Let’s just end clear up a few points of contention when it comes to Singaporean men and style (or lack thereof): First, yes, there is a men’s fashion scene in Singapore. Yes, sometimes, Singapore men’s style tilts into the gender-bending or the hilariously impractical but one perspective is that personal style is born of experimentation. Second, Singapore’s perpetual summer weather renders any kind of style beyond t-shirt, shorts or that mind-numbing G2000 “office uniform” impractical. Finally, that the days of British Colonialism are over and Asian men don’t look good in suits. Well, let’s just say that the last two points are untrue and this Pitti Uomo Visual Guide has the proof!
Pitti Uomo Visual Guide for Stylish Menswear in Singapore’s Perpetual Summer
Let’s solve the first problem – it’s too hot in Singapore to wear a suit! Well, it is time to embrace the linen suit. Better yet, make it a double breasted linen suit like the sort loved by novelist Mark Twain.
Singaporean men should embrace the Linen Suit
Linen is exceptionally breathable because it features a thread count much lower than those of other fabrics including cotton. The material’s nature is well suited (no pun intended) for summer and humid climates thanks to its comfort and high moisture absorbency. Though linen suits are traditionally not recommended for the office (due to the material being easily crumpled), simply turning up to any Singapore corporate environment in one would instantly elevate the level of formality in the office.
Sans linen, suits for summer’s hot weather can be half-lined also
If white or cream feels a little like a day at a wedding or at the horse races, this half-lined wool-linen Hugo Boss suit with slim peak lapels odd to suit any occasion. Dress down as suit separates with dark denims should you need to wear it out for a night in town or for a weekend jaunt. For a more relaxed look, linen blazers can be paired with classic summer t-shirts or polo shirts
Dress down your suit jacket with a polo shirt
You’ve spent over $1000 on your suit and like any true blue Singaporean male, you’re going to want to “milk the value for all that it’s worth”. In that case, dress your suit down with a polo shirt and white denims from Ermenegildo Zegna. If you’re wondering if a baby blue blazer and a blue cotton pique polo jersey is just one cerulean hue too many, then you’re in luck because BEAMS Fashion Director and Buyer, Shuhei Nishiguchi, showed men how to pull of blue-on-blue at the recent Pitti Uomo 92. In espadrilles no less.
Effortless men’s style through colour blocking
Nishiguchi is also a prime exemplar on effortless men’s style through color blocking. Hot weather climates can be a dampener on the mood but unlike autumnal and wintry climes, you have the option for colour saturation. Pick a core colour for your ensemble and then direct your chosen garments and layers around your outfit. Here, a checked blazer truely pops with the solid colours beaneath it. The black tie strong anchors and keeps the eye catching outfit a little down to earth.
If colour blocking feels a little adventurous, you can try going in different direction by still using the concept of colour blocking but only within the limited range of a few earth tones or monotones. You don’t have to be colourful to be loud, but you can use a limited palette range to make a statement in subdued shades of sand and stone, with pale-blue shirts and grey ties. Of course, the option is still there to make your outfit “pop” with a pair of coloured chinos.
Walk on the wild side, go sockless
It’s true, going sockless in sunny Singapore increases risk of stinking up the leather lining of your shoes/or sneakers by a sweaty degree. There are a few solutions for this – liberal application of foot powder or talcum into the confines of said shoe or, there’s the no-show sock. Men’s haberdashers like Ermenegildo Zegna and Hugo Boss offer a variety of colours, that said, Luxuo’s style advice would be to go with a flesh tone or beige. Failing that, a darker shade to mimic the shadow of a shoe’s interior.
Improve your summer style game with a short suit
Why stop at socks (or not wearing them)? Take Summer style up a notch by experimenting with short-suit. Granted, a full on safari short suit with panama hat might be a little daunting, which is why we recommend the season-essential Suitsupply Bennington shorts which exemplify laid-back refinement. Cut just above the knee from a lightweight blend of linen and cotton by Di Sondrio, this off-white pair features side adjusters, a small cuff, and mini flap coin pocket. Pair with your blazer and sneakers like so, and you’re comfortably dressy yet casual.
Improve your sneaker game with the Ermenegildo Zegna Tiziano Sneaker
A High Top designer sneaker reinvented by Alessandro Sartori for Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, featuring the iconic Triple Stitch logo. Ermenegildo Zegna Tiziano Sneakers are designed around a clean, minimist form of the ankle boot, the sneakers are given a contemporary twist by lateral cuts and stitching, a favourite feature is the signature Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Triple Stitch detailing- it’s a bold choice, assured to turn heads.
While sneakers are stylistically in-offensive, something like a pair of Double Monk Straps can be sartorially divisive. For some, it’s an acquired taste, for others, the double monk strap can be quite daunting, and so, for those looking for something dressier than boat shoes or car shoes for the weekend, you might want to look at this Ermenegildo Zegna brushed-off dark brown loafer. In a pinch, these loafers can pull double duty as work shoes (caveat: you don’t work in a heavily corporate environment like a legal office, if you, we suggest Oxfords, not brogues – damn you Kingsmen).