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Man oh man

Kathryn Whittaker shares tips on how to avoid socks and sandals syndrome this summer

Published on July 11th 2008.

Man oh man

Now, it’s fair to say that my fashion column tends to be focused on the ladies out there, but recently I have seen more and more male clients asking me for style transformations. And why not? It’s all about making it easy and creating flattering styles that will look good with minimum effort- no traipsing round the shops, no 'does my bum look big in this' and certainly no pushy sales assistants. So this week lads its all for you and the big question- how do I look cool in the heat?

Now, I know that socks and sandals’ man is a bit of a generalisation, but, we Brits abroad do get a bad rep when it comes to the holiday fashion stakes. You have only to look along the Spanish coastline to see how easy it is to separate the Brits from our European neighbours purely by their outfit of choice. So, just for you here are my top tips for avoiding the Union Jack alert and looking stylish this summer.

Best Foot Forward:

Feet, tricky topic with you man-folk out there and grooming for the tootsies has to be brought to the fore. Make sure they are in good nick please or it can really put a girl or guy off their margaritas and you know what we always check them out so don't think you can get away with foot-neglect. Socks and sandals is a big NO, as are socks and trainers with shorts, unless you are the sporting type and even then if you're not Thierry Henry, forget it. Instead go for nice leather or canvass flip flops- if you can’t deal with the thong variety a good old Birkenstock will look chic with shorts or a pair of linens and a shirt on a summer evening jaunt. Try a neutral colour such as this tan pair from Hush Puppies as Schuh, and at £29.99 they won’t break the bank either.

Layer it up:

Whether abroad or in good old blighty the weather can be a little unpredictable. Combat this by taking a tip from the ladies and use layers to create a versatile look that can accommodate 3 seasons in 1 day. Start with some good, basic plain T shirts- black, white, grey are always great options, Burtons have some really good ones in stock now at 2 for £10. Then add some knitwear- the finer knits will ensure you look slim and that you don’t overheat. This light grey number is from Topman and will look great over a T shirt to combat a chilly sea breeze. Then go for a lightweight jacket that wont crease- so you can chuck it in the suitcase and no harm is done. Before you know it- tadaa! A capsule wardrobe that any glamorous gent would be proud of.

Leg it:

Shorts can be a tricky one, especially if a) you’re not so keen on your legs and b) if all you think of is Speedos. Well, fear not. If you are after a casual day into night look, go for ¾ length options. The fabric choice will depend on the purpose. Day wear can be more utility in their look but evening should be a good quality cotton or linen. Try this khaki linen option from John Rocha at Debenhams (£35). They look great with a patterned T shirt for the day or swap for a light coloured short sleeved shirt and leather sandals for the evening- shorts- done.

Shady Fella:

The key with sunglasses is to find a size and shape to suit your face and not just going for whatever novelty design is in fashion. If you are smaller go for a thinner frame and smaller lenses. Aviators are a classic style that tend not to date and so are a great option try adding colour to update the look. This red pair are from Burtons and a bargain at just £8. Along with sunglasses, accessories make a look so try using belts, satchels and even beads to perfect your summer style.

Well, I hope that has given you some inspiration and whether you are jetting off to sunnier climbs or just enjoying a frappuchino in St Anne’s Square, I wish you a very stylish summer.

Code Image & Style Ltd.

For more information on Kathryn Whittaker and Code Image lick here.

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