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Building a summer wardrobe

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

We´re still in the rainy season here in Madrid, but within the next two months we´ll be back to 90 and even 100+ weather (35/40 degrees celsius).  As I got my office job and started building a wardrobe last fall, I haven´t started a decent summer wardrobe yet.  Unfortunately, I can´t go out and get a bunch suits, shirts, etc.  Instead, I´ll just have to stick to a couple basic pieces, and work with them.

 

Luckily, I´m in the office of a small business, where wearing suits is not necessary.  Actually, my colleague let me know that during summer people come in wearing linen pants and untucked short sleeve shirts, no problem.  However, I do generally feel more comfortable when dealing with clients and providers while wearing something not so casual. 

 

I was thinking of:

- one or two vests/waistcoats, linen or light cotton, one with lapels maybe?  I won´t wear them with jackets...a jacket in summer is just impossible.  Our air conditioning is a joke :(

- a pair of linen trousers

- two light colored shirts (what fabrics work well other than linen?

 

Is there something you see that I shouldn´t get, or something that you don´t see that I should get?

What are, according to you, the basics of a business casual summer wardrobe?

post #2 of 34
According to me, a decent summer wardrobe should at least have 7-8 pairs of lightweight of tropical trousers, 7-8 shirts is different patterns, and 3-4 summer suits.

For your suggestion, there is far too little variety, it wouldn't work in the Spanish heat.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by add911_11 View Post

According to me, a decent summer wardrobe should at least have 7-8 pairs of lightweight of tropical trousers, 7-8 shirts is different patterns, and 3-4 summer suits.

For your suggestion, there is far too little variety, it wouldn't work in the Spanish heat.

 

I wish I could afford all that, however funds won´t allow that at the moment.  Like I said, I´m just starting to build a decent wardrobe, so I´m looking for building blocks, a foundation that will allow me to start with and build off of.  Stuff to wear on days where I´ll be meeting clients or providers.  On the rest of the days I can just wear shorts and short sleeve button up shirts without any problems. 

post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdkeene View Post

I wish I could afford all that, however funds won´t allow that at the moment.  Like I said, I´m just starting to build a decent wardrobe, so I´m looking for building blocks, a foundation that will allow me to start with and build off of.  Stuff to wear on days where I´ll be meeting clients or providers.  On the rest of the days I can just wear shorts and short sleeve button up shirts without any problems. 

O sorry I am not aware that the new purchases are only for days of clients.

Consider you don't see clients in consecutive days, I will say one light grey suit, set of shirt, tie and shoes. This will be pretty good for summer business day. May be add another 2-3 lightweight trouser just in case you don't want to wear the jacket.

Mind you, no matter how unwilling you want to spend, you can't change the fact that even you feel that's inadequate.
post #5 of 34
A good lightweight summer suit in a light to medium grey would be my first priority (get the jacket quarter lined at most so it will not feel as hot), followed by some good tropical wool or linen pants. I notice very little difference in how I feel based on the shirt I am wearing but others swear by linen or linen and cotton blend shirts. Adding a few of these could be a good idea, and keep in mind that you will go through shirts rapidly in the summer.

Do not bother with vests or waistcoats. They'll make you hotter without providing the finished look of a jacket. Completely useless garments in the summer IMO.
post #6 of 34
Linen-cotton blend pants also are an option. Silk-weight underwear helps. Suede shoes are cooler than leather shoes.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post

Do not bother with vests or waistcoats. They'll make you hotter without providing the finished look of a jacket. Completely useless garments in the summer IMO.

Do waistcoats usually wear hotter than a jacket? I can imagine that, even though there is less material, a waiscoat would feel hotter due to its close fit, whereas a jacket, being further removed from the skin would feel cooler.

I was initially thinking of skipping the jacket as wearing a jacket here in summer is impossible. Did it once last summer and I was soaked by the time I got to work. I figured a waiscoast would be a good way to add some formality and finishing to the shirt, pants, and tie. However, I can imagine that it would just make things worse. What are your experiences on this? I would have them made from linen or linen cotton blends.
post #8 of 34
Dear MDK

What the other posters may politely be suggesting is that a waistcoat without a jacket looks silly - which is not good unless you are in a boy band, where looking silly is compulsory.

Wearing linen trousers and a waistcoat without a jacket will not add formality. It will make you look like one of the halfwit deckhands from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The question whether a waistcoat is hotter than a jacket is irrelevant. If you are meeting with a client and you think some formality is required have a loose weave linen or cotton jacket to hand - whether as a separate or as part of a summer suit.

In temperatures greater than 28 degrees Celsius no outerwear will be comfortable. The best you can do is hope you have air conditioning in your workplace, or only don the jacket when necessary.

Stiva
post #9 of 34

Light grey or tan tropical weight trousers

Plain blue or white linen or linen/cotton button downs

A tropical weight blazer in blue, tan, or grey

Tan loafers and medium brown blutchers

post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiva View Post

Dear MDK

What the other posters may politely be suggesting is that a waistcoat without a jacket looks silly - which is not good unless you are in a boy band, where looking silly is compulsory.

Wearing linen trousers and a waistcoat without a jacket will not add formality. It will make you look like one of the halfwit deckhands from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Stiva

Well, I'm glad I got this advice before going out and looing like a pirate in a boyband. Being Dutch, subtle and polite is often wasted on me...we seem to be a pretty direct and say it I guess I still have a lot to learn.

Indeed, once the mercury rises above 30, the only comfortable thing to wear is shorts and nothing more. I guess it's just going to be a matter of suffering and putting up with it for two months.

Any advice on battling sweat stains? Undershirts in summer seems to be...well, there must be something better, right?
post #11 of 34

Deodorant stains are more common than sweat stains. Many solutions are available on the information superhighway.

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdkeene View Post

Do waistcoats usually wear hotter than a jacket? I can imagine that, even though there is less material, a waiscoat would feel hotter due to its close fit, whereas a jacket, being further removed from the skin would feel cooler.

I was initially thinking of skipping the jacket as wearing a jacket here in summer is impossible. Did it once last summer and I was soaked by the time I got to work. I figured a waiscoast would be a good way to add some formality and finishing to the shirt, pants, and tie. However, I can imagine that it would just make things worse. What are your experiences on this? I would have them made from linen or linen cotton blends.

A linen or linen cotton blend jacket can be cool as far as jackets go, but no jacket will always be cooler. A waistcoat without a jacket and tie adds no formality and will just make you hot.
post #13 of 34
Whatever you do buy lots and lots of lightweight pants, wool, linen and cotton in shades of tan and light grey. I love the idea of cream but find them a bit unforgiving in practical use.
post #14 of 34
For a really barebones summer wardrobe, I'd get an unstructured, unlined, navy linen jacket (something like Barena or Boglioli), a few lightweight dress shirts in pale blue (batiste or cotton/linen are great) and some chinos in different neutral colours (tan, olive, grey, brown, etc.). Short sleeved button-ups usually look bad - much better just to roll up the sleeves. Whatever you do, don't wear a waistcoat.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdkeene View Post

Indeed, once the mercury rises above 30, the only comfortable thing to wear is shorts and nothing more.

Exposing more skin to the sun is actually worse, long and light colour linen trousers, shirts is always the best.
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