money, it’s worth it. The brands recommended below offer 100% UV protection, or close enough to it.
Now that’s out of the way we can talk style. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer, rectangular style sunglasses are the timeless classics that you’ll look great in, no matter what face shape you have. Timothée Chalamet exudes style with a pair of Wayfarers in the film. Black frames would be the ones to go for if you want to look stylish, without making too much of a fashion statement. If you want to show off your more vibrant side, Ray-Ban Wayfarer shades come in a variety of colours.
Armie Hammer donned a pair of Persol Havana PO0714 sunglasses in the film. Pilot style shades look best on heart, square and oval face shapes. Hammer wore tortoise shell frames. These frames are a more adventurous alternative to black frames.
The Los Angeles brand, Oliver Peoples, is another brand to be considered when looking for chic shades this summer. The Heaton frames are available in black, blue and tortoise shell. Guys with round face shapes should consider the Heaton range. The O’Malley frame is another option. These frames are circular and look best on oval, heart and square faces. If you’re looking for a solid pair of shades, without breaking the bank, Ray-Ban is for you, while Persol and Oliver Peoples are a bit more expensive. No matter which brand you go for this summer, you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth.
2. Oxford shirts, stripes on shirts and floral printed shirts
This summer your go-to shirts should be of the Oxford variety and don’t worry too much about slim fit, instead go for a regular fit. There’s nothing worse than showing off your sweat stains by wearing a too-tight fitting shirt when out and about. Linen and cotton shirts will keep you cool in the summer. Uniqlo, the Japanese fashion brand where you can find great quality Oxford shirts at affordable prices.
There is an array of colours to choose from, but I’d recommend pastel colours like baby blue, cream and light pink for dark or tanned people as these colours will complement darker complexions. However, if you have a pale complexion, these colours are best ignored for fear of creating a washed out look. Green is popular this summer, so for fair-skinned people I’d recommend buying a forest green Oxford shirt to complement your complexion.
Armie Hammer shows how good a green Oxford shirt can look in the film. Royal blue and burgundy red are other colours you could go for when choosing an Oxford shirt. Polo shirts are also essential this summer. Ralph Lauren and Lacoste produce quality polo shirts. The polos come in a wide range of colours to suit different complexions.
Stripes are popular this summer, specifically vertical stripes. However, you should be mindful that Breton tops with their horizontal stripes will never really go out of fashion. Vertical stripe shirts can put greater emphasis on your torso size and height. It’s important to take this into account and maybe opt for a horizontal stripe top or a plain shirt instead if you don’t want to draw attention to certain parts of your body. H.E. Mango will help you earn your stripes.
Statement prints are also on trend this summer. Many high street stores have an array of statement shirts and t-shirts for you, with the focus on tropical prints. So, think floral but try to avoid tacky. It may sound contradictory, but floral shirts can be tasteful. When making any fashion purchase, think about what you would wear it with from your current wardrobe.
It especially applies to statement pieces. Make sure you tone down the rest of your outfit to avoid mixing patterns and wearing too many bright colours at the same time. You can wear a floral print shirt with a suit if the main colour of the shirt goes with the suit. So, for example a navy notched lapel suit would look well with a brown statement floral print shirt. H.E. Mango and Marks & Spencer are where you should be shopping for floral print shirts and t-shirts this summer. If floral statement shirts aren’t your thing, you could opt for a plain crew neck t-shirt from Uniqlo. The brand’s Supima 100% cotton t-shirts come in different colours, are of high quality and fit like a dream. These t’s provide value for money.
3. Navy blazer
The navy blazer will never let you down. It can be worn casually walking around town or when you’re out with friends at a BBQ. Go for an unstructured navy blazer for its versatility; as it can be worn with a t-shirt or a shirt and you still look smart. Regular and slim-fit will work. Slim-fit tends to look neater so will look smarter than regular fit.
Cotton and linen are the fabrics to look out for to keep cool. So, make sure they are listed on the blazer’s composition. Try to avoid manmade fibres like viscose and polyester because they tend not to last as long as natural fibres. Manmade fibres are less breathable, meaning there’s more of a chance of them making you too warm. Go for a two-button blazer and remember to only close the first button when standing. Always leave the last button open. If you sit down with your blazer buttoned it can ruin the lining and shape of the blazer. H.E. Mango and Massimo Dutti are the brands to shop with this summer for a navy blazer.
This summer’s style in shorts is shorter than usual. Chino and twill shorts like navy blazers, are versatile. They can be worn on the beach but are smart enough to wear at a garden party but not to formal events. Twill just means that the fabric – cotton - has been woven diagonally. The twill and chino shorts you go for should be light enough to withstand the hot, summer weather.
Definitely go for a beige or stone-coloured pair as they’ll go with practically any other shade. If you feel more adventurous, go for a blue, pink or red pair. To get that neat look, slim-fit or regular fit shorts should be a priority. Although, keep your complexion in mind because you want the colours you wear to complement your skin tone, do not take away from it as already mentioned. There’s no need to spend big on chino and twill shorts either. Just make sure they have as much cotton in them as possible. H&M and Zara do high quality, affordable pairs of twill and chino shorts.
Swim shorts don’t have to be boring. As summer is the time to make your wardrobe more vibrant, go for colourful swimming shorts from H&M. Or, if you have some extra cash, go for a bold print with Orlebar Brown.
5. Chino trousers
Go for lightweight beige or stone coloured chinos in a slim or regular fit. No need to spend big either because the difference in quality between high and lower priced chinos is usually minimal. Just make sure the size and fit suits your body shape. Again, cotton and linen should be the material of choice. Beige chinos are a no-brainer.
You can find chinos in many different colours if you wish to make a statement. You can pair chinos with Oxford shirts, navy blazers and polos if you are going for a clean look. A plain t-shirt also looks great with chinos for a more casual look. You’re bound to find a pair that you like in H.E. Mango, Massimo Dutti or H&M. Personally, I’d avoid vertical striped chinos as I think they look better on women than men, but if you can pull it off, go for it.
6. Light wash Denim
Regular fit, light washed denim is what you should go for this summer when buying denim jeans and denim jackets. Forget about slim-fit, go with straight fit. The classic denim brands like Levi’s and Wrangler should be your first port of call. For anyone on a modest budget, Uniqlo selvedge denim jeans won’t let you down. Selvedge denim is characterised by a contrasting inner seam colour which runs throughout the inside of the jeans.
Selvedge denim tends to last for longer due to its ruggedness. Nudie Jeans is another brand that makes quality pairs of jeans from organic denim. Dude Dan is the name of their regular fit which I’d recommend. Levi’s is the brand to go for when shopping for a quality denim jacket. Vintage shops like Tola Vintage in Dublin have a great stock of denim jackets for the fraction of the price you’d pay in other stores.
7. Boat Shoes
You don’t have to be a member of a yacht club to wear boat shoes. They’re comfortable and easy to wear in the summer because they are easy to slip off at the beach. Invest in a pair of textile boat shoes rather than leather ones to avoid sweaty feet. You can pick up a quality pair of boat shoes at M&S, with a plethora of colours to choose from.
Marks & Spencer use Freshfeet™ technology which is meant to reduce the odour in your shoes. I’d also recommend the Freshfeet™ suede boat shoes from M&S, available in brown or a combination of navy and brown. Suede shoes are easier to care for than leather ones. They’re also more breathable, meaning you’ll sweat less.
Water is no friend of suede, so make sure you put a protective spray on them to avoid water damage. If you wear socks, buy a pack of invisible socks - the ones that are shorter than ankle socks? Ye, them. The chances of anyone seeing them is very slim so it’s okay to go for white ones. You can pick up a pair at Dunnes Stores or Penneys for a couple of quid. When the weather isn’t too warm you can afford to go sockless.
These are a great alternative to boat shoes as they can be worn casually and with a blazer and chinos at a party. Loafers are available widely on the high street. Suede loafers are ideal for the summer, but just make sure to check the weather forecast before you leave the house. Leather loafers are your other option. Massimo Dutti loafers are a good choice due to their high quality and they won’t set you back too much money either.
The summer sun ca be hard on skin. Dry skin needs to be rejuvenated by adding moisture. The Bulldog skincare range includes face washes, face scrubs and moisturisers for different skin types. It has many more skincare products which are worth checking out. The products are very affordable with good ingredients.
Bulldog has scrubs, washes and moisturisers for all skin types. Go for the oil control range if your skin is oily, however the original range suits most skin types. I use the sensitive skin range myself and find it good. Use the face wash in the mornings and evenings, followed by the moisturiser. Face scrubs should be used once a week to replenish the skin. There’s no need to use it more than that as it can reduce the skin’s essential oils. All three products - Bulldog face wash, moisturiser and face scrub – can be bought for less than €20 online.
10. Styling powder for your hair
Styling powder works with thin or thick hair. Its light consistency doesn’t weigh down hair, making it a good choice for finer hair. Hair products which add extra weight to your hair have more of a chance of damaging it. Styling dust works best after a shower, with towel dry hair. Apply a few sprinkles of it on your whole head and style appropriately.
It adds volume to thin hair and texture to thick hair. Avoid over-application of the dust by covering all the holes of the container with your hand apart from one where the dust will sprinkle out and onto your head. I’d recommend the Schwarzkopf got2b Volumizing Styling Powder, which has a €10 rrp. Don’t be put off by the packaging, men use it too. Fudge Urban Anti Gravity Powder is another styling powder which I’d give the thumbs up to which is also less than a tenner. Both products are available at Boots.
They are my 10 style essentials for summer 2018, which may make heads turn - in a good way. But do keep in mind that statement shirts or print shorts are trends and trends go out of fashion. So, be smart with your money. Everything else on the list are classics and are always likely to be on trend.