Summer style: Dos and don’ts for men

Amanda Angus / 25 July 2016 ( 03 July 2018 )

We sum up some fashion faux-pas that probably shouldn’t see the light of a summer’s day.

Mid-calf shorts

Neither trousers nor summer shorts, these are nothing but a half-hearted acquiescence to the hot weather, and in our opinion, it should be all or nothing. Shorts are supposed to be just that – short. 

The issue is not so much sartorial, more the ambiguity they come with – exactly what are these trews trying to achieve for the wearer? A 5-inch tan on the lower part of the shin? It’s just too confusing to the casual onlooker.

Mid-calf shorts are totally surplus to requirements - if you want to cool down, grab yourself a pair of respectable knee-skimming shorts. 

If you’re too chilly, trousers have been doing the job just fine for centuries and will continue to do just fine. 

But all is not lost – simply take your mid-calf shorts to any alterations shop worth their salt and long story short, they’ll be able to turn your long shorts short.


We appreciate you need to keep your noggin cool – especially if you’re somewhat folically challenged. But bandanas are just one step away from a knotted hanky on the head. If you’re not a heavy metal fan or a motorbike enthusiast mid-ride, forget about it. 

There are so many handsome hats you could be wearing instead – try a traditional panama, or even an elegant trilby.

Find out Carlton's thoughts on hats in his rundown of five new looks you should try

Sunglasses inside

Sunglasses outside – absolutely. Whatever style suits you best – classic Wayfarer, dashing aviators, timeless horned rim; outside, in the sunshine, sunglasses can really pull your summer outfit together, and protect your eyesight into the bargain.

But please, the moment you step inside, off they come. There’s nothing cool about stumbling around in a darkened room – no one can pull off tripping over the furniture with style. And the most attractive quality in any man is when they don’t seem to try too hard – and sunglasses inside definitely smacks of try-too-hard.


We understand that when the hot weather hits, you don’t want to go out in dark colours; they suck up the sunshine and leave you sweltering. 

And perhaps you don’t want to go out in white – it gets grubby quickly, so it’s no good if you’re making the most of the warmth and mowing the lawn. 

But try to steer clear of beige – there’s a reason why people say “It’s all a bit beige” when they mean boring or dull. Beige will wash you out and leave your ensemble looking shapeless. 

So when you find yourself reaching for comforting beige shades, try instead to grab something bright and cheerful, or if that’s a step too far, try grey.

And the obvious – sandals and socks

To be honest, sandals and socks come in for such mickey-taking that if you’re combining them anyway, you’re probably well aware that they aren’t considered the most stylish look, and you simply don’t care – and good for you. If you’ve tried the other options and you’re truly more comfortable rocking a snug pair of socks under your Birkenstocks, then you should carry on.

However, if you’ve been wondering why your kids or grandkids would prefer to walk a few paces behind you when you’ve doubled up on footwear, perhaps consider the alternative – a handsome pair of boat shoes, some light plimsolls, or even a nice clean pair of trainers. 

Or if you wear socks because your sandals rub, then try a few tricks, like wearing them in the house (not outside!) under thick walking socks, or grab a handful of invisible blister plasters.

Find out how to beat blisters

And one summer do:

Do be confident. All the tips above are personal opinion – and there’s always an exception to the rule. 

If you love your mid-calf shorts, or your favourite beige shirt is either on your back or in the washing machine, then simply do whatever suits you best – if you do it with confidence and a smile, you’ll always look your best.

Stay up-to-date and looking good: get the latest style and beauty tips with Saga Magazine.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.