Spring is here, flowers are blooming, lambs are leaping and BBQs are being fired up. Along with sunnier days, Spring comes complete with a whole host of social events from Easter brunch to Bridal Showers (yup’ it’s that time again…) and we thought it might be helpful to review the best looks for each occasion. Hunt for Easter eggs, not for outfits. Let’s keep this Spring easy and breezy, whatever the occasion!
The Casual BBQ
BBQs, on the face of it, are a simple one. Just a casual meal with friends, so chuck on a T-shirt and jeans or shorts, right? Wrong! There are a couple of considerations, so let’s visit each one.
Who will be there? Just family? Your closest friend? Or is it a work function with that Supervisor you’re trying to impress? If it’s just close pals, feel free to keep your look totally casual – shorts and a t-shirt are fine. But, if there will be new faces to meet and possibly impress, you may want to kick your style up a notch – maybe add a simple collared shirt – either a buttondown with short sleeves or a polo shirt would do the trick. Also, keep your shorts neat, clean and in a simple, flat-front style (save the Cargo shorts for your best buds). Make sure your shirt fits properly, too. Nothing looks sloppier than an untucked shirt worn too short or too long- buy an untucked length specifically proportioned for taller or shorter men.
Second of all – let’s consider the food…. BBQs can get messy. This is not the day to embrace Spring with pale pastels. If you’re digging into a glorious rack of ribs it would be unrealistic to not expect some of that delicious sauce to migrate its way from your sticky fingers to your shirt. So, look for a patterned top or one in a darker color. Navy is dark and hides stains, but it is still a Spring favourite.
Accessorize with some sunglasses and comfortable canvas slip-ons to complete the casual, comfortable look.
Garden Parties, Brunches and Showers, Oh My!
So your Auntie has invited you to a garden party. What on earth is this? And since when did bridal brunches go Co-ed? Worse, what on earth should you wear? No worries, we’ve got this.
A garden party is a slightly more formal affair than your average BBQ, but not something to worry about. Expect less smoke, more balloons and flowers and you won’t be far off.
Being a garden party you will likely be using cutlery, fewer errant sauces and finger foods to be wary of, this means that we can break out the lighter colored shirts and pants to make the most of the occasion. Shirt-wise, stick with something short-sleeved but buttoned down. A lighter color is appropriate and more formal. Next, keep your pants light to stay in line with your shirt, maybe something along the lines of our Jack Twill Cloud Gray Jeans or a classic pair of flat-front Chinos in tan or cream. Whichever style you go with, take care that the fit is crisp and tailored (baggy pants and overly tight looks don’t fit the bill for these occasions). To ensure a perfect fit, look for pairs proportioned for your body type, tall or short.
Keep shoes comfortable, but slightly dressier – boat shoes and slip on leather loafers are the key to this look. Lastly, make sure that you have a nice watch, the last thing you want to do is overstay your welcome!
Outdoor Formal – Work Events, Weddings and more.
The boss smiles and hands you an invite, Work’s Summer Event, Attendance Mandatory, Formal Dress. Sounds like a drag, right? Probably. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable and stylish while you get bored by the same story that that one co-worker told you at the Christmas party.
You cannot get away from the suit. They’ve already stated that you have to be formal, but not every suit is the same. Rather than your average cotton suit, go with a linen number. Linen suits are lighter and allow you to actually breathe! Perfect for combating that blazing sun. Now, I started this paragraph saying that you cannot get away from the suit and I’m going to backpedal a little: You can get away from the suit jacket if you really want to, but it will need to be replaced by a waistcoat – you’re not getting away with only a shirt at a formal event! So pick up a linen suit, beige or gray (stay away from navy or black, this is a party after all!).
Underneath the suit (or waistcoat), don’t reinvent the wheel. If you see anybody in a t-shirt, feel free to judge them for being stuck in the 80’s and move along. You’re wearing your White Dress Shirt. Crisp, clean, light and still darn stylish. To complement this, wear a light pastel colored tie, again it’s simple but it will really set off the rest of the ensemble. Insist on some color? Then stick with a dress shirt in a light, pastel color – this is the one time of year anyone can pull off pink and purple.
Complete the look with a simple pair of black (with gray) or brown (for beige suiting) pointed shoes, and a belt of the same color. You’ll be the talk of the event! Well, you and that one co-worker that had one too many to drink…