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The final remanence of winter has now all but disappeared, and the weather is quickly transitioning to the warm sunny days that Australia is so renowned for. While for the majority of the population this is a welcome change, it does create a number of challenges for those who enjoy menswear and bespoke tailoring, as the many layers of a suit can become unbearable once the thermostat starts to rise.

Originating in an industry so heavily influenced by the typically colder climates found in the Northern Hemisphere, Flannel sportscoats and sharp woolen tailoring are ill-suited to survive four seasons of wear. Unless you have 24/7 access to air-conditioning, there will come a time where you will need to make a few alterations to your wardrobe.

Summer Tailoring

But this is the point where even some of the most stylish men fail to adapt effectively and somewhat haphazardly abandon quality tailoring for a pair of their trusty jeans and a polo shirt. While this may work for comfortable weekend wear or even for a very relaxed workplace, it will simply not cut it for those occasions where at the least you need to maintain an aspect of smart casual or for others where tailoring is mandatory all year round.

Now if you fall into one of these latter categories, you might have started to despair and resign yourself to another painfully sweaty summer, but fear not, Knightsman Bespoke Tailors have perfected the art of comfortable summer tailoring. The following guide will help educate you on how to remain stylish throughout Spring and Summer with a list of recommendations for both smart casual and formal outfits. 

Smart Casual

The rise of smart casual over the past two decades has dramatically transformed the way we dress for the workplaces and social settings that were previously deemed to require traditional formal tailoring. One of the most prominent examples of this is the summer wedding, where it is becoming increasingly common to see both the groom and guests choose against the suit and tie, in favour of something that offers added comfort.

While some may find the mere suggestion of this inconceivable, our Master Tailors at Knightsman can see the wisdom and have, on many occasions, helped create the perfect outfit for such events. The foundation of these outfits lies in two essential items, carefully tailored chinos paired with a relaxed linen or cotton shirt



Chinos 

Possibly the most versatile style of trouser available, chinos have undoubtedly cemented their place in every modern man’s wardrobe. Typically constructed from cotton or cotton-blend fabrics, chinos have an almost unique ability to traverse both casual and formal outfits while also being well suited to regulate warmer temperatures through increased breathability. 

To perfect the piece’s versatility, we recommend that they are tailored in a classic slim/tapered fit style and that they are a neutral colour that can be worn with a wide range of plain and patterned shirts. With this recommendation in mind, we have recently launched our own line of chinos that have been designed to maximise the qualities previously mentioned while being built to the bespoke quality that Knightsman is renowned for. 

Linen Shirt

While a trusty pair of chinos will lay the foundations for any quality spring or summer outfit, a linen shirt is what will close the deal, securing both your comfort and style throughout the warmer months. Designed to be highly breathable, linen is soft, light, and has the added highlight of a natural crumpled texture that adds a rakish touch to any outfit and doesn’t need to be ironed.  

As far as other requirements for linen shirts go, they are effectively a blank canvas; with all the options of a standard shirt in terms of colour, pattern, or collar style, you have a wealth of possibilities at your disposal. This being said, it is impossible to go past a plain white linen shirt, cut in a relaxed fit, will quickly become your ultimate spring/summer workhorse. 

Linen Suits

Straight from the wardrobes of countless stylish Neapolitans, linen suits are designed to be above all lightweight, which is typically achieved by softening the structure commonly found in traditional tailoring by using minimal canvas, unlined trousers, and little-to-no shoulder padding. This has the delightful effect of creating a highly breathable garment, with the same roguish charm commonly found in linen shirts, especially when constructed from a soft earthy colour such as cream or khaki

Unfortunately, however, off-the-rack linen suits can be even more troublesome than their woollen counterparts and are frequently constructed from low-quality linen which further reduces their appeal. To avoid this, it is best to have a linen suit made bespoke as this will help ensure that it is not only made from the highest quality fabrics available, but it will also guarantee that the piece fits perfectly despite the reduction of structure and padding.

Formal

For the events and workplaces that insist on strict dress codes, it becomes considerably more challenging to find attire that meets the formality requirements while also providing the wearer comfort in the heat. This being said, there are two tried and tested methods that tick all of the correct boxes in terms of formality and versatility, these being a linen or summer wool suit or forgoing the jacket for a waistcoat

The Trusty Waistcoat

If a new linen suit isn’t on the cards, there are still alternatives to bypass the issue of heat at formal events, the most accessible being to simply wear less. Now to be clear this is not advising you to bare all, but to instead remove troublesome sleeves and swap your jacket for a waistcoat

This option is not only stylish, but also incredibly practical as in a lot of cases you will be able to either wear the waistcoat from a three-piece suit just with the accompanying trousers, or you can take the jacket along for a backup option if the weather cools down in the evening. Alternatively, finding a separate waistcoat can be a low-cost option for adding versatility to your spring/summer wardrobe


This option is not only stylish, but also incredibly practical as in a lot of cases you will be able to either wear the waistcoat from a three-piece suit just with the accompanying trousers, or you can take the jacket along for a backup option if the weather cools down in the evening. Alternatively, finding a separate waistcoat can be a low-cost option for adding versatility to your spring/summer wardrobe


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