Oh, summer. While many revel its advent, others (aka me) dread the thought of succumbing to sweltering temperatures and sacrifice personal style in an effort to avoid passing out from a heat stroke. Let’s face it – summer fashion is the absolute pits. Take away layers, coats, boots and trousers, and what do you have left? A shell of a stylish human, that’s what.
As someone who pretty much needs a flashlight to differentiate the various pieces of clothing lying around in his wardrobe (I wear a lot of black, and no, not all of it matches), the experience of standing outside while getting pummeled by rays of 98-degree sunshine parallels an experience on par to that Frosty The Snowman scene that traumatized your childhood.
On top of the dizzying palette of bright patterns and colors, another horror summer offers is the frequent (unfortunate) sighting of flip-flops and mandals (sandals for men). News flash guys – feet are already the most unattractive appendage on the human body, so unless you’re all up on that pedicure tip (which you most likely aren’t), cover up those hooves at all costs.
The struggle is all too real for us black-clad lads, but fret not. I’ve broken down various elements of your wardrobe and included a few suggestions to keep you styling sans schvitzing throughout the warmer months ahead.
Note that not everything here applies exclusively to fans of dark monochromatic garms, and while I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to defying traditional summer-appropriate fashion (Dr. Martens at the beach, anyone?), I’ve attempted to cover all grounds for a multitude of people who literally can’t take the heat.
If you absolutely must wear sandals, I’d say that a gladiator is probably your best bet. They’re undoubtedly the Zeus of the open-toe shoe family. Their militant aesthetic definitely makes them statement footwear, but they’re surprisingly versatile and add just the right dose of sophistication to most looks. My personal favorites this season are these ninja goth adidas by Rick Owens iterations.
Ok, so I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with pool slides. They’re perfectly fine when you’re just lounging around a body of water (beach, lake, pool, bathtub, etc.), but you run the risk of looking like a middle-aged Floridian golfer or EDM-loving frat bro if worn outside of those situations.
I guess they can look somewhat fashionable if paired with some white socks, but this scenario is a rarity and the rest of your getup/confidence level must be 100% on fleek for this to work. Loads to chose from, but these Raised by Wolves slides are my go-to, mainly because they’re emblazoned with my sentiments on summer.
So you can really wear any sneaker during summer in my opinion, but if you’re looking for something a bit more breathable, these perforated Vans x Taka Hayashi numbers will do the trick. And look! They cover up your whole pad. #Win.
Linen is every summer goth’s godsend fabric. If you, like me, are in no way ready to stow away all that long-length leg wear, then I suggest investing in a decent pair of linen trousers this season. I’m really into wide-leg ones that are cropped at the ankle because they’ve got that breeze factor on lock.
Unless you’re starring in a Nair commercial or serving hot wings at Hooters, shorts should NOT cut more than one-inch above the knee cap. Pleated ones are always a great option because they, like gladiators, have this dapper quality about them that spruce up an outfit without looking like a try-hard.
Wearing denim during summer is fairly safe, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Ok, maybe cool it on the selvage, unless you’re looking to fire up a furnace down there. For added ventilation, however, ripped jeans are the ideal option – they’re also #trending, if that means anything.
I’m all for a good cloak, especially when it’s hooded and features a zip closure. So many style options here.
Denim jackets are key for when you’re too lazy to check the weather before leaving the house and are kind of cold (mainly because you’ve got that central air cranked-up) but yet also aware that it’s probably a lot warmer outside. Just me? Ok.
Lightweight blazer jackets are definitely a great vibe for summer outerwear, but so are kimonos quite frankly. This flowy, oversized “pocket bag” jacket by buzzy LA-based label 69 is the perfect merger of the two.
Attention all anti-summer brethren: the t-shirt is your best friend during this trying season. Fitted, oversized, normal, etc. – tees of all variety are welcome…unless they’re pink or feature some corny ironic slogan or something. “Go graphic or go home” is my personal motto, however.
Alright, this HBA number isn’t for everyone, I get it. But if you’re looking for something short-sleeved and sporty that isn’t a tee, polo shirts are another solid choice. Check out more options here, but whatever you do, keep that collar un-popped. But you already knew that.
It’s our old pal linen again. If you’re looking to dress up your ensemble, linen, or even silk, shirts are never a sour solution. Between button or zip closures, short or long-sleeved, solid or patterned, there are plenty of options to choose from. But do choose wisely, not like homeboy over here.
As if you needed an excuse to wear a dad cap.
Bucket hats are really not my thing, but Undercover came out with some pretty fire ones this season. Styled with a pair of slick shades, and those UV rays won’t even think twice about touching your face.
Again, not the biggest fan of wide-brimmed headwear, but I’m really feeling this modernized fedora by London-based hat designer BySju. It’s like Children of the Corn meets Run-D.M.C. meets clergyman. Not mad at it.
- Main Image: Jun Hyeong Yang