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Men's Summer Style

Valerie McPhail

(7/2015) It is a particularly exciting time for the fashion industry at the moment. Pitti Uomo, the infamous Italian market for menswear, was held in Florence last month and this month marks the first New York Menís Fashion Week.

The mid-June event, Pitti Uomo, brings together the fashion industryís stylish women and businessmen. Aside from the sleek-looking and sartorial attires this event heralds, it is a crucial season in the world of menswear.

The market season welcomes buyers to place orders on pieces from runway collections for retail production and sales. If a style does not intrigue during the event, then perhaps the transition from runway to retail will spark an interest. This is where the magic happens: market season inherently makes fashion practical. The show stopping pieces that trumped the runway become a part of oneís closet. Market season enables runway fashion to be accessible to the customerís wardrobe.

Also exciting and new, to the United Statesí fashion capital, is New York Fashion Week: Menís. The CFDA, Council of Fashion Designers of America, instituted the event in an effort to support the trending American interest in menswear. This premier fashion week allows for American designers and brands to show their collection in New York City, as opposed to London, Paris or Milan.

Now, America can become a part of the international conversation about menswear. The event commences Monday, July 13 through Thursday July 16. Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace menswear. The Menís Spring/Summer 2016 Collections, and this Menís SS16 Season is just as anticipated as the dog days of summer.

Now that it is officially summer and exciting things are happening in the menswear industry, it is time to fully embrace this season by dressing for the weather in the menswear trends. Take out the seersucker and Sperryís. Pack the Anoraks and printed swim shorts for the beach. Break out the cotton polos and khakis. Dress in denim.

Along with this monthís menswear fashion season, with trends to consider include styles that will keep men looking comfortable and suave in the summer.

Denim is both practical and stylish. Its claim to perpetual fame came from Levi jeans, although the fabric itself originated in France, which was constructed for the ambitious gold hunters in California during the 70ís Gold Rush.

The success of these Levi jeans reveals how the fabricís primary purpose was conceived from functionality. Since then, denim has become a fashion statement.

Hardy Aimes, fashion designer and menís style expert, defined denim as the source of fashionable attire. Denim overalls exemplify this statement. The popular jeans of the season are a faded wash and rugged style. The light color and "worn out" feel are popular styles that add to the comfort of denim. Despite the fashion statement this fabric brings, it is also easy to wear. Considered to be cotton, denim is a woven construction of white and colored yarns. The resourcefulness of denim makes it easy to wear and care is costless. In a manís wardrobe this means that both his jean jacket and denim pants are durable enough to go withstand tireless washes.

An alternative to denim bottoms are chinos. This woven fabric became the name for casual business attire for men. Chino is a great option because it too is made from cotton or a blend of cotton fabric. Cotton is a soft and breathable cloth. It is also hydrophilic, this means it can come in contact with water without harm. In the summertime these qualities are practical.

The Chino fabric is also the title of a style of pant. The chino pant, also considered a basic, or essential item in a manís wardrobe, is commonly sought out for and recognized by its khaki color, a color that is currently popular in suiting for the summer.

A kahki colored chino is fitting for the season because it matches with lighter colors and includes styles that are recommended for warmer weather wear. Chino is a substantial fabric because it too is easy to dress up and down. For instance, this style pant can be worn with a pique polo to a 4th of July cook-out or with a button-down shirt when out to dinner. The foundational characteristic of a chino allows it to serve as a basis to be worn with trends. For instance, the chino can be paired with the casual boat shoe or loafer. Both shoe options are trendy this season.

Just like every girl should know, picking the right shoe can make or break an outfit. I further would argue that, if not already, men are beginning to catch on to this fact of style. This is clear in the fashion-forward and trend options offered for the classic summer shoes for men this season.

The boat shoe and the loafer are functional for casual outings. The boat shoe, also named the deck shoe, is made of a soft leather and canvas. Finished with a rubber sole, the shoe makes a durable item for outdoor water events in the sun. As intended, the original purpose of the shoe was for yachting and boat trips, the boat shoe will keep a man dry and dapper when out at seas or perhaps, just simply hanging out at the pool.

The loafer is also shoe for dressing casual while still remaining formal looking. The shoe, also called the Penny loafer, is a summer favorite because it has become the shoe to wear without socks. This style automatically allows it to become easy-to-wear.

As guys begin to realize how further accomplished their closet will serve them with these shoes, so too do designers, and retailers supply more and more options. Times are changing and fashion is moving away from the traditional colors of black and brown. Rather it seems that men are experimenting with fashion through color.

Colorful loafers now continue to rock the menís fashion scene. For the summertime, patent leather is always a safe option, however, as style enthusiasts break fashion rules, clothes become more expressive. Colorful loafers are a great example of how to communicate through style.

Perhaps, forever the symbol of American Menswear shoe design is the sneaker. Primarily an athletic shoe for its stable rubber sole, the shoe has become an item of fashion. For summer, a white leather or canvas sneaker is a festive option. My dad sports his Converse Jack Purcell Signature sneakers throughout the summer months.

Brand names like New Balance, Nike and Under Armor, companies know for their exercise-performance shoes have quickly developed cult-followings for their engagement with fashion. Such brands exemplify how offering everyday styles can start trends and open opportunities for business through style and functionality of a product.

Pair a button-down shirt among these options and an outfit is made. Fashion companies such as Trumaker, Brooks Brothers and Bonobos, among others, are providing their clients with fabrics that are easy to handle, fits that are comfortable and apt for all body-types.

A man should know that a well-fitted shirt also appears to fit well. Here are the rules to know: at the neck, there should be space enough for two fingers between the neck and buttoned collar. The buttons along the chest should lay flat, rather than the fabric open along the space between the buttons. A shirtís seams should follow the deltoids, the back muscle, and the cuffs should touch the bend of the wrist and thumb.

A well-fitted shirt should tuck nicely into pants rather than the extra fabric flare out. The tail of the shirt should lie underneath the rear and the shirt and the tail of the shirt should brush the waist of the body. The fit of the dress shirt is crucial for the comfort and style of dressing.

Take these tips when shopping for dress shirts and pair them with the spring/summer trends to feel comfortable to keep looking cool this season.

Read other articles by Valerie McPhail