Juliette’s back with another guest blog, writing from her outpost in France (it feels like we have a whole community of readers over the channel, who knew?!), this time focussing on middleagedad. She’s also brought our attention to a cracking brand from Norfolk, Carrier Company, so over to Juliette…..
It’s official: now that the clocks have gone forward we can finally focus our attention on this Summer’s trends and what we’re going to wear when the mercury rises. However, for many of the men in our lives – my ‘English Gent’ being a prime example – it can be a very different story. With no real forward planning or indeed interest in fashion, it tends to be a case of him pulling the same old holiday clothes out of the wardrobe year after year and quite frankly some of them are well past their sell by date. Slightly threadbare shorts? Check. Manky old flip flops? Check. Faded polo shirt? Check.
Sometimes forward thinking means looking back and the best way to avoid that last minute sartorial panic is to take some gentlemanly inspiration from the seaside style of the 1950’s and 60’s, from Norfolk to Nantucket with just a dash of the Riviera. Starting with sunshine on the Côte d’Azur, Alain Delon’s ensemble above, is as fresh today as it was back in 1963: the dark linen shirt, white trousers and loafers make quite the dashing holiday outfit, whilst Jane Fonda’s chambray shirt, cropped lemon trousers and flat sandals still feel modern and crisp – J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons would surely approve.
That most elegant of English actors, David Niven – worthy of a style post all to himself – knew that one of the ways to keep cool in the heat is to sport a long sleeved shirt – preferably linen. Note the bare ankles on both men (that’ll be ‘mankles’ for those in the know) – a brave move for some I admit, but definitely worth a trip outside the male comfort zone. With the many variations of said loafers, deck shoes, espadrilles, plimsolls and the current favourite the slip-on trainer on offer, there should be a Summer shoe for everyone (though may I make a plea for no Crocs please, it just somehow undoes all the good work going on above…)
Swap the long trousers for shorts (just above the knee is the perfect length) and you have that classic, preppy Summer daytime look that J.Crew, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren tempt us with every year and which JFK looked so handsome in back in the day. Jackie looks just as fresh in her linen shorts and sleeveless shirt – it’s a comfortable, effortless look that they both pulled off with ease.
For slightly cooler climes and a more rugged, but no less pulled together maritime look with a nod to the 1940’s, Carrier Company in Norfolk sells wonderful traditional fishermen’s smocks and work jackets, as well as shirts and shorts, that are timeless, stylish and weatherproof. Inspired by coastal living in Norfolk, founder Tina Guillory has sourced local materials and craftsmen and the clothes are designed to get better with age and be passed down from one generation to the next.
The “Norfolk Work Jacket” above, will be perfect for our upcoming beach holiday on the Atlantic coast – and paired with a linen shirt, shorts, plimsolls and a fine pair of mankles, I’d say that’s English Gent’s Summer style crisis sorted. Panic over.
For more of Carrier Company’s excellent clothes, including some marvellous pinnies and womenswear, see here
For more of Juliette’s life and adventures, read her blog After My Own Fashion