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Additional layer in summer - (infamous) business casual

Casaubon

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Although we’re definitely not out of the cold here yet, I recently got a pair of linen pants by chance, which got me thinking about my summer wardrobe. I was reminded of the fact that one of my biggest annoyances in summer is not having an adequate layer over the things I usually wear for work.

There are two reasons why I’d like one. Firstly, my build is such that my legs are a bit more muscular compared to my somewhat leaner torso, so I’d like to add more visual bulk on top in this way. Secondly, Sometimes I take a leather laptop bag with me to store my things, but since I don’t usually have to bring an actual laptop to the office, I feel stupid for having to lug it around the whole day just for my wallet, cellphone and keys. Besides, sometimes I just go straight to the park with kids after work, so a bag can be quite an inconvenience. And for reasons already stated above, I really dislike having to carry these things in my trouser pockets.

As for my style, for now I play it safe as my wardrobe space is limited: button-down business or casual shirts (cotton or linen, no tie, usually button-down collar), sometimes polos on top; chinos, jeans or a pair of dress slacks (linen or breathable wool). Simple derbies, desert boots or loafers for shoes. As for colors, it’s mostly cream, navy, blue, green, some reddish tones as well. Key word here is: safe.

All this being said, it can get pretty hot here, with temperatures easily exceeding 30° C (90° F if I’m not mistaken) throughout June-August. Adding another layer feels counterintuitive, although I’m well aware from personal experience that a breathable sport coat does not wear particularly warmer then just a shirt. However, I’d rather not make wearing sport coats a regular thing, because it would be a tad too formal for my liking, at least on an everyday basis. What could be a good alternative that is a notch or two less formal than a sport coat, but still congruent with the rest of the outfit? Are unstructured sport coats a good option? What about a linen overshirt? Taking money and physical space into consideration, I’d probably not want to get more than two pieces that I’d wear on a regular basis. I was thinking maybe a safari jacket could work, but the style may be a bit too bold for something worn every day.

Sorry for the long post, I was just trying to get all the details in. As always, any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Leiker

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Although we’re definitely not out of the cold here yet, I recently got a pair of linen pants by chance, which got me thinking about my summer wardrobe. I was reminded of the fact that one of my biggest annoyances in summer is not having an adequate layer over the things I usually wear for work.

There are two reasons why I’d like one. Firstly, my build is such that my legs are a bit more muscular compared to my somewhat leaner torso, so I’d like to add more visual bulk on top in this way. Secondly, Sometimes I take a leather laptop bag with me to store my things, but since I don’t usually have to bring an actual laptop to the office, I feel stupid for having to lug it around the whole day just for my wallet, cellphone and keys. Besides, sometimes I just go straight to the park with kids after work, so a bag can be quite an inconvenience. And for reasons already stated above, I really dislike having to carry these things in my trouser pockets.

As for my style, for now I play it safe as my wardrobe space is limited: button-down business or casual shirts (cotton or linen, no tie, usually button-down collar), sometimes polos on top; chinos, jeans or a pair of dress slacks (linen or breathable wool). Simple derbies, desert boots or loafers for shoes. As for colors, it’s mostly cream, navy, blue, green, some reddish tones as well. Key word here is: safe.

All this being said, it can get pretty hot here, with temperatures easily exceeding 30° C (90° F if I’m not mistaken) throughout June-August. Adding another layer feels counterintuitive, although I’m well aware from personal experience that a breathable sport coat does not wear particularly warmer then just a shirt. However, I’d rather not make wearing sport coats a regular thing, because it would be a tad too formal for my liking, at least on an everyday basis. What could be a good alternative that is a notch or two less formal than a sport coat, but still congruent with the rest of the outfit? Are unstructured sport coats a good option? What about a linen overshirt? Taking money and physical space into consideration, I’d probably not want to get more than two pieces that I’d wear on a regular basis. I was thinking maybe a safari jacket could work, but the style may be a bit too bold for something worn every day.

Sorry for the long post, I was just trying to get all the details in. As always, any help is greatly appreciated.
Safari jackets and expedition jackets come in a pretty wide variety of colors, fabrics, cuts, details, etc. I think you might be able to find one that would work for your situation. I'd go for an unbelted one.

Something like this:

 
Last edited:

breakaway01

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not generally a fan of safari jackets especially in the workplace.
a chore coat could work since you need the pockets.
 

Casaubon

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Safari jackets and expedition jackets come in a pretty wide variety of colors, fabrics, cuts, details, etc. I think you might be able to find one that would work for your situation. I'd go for an unbelted one.

Something like this:

Not bad, certainly less assuming than a belted one. Just wondering whether this one is perhaps too densely woven, seems more suited to English summer, but perhaps I'm wrong.

Have you looked at De Bonne Facture?
I did some time ago, after reading your interview with the founder on PTO. Just now I checked them out again to see what might be interesting for me but have failed to find anything. Did you have something particular in mind?

not generally a fan of safari jackets especially in the workplace.
a chore coat could work since you need the pockets.
My workplace is as casual as it gets. As is the general environment. There is absolutely no expectation to adhere to any particular dress code, and I am already used to being seen as dressed up as is. Anyway, I think that ideally I'd prefer something a bit more tailored than a chore coat.

I was thinking maybe something like this from Permanent Style:

Or maybe a Canali Kei jacket in a navy wool fabric.

In any case, many thanks for the suggestions!
 

dieworkwear

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I did some time ago, after reading your interview with the founder on PTO. Just now I checked them out again to see what might be interesting for me but have failed to find anything. Did you have something particular in mind?

I don't have any specific pieces in mind, but suggested them because I think they're better than the business casual outfits a lot of CM guys end up with.
 

Leiker

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Not bad, certainly less assuming than a belted one. Just wondering whether this one is perhaps too densely woven, seems more suited to English summer, but perhaps I'm wrong.
I'm not sure as I don't own that one; using it as an example of a style that might work for you. I do like that PS overshirt.
 

Casaubon

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I don't have any specific pieces in mind, but suggested them because I think they're better than the business casual outfits a lot of CM guys end up with.
More interesting in any case. Thanks, I'll certainly keep them in mind.
 

maxalex

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I’d recommend any number of traditional French work jackets in cotton. They have the pocket space you’re seeking but also look much more casual than a tailored sport coat. Labour Union makes a nice looking one of Japanese indigo dyed cotton but there are many brands from Japan and Europe.
 

Casaubon

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Not bad, I like the green one from LabourUnion rather than the custom blue ones, and I could see myself wearing it. But since it's a twill cotton weave, I can't imagine it being comfortable in +30° C weather. Besides, as with chore coats, I'd prefer something just a little less boxy and a little more tailored for my work wardrobe.

Just ran into this safari jacket by Kent Wang, similar to the PS overshirt, biggest difference being the pocket style/placement:

My initial concern regarding safari jackets is that they may be more of a statement piece than I'd necessarily like... but I'm really fond of these more subdued styles that encroach upon the overshirt/shacket territory.
 

dieworkwear

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The nice thing about those Justo Gimeno Tebas -- which is distinct from shirt jackets and even other makers of Tebas -- is that they not only fuse the front but they use a soft shoulder pad. This creates a slightly better-looking shoulder line.

IMO, the problem with most shirt jackets is that they're not very flattering, especially if you have sloped, narrow, or otherwise non-ideal shoulders. There's basically nothing inside -- it's a shirt construction, so you get the same silhouette as just wearing an open shirt. Most guys don't have an ideal body type, so they benefit from having some kind of interesting silhouette or construction technique to hide those issues and help them emphasize their good points.
 

Casaubon

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What about a Teba jacket in linen or even seersucker?

I know Beige in Paris has some spanish ones (aka the real deal):

I have to admit, I was not familiar with Teba jackets, and the more I'm looking at them the more I seem to like them. There's a navy fresco one available now which I might consider, so thank you for that.
The nice thing about those Justo Gimeno Tebas -- which is distinct from shirt jackets and even other makers of Tebas -- is that they not only fuse the front but they use a soft shoulder pad. This creates a slightly better-looking shoulder line.

IMO, the problem with most shirt jackets is that they're not very flattering, especially if you have sloped, narrow, or otherwise non-ideal shoulders. There's basically nothing inside -- it's a shirt construction, so you get the same silhouette as just wearing an open shirt. Most guys don't have an ideal body type, so they benefit from having some kind of interesting silhouette or construction technique to hide those issues and help them emphasize their good points.

Fortunately the upper body is not a problem: although slim, I have enough structure in my shoulders (but yeah, I wouldn´t mind a soft shoulder pad). It's my legs that are a mess - muscular thighs, butt too large, shin bones curve outward... This is why it's such a pain to get trousers altered whereas with jackets I just more or less shorten the sleeves and I'm good to go.

However, there's one thing about the Tebas. They have a decidedly rustic feel which I prefer in fall & winter but not so much in summer. Especially since the rest of my outfit is pretty clean and conventionally urban. Ideally it should be complemented with a piece that will make it just a tad more interesting, but keeping in line with the whole city look. That's why I was also considering an unstructured sport coat, since it seems to me that it has a very clean and easy silhouette, but can be easily dressed down (such as with polos) and hopefully won't make me look too reserved as a regular sport coat sometimes does.

Reading this I have a feeling I'm coming off as awfully fussy and unappreciative, which I hoped to avoid. Well, maybe fussy but not unappreciative. I'm genuinely taking into consideration everything posted here, even though I'm still unsure of the direction I'd like to take. And since I have a weakness for outerwear, I'm tempted to buy everything you guys throw at me!
 

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