High Noon in the City

The Gentleman’s Sartorial Survival Guide

Dressing in the sultry New York summer is a challenge for the urban gentleman. He may be expected to wear suit the  office or a sport coat to lunch at Le Bernardin. Some men embrace white linen, Panama hats and the Tom Wolfe  influence. That’s best done by experts, literary iconoclasts and plantation owners.

For the rest of us, it’s a bit more tricky. Here are some ways to rise above the sweltering summer.

-Espadrilles. What began on the beach can work in the city. Darker makes most sense. With lightweight grey trousers and you’re ready for a glass of Meursalt.

-The polo shirt. Whether Lacoste, Boast, Fred Perry or something more obscure, they look good with khakis and better under a sport coat.

-Knit ties. If you have shed your coat—perfectly reasonable—keep within arm’s reach of formality with a lively colored knit tie. Nobody does it better than Charvet.

-White shoes. Wear them fearlessly away from the docks. With a dark suit you make a small concession to the season and a big impact.

-Vilebrequin. Should you escape the city for the beach then by all means show your fierce side with a psychedelic Vilebrequin swimsuit. Yes, they’re often seen on Russian tycoons, but it’s still easy to make the whimsy work for you.

-The lightweight dark suit. This takes commitment and planning. A dark suit in summer-weight wool or blue on blue seersucker raises the sartorial stakes. Ideally it will be half-lined and not too closely tailored. You acknowledge Mother Nature on your own terms, and have earned your gin martini.

David Coggins confesses his love of the shade.

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