The UK is wonderfully diverse. From the skyscrapers of London and the urban sprawl of Manchester to the rugged coastline of Cornwall and the quaint villages of Somerset, each has its own quirky cultural spirit. There’s no doubt that our national style has been influenced by this breadth of this diversity. Whether you’re in the city or the country, you need to have a summer suit that reflects your surroundings.
Travelling around the UK opens you up to different experiences and cultures, from eating ice cream in Brighton to scoffing haggis in the Highlands. But have you ever thought about extending the same adventurous spirit to your style? Dressing for your surroundings is a great way to mix up your look.
Here at Empire Outlet, we believe in dressing for the occasion. Whether you’re a country boy heading for a big one in the city, a city boy escaping to the country or you’re just looking to blend in better with your native surroundings, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide to summer suits.
Get the London Look: Summer Suits in the City
While there are many vibrant cities in the UK, when it comes to fashion, London, without a doubt, leads the way. Londoners have mined a particular sartorial seam that we just can’t get enough of. So how can you get the London look?
Keep it tailored
Walk around London for a few hours and look at any stylish man and you’ll quickly notice that all stylish men have one thing in common — they keep things simple. This city’s fashion reflects the spirit of the city itself: slick, sharp and on-point. Like the Gherkin and the Shard, fashion is all about minimalism, with a special focus on cut, fabric and detail. The first step towards achieving the look is to get a well-tailored suit. We’ve spoken before about the importance of getting a suit that truly fits, but we really can’t say it enough. A poorly fitted suit makes you look frumpy, awkward and off-trend. A well-tailored suit? Well, that’s a different story. Designed to emphasise your silhouette and smooth out any wobbly bits, you really can’t go wrong.
You don’t have to break the bank, either. Our exquisite, high-end suits are tailored to your figure, but come without the high-end price tag, such as this handcrafted essential navy blue two-piece — the perfect choice for the city slicker look.
Keep it lightweight
Summer in the city can get sweltering. Being packed on the Tube like sardines in a tin can get even the most cool-headed sweating at the seams. When choosing your summer suit, pick a light, breathable fabric — nothing ruins a city look like unsightly sweat stains. We’d recommend going with a classic worsted wool suit, like this Charcoal Italian pinstripe. Not only is worsted wool breathable and lightweight, but it’s also incredibly elegant.
Add a flair
This last point is important. When it comes to dressing for the city, to fit in, you need to stand out. London is an artistic city — from the behemoth that is the Tate to the abundance of eccentric street art, creativity thrives in the big smog. Embrace the whimsical, the playful and innovative and don’t be afraid to add a flourish to your look.
To add a dash of colour to your summer suit, try pairing it with our orange and purple spot tie and pocket square. The bold colours make a playful statement and help you to stand out from the crowd.
Escape to the Country: Summer Suits for the Country
There’s nothing quite like the English countryside: full of history, nature and all the good things in life. But, all too often, we associate country-style fashion with farmers and fox hunters — it’s just not edgy or hip enough. But country fashion has a long legacy in Britain. Today, country fashion is all about embracing the old, while giving it a thoroughly modern twist. So how can you get the new country look?
Pay homage to heritage
History comes alive in the countryside. Escaping to the country can feel like venturing into the past, with its old castles, ancient forests and prehistoric coastlines. Why not try tapping into the historical legacy of the countryside through your fashion? A quick dip into sartorial history presents thousands of options when it comes to country style. In fact, the British countryside has produced some of the most iconic fabrics we now love. From tartans and tweeds to paisley, you really are spoilt for choice.
Pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of the countryside with a tweed summer suit. Tweed has a long sartorial history: Popularised by the gentry in the 18th century, tweed was the gentleman’s choice for all things outdoors. Informal, yet elegant; rugged, yet refined; it truly is the fabric of the country. But we know what you’re thinking: tweed is a winter fabric, right? Well, we’ve written a whole post on why a tweed summer suit is the perfect choice. Our Olive Green tweed three-piece is a modern take on an old classic and will have you looking every inch the country gent.
Invest in hats
Hats make a bold and exciting fashion statement. But in the city, a hat can look out of place — it’s a difficult look to master. Thankfully, for all you headwear enthusiasts out there, the country is the perfect place to rock your hat.
Flat caps add a touch of the countryside to any modern look. But did you know that a variation of the flat cap has been around since the 14th century or that, in the 16th century, a law was passed that required all non-noble men to wear a flat cap on Sundays and holidays or prepare to pay a fine? The law didn’t last long, but the fashion statement certainly did.
Our grey flat cap is the perfect accessory to take your look from weekend chill to country-cool. Wear it with your summer suit to give a laidback twist to your tailored look or with jeans and a t-shirt for the ultimate weekend away style.
Go for a tailored look
All through the summer, city types flock to the country in search of some much-needed R&R. There’s certainly something magical about the slow pace and fresh air that helps to restore a sense of calm and tranquility in our, otherwise busy, lives. We all know that a weekend in the country is perfect for slouching around and taking it easy, but that doesn’t mean your style should get sloppy.
If you want to forgo a full summer suit in favour of something a little comfier, there’s just one rule to follow: keep it sharp — try and get at least one tailored item into your outfit. If you’re rocking a polo shirt, pair it with some perfectly fitted trousers or, if you’re wearing casual jeans and a t-shirt, add a tailored jacket. These small refinements in style can make a world of difference to your overall look.
Whether you’re in the country or town, never let your look slip. Embrace the eccentric and iconic fashion of your surroundings and you’ll always hit that sartorial sweet spot. Check out our full range of suits and find your perfect summer suit, wherever you are.