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Staff Picks

Late-Summer Essentials

We’re squeezing every last drop out of the longer days and warmer nights with these picks for the changing season

“Summer’s almost gone,” sang Mr Jim Morrison in The Doors’ song of the same name. “We had some good times but they’re gone/The winter’s comin’ on.” Aside from its irrefutable grasp of seasonal transit (albeit with the puzzling omission of autumn or, as Mr Morrison would undoubtedly have had it, “fall”), the song nails that elegiac feeling that, yes, the nights may be drawing in, and yes, there’s a distinct nip in the air when they do, but no, we’re not quite ready to renounce our summer habits, or our summer clothes. With that in mind, in the latest instalment of our Staff Picks series, we throw caution to the wind (and rain) and pick out the warm-weather pieces that will see us through to Labour Day and – well, you never know – beyond.

My wardrobe is full of contemporary (and retro) sportswear, so I’ll be sticking to what I know this summer by investing in a satin jersey track top by Burberry. You won’t find me warming up in it, though. Nor will you see me sporting sneakers with it. Instead, I’ll be teaming it with a pair of slim Saint Laurent pale blue jeans and chunky Derbies from Dries Van Noten, a nod to the early 1990s club scene. Just not so sweaty.

If my clothes look relaxed, then the hope is my mind will follow suit. So, for August, I’ve picked a pair of laid-back striped linen navy trousers by Massimo Alba. The fit is great, the fabric makes them look as if you’ve owned them for ages, and they will look equally at home in the shade by the pool as they will at dinner in the piazza. I will pair them with one of Massimo Alba’s garment-dyed panarea T-shirts in blue and a pair of Castañer Pablo washed-canvas espadrilles.  I’m hoping to emulate Mr Matthias Schoenaerts’ character in Mr Luca Guadagnino’s movie A Bigger Splash, set on a Sicilian island. The reality is I’ll end up more like the one played by Mr Ralph Fiennes.

Whenever I go to New York City, I stay at the Nomad Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Not only is the location ideal, but the Maison Kitsuné store located right at the hotel entrance always gives a warm welcome when I walk through the doors. Fittingly, this sweater designed by the Parisian brand was inspired by New York City and is part of the capsule collection exclusive to MR PORTER. It’s a bold design, so I would tone down my outfit with a pair of dark blue skinny-fit Acne Studios jeans and a pair of Nike Mayflys. I especially love the nod to the famous 1977 Mr Milton Glaser “I Heart New York” logo of the jumper. Yes, like everyone else, I love New York – but I think I love Maison Kitsuné even more.

As summer draws to a close I tend to pack up my bags and head to the south coast to enjoy what’s left of the British sunshine. Every year I convince myself that I need to bring only a couple of T-shirts and a wetsuit, and every year I end up wrapped up in a damp towel on the beach, trying to stave off hypothermia. So this time round I’m going to embrace the inevitable and pack a chunky sweater, such as this mid-weight one from Acne Studios, to throw on with a pair of Folk shorts and let nature do its worst.

The stock in trade of Japanese brand Remi Relief is artfully worn-in pieces inspired by vintage Americana and Californian surf culture. This shirt in particular, which comes in a subtly faded blue check, looks like it’s already spent a few months baking in the sun, so seems a particularly apt choice for these final few weeks of summer. In fact, it’s the kind of comforting, versatile thing that might continue to evince a certain warm and fuzzy feeling well into September. A no-brainer, really. Will I, ultimately, wear it with a dashing Panama hat from Loro Piana? Will I? My finger has been hovering over the “proceed to order” button for quite some time on that one…

These are my favourite sneakers. The iconic shape of the Stan Smith makes it really versatile. It has a silhouette that goes with almost any type of trouser. I would opt for these Primeknits, the perfect substitute for the leather version at this time of year. If something is blue, I’ll generally buy it, especially if it’s a denim jacket (I have about 10 of them, though I probably shouldn’t admit to that). I especially like this one from Oliver Spencer because it has all the classic details and shape of a denim jacket, but it’s interpreted differently. And if it’s not blue, it’s got to be stripes. Ever since I saw this T-shirt on one of our shoots, it has been on my wish list. I love Missoni’s eye-catching stripes – it’s a look I associate with relaxed late-summer days.