Shirts, sweaters, coats, hats, scarves, gloves, boots, socks, pants, oh my! The winter, when it comes to picking out clothes, is an infinite land of possibility. Layers upon layers mean choices upon choices, decisions upon decisions. Conversely, the summer is a land of restriction. One layer, no socks, maybe a pair of sunglasses if you give a shit. If in the winter one's body should be ready for all of the best that menswear has to offer—fully prepped for a swan dive into piles of cashmere and heavy duty fabrics—in summer, one need only be ready for sweat and discomfort and more sweat. And this is usually why summer is considered a wasteland when it comes to personal style. After all, how can you stunt on them haters when your are melting against your inner thigh and there's a reservoir of disgusting perspiration pooling on the small of your back?
Then again, more choices doesn't always mean better. I mean, have you been in the Walmart cereal aisle recently? Between 3 varieties of Rice Krispies, 2 fat levels of Coco Puffs and 12 members of the Flinstones nuclear family (not to mention some fuckshit called "Kraze" cereal), it's goddamn inundating. A similar feeling washes over me when I'm looking at the ocean that is my winter wardrobe every morning, and I'm positive that you, as a Four Pins reader, can relate. There's just too much good shit to choose from, too many variables to consider. We all got into this menswear game because we wanted to look our best at all times. But which shoes/pants combo? Which fair isle socks? Which parka? Which hat? What's "the bestest," and what's just "the best"?
In the summer, choices don't wholly go away, but with less of them can surely come less stress. For starters, any rational person simply expects less of their peers when it comes to dressing stylishly during the summer. Comfort is paramount more so than it is during any other season and this is accepted fact. The rain has (hopefully) subsided, so there's no reason for technical jackets. The bone-shattering wind is gone, so coats are out of the question. In fact, those who push the cooler seasons too hard in the interest of being "fashionable" are often scoffed at rather than praised (see: hipsters in beanies). For my money, summer means 3 things: T-shirts, jeans and sneakers. Maybe—just maybe—I'll throw on a button up if I'm feeling like Mr. Fancy Pants. Often, these are all black, so long as the temperature hasn't reached 34828 degrees Kelvin. It's a simple uniform, one that not only works for me, but for everyone.
Listen, summer is the vacation from fashion we all need.
That's also not to say that any and all semblance of care towards one's appearance goes completely out the window during summertime. Fit and silhouette trump fabrication when the temperatures heat up. Pattern is important year round, but in summer people are typically only picking one as the foundation of an outfit, rather than mixing and matching several. Additionally, grooming is more important than ever. I mean, if your hair looks fucked up and you're sweaty and your clothes don't fit, then, well, you're going to look like shit. Ultimately, this is the time of year when we can all just take a fucking break from letting ourselves fall into the bottomless pit that is acquiring new clothes. We always know that copping won't make us happy, but in summer there's less of an excuse to run out and buy new shit. Plus, T-shirts aren't as expensive as other things, so, in theory, we'll all inevitably do less damage.
Listen, summer is the vacation from fashion we all need. I love getting excited about new clothing, calling it "fucking next level, bro," throwing it up on this site and screaming "Weeeeeeeee!" as I ride off into the sunset, but even I can admit that sometimes we go too far. No, this isn't a call for a "return to classic menswear," but I do think that now, because many of us have opened up to the world of "high-fashion," we're at risk of spiraling out of control.
Eventually, we'll hit the bottom of that impossibly bottomless pit before getting covered up and sealed in forever. Sure, fashion can be a lot of fun, but it so often leads to people wearing shit that doesn't look good on them simply in the interest of being on-trend (overwearing?). And it's a lot easier to do this when you have the option of wearing, like, five layers. Just this past New York Fashion Week, I found myself wearing a MA-1 over a robe with black jeans and Jordan XIs. Maybe I was crushing it, but maybe I looked like a fucking asshole. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing or if I should even care, but it's the truth. Such a ridiculous/ridiculously awesome outfit simply could not exist during summer, and for that I'm kinda thankful. I know there's guys out there reading this who will rock Rick Owens drop crotch shorts over leggings with floral bucket hats in July, but even they will look like milder versions of their cold weather counterparts. While it may seem a bit counter-intuitive, we should all fly furthest away from the sun when it's shining down on us the most.