With Father’s Day just around the corner, exams winding down, and school holidays on the horizon, there’s no doubt about it — summer is upon us.
Our contrary weather means Irish people can be reluctant to invest in quality summer wardrobes, and this is especially true of Irish men. With many happy to just dip into a reliable stash of washed-out band tees and cut-off cargo pants as soon as the sun shines, summer is not when we find our menfolk at their sartorial best. That pre-holiday dash around Penneys for some beach-ready essentials simply adds to the chaos.
But with a little bit of effort (plus some well-timed Father’s Day gifts to nudge them in the right direction), dapper dads could be dressing to impress all summer long with a few well chosen pieces that hit all the spring/summer 16 high notes.
On paper, the season’s key menswear trends look a little bit daunting. On the catwalks of Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Dolce & Gabbana we saw colour, feminine details, 50s-inspired styling. and bold botanicals being embraced in the form of floral tailoring, embroidered satin bomber jackets, and silky pyjama tops in tropical prints. Not for the faint hearted, and probably not for your average Irish male.
But, as with every high fashion trend, the high street has stepped in to give us plenty of wearable variations, and Hollywood has offered us a summer style hero in the form of new dad Ryan Gosling. Gosling — who recently welcomed baby number two with his partner, Eva Mendes — is not letting sleepless nights cramp his style, and his current charm offensive promoting The Nice Guys has been a master-class in laid-back summer chic.
An early adopter of the coloured suit, Gosling has always been trend-aware, but he knows how to rock them gently and incorporate them into his signature style — classic, with a twist.
From the white tuxedo jacket he paired with navy trousers at Cannes, to the bottle-green suit he wore with an open-necked white shirt at his London premiere (cut a dash in Marks and Spencer’s copycat version, €175), Gosling is a fan of subverting expectations in a way that feels both classic and new.
For more casual engagements he’s opted for summer’s must-have — the bomber jacket — over a Henley or V-neck tee, but instead of embroidered satin (too reminiscent of his iconic Drive costume) he’s gone for a minimal take in neutral dove grey. He’s hit the 50s nail on the head, dressing down sharp tailoring with an open-necked lemon knit bowling shirt, and his subtle nods to florals have come in floral shirts and a tie embroidered with a single red rose.
So far, so achievable, so what are Irish men waiting for? Whether the sun is shining or not, a few key purchases this season can up anyone’s summer style game, and who knows?
A thoughtful Father’s Day gift could be the start of a whole new sartorial adventure…