As the June days tick by, temperatures are consistently rising, the sun is sticking around longer, and summer is days away from officially beginning. Warmer weather gives you fewer opportunities to layer and put together considered outfits, but the trade-off is that you get to feel comfortable, cool, and chill AF for an entire season. Here are the trends and style moves I plan to latch on to for the next three months:
Raw Hems (But Out On Knee Rips)
In case you haven’t noticed, denim is super distressed again. The denim trends that you thought you’d moved on from after you ditched your last pair of Abercrombie jeans in 2006 is back in full force with even more rips and repairs than ever, thanks to the revival of 90s Grunge. At this point, I’ve seen all of the knee rips I can possibly see, so I find the shredded details most interesting when applied to the hems of jeans. Raw hems, released hems, stepped cuts, and frays are all popular right now, and the best part is that you can take old garments your tired of and refresh them by adding a raw hem.
Step 1: Get scissors. Step 2: Cut.
It’s really that simple, and I’m applying it to more than just denim this summer. Got a t-shirt that’s too long? Cut it to the length you want it and the let the fabric naturally curl in its raw-hemmed state. Make shorts out of beat-to-death chinos. Grab jeans you don’t like anymore and crop them or make a ridiculously short pair of jorts for your 4th of July festivities. Do you. Raw hems are a subtle nod to the various 90s subcultures currently serving as the muse for most of the fashion world and don’t look nearly as forced as the aforementioned knee-rips, which, by the way, I am now out on. I’m not getting rid of my pairs, and I will continue to wear them throughout the summer, but I’m not buying any more denim with holes. They’ve become so ubiquitous that it’s beginning to look silly. What started as an easy way to differentiate a pair of jeans and give them a cool, worn-in, DGAF vibe is now starting to look more intentional and affected than ever, and those are the hallmarks of a trend that’s ready to be let go.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you know the style. Every Instagram model between Santa Monica and St. Tropez is wearing a pair. The wire-framed pair from Ray Ban seems to be the trendiest choice du jour, but rounded-off frames are popping up from pretty much every sunglass brand out there. Yes, this is already a widespread fad, and I’m not always interested in jumping on every trend that blows up this quickly, but here’s the thing: Wayfarer and Aviator shapes aren’t going anywhere. They will always be popular and suitable for a wide array of face shapes, so when something new and fun pops up in the sunnies department, it’s a great opportunity to mix it up in an area where there honestly isn’t a ton of innovation.
P.S. For the last two years, my favorite sunglasses have been Illesteva’s Leonard, and there are two great colors on a helluva sale linked below. I added the tan ones to my collection.
Splurge, But Still Save
ILLESTEVA Leonard Round-Frame Acetate Mirrored Sunglasses
Black, White (and other neutrals) For Summer
When cooler weather rolls around, I stick to an extremely neutral palette. Blacks, greys, and navies dominate my fall-to-winter wardrobe because they’re easy to mix, match, and layer, and they look great on me. (Hint: They look great on everybody.) My idea of color in the fall extends to various shades of olive or army green and that’s about it. Inevitably, the sun pokes its happy face out from behind the clouds, the leaves grow back, the snow melts, and we celebrate. We show our excitement and rejuvenated spirit by showing more skin and… putting on a bunch of ridiculously bright colors? Why? They don’t look as good and they’re not nearly as chic. I’m not saying I won’t be wearing any color this summer, but when I do, I’m sticking to muted, dusty greens and blues. As for the foundation of my looks, I’m sticking with what I know: blacks, greys, and navies, plus a healthy dose of Wimbledon white.
I have a minor addiction to shoes. Within the 19 different tabs at various web-stores, I have open in my browser at any given moment, at least 14 of those shopping carts have a pair of shoes inside. I don’t think my craving for various styles of footwear will ever really be sated, and I’ve been known to drop multiple triple figures on pairs of must-have sneakers. This is an expensive habit, not to mention I end up babying these prized possessions of mine. Unless the weather’s perfect and there’s less than a 10% chance of somebody spilling a vodka-cranberry on my feet, I’m not busting out the suede Vince slip-ons, you know? I’m tired of worrying.
This summer, I’m taking the same amount of money I’d usually spend on one pair and spreading it out to three or four great pairs of sneakers that I won’t lose my mind over should they encounter a gnarly scuff or a knocked-over cup of beer. The ones I’m most drawn to are a mix of sporty and casual, wearable with a pair of Outdoor Voices Sunday Shorts or a crisp pair of chino shorts. See what I’ve copped so far and what I have my eye on for the rest of summer below. So many good options.
Euro Swim Trunks
This endorsement isn’t really based on a specific trend I’ve eyed popping up on runways or in recent brand offerings; it’s just something I’m embracing this year. Remember when I told you I was avoiding color a few minutes ago? Here’s where I’m throwing that out the window and going as loud and crazy as I can. I’m choosing solids in hyper-neon hues, and any patterns I pick up will be busy, loud, and bright. As for length, I’m not looking for a speedo, but I’m going to show a healthy amount of thigh this year. Think Ronaldo in the Bahamas, juggling a soccer ball on the beach at the One&Only Ocean Club. When I hit the pool this summer, if I don’t look like I’m emulating a slimy international soccer star, I’m not where I want to be.
It took me a while to come around on slide sandals, but I’m finally out there Jerry, and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m still not totally down with the whole slides with socks look, but it’s been on multiple runways, ad campaigns, and product photography, so maybe I need to loosen up a little bit. In this era of athleisure when everything is influenced by sporting and performance apparel, the slide sandal is the perfect substitute for the flip-flop, which has never and will never look good at the bottom of any outfit. Even when you are within 100 feet of a beach, pool, or other body of water, flip-flops are for convenience, not style. Slides give the foot more coverage and offer more real estate for designers to get creative with, so they’re a more complete piece of footwear than the flimsy thong sandal and therefore are appropriate with more looks and in more places. Plus, Future infamously rapped about hooking up with your lady in a pair of Gucci ones, so you know they must be tight.
Vince West Coast Slides
Vertical Striped Shirts
Vertical stripes on shirts nearly became extinct after the late 90s/early 2000s age of the “going-out shirt.” This heinous hybrid with a dress shirt structure but casual print frequently employed thin, multi-colored stripes in clashing colors. They were bad. They were so, so bad. They finally died in the mid-aughts as we ushered in the era of plaid. Gingham, madras, Tattersall, windowpane, and a host of other plaid variations have had a nice run for the last decade, and plaids are still hot, but I imagine that across the country in male closets everywhere is a veritable sea of plaid. Plaids have become so pervasive and casual button-up shirts so homogenous that I’ve only picked up one or two new ones over the last several seasons. Finally, this spring, I’ve noticed brands and designers breathing fresh air in to the product category with the revival of vertical stripes. These stripes are far different than the last go-round, however, evoking less of the 2002 square-toed, club-going buffoon, and more of the 1992 Stratton Oakmont yacht partier. The colors are less varied and more faded, frequently sticking to just blue and white. The stripes are wider and further apart, and when you do see tighter stripes, they’re on timeless classics like banker and Bengal stripes (which look awesome with white jeans by the way). They’re perfect for summer when my off-duty vibe transitions from “off-to-the-Rick-Owens-show” to “off-to-the-Hamptons-yo.”
So there you have it. That’s what I’m in on this summer, love it or hate it. Pull from my thoughts, include them in your wardrobe, give the ideas your own twist, or don’t. As Russell Westbrook would say, “Just Dew You.” .