The past few weeks have felt like one long nostalgic bubble. For me, the heatwave has brought back memories of childhood summers in the late 70s; from lining up with a bucket for our quota of water, to the optimism of a nation pinning its hopes on 11 men running around a football pitch. And that’s not to mention the constant waft of barbequed food.
There is something about the ritual of scoffing your way through a BBQ that simply doesn’t seem right in your suit or your tracksuit bottoms. So, to avoid getting sticky ribs over white jeans or finding yourself shivering and hovering over the embers long after the sun has set, here’s five barbecue-friendly steals that you can pick up now in the summer sales.
Monitaly cargo shorts
A barbecue without shorts is like a bun without a burger. This cargo-inspired pair from Monitaly makes an excellent choice. While keeping the casual, easy-wearing feel of traditional cargo shorts, they strike a modern balance with a flattering cut; fuller around the waist and tapered towards the knee. The large side pockets nod to classic cargo styling, but we’d advise you to avoid putting anything in them – bulky car keys or a large smartphone will spoil the line of the shorts. They can be worked into a smarter look with a fine cotton shirt and driving shoes, or kept casual with a striped t-shirt and suede espadrilles.
£98 (from £245), shop now
Camoshita striped sweater
We can’t fault the detail that Camoshita puts into each of its pieces. This striped short sleeve sweater may look like any other on first appearance, but closer inspection will tell you differently. Its fine ribbed cotton is constructed using a tight knit (on Japanese looms – of course), which gives a slim-cut, close-fitting shape. The panel detailing on the shoulders is also a nice touch. It reminds me of a similar knit of my dad’s back in the late 70s, which he used to wear religiously when stoking up a BBQ. The stripes give it a classic yet contemporary appeal and would work well with the aforementioned Monitaly cargo shorts, navy slim cut chinos or olive pleated shorts.
£92 (from £230), shop now
Oliver Spencer Albany sweater
Oliver Spencer is known for its unique take on wardrobe classics. This green wool sweater is the perfect piece to keep you warm when those inevitable dark grey clouds roll across, or the evening chill begins to wisp around your freshly tanned ankles. The moss green colour will keep you in good stead for the forthcoming autumn season, too: it proved to be a popular colour among designers at the Autumn/Winter ‘18 shows. It’ll also go with practically anything you want to wear. Pull it over striped tees or camp collar shirts, and pair it with cotton or seersucker shorts.
£64 (from £160), shop now
Dries Van Noten leather sneakers
July is not just the month of BBQs, but also of Wimbledon; expect to see lots more polo shirts, white shorts and striped blazers make their presence felt over the coming weeks. The most adaptable style to take from the sport is, of course, the timeless tennis shoe, which has never really gone out of style. This take on the style by Belgium designer Dries van Noten manages to capture the essence of a tennis shoe with nostalgic details such as the leather toe caps, rubber soles and bright white laces. They have a crisp vintage feel to them and will work with any number of shorts, or a pair of wide leg cotton or linen trousers. Just don’t drop your ketchup on them.
£182.50 (from £365), shop now
Blue Blue Japan camp collar shirt
We can’t get enough of printed shirts this summer, especially those with a Call Me By Your Name-inspired camp collar. This style from Blue Blue Japan has been expertly indigo-dyed for simple, yet eye-catching print. The boxy, straight cut is both light and breezy, and would look great unbuttoned over a white tee or with a pair of khaki shorts. It also has a nice nod to the 1950s bowling shirts that have proved super popular this summer. Although it didn’t quite make the seasonal sale, we’d say it’s well worth the investment, and will certainly leave your fellow BBQ diners in the sartorial shade.
£195, shop now