Posted on Leave a comment

What to wear to a beach wedding

We are accustomed to weddings being a very formal affair. Yet, the beach is all about relaxing and having fun. So how do you put together an outfit that’s appropriately elegant for a wedding but not too dressed-up for the beach? Here are some key pieces to consider and what to wear them with.

Sport Coat

A sport coat makes an excellent choice for those events, where a suit is considered too formal. It’s a great piece to wear when you want to emphasise elegance without looking stiff or corporate. An unstructured sport coat (without padding and which doesn’t fit rigidly) will soften your look, maintaining its elegance but at the same time, giving a more laid-back appearance. For maximum comfort, opt for a sport coat that is either completely or at least partially unlined, as often, the lining traps heat.

DSCF4977

Since a tie is not an option to consider here, opt for a light fabric shirt with a Mandarin collar, or even one that’s collarless. It will produce a neater look, as well as one that’s clearly in tune with the seaside ambiance.

Waistcoat

If it’s too hot for a sport coat, an elegant waistcoat makes a great substitute. It’s not as dressy, so you want to dress it up a little so as not to end up looking too casual.

DSCF4982

Start by opting for a waistcoat in a classic colour, such as beige or blue. Wear it with a light-coloured semi-formal shirt (traditional  stiff collar) and elegant trousers. Anything that’s too bright or fancy might tilt the balance towards the ‘casual’, so consider this when coordinating colours.

Trousers

Shorts and jeans are too casual, even for the most relaxed of beach weddings. Sometimes, even chinos might look too dress-down for the occasion. Ideally, opt for trousers with slanting pockets, which give a more elegant touch than e.g. round pockets,  which are typically used for jeans and very casual trousers.

DSCF4988.JPG

For that typical beachside look, consider rolling up your trouser-legs to ankle-level or slightly higher (if you’re on the tall side). However, this works best with slim-fitting trousers.

Shoes

Being the beach, you don’t want anything that’s too polished. Not only will they most likely look out-of-place, they will also end up making a rather uncomfortable choice.

DSCF4831.JPG

Consider a pair of moccasins instead. Not only are they super comfortable and elegant, they are also highly versatile. They look great with dressier outfits whilst also complementing casual outfits by taking them up a notch or two on the ‘elegance scale’.

Final word

The key to putting together a great outfit for a beach wedding is to aim for the right balance between elegance and laid-back. Of course some weddings might be more formal or relaxed than others but generally, your outfit should look elegant, light, and comfortable.  

Posted on Leave a comment

How to wear white linen trousers

When it’s unbearably hot, nothing beats a pair of linen trousers for comfort. Yet, despite how great they feel and how quintessentially summery white is as a colour, white linen trousers are seen as a mature man’s favourite, making it hard to see how they could be a suitable option for men who want a modern look. However, a bit of styling and coordination with the right pieces can turn white linen trousers from a dated option into a timeless piece, and here’s how.

So as to maximise comfort, linen trousers typically come in a relaxed fit, which allows plenty of room for air to circulate. As comfortable as that might be, a loose fit is somewhat old-fashioned. For a modern look, roll up the trousers, just enough to expose part or all of the ankle. Keep it neat by aiming for a narrow turn-up that doesn’t look too bulky, as to make the lower legs appear too heavy. The trick is to make this an accent and not the focal point of your outfit.

Equally important is what you coordinate your white linen trousers with. Their loose fit can easily make your outfit look too relaxed, especially if worn with a loose-fitting shirt. To keep your outfit looking sleek, aim for balance by combining your trousers with slightly more structured pieces, such as a waistcoat or sport coat. However, avoid very structured or corporate-looking pieces, as these will contrast too much with the flowing texture of the linen trousers.

If you’d rather keep layers to the bare minimum, opt for a slim-fit shirt (not form-hugging) with a semi-stiff collar, for that bit of structure. Tunics are best avoided. For a more elegant (think cocktail party) look, wear the shirt tucked in but with the sleeves rolled up. So as to complement the soft texture of your outfit, consider belts in suede or woven cotton – polished leather will look too harsh and formal in comparison.

Similarly, light and casual shoes, such as stylish trainers or canvas shoes will work well. If it’s a dressier look you’re after, a pair of brogues, especially in suede, will also make a great match. Because of the trousers’ loose fit, loafers won’t work. They’ll just make your feet look too narrow. So as to keep the outfit looking light and fresh, black shoes seem inappropriate, as do socks.

Ultimately, white linen trousers will always result in a laid-back look – it just doesn’t have to be ‘midnight walk on the beach’ laid-back.

Posted on Leave a comment

Five summer pieces to get rid of

The first drops of autumn rain have fallen, the roads are clogged again, and my Facebook wall is overflowing with posts bemoaning the abrupt end of what seemed to me, like a year-long summer. Now that it’s time to put away the shorts and T-Shirts to make space for the trousers and cardigans, here are five summer pieces you should definitely be saying ‘adieu’ to. 

Sleeveless tops

The blistering heat is the best excuse for exposing as much flesh as possible and boy do we see a lot of it in summer. Whether it’s to lay bare one’s biceps for all to admire, or merely out of compliance with the pigeon racing club’s dress code, sleeveless tops were definitely last summer’s most popular piece among younger men, regardless of how toned or not they are, or hairy or smooth. Although no type can be considered elegant, some are more modest than others, in that at least, they cover the nipple.  

Short-sleeved office shirts

A favourite among male civil servants (need one say more?) the short-sleeved office shirt is one of the most unflattering pieces a man could wear. First, short-sleeved shirts are intended to look more casual than the long-sleeved version. Wearing one to the office and often, with a tie, results in a clash of styles that gives a look that is neither casual nor smart but simply sloppy. Second, short sleeves should never reach below mid-biceps, for any lower, gives the impression of an over-sized garment.

Cargo shorts

When going on an expedition, those side-pockets sure come in handy but how much stuff does one need for a walk along the promenade? Because of the bulk at the bottom created by the side-pockets, cargo shorts make one’s legs look thinner than they actually are. So as to keep the lower and upper halves of the body looking proportionate, shorts should more or less follow the legs’ natural width.  

Three quarter length trousers

The popularity of three quarter length trousers faded nearly as quickly as they were put on the market. Nonetheless, a few pairs sill linger, worn by those who never throw anything away unless it’s really unusable. These trousers not only look incomplete but also make the legs look shorter – much shorter. 

Synthetic sandals

Why ruin an outfit with cheap-looking, synthetic footwear? Yes, these are very comfortable sandals, which is why they are so popular in northern Europe, where pragmatism reigns supreme but comfortable as they are, style-wise they leave much to be desired. If you don’t want closed shoes, opt for a pair of soft leather sandals instead – and don’t forget to get a pedicure regularly. 

Final word

Those are the five major causes of summer style eye-soars or five reasons to be glad summer is over. Are there any other pieces you think should be added to the list?

Posted on Leave a comment

How to dress for the Maltese summer

Another hot and sticky day. You take a cold shower to freshen up, only the water is never cold enough. As soon as you dry yourself, you start sweating again. Your clothes cling to every inch of your body. By the time you’re ready to leave, you already need another shower but why bother? It’s another Maltese summer – and for those of us not on holidays, it can be cruel!

Unfortunately, there is little one can do about the heat or the lack of shade but we can dress in a way that makes the heat a little less unbearable. Here’s how. 

Stick to light and breathable fabrics

Cotton and linen are the ideal fabrics for summer. Of course not all cotton garments are suitable for the hellish temperatures we experience in Malta. Go for a lightweight and soft cotton. The downside is that both lightweight cotton and linen wrinkle a lot, which can make a suit look less elegant. A lightweight viscose blend is an alternative worth considering. 

Avoid tight-fitting clothing

For maximum comfort, summer clothing should be loose enough to allow air to circulate thus, creating a cooling effect. Tight fitting clothes trap heat and quickly absorb sweat making them unsuitable for summer.

Keep layers to a minimum

Layers will only add more heat, meaning the less, the better. True, sometimes a blazer or suit jacket may be required, which is why opting for fabrics appropriate for the season is really important – it makes the added layer a bit more endurable. 

Stick to white and dark colours 

If you’re the type to sweat profusely, you’ll know how embarrassing sweat patches can be and how visible they are on pastel and bright colours. On the contrary, on white and dark colours they tend to be less striking because of the lower contrast. However, isn’t summer the season for colour? Patterns are also good at concealing sweat patches – as long as the background colour is white or dark – whilst also adding colour to your wardrobe.

Wear a hat

Keep your scalp protected from the sun’s rays with a hat. The advantage of a hat over a cap is that it also protects the ears, where skin cancer can also develop. A comfortable hat should not fit too tightly nor trap heat.

Keep clean

When it’s hot and sticky, it takes a bit more effort to keep smelling fresh. Frequent showers, wet wipes, and deodorant will help you keep feeling clean and smelling nice.

Final word 

Adapting your clothing to the season will help keep you feeling a little less uncomfortable. However, at the end of the day, in such temperatures, it’ll always be hot. Be practical and where possible, take the necessary precautions to avoid the heat, such as not going out in the afternoon and of course, drinking plenty of cold water.