Men often find themselves at a loss when it comes to dressing for spring. The comparatively milder weather doesn’t quite dictate what to wear in the same way that the winter months do—it isn’t enough to simply default to strong dark colors and thick, stocky fabrics. As a result, many feel as though they’re adrift in a sea of seemingly endless sartorial choices.
In this post, we guide the overwhelmed man on how to both look and feel cool and comfortable as the temperature starts to rise. Here are 7 pointers you can keep in mind to improve your spring style game:
Ditch the Heavy Fabrics
The first reason why you should switch to lightweight fabrics in the spring is a practical one. Temperatures are going to rise, and stubbornly sticking to your fall and winter shirts and sweaters is a recipe for disaster. Fabrics like wool, fleece, corduroy, and knits are great for cold weather, but you’ll be sweating bullets if you choose to wear them past April.
To keep from feeling hot and heavy under the collar in the spring, go for lightweight fabrics such as linen, cotton, or silk. You can also take a look at synthetic “tech” fabrics, the kind used in high-performance sportswear. They’re much more breathable and appropriate for the weather. For the occasional cold night at the beginning of the season, tropical weight wool should keep you warm and insulated without feeling restrictive or confining.
Think Lighter, Not Brighter
Most people associate the season of spring with bright hues and vibrant colors. And while it is the perfect season to start incorporating color back into your wardrobe (more on that in a bit), there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it.
Day-glo colors have their time and place, but unless you’re a very sharp dresser, loud yellows and bright oranges can be very hard to pull off without looking obnoxious. A simple trick to bring the essence of spring into your wardrobe is by wearing your neutrals in lighter shades. For instance, you can swap out your dark indigo jeans for a lighter wash denim, or trade in a black shirt for one in light grey or white. It’s a hassle-free way to instantly refresh your usual outfits.
Learn to Layer
Layering is a great way to account for the unpredictability of the weather in spring. Days can start chilly before getting steadily warmer during the midday. It isn’t unheard of for the temperature to start dropping once the sun has set, too.
To address this, layer! Start with a plain white t-shirt and jeans combo, then add a lightweight sweater. Bundle up with a denim jacket or an unlined sports coat. You can then shed layers when the temperature rises and put them back on when it drops as you see fit.
Don’t be Afraid of Color
Men tend to default to a monochromatic color palette because it’s safe and easy. You can’t really go wrong with black, grey, white, and the more conservative shades of blue. As stated above, though, spring is the perfect time to start experimenting with color. Again, think light, not bright!
Go for light neutrals and pastel shades that evoke the feeling of springtime: yellows and greens mirror sunlight and the environment, while pinks and lilacs subtly conjure up images of flowers blooming.
Spring is also a great season to start wearing prints. Go with larger prints in brighter colors and pair those pieces with stalwart solids to keep the overall look clean.
If you aren’t confident about color-coordinating clothes, you can start small by changing up your socks. Colorful dress socks for men, as well as patterned ones, can add a subtle touch of whimsy to any formal outfit.
Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
Most men would agree that a wristwatch in a classic style can elevate any outfit, formal or casual. Accessories are a great way to personalize your look and truly make it your own. Try a casual belt in a safe color with your chinos and a polo shirt, or a baseball cap in a lighter color than your usual.
If there is one accessory that every man must have in the spring, it’s sunglasses. It’s always best to go for styles that flatter your face shape best, but you can’t really go wrong with a pair of wayfarers or aviators. You’ll look fly and your eyes will thank you.
Clean Out Your Wallet
Nothing ruins the slim profile of a well-tailored pair of trousers more than a thick wallet that’s bulging at the seams. If spring cleaning is a thing in your home, why shouldn’t it be a thing with your wallet? Get rid of your old receipts, expired discount cards, and your ex’s Polaroid photo. Start afresh by working towards a slimmer wallet that only holds the things you need.
With contactless cards and smart payments on the rise, it may even be possible to ditch cash—and your wallet by extension—entirely. If you mainly use credit cards or your smartphone or watch to make payments on the go, then you can get away with trading your old wallet in for a slim card holder. Some of these have compartments aplenty for all of your cards plus a few bills and are equipped with RFID-blocking technology to prevent wireless theft.
Choose a Signature Spring Scent
A fresh spring cologne can be a great morning mood-booster. It’ll also (hopefully!) get a few heads to turn in your direction as you walk past. Scents can be that powerful! Keep an eye out for green and citrus notes such as aromatic herbs, neroli, vetiver, lime, and bergamot. Clean scents that evoke airy breezes or clean linen are also very spring-appropriate.
When wearing any kind of scent, take care not to over-apply. A good place to spray is on your chest and between the shoulder blades. For best results, spray directly onto the skin and take note of how the scent reacts with your body chemistry.
Updating your style to suit the season doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. For spring, all you have to do is keep the words “fresh” and “clean” in mind!