By: Fatima Syed and Sami Chazonoff
With inFATuated Media officially releasing inFATuatedWithHim, our new menswear, men’s grooming and lifestyle website category targeted toward professional, urban and style-savvy Millennial men, we decided to sit down with a seasoned designer and discuss Summer 2019 men’s fashion. After all, we strongly believe in expert opinions, particularly when it comes to aesthetics and style. Luckily for inFATuated readers, Toronto-based Tom Caldwell of bespoke label Thomas Henry Made is skilled in all areas of attiring the sartorially conscious gent. FATMO Media Group first worked alongside this detail-oriented design talent with a flair for tailoring in November 2018, when he dressed some of our male models for the Toronto Corporate Fashion Show.
Although he is also a corporate lawyer by day, it’s clear that Caldwell is as much a fashion connoisseur as a legal pro. With both a daytime career and a thriving men’s label, Caldwell proves that sometimes it takes both the right and left sides of your brain to create your dream career. As we introduce inFATuatedWithHim, the local visionary behind Thomas Henry Made shared his best tips on summer men’s style for the business environment. If you’re hunting for “no sweat” dressing (both literally and figuratively) this July and August, look no further than these styling suggestions. While it may feel like summer has just started (and we may not want to think of the approaching cooler months), Thomas Henry Made’s latest aesthetic also shows us how to transition into Fall/Winter effortlessly. Read on to learn more about fabrics, accessorizing and colour trends for men’s suiting as we await the balmy days ahead.
How can men layer in style and comfort for the summer months at work- for those occasions where you might need a jacket for a client meeting, work in a freezing air conditioned office, but also have after-work plans?
For me, the key to a comfortable, natural summer style is all about the right fabrics. You don’t have to change what you’re wearing – and since it is the summer, you don’t want to be wearing more clothes – but the key is to switch to a seasonal wardrobe. The reality of life in Toronto (or New York) is that there is no such thing as an all-season fabric. So that means finding the right type of light fabrics that are still appropriate for the office, but will look great paired with lighter coloured, casual trousers that you’re more likely to be wearing in the summer.
How can you incorporate ties into your summer business wardrobe?
Summer ties are best if they are lighter coloured and more playful. Shades of green, light blue and a heather red for example, pair well with pretty much anything you’re going to wear. These lighter colours also keep things livelier, and are a much better choice than darker, conservative colours [which are] better for the winter months.
Which suiting fabrics and materials are best for the hot weather and humidity?
I’m a big fan of linen or cotton in the summertime, and a huge fan of fabric blends. A cotton-linen or linen-silk blend performs extremely well, and is the type of lightweight breathable fabric that you need. I’m fond of wearing linen trousers with a cotton jacket, which can breathe well and still look polished – even if it does wrinkle a bit more. I also really like geometric patterns for shirts.
Which fabrics should be avoided, at this time of year?
Summer is not the time for a heavyweight black suit! I have more thoughts on black suits generally, but when the sun is out there is no pretending that a traditional navy blue suit (which is still great and you should definitely have one in your wardrobe) is the right choice for a scorching hot day. I also recommend that once you do have the classics in your wardrobe, it is time to start building out a seasonally appropriate wardrobe. So while you should still have them, leave the black, navy, charcoal and dark brown suits in the closet for a few more months.
What are the biggest Summer 2019 suiting trends?
It can be hard to generalize, but my vote would be for the short suit. It’s showing up on runways more often – even if not a full suit, dress shorts with jackets is a more popular look – and one I enjoy in the summer. Also, a big trend is wearing loafers without socks along with a professional suit. There was a time where you wouldn’t see professional men wearing loafers without socks to the office, but with the increasing trend to more casual workplaces, the suit with loafers trend is more popular than ever – and one I approve of.
Which work-friendly menswear accessories are bigger than ever for this Summer 2019?
If you don’t find time to wear a pocket square through the winter, summer is certainly the time to make sure that you do. It is also the time for brighter, more vibrant colours. Also – it is time for proper hats!
How should men shop for work wear this summer, so they can transition any new pieces into the fall months as well?
As mentioned above, I strongly suggest building a seasonal wardrobe and not pretending that fall suits still work in the spring/summer. That said, I think the right way to transition is, for example, to pick a colour of jacket that can look vibrant in the summer time, but if paired with a darker or heavier fabric of trouser can start to transition into fall colours. This is also where layering comes in, as you can pair it your suit jacket/trousers with a lightweight scarf and hat, and continue to add on layers (sweaters, vests, overcoats) as the temperature continues to drop.
All Photos: Courtesy of Thomas Henry Made