Today’s Woman: Summer’s here and the time is right

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Stuck on your seasonal dressing? Menswear fashion oracle Mr Porter (www.mrporter.com) answers your most pressing sartorial style dilemmas for summer:

Turn the guy in your life into a style magnet with our guide to this summer’s hottest menswear trends

When Robbie Williams hangs up his designer touring shoes with Take That, he’s planning on fashioning a career out of menswear.

The singer has announced the launch of his ‘Farrell’ label for autumn 2011, drawing inspiration on the smart tailoring of London’s Savile Row.

His late grandfather Jack Farrell is the muse for Robbie’s collection, which pays homage to his style with a heritage feel - one of winter’s upcoming top trends.

But if next season is all about herringbone, tweeds and tailoring, now is the season of anti-stuffiness for men.

“Summer is the best time of year to inject a bit of colour into your life and be more playful with your wardrobe,” explains Toby Bateman, buying director at mrporter.com

“You can easily introduce colour through tees or light jersey pieces, lose the socks if you’re wearing loafers and there’s no need to be constricted by heavy outerwear.”

But dads, beware of embarrassing your kids with age-inappropriate fashion.

“Have fun this summer, but remain cautious - neons, short shorts and sandals in the city are the domain of the under-25s,” Bateman warns.

Here’s how to wear this season’s hottest looks.

BLOCK COLOUR

Ditch the dark colours until September and embrace bold brights for high summer. Up the colour ante as temperatures soar.

“Block colour is an easy way to modernise your wardrobe and was seen all over the catwalks,” says Bateman.

“I’d suggest chino shorts in a bold primary colour teamed with a shirt or polo shirt as the most simple way to work the trend. Don’t co-ordinate the colours to show true fashion savvy.”

CHAMBRAY

If you’re addicted to denim, beat the heat and lighten up with chambray.

“It’s a great alternative to denim for summer,” Bateman says. “As a natural fabric it ‘breathes’, so keeps the wearer cool whilst retaining a distinctly masculine feel.”

Chambray is available in a variety of colours but stick to pale and mid-blues to achieve a distinctly denim feel minus the heavyweight fabric.

UTILITY

No need to join the services like Prince Harry to work the utilitarian trend. Opt for military-inspired tones of khaki, camel and pale grey for off-duty style.

“Most menswear has an element of utility in it,” Bateman explains.

“I always feel that the best menswear has to combine form and function, in that fit is always key but it has to serve a purpose otherwise it’s just decoration.”

Adopt raw-edged fabrics, workmen-inspired boots and lightweight leather jackets for an ‘undone’ look.

GINGHAM

One of the big issues for shirt wearers this summer is: buttoned-up or down?

In one corner, the mod-style shirt done all the way to the top and, in the other, the Seventies gigolo chest-baring look a la Simon Cowell.

One trend that isn’t up for debate is the print of the season: gingham.

Bateman says: “It’s a great swim short fabric and it works well in any colour.”

TAILORING

Don’t fret if the term tailoring reminds you of the boardroom. In fashion speak, ‘deconstructed’ is the way to work a suit jacket this summer.

“An unstructured blazer can really lighten a look and is very versatile whether worn with a shirt and tie, or just with a t-shirt,” explains Bateman.

Avoid prints or garish shades and pick a versatile colour that will go with just about anything in your wardrobe. Bateman suggests grey or navy for summer.

summer style clinic

Stuck on your seasonal dressing? Menswear fashion oracle Mr Porter (www.mrporter.com) answers your most pressing sartorial style dilemmas for summer:

Q: My weekends are spent in the park with the kids. What can I wear that will look good, but go into the washing machine?

A: Start with solid brown leather brogues or boots with moulded rubber soles, then add jeans or narrow-cut trousers, a cotton shirt, a wool sweater and a waxed-cotton jacket. Set an example by holding out against fleeces and tracksuit tops.

Q: I’m going on a one-week beach holiday. What do I need to pack?

A: In addition to underwear, socks and what you wear to travel, take seven lightweight polo shirts, three pairs of swimming shorts, three or four linen shirts, a pair of chinos, a jacket for the evening, espadrilles or sandals for the beach, loafers for the restaurant and a Panama hat.