Spring is arguably the most difficult season when it comes to nailing your outfit. It’s a little too early to retire some winter overcoats and heavier garments, while it’s not yet warm enough to break out your summer style essentials. Instead, the season calls for a considered approach, a move towards some of the typically ‘summer’ colours, use of some lighter fabrics and, of course, plenty of layering.
Putting together a spring outfit that blends form (it looks sharp and considered) with function (it’s suitable for what you’re doing/where you’re going) is easy when you know how, though. Whether it’s a formal, smart-casual affair or distinctly casual, there’s a wealth of options to ensure you look good.
Interviews are all about making a favourable first impression. And a huge part of this comes down to how you are presented.
Obviously, what you wear will be determined by the dress code of the industry or sector you’re looking to join. Assuming your interview will entail wearing a suit, you have a few failsafe options: charcoal grey, navy or, for the more daring, a dark fabric with a discreet check.
When it comes to fabrics, consider something lighter than the heavy wool/cashmere suits that are so cosy in winter, but feel slightly too heavy once the mercury rises. Look, instead, to the new breed of lighter weights, most of which are surprisingly wallet-friendly. With a sharp silhouette and well-made fabrics, you’ll look a million dollars.
A suit is not complete without a shirt and tie, though, so you’ll be needing something seasonal-appropriate. Whether you go striped, checked or plain with your choice of shirt is up to you (although, for our money, a crisp, classic white is hard to beat for businesswear) – what really matters is the fabric. Spring’s weather usually allows for a light cotton or poplin fabric, both of which are highly breathable, giving the wearer a superior level of comfort.
There’s plenty of opportunity to play with tie fabrics, too. While silk is the most conventional choice, and one that is appropriate whatever the season, spring is the perfect time to introduce more variety into your neckwear.
A cotton tie is perfect for the spring and summer months, although it is more casual in style thank its silk counterparts, due to its lightweight construction, so is perhaps not the best companion for a power business suit. Instead, consider a silk knit tie, which has a distinctive open-weave texture and, when chosen well, will mark the wearer out as a man of distinction. Just be sure to keep proportions in mind – a knitted silk tie looks best when it is slightly slimmer than its conventional silk counterpart.
Last but by no means least is your footwear. Many an outfit has been ruined by shoddy shoes, and a job interview is no time to slip up on that front. What you’re looking for, whatever the season, is a highly polished classic such as an Oxford (whether plain or cap-toe), a brogue or a plain-toe Derby. Black is the safest and most versatile choice, but dark brown is an attractive alternative if you’re wearing a navy suit.
Assuming that the dress code is not ‘black-tie’, a spring wedding is the perfect opportunity to showcase your style credentials without stealing the show.
Cocktail attire is an increasingly popular dress code for spring and summer weddings. A mid-point between smart casual and semi-formal, it allows for plenty of self-expression while maintaining some degree of formality.
If you’re planning on wearing a suit, keep things conventional with a contemporary two-piece in either a peak or notch lapel, and with a slim silhouette.
Colour-wise, as ever, it’s hard to go wrong with the perennial favourites; but why not jazz things up a bit? Wedding outfits call for some personality, so consider, for instance, camel, brown or any of the more saturated blues. A beige linen suit, meanwhile, can be a real show-stopper, for those with the confidence to pull off the look. It’s also a perfect choice for the spring/summer season.
There’s plenty of scope for expression, too – checks, such as windowpane or plaid, are a great way to stand out from the crowd while still respecting the dress code.
With cocktail attire, there’s plenty of leeway in your choice of shirt. A monochrome business shirt will have you looking sharp, albeit unremarkable, and is a safe bet. Try softer tones such as pink or baby blue, rather than plain white, for a fresh, contemporary look. If you’re feeling bolder, a demure print can look fantastic, but it should not be so distracting as to overshadow the rest of your ensemble.
When it comes to footwear, keep your work shoes for the office and, instead, look to something more playful. A leather loafer (plain or tasselled) of a pair of handsome monk straps will sit sharply at the base of any cocktail attire suit without letting the side down.
If the wedding falls on a fine spring day, don’t overlook the importance of a pair of stylish sunglasses. Shielding the sunlight is, obviously, the objective, but that doesn’t mean you have to reach for wraparounds to protect your eyes. Almost every size and shape of head suits a classic Aviator or Wayfarer-style frame, which are classics for good reason.
Whether it’s an afternoon’s shopping, watching a match or having some friends over, you’ll want an outfit that’s comfortable, certainly, but one that looks good, too. After all, just because your attitude is relaxed, it doesn’t mean your style should be compromised.
The go-to legwear for most men remains the trusty denims, and the latest designs, which are dark in colour, slim-fitting and devoid of any distressed detail, are ideal for springtime weekend wear.
Down below, they can be paired with a pair of Chukka or Chelsea boots, or some chunky brogues or brogue boots. For serious style points, or, for those with a finger on the fashion pulse, also consider teaming dark denim with some trendy, wear-anywhere trainers in leather or suede.
Up top, spring casual dressing is all about considered layering. A well-fitting shirt (or, if it’s warm, even a polo shirt), possibly with a pattern or print, will always look well. And if the temperatures fail to rise, the addition of a shawl-collar cardigan will add an on-trend touch while providing some much-needed insulation.
Cardigans can be divisive, though, so for those who prefer their knitwear to be less adventurous, look to a thin-gauge, slim-cut sweater that will layer as easily over a shirt as it will beneath a jacket.
Speaking of jackets, spring is the perfect time for a classic Harrington. Its timeless design works brilliantly with all manner of casualwear. It’s also wonderfully lightweight, making it the perfect seasonal outerwear for the modern man.
If you’re planning on splashing the cash at, say, a five-star restaurant or upmarket cocktail bar, it’s only right that you should dress for the occasion. And while dating, like job interviews, is all about making a great impression, resorting to a suit — even one that’s tailored to perfection— is a little too business-like.
A failsafe style combo that works, whatever the season, is a classic navy blazer teamed with a pair of grey flannel trousers. It’s classic yet, when done well, looks contemporary. It also exudes style and class.
What’s so great about the traditional navy blazer is that it is so adaptable. For a garment so intrinsically old-fashioned, it comes up looking fresh in cashmere, wool, linen and all sorts of mixes, making it a brilliantly versatile addition to any man’s wardrobe.
Take your pick from a slim-fitting single-breasted design or, as a dapper alternative, a double-breasted style, both of which are always complemented by straight-fit mid-grey flannel trousers.
Keep it classic and conventional underneath with either a pristine white shirt (tie optional) or a fine gauge polo neck.
As with any outfit, whether casual, formal or anywhere in-between, don’t let your choice of footwear fall short of your date’s expectations. If you’re choosing leather, look to black, burgundy or dark brown Derbies, loafers or monk straps, and ensure they’re polished to perfection. A more casual, but still acceptable, alternative is a suede, tasselled loafer (socks are optional), which will lend a Euro chic vibe to your ensemble.