Seven ways to improve your summer
Summer is upon us gentleman. And whether you’re staying in the region or sampling locales abroad, the question remains the same. Are you properly prepared? And we mean really? Is your body “beach-ready”? Is your blazer the correct shade of blue? Are you packing the right books/shades/sunscreen? And have you seen the state of your feet?
Here’s some essential summer skills every stylish man should master in this tricky season.
1| Buy a summer jacket that’s more useful than it sounds
Once, the only jacket to wear in warmer months (if you could bring yourself to wear one at all) was cut from pale linen in a billowy shape. Given the unflattering fit and quick-to-crease nature of these blazers, they could only be worn a few times a year, which seems a waste. Designers have now started cutting summer jackets from perennially adaptable fabrics like seersucker, jersey and lightweight wool in wearable shades of navy and grey. Zegna specialises in intelligent fabrics, designed to breathe in the heat and insulate in the cold, such as its blazer in wool-silk mix. So, if we were you, start with that.
2 | Disguise that you’re a tourist abroad
Five items of clothing you must never wear when you’re away on holiday. Or home, for that matter.
Anything locally sourced
Though that collarless cheesecloth embroidered tunic might look great on a local, you’ll look daft.
Visors, caps, pork pies and panamas — unless they’re being used to actually keep the sun off your face.
Obviously you can never wear them with sandals, but the same goes for sneakers, loafers and espadrilles. If your feet sweat, try invisible socks from Falke.
An ill-fitting linen shirt
Yes, it’s light and breathable, but linen isn’t the only summer fabric. Swap for a pique polo or Sea Island cotton T-shirt instead.
Shorts and trainers
White sneakers worn sockless with slim trousers is one thing; worn with black socks and football shorts is another. If in doubt, opt for sandals (daytime) and loafers (evening).
3 | Fill out a t-shirt
It’s not just bigger arms: you’ll need a wider back, broader shoulders and a deeper chest. Here’s how to build them up (four sets per exercise, 6–8 reps each, heavy as you can).
1. Wide-grip lat pulldown
Hold the bar on a pulldown machine with a wide, over-hand grip. Pull down to your chest and arch your back. Pause, then slowly raise the bar back. Don’t lean back too far and pull using your body weight.
2. Barbell bench press
Lie on a flat bench and using a medium-width grip, lift the barbell from the rack and hold it straight above you. Inhale and bring the bar down slowly until it touches your chest. Pause, then push it back up while exhaling. Lock arms and squeeze your chest, hold for a second, and then bring the bar down.
3. Dumbbell shoulder press
Sitting on an upright bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. With your palms facing forward, exhale and push the dumbbells upward until they touch above your head. Pause, then inhale and slowly lower the weights back down.
4 | Return a wayward football (at the pool/beach/park)
A football rolls towards you, and with it the slow-creeping dread and sepia-tinged flashbacks of PE lessons and something about “using the laces”. Footy trickster Billy Wingrove of The F2 Freestylers (thef2.com), explains how to avoid the shameful “scoop up and throw”.
“Think about the distance,” he says. “If it’s less than 10 yards, your side foot is more accurate. Place your non-kicking foot with your toes facing towards where you want the ball to go, then swing through and follow that path. Easy.”
N.B: If you’re after something a little more flash, google ‘Rabona Tutorial’ on YouTube.
5 | Avoid getting bored on the beach
Beaches are great for the first seven-and-a-half minutes, but then what? Here are some seasonal suggestions to keep you entertained between dips.
Read this :Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames
Sozzled Anglophile Alan Blair has his very own Jeeves — at least in his head — to ease him through hangovers and writer’s block alike in Ames’ fiendishly funny new novel.
Watch this:The Interview
The Kim Jong-un assassination comedy that got banned (and then didn’t) is out in digital HD, but keep ’em peeled for North Korean snipers in Speedos.
Listen to this:Peace Is the The Mission by Major Lazer
Don’t be fooled by the melodious opener: Major Lazer’s new album is a barrage of blistering, brain-scrambling tunes. Or, download Esquire (and Mark Ronson’s) recommended summer playlist
6 | Make your feet less frightening
Toes more Middle Earth than Mediterranean? Simran Thethy of therefinery.com can help
1. Moisturise twice daily.
2. Once a week remove dead skin from your soles with a pumice stone (then moisturise).
3. With a towel edge over your thumb, ease back your cuticles and hydrate with a suitable oil.
(Alternatively, consider a mani-pedi like Esquire did here)
7 | Select a good pair of sandals
In the office
If you’re a banker, maybe not; if you’re in the media, bingo. Opt for black or brown leather and team with slim cigarette chinos. Long sleeves on top will counter the excess flesh below.
Around the house
For S/S ’15, it’s all about Birkenstocks. Wear with slim-cut stonewash jeans and an oversized cream granddad shirt to avoid the “Orange County earth mom” look.
At the weekend
Teva’s Original Universal style are streamlined and satisfying. Go for blue or grey nylon and pair with tailored track pants from Bottega Veneta or Wooyoungmi.