The colorful button-down

Tis the season to try out something with a bit more zing than your stiff whites and oxford blues. A spot of color shows confidence and a sense of purpose while making it clear to observers that you own a calendar and know how to use it. While there is no sense in buying a shirt that is bright just for the hell of it – lime green looks good on almost no one – having a more playful choice will let you give your other wardrobe staples a little pep. The best bet is to look for a shirt that uses louder colors in the context of a conservative pattern. The shirt doesn't have to be pink or even involve pink, but it also doesn't have to be blue.

Nobody does bright summer colors like Southern men. Atlanta shop and label Sid Mashburn is a go-to source for impeccably made clothes that announce themselves with a vibrant flourish. Sid took inspiration from men like Gordon Parks – famed for directing 'Shaft' and perpetually looking great – when he designed his new spread collar dress shirt in Italian gingham broadcloth. The button-down is cut slim, works with or without a tie, and shows thought and care in details (higher button placement on the cuffs means they fit gracefully over a watch). This is one of the more creative uses of gingham we've ever seen and guarantees you'll turn heads without triggering headaches. [$145; sidmashburn.com]