Spring officially sprung on March 20, so it's time to start thinking about losing some of that winter weight. I'm talking about all of those layers that are one of the best things about dressing for the cold. And while it's certainly time to ditch to the wool, corduroy and flannel, it's still a bit early for madras, linen and seersucker (despite what retailers might have us think). What's a guy to do? Swap out some wardrobe staples for options that will help you ease into the warm arms of summer.
In men's clothing there is a term called a "10 month suit" which refers to a fabric, usually a light worsted wool, that you can wear September through June. This, my friends, is the down equivalent of a 10 month suit. Lightweight down sounds like an oxymoron, but think of those cool mornings on the beach, evenings in the mountains or the sub-zero temperatures of most office buildings or movie theaters in the summer.
In production since 1912, this iconic cold weather staple recently had a little work done when L.L. Bean hired, or re-hired, Rogue's Gallery founder Alex Carleton to design their new Signature Collection. The results are amazing—he traded in the tough leather upper for a waxed canvas, making for a breathable, yet still impenetrable, guard against puddles on those rainy spring days.
I used to make fun of my friend Nick, who has a shaved head, whenever we were on buying trips to Europe. He always wore one of these beanies to sleep because his head would get cold. Now as I get older and cut my hair shorter and shorter, I realize what he meant! But this cotton/linen cap is too chic to just sleep in, it's the perfect foil to cover your bed-head while walking the dog and grabbing a coffee. Not to mention, the the signature Paul Smith stripes work as well on Madison Avenue as they do in Malibu.
We've been wearing dark selvage denim all winter and I want to throw on something lighter, but I'm not ready to go full-khaki yet. These 501's are the perfect answer. Rugged Levi's denim, but in a lighter, distressed color and finish. I'd buy these in a long length and one size up to sport them slouchy with rolled cuffs—ideally with my untied Bean boots.
Not all cashmere is created equal. You can put away those chunky 12-ply neck warmers and replace them with this hand-woven cashmere and silk scarf with hand-hemmed edges. The pattern is based upon that of an antique kilim rug, and while you'll buy this scarf for its intrinsic beauty, it's also good to know that the company is committed to creating ethically-produced accessories, which creates employment for skilled artisans who are working in places of socio-political strife.