As we humbly make our introduction to the world of menswear (keep your eyes peeled, Style Republic Magazine's "manly" website launches shortly), our editors thought it highly appropriate to begin tapping the masters of menswear to share their style secrets with our readers. Enter SHARP Magazine Editor-in-Chief (and notably sharply dressed male) Jeremy Freed. We asked the fashion-forward SHARP mind to shed some light on summer style selections for the quintessential Style Republic man.
Q: Summer means color. What are a few fashionable ways that men can incorporate bright shades safely into their office wardrobes? Their casual wardrobes?
Jeremy Freed: Start with the socks. A pair of mustard yellow socks under a nice blue suit adds just enough vibrancy to get you started. Pocket squares are also a great place to add a kick of contrast. On casual days, try a pair of bright coloured sneakers (New Balance has some great vintage-style options this season) with your standard jeans and button-down combo. There are also some terrific options in slim tailored Hawaiian shirts this summer—especially the one from Prada we feature in our new Book for Men.
Q: Suiting during the hot months is difficult at best. Tell us how our male readers can pull this off while staying cool; shorts, lighter layers – what’s your secret?
JF: Never shorts with a suit! Designers have been trying to push this on fashion-forward men for years and it just does not work for anyone (except a few guys I know in the fashion industry—but that’s the exception that proves the rule). The trick to keeping cool in the summer if you’re a suit-wearing guy is lighter fabrics: linen, summer-weight wool, cotton, silk blends. Fit is trim and tailored as with all other seasons, but the breathable fabrics will help you stay cooler. Loafers without socks will also let your ankles breathe (if you can get away with it at your workplace.)
Q: Women can often accessorize neutral colours with playful summer scarves. Men and summer scarves: Yay or nay?
JF: Nothing wrong with a man in a scarf! It’s an easier thing to sport in spring/fall, but nothing to say a nice linen or silk scarf can’t look great on a summer day with the right ensemble.
I’m fascinated by guys like Bill Cunningham and Thom Browne who wear the same thing every day without ever looking shabby or thrown-together. Not sure if I’d be content to do this myself, but I really admire that kind of commitment to a style.
Q: Every man has a style icon (more often than not, we hear it’s James Bond). Which three stylish celebrity men would you say should be on every sharply dressed guy’s radar?
Steve McQueen – The ultimate man’s man.
Lebron James – For setting a good example for both big guys and athletes to dress better (as well as the rest of us).
David Bowie – For not caring about what anyone else thinks, frequently dressing like a crazy person and somehow making it work.
Q: Follow up to that last question: Who’s YOUR style icon, and why?
JF: I’m fascinated by guys like Bill Cunningham and Thom Browne who wear the same thing every day without ever looking shabby or thrown-together. Not sure if I’d be content to do this myself, but I really admire that kind of commitment to a style.
Q: Which three accessories should every man keep up to date, year round?
JF: Shoes (you can never go wrong with the classics, just keep ‘em spiffy), ties (the right width is key), denim (a man should always have a great pair of deep indigo jeans in his repertoire).
Q: Prints are difficult for men to pull off without looking like a 70s throwback. How can guys incorporate some fun patterns into their wardrobes while still looking SHARP?
JF: There are so many cool options for bold prints on shirts this summer. The key is fit, fit, fit. Not billowy or baggy, if it’s a short-sleeved shirt make sure the sleeves stop mid-bicep. Just because it’s a casual shirt doesn’t mean it shouldn’t fit as well as your business button-downs.
Q: Summer is a difficult season for men and style. Many a fashion “crime” tend to flare up at this time of year – “Jorts,” (short jean shorts) and “Mandals,” (one band poolside sandals) being two of the biggest offenders. If men are thinking about adding these don’ts to their seasonal rotation, what sort of fashion-forward alternatives would you recommend they consider?
JF: Probably the worst offender to my sensibilities is long shorts. The purpose of shorts is to keep your legs cool, so why on earth would you wear something that hangs down past your knees? Shorts should end just above the knee, and should be as trim and tailored as your best suit trousers. Also: if you’re going to wear sandals (and really this should only be at the beach or on vacation) get a pedicure.
Q: Fill in the blank: Women love a man who can wear____________with confidence.
JF: A suit. A suit signals power and authority, and if you look good in yours no one will be immune to your charms.
Q: For the first time ever (really!), thanks to SHARP’s latest spread, REFINED IN THE ROUGH, Style Republic Magazine editors are beginning to think that powder blue blazers aren’t so bad. The secret to pulling that look off is...?
JF: Confidence, for one, and keeping the rest of the ensemble more restrained. Khakis, dark denim—make the statement with your blazer and let the rest of your look support it without competing for attention.