When the heat is on, wearing a tie can feel like an exercise in masochism. But while summer’s weather calls for loosening up somewhat, that needn’t mean your outfits look any less elegant or considered. How to balance heatwave-friendly styles with sartorial polish? Take a page from grandpa’s book and look to the dignified leisurewear worn by mid-century gents.
Leisurewear as we know it only entered the popular wardrobe in the 1930s, as socioeconomic progress meant that more men were partaking in activities like golf and tennis. Given that suiting was the dominant uniform, these off-duty clothes didn’t stray too far from the polish of traditional tailoring: trousers cut with wider legs in more breathable fabrics, jackets constructed with softer, more flexible shoulders, collared shirts in knit fabrics that wore as easy as T-shirts. In any combination, these elements make for easy, unfussy outfits that will look sharp without turning you into a walking sauna.
Three ways to channel retro summer style, below.