DRESS WELL: Summer Essentials (For Us At Least)

Last time you saw us, we were discussing spring and summer's hottest runway trends for this year. Oh, how time flies, and the season is upon us. Coveted, anticipated, summer. This time around, we decided to pay less attention to the passing trends, and zero in on the mainstay pieces in our wardrobes that we reach for most in the sunny weather. For us, these are the essentials for dressing up, LVD style. Let's jump right in: 

 Cropped Pants

Avery: For me, in the summer months I despise wearing shorts. Don't ask why, it's just how I roll. Instead, when this time of year rolls around, I bust out the floods. Showing off the ankle is always a cool move, especially when the mercury rises. I personally stick exclusively to slim fits, but I have recently been going outside my own sartorial box and rocking some pants with pleats, and a taper at the ankle. 

Mason: Cropped pants seem to be one of those slow burning trends that is just shy of peak popularity. Rolled up pants/jeans have been in for a very long time, and cropped pants give off a similar silhouette but with no effort and no breaks. It is a look that is simultaneously formal and relaxed. As another who dislikes casually wearing shorts, it allows you to cool off a bit and breathe in comparison to skin tight denim.

 Pastels/Colorful 

Mason: Color is one of the hardest things to master in fashion, and it is certainly something I'm still learning about (I have the horrible habit of wearing all black in 80 degree weather). Light airy colors are always in during the summer seasons, but it is important to balance them and use them selectively. Too many colors will have you looking like a frat boy, and too little might have you looking out of place. With color (as well as a lot of aspects of fashion) I like to imagine myself on a tightrope, trying to keep balance and avoid falling into dangerous extremes. On one side, lies the valley of the rainbow warriors, and on the other, the dreary sea. I put a lot of effort into making sure my use of color is neither boring nor obnoxious.

Shawn: Hey, it’s Shawnie ;p. It’s time to put the color palette out because summer is here, folks! Did you know that my style, or at least the style I attempt to expend, has been progressively making its way into the fashion world as of late? Yes, we are talking the skater-boy heritage style. I unintentionally fell into the trap of trends, but I am here now and loving it. This style is so unique because when people think of the words “preppy” they think “bright colors” and a “golf course,” whereas when they think of “skater-boy” they automatically associate it with dull colors and long hair. Aside from social stigma and the parade that is, there is much truth in these styles and, forthwith, exemplifying a cross between these styles is unequivocally difficult. My style in the summer reflects a true cross between the bright summer suave, as depicted by my bright color choices, and the buff skater-boy with a lot of feel in his clothing, that builds traction in both the fashion world and the ramp. Cash me outside in my bright colors out in the bright lights. *Drops mic* Picks it back up because mic is expensive*

 Shades

Avery: Sunglasses are always an essential for summertime - that's a no-brainer. My favorites by far are my beloved Tom Ford's. I saved up and obsessed over that grail for a while, and was ecstatic when I finally bought them last summer. The mix of the dark brown color, and the wayfarer-meets-aviator silhouette are so cool and unique. The gold trim on the sides put the cherry on top. I wear them everyday.

Mason: Sunglasses (as well as eye-wear in general) are a really fun way to accessorize in the summer months. They alter how people perceive you because they almost transform your face, and that's not something many other sartorial statements are able to do. They are really great to play around with and find those frames that truly compliment your face. Not to mention, their ability to keep the blinding summer sun out of your eyes.

 Short Sleeved Dress Shirts

Avery: I love collared shirts as much as any other #menswear blogger, but once the summer months roll around, long sleeves are a definite no. When it's hot, I reach for dress shirts with short sleeves. They keep me looking put together and stylish, yet relaxed and cool. I unbutton more than I should and roll up the sleeves for extra style and gun power. For these I reach for brighter colors and vibrant patterns to add extra steez in weather where you can't layer. 

Mason: Short sleeve button ups, the uniform of business casual IT offices everywhere, can actually be some of the coolest shirts around. I only have one plain white one, but I try to make it look chic by pairing it with really wide legged, DIY cropped, and high-waisted trousers. These shirts can come in any pattern or style, from floral to seersucker, and help you look slightly more formal without making you sweat bullets.

 Interesting Tees

Avery: For a more relaxed, yet still stylish look I reach for one of my many cool graphic tees. These are easy, comfortable, and look way better than the tees your not-so-stylish counterparts are rocking. I most often go for something simple, yet impactful in tees emblazoned in French words, florals, or stripes.  

Mason: T-shirts belong right beside the wheel and sliced bread as one of the greatest inventions of man-kind. They are perhaps the most basic and versatile item in every ones wardrobe. In the colder months, more basic tees are recommended for versatility with layering. However for summers in Detroit, they can be pretty bland. Interesting graphics, cuts and materials help add visual interest to the stripped down summertime looks and cement your status as the Avatar: Master of all four seasons. 

Shawn: Listen folks, graphic tees matter more than just for showing off the money makers…Each tee has its own quaint meaning to me and thereby has its own relevance to my style. However, I’d like to express that the graphic tees I wear are more than just graphics and cartoons that in layman terms one would normally associate with graphic tees. The tees involve intricate, heavy design patterns that are unique to an overall expressive style subjective to my taste. Tees are imperative in my steez for its role as a statement piece and as a comfortable article. Graphic tees allow me to express my style in its truest form and also at its most comfortable, relaxed state. I implement these tees into my everyday wardrobe because I like to stay comfy and stay winning!

 Light Tailoring

Avery: I understand summer is a nightmare when it comes to suiting up. However, I have a couple key pieces in my arsenal that allow me to both look and stay cool in the heat. I have this great light navy stretch cotton suit from H&M. I got this suit last summer, and it has been a revelation. It is light, having a rippled, almost seersucker material, and added stretch for comfort. I wear this everywhere and with everything, from tees and sneakers, to shirts, ties, and dress shoes. The other piece is this great lightweight blazer from Gap. This jacket looks like it came out of an Italian tailoring house with it's lightweight, nubby material and being unlined and having unstructured shoulders. Both these pieces have prime spots in my rotation and are extremely versatile.

 White Sneaks

Avery: I know, I know. It seems like nowadays fashion bros and Stan Smith's go together like peanut butter and jelly. But who could blame em? The shoes have a pristine white leather outer and minimal construction which make them go with literally everything. I have these on heavy rotation, wearing them with everything from my casual wear to my suits. 

Mason: White sneakers are a menswear staple I've only recently gotten into. For the longest time I never understood why every fashion journalist/ style blogger emphasized the essential nature of the white sneaker. In the few weeks since I purchased my current pair from Zara, I finally figured out what all the raving was about. White sneakers are the footwear equivalent of the black skinny jean because they go with everything. They can be dressed up or down, and fit right in with anyone's wardrobe. Some worry about how much the dirt shows up on white shoes, but a little grime can add a lot of character.

Shawn: The Sneaks baby. The Sneaks. I capitalized the ‘S’ in Sneaks for emphasis. Pow! I work hard, I get paid, and I could definitely afford a new pair of fresh, white sneakers; however, my heritage, rustic chic style is counter to this point. My hell beat shoes are ones that I wear nearly every day and can confidently say I maneuver my entire wardrobe some days to accommodate for the sneaks. My sneaks are worn to the ground, but they have so much character. The PF Flyers were a 1970s thrill ride and they were the sneaks every kid had to get their hands on. Today, kids reach for some Air Jordan’s and I appreciate that they are reflecting their own style. However, in terms of creating a unique look, this is my attempt. I don’t keep my shoes clean, I like roughing them up because I appreciate the rugged chic going on there. 10/10. Get yourself a pair of PF Flys, baby!

 Dad Hats

Shawn: Issa movement! Before I get into hats, I want my FANS, or readers, whatever to understand that I wear hats because my hair is very long and wavy and I like how hats bring out the natural waves in my hair. So for 95% of my life my hair has been a free flowing stream not knowing where to go or where to turn. Lately, my hair has been waving naturally and I don’t know why, but it’s dope. I’m growing my hair out and I like to throw a cap on top to reflect why it’s important for self-care and for not following trends. I will explain. We are young, I assume that if you’re reading this page you’re a somewhat young guy, so we’re talking 90 and lower. You have the ability now to mess around with your hair and mess around with your look at no penalty. I highly recommend not necessarily going crazy with your hair, but maybe growing it out an inch or two longer, or even dying it if that’s your thing. The premise of my series of imperative declarations is not to glorify youth and rebellious inclinations, rather it is to beautify the youth we are a part of. Therefore, fulfilling your prerogative is highly necessary and required to maintain an overall healthy mindset and henceforth, self-care is established. Two, not following trends is the new trend. Dad hats may be breaching surface on the heads of cool influencers and celebs as of late, but are most definitely not what you see at Milan Fashion Week. I do know that the seldom sought-after trends, such as hats, are very unique and exemplary of a chic not faceted by the normative trends we participate in on a daily basis. All I know is, is that if I were at Milan Fashion Week, I’d proudly wear my dad hats and I’d look damn good doing it. I love my hair, I love hats, and my style integrates both to meet overall steez fruition. Get some hats. Hats Off, folks!

 Jewelry

Avery: Rings and bracelets have become a mainstay in my closet as of late. I dipped my toes in buying cheap rings that left my fingers green and beaded bracelets. However, now I have graduated from the rank of jewelry novice and got some proper pieces to wear. I am in love with my giant Gucci lion ring. It's grand, crazy, intricate and I love every part of it. I rock two simple stainless steel bands on the other hand. As far as bracelets go, I recently ditched the beads for metal link pieces. One gold, and one silver, each was a gift from one of my grandmothers. Wearing them combines personal sentiment with style.  

Mason: Jewelry is a seriously underrated aspect of menswear. They can elevate even the simplest outfits (a white t-shirt plus black skinny jeans and rings is a great look). I like to keep it pretty simple though, as to avoid looking like I came fresh of the set of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film. I have two rings that I wear daily and a few chains for added detail when necessary.

So, those are our summertime style essentials. Of course, essentials and key pieces vary between different individuals with their own unique style. That being said, what do you wear most in the summer? Shoot us a comment and let us know!