With items that are a bit less structured and a lot less serious, a stylish spring wardrobe offers an alternative to the somber business attire often required by the workplace. This season’s clothes, whether they are worn while jetting to a private island paradise or simply relaxing at home, can make a fashion statement that says, “Take it easy.” Designers have amplified this message with light and airy fabrics, saturated colors, chic stripes and retro influences, and activewear-inspired separates.
The essential item for the season is the all-purpose sport coat, rendered in lightweight, textured materials that include seersucker and weaves with linen, bamboo, or jute fibers. These versatile pieces can be paired with denims, corduroys, or khakis for casual flair, or with cotton, linen, or seersucker dress trousers for a more refined appearance. Versatility also characterizes a new crop of reversible cardigans and weather-tight wind jackets, while vintage patterns or nautical stripes embellish cotton and featherweight cashmere knits. Sport shirts in sorbet-colored linen or fancifully printed cotton serve as the foundation on which everything is layered. While traditional suits remain a sartorial mainstay, you have a myriad of colorful and comfortable options for expressing your lighter side.
An aversion to wrinkles should not prevent you from sampling the latest linen suits and sportswear. Thanks to technological advances, the world’s oldest cloth is softer and crease-resistant, and flax-derived fibers, such as bamboo and jute, deliver a similarly relaxed look and texture.
Top to bottom: Gianluca Isaia Argento linen jacket, $1,395; Lorenzini bamboo/cotton wing-collar shirt, $325; Ralph Lauren Purple Label silk/jute jacket, $1,495; Alexander Julian Private Reserve linen/cotton shirt, $235; Loro Piana linen drawstring shorts, $250.
Styles from the 1930s and ’40s continue to influence modern menswear, as evidenced by preppy madras plaid pants, pocket squares, debonair sharkskin suits, and two-tone spectator shoes.
Top to bottom: Louis Vuitton cashmere V-neck sweater, $655; Gianluca Isaia Argento linen shirt, $345; Corneliani wool/mohair sharkskin suit, $1,295; Robert Talbott silk madras pocket square, $75; Chopard Eszeha rose gold watch, $8,755; Oxxford Crest by Oxxford Clothes silk necktie, $150; A. Testoni two-tone leather wingtip shoes, $830.
A seersucker suit was once the calling card of the Southern gentleman, but the quintessential striped summer fabric assumes a younger, more modern edge when used for sport shirts, slacks, and even swimwear.
Clockwise from top left: Arnys cotton seersucker jacket with banded collar, $940; Pantherella for the British Apparel Collection cotton lisle/nylon socks, $35; Grenson for Paul Stuart white buck blucher, $295; Lorenzini cotton voile puckered striped shirt, $295; Andrea Fenzi cotton seersucker shirt, $250; Best of Class by Robert Talbott multicolored cotton seersucker shirt, $245; Charles Tyrwhitt multicolored striped enamel cuff links, $115; Asprey wide-striped cotton seersucker jacket, $1,300.
Top of the Lines
Whether monotone and pencil-thin like an accountant’s ledger or colorful and wide like a sportsman’s club blazer, the character of your stripes can suggest much about your sense of style.
Left to right: Fratelli Rossetti calfskin loafer with ribbon stripe, $425; Charles Tyrwhitt striped silk necktie, $95; Turist striped linen blazer, $895; Canali linen pocket square, $65, and striped linen blazer, $1,195; Asprey multistriped cotton dress shirt, $280; Kiton striped linen drawstring pants, $575; Ferragamo striped cotton web belt, $135; Pantherella for the British Apparel Collection sock, $35.
Be a Sport
Armchair sportsmen take heart: Activewear is no longer limited to athletic gear, as sports influences make an appearance in everything from outerwear to footwear to eyeglass frames.
Clockwise from top left: Paul & Shark polyester Typhoon 20000 wind jacket, $595; Brunello Cucinelli striped cotton zip cardigan, $645; P Zero by Pirelli cotton/nylon wind jacket, $525; Arnys cotton knit Seater jacket with striped lining, $708; Louis Vuitton cotton/polyurethane macintosh jacket, $1,700; Kata titanium Caliper 3 sunglasses, $395; Oscar Udeshi lambskin driving gloves, $150; P Zero by Pirelli cycling sneaker, $265.
Portofino and Positano provide the jumping-off points for assembling a yachting wardrobe stocked with striped blazers, crisp cotton pants,club ties, and colorful deck shoes.
Clockwise from top left: Tino Cosma wide-striped silk tie, $115; Faconnable silk bandanna tie, $80; Canali narrow-striped silk tie, $105; Zegna Sport Portofino leather sneaker, $295; Belvest striped silk/linen blazer, $1,495; Ferragamo cotton/elastic pullover, $430; Louis Vuitton Tambour LV Cup Automatic Regatta watch, $6,900; Canali belt, $125; Ermenegildo Zegna cotton pants, $250.
The Bright Side
Subtle pastels tone down the seriousness of suits, and vivid brights electrify sportswear and accessories that are sure to be noticed.
Top to bottom: Canali orange leather belt, $165; Incotex green cotton corduroy pants, $295; Luciano Moresco yellow cotton twill Capri pants, $245; Incotex salmon cotton/linen Chino Lino pants, $275; Paul Stuart lavender fine-wale corduroy jacket, $784; Alfred Dunhill London striped cotton shirt, $225; Best of Class by Robert Talbott silk/satin bow tie, $85; Luciano Barbera green suede shirt, $1,695; Charles Tyrwhitt silk necktie, $95; Ermenegildo Zegna cashmere argyle sweater, $650.
A. Testoni, 212.223.0909, www.testoni.com
Alexander Julian Private Reserve, 203.438.3481, www.alexanderjulian.com
Alfred Dunhill London, 800.776.4053, www.dunhill.com
Andrea Fenzi, 212.371.4343
Arnys, through Harrington Communications, 212.581.1330, www.arnys.fr
Asprey, 800.883.2777, www.asprey.com
Belvest, 212.317.0460, www.belvest.com
Brunello Cucinelli, through IMC Group, 212.750.2990, www.brunellocucinelli.it
Canali, 212.767.0205, www.canali.it
Charles Tyrwhitt, 866.797.2701, www.ctshirts.com
Chopard, 800.246.7273, www.chopard.com
Corneliani, 800.222.9477, www.cornelianiusa.com
Ermenegildo Zegna, 888.880.3462, www.zegna.com
Faconnable, 212.319.0111, www.faconnable.com
Ferragamo, 800.628.8916, www.ferragamo.com
Fratelli Rossetti, 212.888.5107, 312.337.5496, www.rossetti.it
Gianluca Isaia, 888.996.7555
Incotex, through Glazer Imports, 212.582.0042
Kata, through Legacy, 866.534.2243, www.kataeyewear.com
Kiton, 212.813.0272, www.kiton.it
Lorenzini, 212.702.0136, www.lorenzini.it
Loro Piana, 212.980.7961
Louis Vuitton, 866.884.8866, www.vuitton.com
Luciano Barbera, 212.315.9500, www.lucianobarbera.com
Luciano Moresco, 212.397.4300
Oscar Udeshi, +44.20.7235.6700, www.udeshi.co.uk
Oxxford Crest by Oxxford Clothes, 212.593.0204, www.oxxfordclothes.com
Pantherella for the British Apparel Collection, 800.451.3985, www.britishapparel.com
Paul & Shark, 212.452.9868, www.paulshark.it
Paul Stuart, 800.678.8278, www.paulstuart.com
P Zero by Pirelli, through IMC Group, 212.750.2990, www.pzeroweb.com
Ralph Lauren Purple Label, 888.475.7674, www.polo.com
Robert Talbott, 800.747.8778, www.roberttalbott.com
Tino Cosma, 212.541.8120, www.tinocosma.it
Turist, through Glazer Imports, 212.582.0042
Furniture courtesy Baker Knapp & Tubbs in Los Angeles, 310.652.7252