So the daylight savings switch was yesterday, a time when we move our clocks one hour ahead and we get longer afternoons. Perfect! I really hate when it gets dark at 5pm and I’m glad we’re transitioning into the warmer months.

This got me thinking about the closet and what I’ll be phasing in (and out) of there, and what, if any, new things I would pick up.

I was looking at all the new collections arriving in stores, and though I’m not much of a non-sale shopper (have I ever told you that I rarely ever buy things full price?) I’m excited to see all the great spring colors and lighter fabrics.

Here are 3 things I’d pick up if I were in the market for new stuff:

Fresh chinos and shorts!

chinos for summer - effortlessgent.com

(L to R) twill from Club Monaco, Gap, and Dockers

Spring and summer gives you a little more freedom with the lighter weight pants and brighter colors. This means you should experiment with washed chinos that are as far away from the khaki color as you can possibly get, the further the better.

Really go for variation this year. Your blue denim and khaki-colored chinos will always be there, so this is your time to venture out and try something new. Something like orange pants may be a little too much, especially if you’re just starting to branch out, but take a few steps away from your usual and you may discover that you look pretty good in sky blue. Or salmon. Or light gray.

shorts for summer - effortlessgent.com

(L to R) shorts from Lands' End and Club Monaco

Same goes for your shorts. Basic colored chino shorts are staples, so aim for getting some color and pattern in your closet. I suggest staying away from denim shorts. Also, the basic rule is to let the bottom of the shorts hit somewhere in your knee region when standing, anywhere from just above the kneecap to right under it. I prefer right above the knee, personally. And keep your cut slim, just like you do with your chinos. We don’t need any more manpris on the streets.

Lightweight sweaters

sweaters for summer - effortlessgent.com

cardigan from Banana Republic, cotton shawl collar and cardigan from J. Crew

I’m a big sweater guy. In the winter I love my thick wool and chunky knits. In San Francisco, you can usually get away with a sweater as your outer layer, since it doesn’t get super cold. In the summer, I lighten the material and stick with a blend like cotton cashmere or linen cotton, or just straight up cotton. Lightweight merino wool or cashmere works as well.

Crewneck style (like the collar of your basic white t-shirt) is a staple, but since you’re trying to break out of your current style habits in order to try new things, buy a v neck or a shawl collar, maybe even a cardigan. Just make sure those armholes are high and the body and arms overall are slim.

Sportcoats as outerwear

sportcoats for summer - effortlessgent.com

(L to R) seersucker blazer from LLBean Signature, corded cotton blazer from J.Crew

I love wearing sportcoats as my topmost layer during the warmer months. There are many styles to choose from, and they range from casual to office-worthy. These jackets are often unlined and made of materials like twill, seersucker, chambray, and linen. Time to put away the heavier wools!

If the occasion is casual, you can wear a polo or a plain tee underneath, but I typically stick with button-down oxfords no matter what.

Hope this gives you some ideas for finding new items for spring and summer.

An Upcoming Launch

By the way, just a short announcement before wrapping up. I have a mini “launch” planned for this site. Mini in the sense that it’s not completely changing EG, but more like adding on to it. I think style encompasses more than just clothing. I’m sure you’re aware of several other factors that can affect both your coolness factor and your confidence. I’ll be releasing a new segment of EG pretty soon that will cover something related to coolness and confidence as it pertains to personal style.

That was such a vague description, but I’m working on some great stuff and hopefully it will resonate with you all. Best case scenario, it introduces a whole new group of readers to the community that can appreciate both style and… whatever this new *thing* is. More soon!

What are you looking forward to most about spring and summer? Any cool items you got last year that you can’t wait to pull out?

Come Like EG on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

PUBLISHED March 14, 2011


Barron is the Founding Editor of Effortless Gent and the Cladright Association. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr.



  • Rng9598

    In the market for form-fitting crew, v-neck, and cardigan sweaters. Tried some Ralph Lauren vnecks, but way too baggy even in a size small (my frame is 5’9/140lbs). Any recommendations? Guys on style forum dot net don’t seem too sure.

    • Miliano2 0

      The J.Crew sweaters fit great and you can find some at a great price on the “Factory” sales that appear on their website every weekend starting fridays..

      • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

        I can attest to the fit of the J.Crew sweaters, esp. the lightweight wool ones. They tend to run big though (at least in my experience) so keep sizing down until you come to a size that’s too tight, then go up one.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      J.Crew which was already mentioned (smaller in size than RL, but still not super slim). Kinda cheap, but have you checked H&M? Their stuff is much slimmer overall; I feel like a large H&M sweater is a small RL sweater.

  • Miliano2 0

    I would say that I am more excited about what the fairer sex will be waiting when the weather begins to heat up a bit. Short shorts, Short skirt, & of course short dresses. As for myself, I do tend to like dressing for colder weather. But I will definitely be taking your advice with the chinos and lighter fabric sweaters.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Ah yes, the choices the ladies get to make in warmer weather are much more interesting than our own choices. Since we can’t wear dresses and short shorts ourselves, I’m glad you’ll be checking out the more Spring-like chinos.

  • argus

    why u hatin’ on manpris. over the pond (Europe) they’re quite normal for a guy and chino shorts are daddy shorts

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      stonewashed denim and square-toed shoes are quite normal here, but that doesn’t make it right :)

      i’ve never seen a guy wearing manpris and thought, “damn, that dude is a sharp dresser.” when i see that piece pulled off well, i will reconsider my stance.