Lighten up: all you need to know about pale and interesting menswear

tinie tempah john boyega lewis hamilton

Tinie Tempah, John Boyega and Lewis Hamilton all lightening up on the front row of the Burberry Prorsum spring/summer 2016 show

In menswear, summer has always been the time to add something a bit brighter to your armoury writes GQ's online fashion editor Nick Carvell. However at the recent menswear shows, we saw more ways to do so than ever before. Pale tailoring in hyper-neutral colours (subtle sandy beiges, the palest powder blues and, especially, light concrete greys) were seen across the catwalks in London, Milan, Paris and New York, with white or bleached-blue denim jeans being the dyes of the season. If you’re the kind of man who tends to dress on the dark side, now’s the time to lighten up - and here’s five key rules to remember if you want to do it right...

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Pale suits are everywhere this summer

Across the board, one of the most popular looks on the catwalks for the season was white worn head-to-toe - especially when it comes to tailoring. However, if that’s a little too bold for your weekend brunch, try a relaxed-fit suit in a washed out version of the colour you usually wear: if that’s navy, go for a light blue; if that’s black, go for a concrete grey. Then slip a T-shirt in the same shade underneath with a pair of white trainers.

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Turn up the contrast on top

The great thing about pale trousers or jeans is that you can go for something a bit bolder on your upper body. A bright block colour T-shirt in a bold blue or green is a good way to start, but I’d suggest you try out a patterned floral shirt if you want to kick it up a gear. Forget those Hawaiian shirts tourists wear, this season’s patterned shirts are far sleeker, generally in classic 1960s colour ways (and far better fitted).

Get your denim weight right

If you’re looking to lighten up your jeans, make sure you go for something that means you’re not going to boil in the heat. Look out for lighter-weight white or pale blue 10 or 11 oz. denim, perhaps with a bit of stretch so they stay comfortable in the warm weather - or, if you’re keeping things purely casual, go for something with a few rips at the knee to keep the air circulating.

 

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Slip on something subtle

If you’re keeping things bold on top and bright down below, it’s best to keep your shoes simple. A mid-brown loafer is best if you’re going somewhere smart, but for more casual occasions, a slick navy, white or cream coloured pair of classic American-style trainers - such as Jack Purcells, Vans or Common Projects lace-ups - will keep the look crisp.

WINTER WHITE JEANSsm

Remember, light trousers aren’t just for summer

If you think this is a flash-in-the-pan trend, think again - pale trousers and jeans will still look great when the great British summer (inevitably) turns. While not necessarily the best choice for downpour-attire, on cool autumn days white jeans look great when worn with brown boots, a navy or grey jumper and a camel topcoat.

Menswear is available at Fenwick stores nationwide.

By Nick Carvell