When mild weather arrives, men hang up their wool three-piece for the season and make a fresh start in lighter fabrics. But looking great in a spring suit isn't just a matter of wearing one. In order to put together an outfit that is, in equal turns, casual and formal, men need to pay close attention to the details – and have some fun with it.
First and foremost, spring is about color. No one is suggesting that you wear pastels, but adding something from the spectrum banishes the drab solemnity of winter, especially when it comes to your socks, ties, shirt, or pocket square. Lighten the mood and avoid appearing dandy-ish by sticking to one palette (think: saturated greens or light blues instead of earth tones). Self-control is important - if somewhat overrated. Put on some cool shades. Hell, put a flower in your lapel if you think you can pull it off.
Eager to make the most of our spring suit, we asked a group of menswear designers and experts to weigh in on what we need to look our best. They told us to think of spring dressing like spring cleaning: Out with the old; in with the new.
An Old-School Shirt
"In spring I like to go simple and old-school when it comes to the shirts I put with suits – solid white or blue or classic stripes with a solid tie," says designer Michael Bastian. A cotton and linen blend dress shirt is the all-around best shirt to wear with a suit for spring according to Bastian. "This gives you the best of both worlds. It's also on trend: I've been seeing it all over the fabric shows and you're going to see a lot of it in the coming seasons."
We recommend a spread collar – it allows for maximum visibility of the tie – and, as designer Todd Snyder points out, no one wants to have a bunch of material around their neck when it's warm out. Come spring, less is more – with one rather major exception. That exception is the undershirt. Wear one. It will help prevent unsightly sweat stains and shirt damaging build ups of antiperspirant.
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