How To Look Good In Summer’s Easiest, Breeziest Menswear
Embrace the season’s bohemian vibe with these new pieces from Mr P. and more
As summer approaches, the urge to switch off and relax can feel almost primal. Our thoughts begin to drift. Days spent in a state of blissful languor suddenly seems like more than just desirable. It seems like the right thing to do, as if the rhythm of the natural world is willing us to down tools, crack open a beer and sit in the sun.
This carefree mood doesn’t just inform the way we behave, but also the way we dress, a theme MR PORTER explored earlier this month near Èze, a picturesque medieval town on the south coast of France.
“I prefer a relaxed approach to dressing,” says Mr Jason Hughes, fashion editor of Wallpaper* magazine, who assembled the looks seen here from the latest Mr P. collection, along with a few key pieces from brands such as Craig Green, Maison Margiela and Loewe. He describes them as having “bohemian spirit”, something reflected in items such as woven coats with fringing details, patchwork jeans and fisherman-style knitted sweaters, which embrace craft-like and handmade techniques. These are paired with performance-inspired, technical items such as fleece zip-ups and Velcro-fastening reef sandals. “It’s the clash of these elements that feels modern,” says Mr Hughes, adding that “this kind of look doesn’t need to be confined to a sunny coastline; it also works in the city during the summer months.”
While that may be true, it’s unquestionably a sunny coastline where this approach to style feels most at home. Take the Baja-style hoodies from New Jersey surf brand Faherty, which look as if they were designed with beachside bonfires in mind. Or Loewe’s bright-orange bucket hat, a collaboration with the decades-old Ibiza fashion boutique, Paula’s. Or the miniature leather pouches from Jacquemus, part of a collection dedicated to “le gadjo”, a Romany term used in Marseille to refer to the young men who hang out on the local beaches.
It’s not the individual garments, though, as much as it is the breezy, relaxed fit that lends these outfits their summer-appropriate character. “I’m not a fan of anything that feels restrictive or uptight,” says Mr Hughes, who admits to having spent years refusing to wear skinny jeans during the height of the trend, preferring the “1990s California skate vibes” of baggy, straight-cut denim instead. A more generously-cut pair of jeans makes an appearance here with a sleeveless V-neck sweater vest from Maison Margiela, but it could be just as easily paired with “a voluminous shirt worn open, jacket-like, over a tee and sandals to perfectly fit the bohemian mood,” says Mr Hughes.
Of course, it goes without saying that the bohemian mood isn’t just about what you wear, but how you wear it, too. It’s as much an attitude or state of mind as it is a preference for looser-fitting clothes. “He’s an artist or a craftsman, in touch with and inspired by nature,” says Mr Hughes of the character depicted in these images. “This is reflected in the way he dresses. It’s relaxed, but put together in a considered manner. He understands colour, pattern and silhouette; he’s a confident dresser.” His is a lifestyle that most of us deskbound nine-to-fivers can only stare out of the window and dream about, in other words. But who cares? This is pure sartorial escapism.