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Summer breeze makes us feel fine, but the khakis? They've got to go.
So says Emmi Sorokin, founder of the namesake men's style consultancy and author of The Business Casual Survival Guide: 30 Looks for Men. "Summer can be a difficult time to dress, because we tend to wear fewer clothes—which is why it's important to focus on fit, fabric, and accessorizing."
Fear not, gents: Ms. Sorokin, who's in her sixth year of business, shared some of her best styling tips for us, including a viable substitute for those aforementioned chino cousins.—Karyn Polewaczyk
1. Break out
"The easiest way to break out of the khakis-T-shirt mold is to switch over to what I call a 'summer basics' uniform, which consists of a lightweight cotton trouser short, a novelty polo, and street kicks."
2. Hey, shorty
"Trouser-cut shorts are much more flattering than pleated shorts, especially when they're cut at the knee. Colors are a huge trend with shorts, as are prints. Be aware of your stature when you wear shorts; if you're not the tallest guy, you'll want to go with a top that's tonally similar so you're not cut across the body. It's all about balance and proportion."
3. Pony up
"Instead of a standard-issue polo that features an emblem—basically, the kind where you've paid money to advertise another brand—go for a polo crafted out of a novelty print. I don't mean checks, stripes or polka dots, but rather, those fun, retro prints out of the 60s and 70s. If that's too much print for you, go for a print-trim polo, or a polo that features a print on the inside of a pocket or collar."
4. Street cred
"Sneakers aren't just for the gym—and the kind you'll want to wear out and about aren't the same as the kind you wear exercising. I know this term might seem scary, but you'll want to go for what are considered 'fashion sneakers'—also known as street kicks. Go for a pair in canvas, or perforated leather."
5. Tie it together, now
"And please: ditch that black or brown heavy, leather office belt. It's not meant to be worn with lightweight clothing. If you feel like you need a belt, go with one made of fabric—this is a great area to play with color if the rest of your outfit is relatively neutral."
· Emmi Sorokin [Official Site]
· Emmi Sorokin [Facebook]