Archives: Summer

Our favorite summer pocket squares

floral summer pocket squares

Pocket squares are a lot of fun. There’s probably no better way to add a little personality to your wardrobe than by artfully stuffing a little color into your chest pocket. Ron and I recently curated a small selection of summer pocket squares that we feel embody summertime here in Colorado.

First, a little background: In the summertime, pocket squares become a little more casual and should be cotton or linen. Why cotton or linen? Because your summer suit will likely be cotton or linen, or a blend. You’ll want to keep these fabrics consistent throughout your wardrobe. A bright and elegant silk pocket square will come off looking “too dressed up” for your slightly wrinkled cotton suit.

Here’s what you need to know about our pocket squares at BE – in cotton, you can literally choose a pocket square from any one of our hundreds of fabrics. And that’s just what Ron and I did when we went through our swatch books looking for just the right summer fabrics.

Let’s take a look at what we found.

Exhibit A: the Poolside

This fabric is a refreshing blue with a subtle paisley/swirl pattern. It works well with whites, blues, and greys.

blue summer pocket square

summer-pocketsquare

Exhibit B: the Floral

Print designs are more versatile than you may think. With this fabric, the floral print evokes thoughts of a summer garden and it’s clear that the man wearing it doesn’t take himself too seriously. Pair this with your lighter jackets – tan, beige, etc. I recommend wearing this pocket square “fluffled” versus neatly folded. Make it resemble a flower!

floral summer pocket squares

Exhibit B: the Nautical

Even though we are land-locked here in the Denver area, that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little sailing influence. Perhaps you once raced sailboats in California in your younger years. Or maybe today you take your stand-up paddleboard to the lake on the weekends. Regardless, this pocket square will bring out the sailor in all of us.

nautical summer pocket squares

Exhibit B: the Punk rocker sophisticate

This is a fun take on one of our favorite shirt fabrics, the skull and crossbones design.

But in a vibrant purple hue, this pocket square can easily be worn with a sharp looking suit for an evening out. However, you can still stuff it in your summer sportcoat pocket and look like a million bucks on any downtown Denver patio.

purple summer pocket squares

 

Wrap up

What’s your take on summer pocket squares? Perhaps you think pocket squares are meant only to be worn in the cooler months and with fancy suits? Not so! Summertime is the perfect time of year to explore some casual styling with some inventive squares like the ones Ron and I handpicked above.

And please don’t hesitate to write us with any questions, we’re always here to help: questions<at>bespokeedge.com.

By Ryan Wagner

Further reading

Now that you have a handle on summer pocket squares read our Summer Suit Guide and you’ll be all set!

Memorial Day Weekend cocktail – the mint julep

For so many of us, Memorial Day is the unofficial first day of summer. To help you celebrate, we’re offering up one of our favorite Memorial Day weekend cocktail recipes, that southern classic, the mint julep. Elegantly simple, it’s as refreshing as it is delicious.
The weekend is a time for outdoor BBQs, family gatherings, the Boulder Boulder, yard games, and so on. We always hope for the weather to cooperate, but even if it doesn’t, this weekend is going to be great.

What you’ll need

  • 2oz bourbon (preferably Bulliet Rye, or Dickel)
  • 1/2oz – 3/4oz simple syrup, depending on taste (we use 1/2oz)
  • Fresh mint

Also, a muddler, stirring stick, crushed ice, and a cold glass.

Here's what you'll need for your mint julep

What to do

So, there’s a short way and a long way to mixing a mint julep. First, the long way – and this happens to be Brett’s preferred method.
(Honestly, it’s not that long)
Place 5-7 fresh mint leaves in a glass, add the simple syrup and muddle together. Then add the ice, then bourbon, and stir until cold and mixed.
NOTE: Use your blender to turn your big ice cubes into the crushed variety. You don’t want the ice to be so small that you end up making a snow cone! Instead, aim for someplace in the middle.
muddle mint leaves
How to mix your mint julep
Next, prepare your glass. Similar to a Moscow Mule, Brett likes to use a copper cup. Regardless what you end up using, fill the cup to the top with your crushed ice, add a straw, and finish by gently adding a sprig of fresh mint.
TIP: Use a liberal amount of mind. Not only for aesthetics, but the idea is to aerate the air above your glass with the scent of mint.
Finally, garnish with just a touch more ice.
It should be clear now that this drink is meant to stay cold on a hot day!
OK, now pour the bourbon mixture into the glass and there you are!
I mentioned there was a short way, didn’t I?
Simply add ice in your cup, add bourbon, add sugar, and toss in some fresh mint to garnish.
The finished mint julep
Drink this memorial day weekend cocktail outside and don’t forget the fun yard games this weekend either!
summer yard games
The BE crew will be enjoying ourselves at Brett’s home this Saturday and we hope you enjoy your weekend as well. Also, we feel that it’s important to remember what Memorial Day really is – a day to honor those who have given their lives in the armed forces.
Have a great weekend everyone.
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Keep your cool this summer in a suit

stay cool in a suit

One of the biggest misconceptions about menswear today is that the fabric is always going to be too hot. Many of us have memories of sweating through our suits during graduation or a wedding. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to keep your cool this summer and still dress sharp.

1. Choose a breathable fabric

Some years ago, I was a groomsman and was required to wear a rental tuxedo for the ceremony. The fabric was a poor quality wool and consequently, it was itchy and hot. During the ceremony, I literally had beads of sweat falling down my forehead.

Fortunately, not all wools are the same.

Some of our finest Australian and New Zealand Merino wools are extremely breathable, and a great way to keep your cool this summer. And for when it gets really warm outside, a cotton or seersucker is the ideal choice.

2. Skip the socks

Did you catch last week’s post? I explained what you need to know about wearing shoes without socks. Aside from a style statement, skipping the socks can help keep your feet cool, and therefore, you cool by improving ventilation.

During the warm months of summer, if I walk out onto a hot sidewalk in downtown Denver, the first place I tend to notice getting warm is my feet! And personally, wearing a cotton sock doesn’t help. But skipping the socks altogether does.

3. Go open collar

The best way to keep your cool this summer is to ventilate your upper body by skipping the neck tie. Leave the top one or two buttons (or 3, if you’re bold!) unbuttoned. This will make a world of difference in how your body regulates its temperature.

keep your cool this summer

4. It’s OK to wear short sleeves (when it’s warm)

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a short sleeve dress shirt. Yes, it will be more casual and you won’t see the sleeves peeking out underneath your suit jacket sleeve, but when it’s warm outside, that’s perfectly OK. Wearing short sleeves will keep you much cooler, be it a polo shirt or button up style.

5. Casual shoes

Sometime leather shoes will just be too warm. Socks or no socks.

The smart move is to switch over to some of the fun canvas shoes coming on the market. Again, your overall look will be more casual, but that’s OK.

Keep your cool this summer: Wrap up

The 5 tips above are some easy ways to keep your cool this summer. Implement just one or two of them and I’m confident that you’ll see a difference in your level of comfort this summer.

What tricks do you use to stay cool in your dress wear?

By Ryan Wagner

Wearing sport coats in the summer – what you need to know

bevel-pockets

Summer is not over yet, fellas. You may be looking forward to Labor Day, but as I write this, I’m glancing at the weather forecast and seeing some 90 degree days – that’s right, we have several more weeks of summer left. And for those of you that may be familiar with Colorado’s fall weather, you’ll know that our fall can often feel like summer – up until October! That means your sport coats in the summer can still be useful.

And as a follow up on one of my more recent blog posts on staying cool during the summer time, I wanted to give you some pointers on wearing a jacket or sport coat during the warm months of summer.

If you’re out and about in Denver during the lunch hour, you’ll notice a lot of guys briskly walking from one air conditioned environment to another. For good reason too, because a lot of these guys are wearing their go-to suits – the woolen jackets that they reach for year round. Very little breathability and usually in a dark hue. As you may know from personal experience, it doesn’t take many city blocks to grow uncomfortably warm in a fall or winter-weight suit or jacket.

Even I was caught off guard a few weeks back. I was heading out for a cocktail on 14th street in Denver one evening at about 9:00 pm. The temperature was still in the 80s and the city sidewalk was still quite warm from the daytime sun. Although I had a linen/wool blend sport coat on, I made two big mistakes: (1) I wore a high thread count cotton shirt and (2) wool pants. Ugh. In my defense, it was a great looking summer outfit, and no one would have been the wiser had it not been for the beads of sweat on my forehead after walking two blocks. Needless to say, I skipped the neck tie, but the open collar simply wasn’t enough to ventilate.

What should I have done differently, you ask?

Sport coats in the summer – the jacket

There was nothing inherently wrong with the jacket. After all, it was a linen blend and I have worn it before and been just fine (although I didn’t have a heavy cotton shirt on). But an even better choice would have been a seersucker or 100% linen coat. Linen breathes like a screen door and the puckered fabric of a seersucker jacket helps to create little air channels to keep you cool. Wearing sport coats in the summer smartly is all about choosing the right fabric.

pick stitching on a custom jacket and an example of sport coats in the summer

The shirt

When the mercury really begins to rise, you almost have to go short sleeves. Now, everyone is different, and for you, maybe a seersucker dress shirt or linen shirt will work just fine. You can also leave the shirt sleeves unbuttoned to aid in ventilation and definitely go sans neck tie.

But what I want you to understand is that it’s completely OK for guys to wear a short sleeve button up or polo under a sport coat, or even a suit if done properly. If it’s a polo, just make sure it’s clean and that the collar hasn’t begun to roll up on itself. For a short sleeve button up, make sure that the collar is strong enough to stand up to the weight of the jacket lapel. And well ironed, too.

Bear in mind, that when you go the short sleeve route, you’re walking a little closer to the line of “too casual,” so you need to be sure that everything is spot on.

The pants

I love linen pants. I think they are the coolest thing ever. They feel like pajamas, and once you learn to accept them, the wrinkles are actually part of what makes linen pants so cool. However, you need to be careful that you don’t look like you actually are wearing pajamas. You can do this by building linen pants that are in a traditional pant style. You can also find linen/wool blends that will provide a more refined look – something that will pair better with a sport coat, than say, my favorite linen pants that have a drawstring (hence the reason I wasn’t wearing them during my night out).

Odds and ends

A few other helpful things to bear in mind when wearing a sport coats in the summer:

1. Regardless of what you’re wearing, if it begins to get too warm, take off the jacket. I think you’re better off carrying your jacket like a gentleman than you are sweating in your clothes. Sometimes it’s just too damn hot for a jacket, and that’s OK.

2. Skip the socks. And try to wear some breathable shoes to help ventilate your feet.

3. No neck tie. The last thing you should do when it’s 80 deg and above is tighten up your shirt collar and put another layer of fabric around your neck. But for those instances when you need to wear a tie, go with cotton. Save silk and knit varieties for the cooler months.

Wrap up

The key takeaway of this blog post is to realize that there’s nothing inherently wrong about sport coats in the summer. It’s just an opportunity to wear the lighter fabrics – cotton and linen. Heavier fabrics like wool are just going to be too warm when it gets really hot. Even the high quality merino wool – which actually breaths pretty darn well – is only going to take you so far.

And when you figure out how to dress appropriately for the warm weather, you’ll probably find that you’re the only one dressed up – this is especially true when you’re going out at night. On another evening, I was walking around downtown Boulder and in passing, overhead a group of guys exclaim, “ah man, we should have dressed up more.”

By Ryan Wagner

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