This last week has not been an easy one to dress for; coping with 30-degree heat in the centre of town, complete with packed Tube trains, grimy buses and baking concrete-lined streets is a trial, even for the most committed aesthete.
In such conditions, exceptions must be made, and lightweight, breathable style solutions searched for. Breezy linen shirts are one option, but there are plenty of other ways to get your style kicks without overheating. Try these for size while the mercury’s still rising.
1. Up your frame game with General Eyewear
Any self-respecting style aficionado knows your sunglasses have the power to make or mar an outfit, particularly when it’s too hot to wear anything more than a T-shirt and shorts. Luckily, these frames are so sharp you could cut yourself on them. You’re looking at the Tanaka, a signature piece from General Eyewear, an independent optician based in Camden and Soho. General Eyewear only makes its frames bespoke, contemporising vintage models, with over a thousand acetates (many no longer in production) to choose from. The Tanaka is a modern take on a 1960s Michael Caine statement frame, perfect for cutting a dash – even in this weather. Pay General Eyewear a visit to be fitted for yours, choose your material, lenses and have a pair handmade in the company’s British workshop.
From £350, available in store, generaleywear.com
2. Stay cool in Sunspel X The Royal Academy
In heat like this, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of a smooth superfine cotton T-shirt against the skin. Sunspel makes the coolest around, and now the iconic British knitwear brand has partnered with the Royal Academy to mark its 250th anniversary. Crisp and clean, each T-shirt is dyed in a colour taken from Moses Harris’s ‘Prismatic’ colour wheel, seen in his book The Natural System of Colours, which was dedicated to the RA’s first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1768. The collaboration is simple and understated, but had yielded a number of pastel coloured tees that are both easy to wear and unashamedly chic. Treat yourself and you’ll breeze through this hot spell.
£65, shop now
3. Visit Blackhorse Lane Atelier’s concept shop
Exciting news from one of The Jackal’s favourite denim manufacturers. Blackhorse Lane is spreading its wings, and emerging from its Walthamstow bolthole. The company’s just opened a concept shop designed to offer London’s first ‘denim haberdashery’. The store will offer ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and preview made-to-order stock for both sexes, and the haberdashery element will contain ‘everything you need to make or repair your own jeans at home’, in a bid to maintain the company’s primary objective to inspire more makers in London. Located in Shoreditch’s oldest building, the Clerk’s House, the store has every bit as much character as Blackhorse Lane’s jeans – be sure to stop by for a masterclass in effortlessly cool British denim.
118 1/2 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JN, blackhorselane.com
4. Take on your own patina, with Alice Made This
Don’t panic – this recommendation doesn’t involve blow-torching. Rather, this is a glimpse of the intricate process that gives birth to Alice Made This’s newest collection of handmade cufflinks, the Patina Collection. The result of several months of careful collaboration with patina master Derek Bayley, each pair of solid brass links is forged, sand-blasted, heated with a blow torch and then painted with different chemical compounds to produce an iridescent coloured surface. Artfully named colours like hickory brown, luna silver, salmon, Prussian blue and Quink are all available to choose from. You might forego your jacket and tie in this heat, but these make for an equally sharp finishing touch to a formal or smart-casual look.
£190, shop now
5. Make a statement in Drakes’ Madras check jacket
Meet the fruitiest jacket of summer. Drakes’ current collection is big on transatlantic style, and this madras check sports coat updates an Ivy League classic with European design sensibility. The Madras check’s heyday was the ‘40s and ‘50s, but it’s seen a timely revival this season thanks to a renewed interest in preppy menswear. Made by a traditional Italian workshop in Drakes’ signature soft-shouldered cut, and with a featherweight construction, it feels as light as air thrown over a white linen shirt or piqué polo. Wear with washed jeans, mid-blue linen trousers or rolled-up beige chinos. And, the best part? It’s on sale. We’ll leave the rest to you.
£497.50 (from £995), shop now