How to Wear a Summer Sportcoat

“Let me show you a few things…”

Good ol’ JT! Leave it to him to make the perfect freshly showered and putting on the cologne soundtrack for a well-dressed gentleman. I played this as my pre-game tune all summer long before hitting up the streets. As much as I’d love a Suit+Tie, I like being able to get away with a sportsjacket for any semi-formal occasion or for times when I just want to play dress up without having to go all out. Summer demands creative colors, lighter fabrics, and deconstructed everything. I am still building my wardrobe and, now having gone through the basics, am starting to invest more effort into my next-level sportcoats and suits, but the following examples below can give you some start up ideas. First off, here are some easy rules to look dapper as hell this summer:

1) Go Lightweight. Look for summer fabrics like linen and cotton.

2) Have fun! Experiment with loud GTH colors and patterns. Just err on the side of caution.

3) As always, keep it trim and preferably unstructured with no shoulder padding. Don’t want any extra fabric to weigh you down or sweat though!

Just because it’s a sweltering 94 degrees outside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style with a wife beater and basketball shorts. All you need is breathable cotton and breaks from the heat with A/C. Here is my chino jacket matched with my favorite daytime fusion of a light pink OCBD and a black knit tie. A khaki sportcoat is priority number one when beginning your summer jacket collection. Buy a khaki and a navy. Impress and get a few glances. Repeat at next lunch outing.

**Author’s note: Some of the jackets appear slightly large because I’ve leaned out for a beach body and will have to lean bulk from starvation mode. Just pretend they’re fitted and give me the benefit of the doubt 😉

JCrew unconstructed chino sportcoat
Brooks Brothers OCBD, slim fit, made in USA
Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque and dark brown calf belt strap
Raleigh Denim, made in USA
Allen Edmonds Grayson tassel loafers, Merlot, made in USA black knit tie and tie bar
Seiko Skx009 diver watch

Attending a wedding last month, I decided to take the celebratory opportunity to wear my first GTH sportcoat. This Indian madras plaid jacket was bought on discount from eBay and is made by Ralph Lauren Blue Label, which is a good mainstream source for warm-weather unstructured jackets. Department stores like Belk and Macys will offer one or two from the summer collection every year and can be seen on discount later in the season to stock up for next year. Brooks Brothers always offers a few too. This sportscoat was already slim, but I went ahead and tapered the sleeves and sides as well as upped the armhole for a comfortably tight feel, and as such, this is my most tailored jacket yet…I wanted to looks like a Baws at the reception 🙂

A GTH jacket is boisterous and speaks for itself, and needs to be calmed the f*ck down by its partnering items. So just as I suggested before, go with neutral to mute the uproar. White dress shirt and pocket square, navy blue knit tie, light khaki chinos, and dark brown loafers. I like the look of a casual knit tie for a humid day.

Wear a jacket like this for fun times to be had. Maybe you can get away with it for Casual Friday in the office too. Just be careful because there is a lot of potential to screw up. Tailor and Ground! Don’t look like a Pee-Wee Herman.

I do eventually want a patchwork madras sportcoat but the offerings are limited. I tried one by Lands End but the fitting was terrible and it had those dumb protruding shoulder padding. Just Madras carries one and its made in the USA but am afraid it looks too boxy as well. York Street’s offering is very promising but perhaps slightly too fashion forward for my tastes and is still out of my even-dumber price range.

My wedding attire.

Ralph Lauren Blue Label Indian Madras Sportscoat
Brooks Brothers Ainsley Collar Dress Shirt, non-iron and slim fit
Bills Khakis M3, made in USA
Allen Edmonds Grayson tassel loafers, Merlot, made in USA Navy knit tie and tie bar

An in-your-damn-face can be worn seductively if done masterfully right on a hot summer’s night. Equivocally preppy, pair it with a dark shirt or polo, as seen here with my new Kent Wang, denim or slim dark slacks, and barefoot in loafers or low ankled lace ups. Think Calm, Collected, and Cunning, and your Confidence will shine and Compliment your outfit.

Kent Wang black polo
Trafalgar Engine Turned Plaque with black alligator embossed strap
Levis 501 STFCole Haan Pinch penny loafers.
Seiko Skx009 Diver watch

This was worn for a Spring Graduation but can easily be used for brunch at the faculty club or your little cousin’s baptism. Steal this for Easter next year and I’ll take it as a compliment! This is a linen jacket with interior cupro and I love the features like the lighter colored buttons.

Brooks Brothers linen sportscoat, Fitzgerald Fit
Brooks Brothers seersucker pants, Clark Fit
Brooks Brothers OCBD, slim fit, made in USA
Brooks Brothers patchwork bowtie, made in USA
Allen Edmonds Westchester penny loafers, made in USA
The Cordial Churchman seersucker pocket square, made in USA

Putting it all together for a lunch honoring my brother’s birthday. He is borrowing my plaid sport coat and knit tie. Lil cousin learning from the best.