Gentlemen: How to Look Sharp Without Breaking a Sweat

August 11, 2020 Updated: August 11, 2020

Gentlemen, summer is at its peak, and you’re wondering what to wear, and how to minimize that constant sweat. Of course, the easiest option is a tank top and a pair of shorts, right?

But what if you have to go to an event, or have to look more presentable? How do you stay elegant and sharp without breaking a sweat?

Let’s go over three aspects that you should consider: breathable fabrics, light colors, and a more relaxed fit.

The items featured are avaible at MatchesFashion.com. All photos courtesy of MatchesFashion.com.

Linen: Mediterranean Cool

linen clothing
Giorgio Armani. (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

Designer Giorgio Armani, who understands the Mediterranean weather and humidity well, likes to use linen in his summer collections for men. So when I reviewed his latest collection, I was inspired! Let’s call this outfit the Italian style; the look is relaxed and comfortable. Linen quickly absorbs any moisture from your body, keeping you dry all day. The light, natural colors trap less heat from the sunlight than dark colors and keep you comfortable. You can wear this linen suit with a white T-shirt in 100 percent cotton, and you should be good for the day.

To prevent sunburn—in addition to sunscreen—you can wear a nice fedora. 

linen clothing
Single-breasted Linen Suit Jacket by 120% Lino. Drawstring Linen Blend Trousers by Frescobol Carioca. Denim Espadrilles by Mulo. Esalen-Felt Fedora by Nick Fouquet.

On the Silk Road

louis vutton model
Louis Vuitton. (Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Silk is the best fabric year-round; you just have to know how to wear it. In hot weather, silk regulates your temperature, keeping your body cool and comfortable. Avoid dark colors, as they trap heat, and instead opt for pastels and neutrals like white and beige. A relaxed fit will allow air to circulate, which helps if you sweat. This outfit consists of a relaxed-fit silk shirt with nice trousers, and leather loafers with a matching belt. You can wear the shirt tucked in or over the pants. This look is best for going out at the end of the day, for dinner or a nice walk.

silk clothing and accessories
Silk Crepe Short Sleeves Shirt by Equipment. Tailored Satin Back Sharkskin Trousers by Deveaux. Vintage Leather Penny Loafers by Brunello Cucinelli.
Suede Belt by Saint Laurent.

Poplin Layers

boss fashion
BOSS. (JP Yim/Getty Images)Spring/Summer 2019 Collection at Pier 36 on September 9, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

Poplin is a fabric usually made with 100 percent cotton yarn. It can also be made with silk or wool yarn, but the cotton makes it lightweight with a nice luster, adding a touch of luxury in men’s shirts, for instance. Because the weave of the poplin is tight, the fabric structure prevents creases, which is good if you don’t like to iron your shirts. 

The Hugo Boss summer collection for men introduced nice relaxed outfits in light colors but also with multiple layers of clothes. That might seem confusing, especially for summer, right? Well, multiple thin layers can be worn during summer and still allow air to flow, and multi-layering can add a touch of both styling and utility. You can finish your outfit with an overshirt, for instance, in case of drastic weather changes such as rain or heavy winds.

poplin items
Gradated-stripe Poplin Shirt by Editions M.R. Pleated Cotton Twill Trousers by Brunello Cucinelli. Leather Low-top Trainers by Grenson. Hayes Cotton And Silk-twill Overshirt by Odyssee.

Cashmere for Cool Summer Nights

berluti cashmere
Berluti. (Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)

Cashmere is very pricey because the wool has properties that make it wearable all year-round. 

The fibers are hollow and airy, giving the fabric a fluffy and soft, silky feel. The fabric also has moisture-wicking properties, which means that when you sweat, the fibers attract moisture away from your body so you can stay comfortable and dry. It’s OK to wear cashmere directly next to your skin. Unlike other types of wool, its fibers are so soft, it won’t scratch your skin. On a nice, cool summer evening, wear a V-neck cashmere sweater, with short or long sleeves, with a dressy pair of pants.

cashmere clothing for men
Embroidered V-neck Cashmere Sweater by Gucci. Soho-fit Wool-blend Fresco Suit Trousers by Paul Smith. Gommino Suede Driving Shoes by TOD’S. G-timeless Stainless-steel Watch by Gucci.