Adding more layers when temperatures are rising may seem counterintuitive, but the changeable weather means at some point you’re probably going to need to switch between summer and winter faster than Superman in a phone box.
Luckily, the brighter months bring with them a whole host of lighter materials, providing the opportunity for some careful experimenting after a long hard winter of wool in various shades of black, navy and grey.
Style.com’s latest edit is full of layering essentials from some of the industry’s biggest and best names, as well as a tempting mix of up-and-coming brands that’ll keep any layered look as cool as a cucumber (rather than stacked like a baked lasagne).
Linen may be regarded as a warm-weather essential, but it’s one of a handful of fabrics that instil fear into any man who’s tried it on for size. Cream linen slacks? Shudder. Sidestep the crease-factories for a cotton-linen blend in a deeper shade.
This chore jacket from British design stalwart Paul Smith is cut from a premium blended cloth that brings a wearable, lightweight feel to an outfit and will layer well both under a coat and over a crisp white T-shirt. Better yet, the rich navy hue and workwear-inspired detailing keeps the fabric more city-smart than beach-ready.
Priced £315. Click to buy.
Denim jackets are a year-round classic, but it’s spring when they really come into their own. Taking the time to find the perfect fit and shade is no thankless task, as it’ll unlock a range of looks that’ll see you through the entire calendar.
Whether used as a finishing layer over a T-shirt or jumper, or as a middle layer under a lightweight coat, this version from Danish brand Soulland fits the bill. Crafted from 13oz heavy denim in a light vintage wash and finished with rip-and-repair effects, it’s a wearable way to tick off two of 2017’s biggest denim trends.
Priced £128. Click to buy.
April showers may bring May flowers, but they’ll also destroy a look if you’re unprepared. A showerproof, single-breasted mac in a lightweight fabric is the best way to keep off the raindrops without sweating.
Oliver Sweeney’s take on the spring mac sees the brand delve deep into its design archive, with detailing taken from signature shoe styles on the leather collar stand and the angular, mitred placket. Pure Italian cotton in a rich neutral hue is made showerproof, creating a practical and immaculately finished product that’ll layer over everything from formalwear during the 9-5 to jeans and a T-shirt on the weekend.
Priced £349. Click to buy.
For probably the first time since last summer, wearing a shirt on its own becomes an actual possibility without the risk of catching frostbite – so make it count. Thanks to a raft of young brands taking officewear up a notch, shirts have been given a contemporary update lately. So don’t be afraid to trade in the button-down for something with a bit more edge.
Launched by Kanye West’s ex-head of design, CMMN SWDN brings a high-fashion twist to everyday pieces – and this shirt is a great introduction. The relaxed fit, athleisure-style fastening and cutaway shape will make a statement on its own, but the neat pinstripe, chest pocket and sleeve design gives it a classic lean.
Priced £175. Click to buy.
The bomber has been a prime fixture on the back of every man for the past few years with good reason. The lightweight jacket’s youthful, counter-cultural styling combines with a military heritage to create a shape that’s flattering and functional in equal parts. Opting for a simple, no-fuss style will see you through everything from BBQs to Bestival.
Italian powerhouse Marni specialises in pared-back takes on the menswear world’s biggest looks, and this zip-front jacket cut from lightweight washed cotton twill is no different. Exceptionally easy to wear, use it to add some nuance to a plain crew neck T-shirt or tone down a patterned shirt.
Priced £650. Click to buy.
The athleisure trend is still not fading, thanks to a host of designers who continue to blend the boundaries of smart-casual and sportswear. Half placket fastenings have made the transition from polo tops to smarter shirting this season, with a wider neck opening allowing for a casual, layered look while the rest of the shirt keeps your silhouette neat.
Swedish brand Our Legacy has created this soft, brushed cotton flannel popover shirt that provides warmth on its own but is thin enough to slide under an unstructured blazer or mac – ticking off the sportswear-under-tailoring trend without dusting off any old PE kit.
Priced £170. Click to buy.
Cover ups are key when the forecast is less reliable than Michael Fish. But while a smart trench is a forever wardrobe staple, it can get a bit, well, boring. Opting for a trench with off-kilter detailing instead can add some styling savvy to an otherwise basic look.
Maison Margiela may be best known for its fairly out-there runway creations, but underneath the fur-and-sequin loincloths, the French label is responsible for creating flattering, functional pieces that add some Parisian va va voom to classic garments. This trench features enough subtle detailing to keep it interesting – vertical zips, deconstructed waistband, high notch lapels – while keeping the DNA of the original jacket intact.
Priced £1,195. Click to buy.
Cotton is key to creating a layered look that’s more Pep Guardiola, less excess perspiration. The breathable fabric is the perfect way to transition from winter bulk, as it maintains the pristine shape of heavier fabrics while allowing you to layer it up without succumbing to heatstroke.
No wardrobe shirt should be without a smart long-sleeved shirt, but ditch the flashy labels for something more refined. The low-key nautical feel of this crisp, navy shirt from London brand Herculie will pair with black, denim and camel seamlessly for a fresh, clean springtime look.
Priced £150. Click to buy.
A great leather jacket is a serious investment – but one that will pay dividends in every season to come.
Thanks to a super-soft lambskin and James Dean-flecked styling, this Valentino biker will only get better with age, and effortlessly pair with almost every single item already in your wardrobe. For a smarter springtime look, add a buttoned-up Oxford shirt and black chinos, or just throw it over some band merch for no-fuss rock ‘n’ roll vibes.
Priced £2,545. Click to buy.
Buying wool when the mercury is rising might seem illogical, but cashmere’s luxurious versatility keeps it from being stowed away when the sun shines. The downy, durable material is warm, yes – but it’s also breathable, making it ideal for layering. While cashmere can ring up the tills at every price point from two figures to four, investing a decent amount means it’ll last.
Johnstons of Elgin has been producing quality cashmere goods since the 18th century, so you can be sure the brand knows a thing or two about making top-notch knits. The zip-front of this cardigan-jacket hybrid adds a modern, sporty touch to the heritage feel of the cashmere, and the inherent lightness of the fabric will slide under jackets and over T-shirts perfectly.
Priced £425. Click to buy.
Shop the full spring/summer 2017 designer collections now at Style.com.
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