As seasons go, spring is a tricky one to navigate when it comes to men’s style. Whereas winter (cold, damp) and summer (usually dry) have some degree of certainty, trying to second-guess the next day’s weather during the spring months is akin to a lottery, which makes it something of a minefield.
But, whether it’s warm or cold, damp or dry, there are a number of spring style essentials that every well-dressed man should consider adding to his wardrobe. From inexpensive basics to the odd investment piece, the following 20 items will see you stylishly through the spring months and beyond.
A denim shirt is a men’s style staple, whatever the season, but it really comes into its own in spring. It’s light enough to prevent you from feeling hot and stuffy, yet heavy enough to provide some handy insulation.
The trusty denim is also superbly versatile – ideal for a ‘Dress-down Friday’ but, when teamed with a tie, can also provide a contemporary take on smart-casual.
Smart spring dressing invariably involves a classic trench coat. It’s not just resolutely stylish, but it’s also incredibly versatile, looking as good worn over a suit and it is teamed with a T-shirt, crew neck and jeans.
Whether in a single- or double-breasted style, a trench coat is brilliantly functional, too. It’s light enough for the warmer weather yet will keep you warm and dry should the temperatures dip, making it the go-to outerwear for the contemporary man.
Colour-wise, you’ll not go far wrong with a camel, beige or navy trench, any of which will complement just about any outfit. And be sure to put the belt to good use — either buckle it around the waist for a traditional look or tie it in a knot for a more contemporary style — to ensure that your silhouette is neat and trim.
Whether it’s autumn, winter, summer or spring, no seasonal wardrobe is complete without the navy blazer – the perfect piece of transitional clothing.
What is so refreshing and even enthralling about the traditional navy blazer is that it is so adaptable. For a garment so intrinsically old-fashioned, it comes up looking fresh in wool, cashmere, linen and all sorts of mixes.
Pick yours well and you’ll have a blazer that will bring you anywhere. It is, quite simply, a jacket that you can throw on with almost anything and immediately feel dressed – without being overdressed.
Versatile, timeless and relatively inexpensive, a classic cotton crewneck is the perfect item to have during all seasons. It’s also an indisputable menswear classic: as macho and essential as a pea coat and as reliable as a favourite pair of Chelsea boots.
The crewneck’s versatility makes it particularly suitable for the temperamental spring weather – thicker than a more costly cashmere jumper, but not as heavy as one in wool, it’s the ideal seasonal garment.
Look for a fine gauge sweater that will serve as the perfect in-between layer for when it’s not cold enough for a jacket but not warm enough for a solitary layer.
Grey might not sound the most enticing of colours, but it’s a brilliant bet for anyone looking for a crewneck that will complement just about every piece of clothing in your wardrobe.
Not strictly a spring style staple, but the trusty Oxford shirt makes it onto our list thanks to its timeless versatility. There are, truly, few pieces of clothing that will not work with a well-fitted Oxford.
While the soft cotton and the relaxed construction of the garment gives it a slightly casual feel, the addition of the collar ensures it’s not lacking in smartness. The result? It straddles the line between formal and informal perfectly.
Whether worn with jeans and under your new grey crewneck, or with a pressed suit for a sharp yet dressed-down business vibe, the Oxford is a sure-fire style winner.
A gentleman’s tie is an opportunity for self-expression. Whether it is emblazoned with pug dogs or polka dots, rainbow-bright or sober in colour, it’s a powerful point of individual style.
Given that spring is the season for renewal and change, why not consider subbing your conventional silk tie for a knitted design?
Due to its flat, squared-bottom and slightly narrow construction (keep it at 2.5 inches wide, which is marginally slimmer than a conventional business tie), which lends it an informal edge, the knitted tie is yet another versatile addition to a man’s clothing collection.
Whether worn as functional under-layer or as an understated casual garment, no man’s spring wardrobe is complete without a few plain white T-shirts.
Not all white tees are created equally, though. Be sure to choose a high-quality design made from cotton, which will provide optimum comfort and, crucially, will endure after a few washes.
A suit is a menswear staple, regardless of the season. But if you’re going to treat yourself to a new suit this spring, it’s hard to beat a single-breasted, notch lapel, navy number.
The beauty of a navy suit is, as with many items on our list, its versatility: it’s dark enough for evening wear, yet still suitable for daytime, making it a brilliant all-rounder.
Its navy colouring is also hugely adaptable – it can look different in various lights, and will work well with a vast array of ties, whether bold or sober, knitted or silk. Rather handily, it also works well with Irish complexions, avoiding any risk of making the wearer appear washed-out.
The perfect bridge between casual and formal, flannel trousers are a stylish alternative to chinos and denims.
Working equally well with a crisp white shirt and a navy blazer as with your newly acquired crewneck sweater, or even a knitted polo T-shirt, flannel trousers are brilliantly adaptable.
While a heavier flannel fabric (19-24oz) is possibly too warm for spring, mid-range fabrics between 12-15oz are ideal for spring, providing a degree of insulation without feeling too warm.
Pick your denims well and you’ll be rewarded with a pair that will see you through the years and that will be suitable for a number of events and occasions.
The safest – and most versatile – bet is to pick a pair of quality selvedge jeans. They’re more expensive than the cheap high-street designs, certainly; but, handily, they’re built to last. The best ones are made from raw, unwashed denim that will age naturally and actually look and feel better with every wear.
For a classic look that will suit almost every age and body size, look to slim, dark designs that can be worn throughout the year, giving you a cool yet understated look.
Perfect whatever the season, slim-fitting cotton chinos are a great trouser style for spring, thanks to their sturdy yet light construction.
A smart (yet not too smart) alternative to denim, chinos strike a stylish note between formal and casual and are one of the most versatile styles of trouser on the market.
Roll them up or cuff them for a preppy look to be worn with a fitted polo shirt or crewneck, pair them with your new cotton tee and bomber jacket for a trendy casual look, or team them with a smart shirt and tie for a relaxed yet formal office outfit.
Navy or beige are the failsafe options, but feel free to experiment with punchier colours, such as olive green, burgundy or, for a really dapper look, rich red.
Now that trainers have become an accepted style statement, you don’t have to worry about switching shoes between the school run, meetings and post-work drinks.
It’s important to pick the right type of trainer for casual wear, though; those trusty Reeboks for the gym won’t cut it in the style stakes.
For spring, look to the paired-down, minimalist white leather trainer, which will work wonderfully with a diverse range of menswear. They’ll look just as sharp with a suit and polo neck as they will with, say, chinos and a classic tee.
If you keep them well, they also look great, season after season, making them a smart, as well as stylish, addition to any off-duty wardrobe.
For some sophisticated spring footwear, the classic Derby is your go-to style. Equally sharp at the base of a suit or a flannel trouser, it’s a timeless shoe that merits pride of place in any stylish man’s collection.
Although it may have a relatively hunky profile, the lack of visual bells and whistles gives the minimalist Derby a sleek contemporary look, while its unembellished front makes it more versatile than, say, a wingtip or Oxford. At a push, its elegant shape even means that it can even be worn with black-tie - so long as it’s polished to perfection.
Every style-conscious man should be able to call upon a selection of scarves (cashmere for winter, cotton for the warmer months) in his wardrobe, even in spring when, allegedly, the temperatures should be picking up.
A lightweight scarf is a year-round accessory. For spring, swap your winter cashmere scarf for a simple cotton or linen design, which will provide a small degree of warmth when the sun goes down, as well as, more importantly, a pop of colour and personality into your outfit.
A timeless classic that has been sported by some of the best-dressed men over the decades — from Steve McQueen to, more recently, Mark Ronson and Drake, the bomber jacket makes a brilliant addition to any man’s wardrobe, whatever the season.
While it’s light enough to function as outerwear in summer (and on the warmer days in spring), a bomber is wonderfully versatile and can be used as a stylish layering piece during the spring – simply slip it under a heavier coat when the temperatures drop. It’s also flattering for just about every size and shape and comes in numerous options at all manner of price points.
For maximum versatility, look for a simple, slim-fit design, whether in cotton or a technical fabric, in a dark colour such as navy, grey or black.
SPRING STYLE ITEM 16 - SMART WATCH
Every season calls for a classy timepiece, and spring is no different. A watch is the one piece of jewellery that every stylish man can wear, whatever the weather.
Not only does a great watch punctuate an outfit; it also says something about who you are - or, at least, who you aspire to be.
Choosing a wristwatch is one of the most personal decisions you can make: from the brand you elect to wear, to the aesthetics of the design and the functions you feel are crucial to your lifestyle, your watch is very much an extension of your personality.
Our advice, look for something sophisticated and timeless. After all, a wrist is a terrible thing to waste.
Invest in a quality holdall this spring and you’ll thank yourself years down the line. And for one that you’ll get maximum usage out of, make sure to invest in a leather one.
More durable and sophisticated than a canvas option, a leather bag will serve you well on your work trips and long weekends away for decades to come, and as it softens and changes colour over time it will only get better with age.
SPRING STYLE ITEM 18 - SUNGLASSES
Sunglasses don’t always get the attention they deserve in this country, for obvious rain-related reasons. But with spring already here and summer not too far away, despite what it might look like outdoors, the sun will eventually shine; so you’ll be needing some sunnies.
Nothing else offers a face-based style upgrade quite like a pair of sunglasses. To nail the frame game, pick a classic pair that complements your face shape, and experiment with various materials and colours. You’ll know instantly when you’ve found the ‘right’ pair.
Like a twinset is an icon of women’s knitwear, the polo neck (or roll neck) is an icon for men’s knitwear.
Worn under a coat, or with an outerwear jacket, it’s perfect for spring. It’s casual, certainly, but it suggests you have given just enough thought to how you look.
SPRING STYLE ITEM 20 - UMBRELLA
Spring means showers, and that’s why every well-dressed man’s wardrobe is incomplete without a smart umbrella. After all, dressing for wet weather shouldn’t mean sacrificing on style.
Whether you favour a small folding one that will fit neatly into a bag or briefcase, or a bigger-is-better golf-style umbrella that provides maximum coverage, you can’t go wrong with a
classic black umbrella, especially if it’s going to be used with a workwear wardrobe.