The Mond guide to dressing for the season

The Mond guide to dressing for the season

The Mond Guide to dressing for the season

Stay stylish with these expert tips on dressing for the weather.

Summer cloth tends to be lightweight, breathable, or both. And winter cloth tends to be dense and heavy. Both can be highly textured like linen, shantung silk, tweed, and flannel. Or they can have a fine finish like mohair, bamboo, or vicuna.

It is important therefore, even when two garments are intended for the same season, that the textures are still complimentary. For example, one might have a heavily textured linen-silk odd coat and think to wear it with very fine wool-mohair trousers. Although they are designed for the same climate, they will not form a harmonious union within an outfit due to the vast contrast in texture.

When mixing season-specific garments it becomes even more important that one pays attention to texture. For example, we suggest having a similar level of texture in both the coat and trousers, even if they are made of different materials. For example, if you have a fine Super 120s wool pair of trousers , they will pair better with a coat which is similar in texture, such as our Superior Navy Super 150s rather than a heavily textured jacket.

Charcoal Super 120s wool trousers
Superior Navy Super 150s Suit

Herein lies the fun of assembling outfits during the transitional months (and milder days) when one can take advantage of their summer and winter wardrobes at the same time. This may come in the form of wearing a pair of cotton trousers with a light tweed jacket or wearing a silk or camel coat with light flannel trousers.

Seasonality is only a concern when the climate is at odds with particular garments. On a mild September day, one can generally wear any combination of garments from their wardrobe as long as they form a cohesive outfit. On a particularly hot day, however, one should consider breathability and lightness. And on a particularly cold day, one should dress for warmth. The two closely related reasons for this are comfort/practicality, and aesthetics (which are, in this instance, a function of practicality).

In terms of comfort, seasonal clothing can help one to regulate their body temperature and fight the elements. This may mean that certain gentlemen, who might tend to be particularly warm, will wear summer fabrics for a larger portion of the year than others. And similarly, one who tends to be on the colder side might be inclined to wear warmer fabrics year-round. Practicality becomes a concern when one is looking to dress for specific activities. Wearing more durable high-twist cloth for outdoor pursuits in summer, and a more rugged thornproof tweed in the winter would be a great example of this.

The aesthetic side of seasonal clothing is more obvious to onlookers. Wearing a dense brown 500g Tweed in June, or a lightweight off-white linen-silk in December, will look out of place. But what about the aforementioned group of men who are more comfortable wearing clothes out of season because of temperature? Well, this is where we look to expand upon our article about separates, and discuss seasonal colours.

Of course, one can wear any colour on any day if one gives it sufficient thought. But if one is inclined to indulge in out-of-season clothing, employing a more stereotypical seasonal colour palette can help one’s clothing to blend more seamlessly in with one’s environment. During the colder months, earth tones  and darker colours will look more seasonally appropriate, whereas pastels and brighter colours will look more natural in the spring and the summer.

For this reason, even very standard and classic colours like Navy can take on different forms to suit the season. Two of our most popular suits are a great example of this. The ScandiNavy S150 and the Superior Navy S150 are exactly the same fabric in all but one way: colour. And, even then, they’re both navy. But the ScandiNavy is slightly lighter, making it perfect for the brighter summer months whilst still being formal and incredibly dashing. On the other hand, the darker Superior Navy is much better for winter, as the colder and blacker shade lends itself much more to a winter setting.

This demonstrates that seasonality, especially in colour, is all relative. The ScandiNavy S150 is darker and heavier than our Blue Fine Hopsack, and therefore likely will seem less summery in comparison. But if somebody is attending a formal event in the summer like a wedding, and they want to wear a “proper” navy in a durable but luxurious Super 150s weave, the ScandiNavy really cannot be beaten.

Understanding all of this nuance around seasonality, texture, and colour is crucial if one wants to go his own way and disregard convention. After all, it is true that one must first know the rules before he can break them tastefully.

Winter outfits have the unfortunate reputation of being fairly drab and boring, with predominantly dark, muted colours. Even the more fun winter pieces tend to be mostly brown. More power to you if that’s exactly what you want. But there are some men who want something with a little more flavour! A great example of injecting a little zest into a winter outfit, whilst tastefully rebelling against the conventional seasonal colour palette, is to add a single summery accent colour in your accessories. A vibrant pocket handkerchief, such as our in-store exclusive city prints, is often enough to completely freshen up an otherwise mundane outfit. Another great way to do this is with a more interesting shirt or socks.

A rather simple guideline, to summarise, would be that all outfits should consist mostly of seasonal colours or seasonal fabrics in order not to look out of place. If you wear warm fabrics all year, perhaps consider a lighter colour for the summer. And if you wear finer fabrics year-round, maybe try something more sombre or earthy in the cooler months.

Whether it is your goal to adhere rigorously to convention or to break free from it entirely, we understand fully the difficulties of seasonal dressing, and our staff can help you flawlessly to execute your vision. With thousands of cloths for suits, sport coats, and odd trousers – and several hundred options for shirts – there is no better place to select the perfect garments for every season.

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