A Guide to Spring Tailoring
Down here in the Pacific South West of Canada, spring has sprung with a vengeance. Lately we have enjoyed a sudden warm and sunny spell, the likes of which we haven’t enjoyed for over 6 months. If you have to dress up often, you are probably heartily sick of the dark, weather-proof colours that you have been wearing all winter, but it isn’t quite the dress down summer days that we all like.
You need a ‘middle ground’. Something that says: “Hey, I’m still dressed, but life isn’t that serious, right now.” Here are some tips to ease you into this fabulously colourful time of year.
Colour your World.
Over the last few years, it has become more and more everyday to see suits and shirts in bright, sunny hues. While this may be perfect for the outdoor events that you are going to enjoy at this time of year, they may not be so acceptable in the office, when you have to be taken seriously, or represent your employer at industry meetings. So why not look at your overall look, and how to complement it. Elements shine in contrast, so before breaking out the Pink suit, reach for accessories instead.
Try a checked shirt with a white or navy background and bright accent colour. Then echo it in your tie or pocket square, if your office’s sobriety guidelines allow. With some careful adjustments to the underlying colours in your grey suit, you can shift your office uniform into something that’s equally as appropriate in the beer garden once you’ve clocked off. If you have a checked suit or even an underlying pattern in a dark suit, you can experiment with these shades to serve up a completely different look. Don’t forget your socks, too. Pick out the colours of our accessories in your glimpse of sock. It says that you have a sense of humour, and know exactly what you are wearing.
Sunnier weather, sunnier style
Those dark suits, or jacket and tie combinations that you have worn since last year’s World Series are also heavy, baby. A good way to lighten up is to enjoy lighter fabrics. After all, with some careful expansion, you can come up with two or three looks that, with some careful accessorizing, you can wear for the next seven months. It’s worth investigating how you look in linen, or cotton blends, along with the softer colour palette. These fabrics are slightly looser to wear, and also act as a diversion system for moisture, directing it away from the skin. We all know how faulty that air-conditioning system is, after all.
Just because you are wearing something ‘dressy’, you don’t have to be ‘dressed up’. Depending on how much leeway your office allows, restyling your suits can make even winter tailoring right for balmier days. A classic Polo shirt worn under an unlined jacket and teamed with smart, clean jeans will keep a look sharp, but still cool enough for summer.
To avoid sweltering, ditch as much jacket structure as possible. Padding and linings add a lot of weight as well as shape that you didn’t think about when you were cold, but for Spring think about something more akin to a blazer-shaped cardigan, then pair with denim or linen to ensure your legs don’t suffocate.
Learn To Shine
Of course, we are now into ‘long evening’ territory, when a patio beer after work starts out with Sunglasses, but returns to Dark soon after dinner. Don’t forget the Blazer look. Even worn with a loose summer shirt, it will look knockout at your desk and the water cooler, but can be jettisoned when the Six PM cocktail feels like it’s still noon, and still look great when you return it to your overall look over the evening meal. You can also break out those lighter coloured slacks you have and match them with looser jackets, as long as they enjoy a central crease, and no food stains!
From here, you can look at accessorizing with glossier, brighter ties and squares, louder belts, and even some silk shirts. It’s Spring so accentuate the brighter, more fun shades, but still remember the unsaid basics: Keep everything clean, all buttons present and correct, and shoes (or sandals!) clean and polished.