Here's Heinz-Ulrich during August 2009, as casual as it gets, in khaki shorts (NOTE! -- not a cargo pocket in sight), with a madras shirt and (shudder) Teva sandals. Cool, comfortable, and pulled together. Oh, and everything worn was purchased on sale at one time or another.
Recently, I heard from a regular visitor to the Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style, who asked about casual warm weather clothes for simply hanging around the house. Well, the answer is to go classic and keep it simple. In other words, go for khaki shorts combined with a knit polo or a short-sleeve, button-down madras shirt, and a pair of leather deck shoes. Acceptable hot weather alternatives include poplin, Bermuda (Thanks, Jim!), or madras shorts along with seersucker and/or lighter weight twill shirts.
Here's Heinz-Ulrich with the Young von Boffke in early July 2011. Von Boffke the Elder wears leather deck shoes, khaki shorts, and a knit polo shirt while von Boffke the Younger wears a madras shirt, navy camp shorts, and sneakers. Outfit yourself with a few similar pairs of shorts and shirts. Everything can be mixed and matched in various combinations. Suddenly, dressing more nicely for those relaxed summer evenings, weekends, and holidays becomes easy and carefree. And nary a ratty logo'ed t-shirt or rumpled pair of cargo shorts in sight.
Garments like these will give you a simple and relaxed look that's timeless. It's also easy to assemble without a lot of thought. As I explained to a neighbor the other day, with a drawer of this stuff, a guy can simply pull out the clean clothes, unfold them, and be all dressed in about 90 seconds. Various shirts and shorts can, in addition, be combined in a wide variety of ways without worrying too much about clashing colors or patterns. And it doesn't get much easier than that unless one visits a naturist colony. But I can't get too enthused about that prospect. There are just some things best left to the imagination, thank you.
Finally, here is Heinz-Ulrich during mid-July 2013 in a familiar summer activity. . . chatting on the front porch. This time, he is wearing (surprise) another pair of khaki shorts, a light weight twill shirt, and a pair of suede Allen Edmonds not-quite-your-average pair of deck shoes, recently purchased on sale.
Two final seasonal caveats this morning. Sure it's hot. It is the summer in the Northern Hemisphere after all. But unless you're at the beach or the pool, keep those shirts on guys. No one really wants to see our nipples, slight paunch, chest hair, or those rad outlaw tatts. Trust me. And if your brow is a bit sweaty, please resist the urge to use your shirt tails to wipe your face. Ugh! Carry a clean and folded cotton handkerchief in your pocket (always) and discretely mop your brow with it instead. If you are that hot, retire inside to air-conditioned comfort, or, barring that, take a bracing shower or bath, towel off, apply baby powder, and put on some fresh clothes. A tall glass of iced tea with plenty of sugar and mint, or a bubbly gin & tonic, always helps too.
Let's all work together to rediscover/maintain/project an aura of classic male style, grooming, and sophistication. Even when it's hot, humid, and just plain uncomfortable during the dog days of summer. Your mom, wife, girl-friend, boy-friend, live-in, partner, S.O. -- take your pick here -- will appreciate your efforts to present yourself and come across in a more polished way. Even when no one else is around. After all, you ain't ten years old or a college sophomore any longer. Let's not dress or behave like it.