How To Transition Your Men's Wardrobe From Winter To Spring & Summer

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

That time of year has finally arrived. Where that enervating heat trumps the cold.  You want to dress dapper without looking like you’ve just run a steeple chase through the Niagara Falls. Yes, spring & summer do certainly bring their trials. But they also bring their tribulations. As foliage and eventually barrenness makes way for spring, fun and supposedly never ending frolicking in the sun, what often accompanies it is a veneer of sweat that we are all desperately trying to shake off. So how do we dress dapper, to the nines, without looking like we’ve been doing the ice bucket challenge on repeat all day. The answer lies in both colors and fabrics. Both, from an aesthetic and functional purpose. Ditch your midnight blues for lighter colors, introduce pastels into your wardrobe and switch your traditional woolen suits for lighter weight, summer friendly fabrics such as seersucker, cotton & linen. With that said, here is our comprehensive guide to transitioning your wardrobe to spring & summer months.

Pastel Colors Shirts & Accessories (Ties & Pocket Squares)

Light Blue Shirt

A classic staple in any discerning gentleman’s wardrobe, a light blue shirt is used particularly well during the spring & summer months.

Formal: Dressing up in an formal capacity for work, an important meeting or a presentation?? Try pairing your light blue shirt with a stronger / royal blue, or purple solid, striped or foulard (abstract) silk tie. During formal settings, it would be best to opt for a traditional woolen suit, albeit in a higher super count (higher super counts indicate a greater yarn count, resulting in a softer, lighter suit. Please note that higher super count suits, while finer, will wear down quicker and so should be used selectively).

Semi-Formal: Looking to rock that suit with a light blue shirt at a beach wedding? How about opting for a lighter colored pink or lilac silk tine in a paisley or animal print pattern. Mixing up your patterns by switching out solid, striped and abstract ties for printed silk, paisley, polka dot or silk knit tie patterns can be an incredible way to transition your ensembles to a more relaxed look. Look to rock this semi-formal look with a seersucker, linen or cotton suit for that ultimate summer look!

Light Blue Shirt Pink Tie

An excellent use of pastel colors with this summer inspired look. Pastel colors can be worn within more formal capacities, allowing you retain traditional suiting colors such as charcoal grey or navy, while balancing out the entire ensemble with lighter colors such as this beautiful light blue shirt, and solid Salisbury pink silk tie from The Dark Knot.

Tie: Salisbury Pink Solid Silk Tie, The Dark Knot

Light Pink Shirt

What used to be considered an effeminate shirt color has now firmly entrenched itself as a mainstream staple – well, at least among the well dressed type.  Wear your light pink shirt during the spring & summer months, whether in a formal capacity or not, and you will instantly attract attention.

Formal: Strut that light pink shirt with a burgundy or blue silk tie and a charcoal grey or navy blue suit. Ideal tie or pocket square patterns would include solids, striped, foulard (abstract) patterns. During formal settings, this shirt would best be worn with a higher yarn count (lighter weight), higher super count woolen suit.

Informal: Looking to make an impression with that light pink shirt in an informal setting? Try pairing your shirt with a seersucker blue or linen suit to make the ultimate impression! Accessorize this shirt with a blue paisley silk tie and a cream linen pocket square.

Light Pink Shirt with Silk Bow Tie & Pocket Square

A light pink shirt provides you with the perfect campus upon which to create more colorful ensembles during the spring & summer months. This light pink shirt works particularly well with this brighter pink jacket, creating an incredibly dapper monochromatic look that is well balanced with a range of other colors. In this image, a light pink shirt is perfectly balanced by a beautiful, multi colored floral silk bow tie, an elegant yellow lapel flower, and The Dark Knot’s Malta Paisley Silk Pocket Square. This ensemble is ideally for an informal event, such as attending the Kentucky Derby, or a daytime cocktail party at the local country club!

Pocket Square: Malta Paisley Silk Pocket Square, The Dark Knot.

Lilac Shirt

An often overlooked pastel color in a discerning dapper gentleman’s wardrobe, the lilac shirt is the perfect way to transition your wardrobe from fall & winter seasons into spring & summer. Pair your lilac shirt with a blue or purple tie for that ultimate summer inspired look!

Formal: Looking to make an impression at work with your new found penchant for pastel colors? Complement this shirt with a strong royal blue or purple tie. A royal blue tie will provide a similar color scheme, creating a sense of familiarity (both are cooler colors on the color wheel). Alternatively, a purple tie will create a monochromatic color scheme (elegant color scheme using two variations of the same color (lilac is a lighter version of purple).

The Dark Knot Tip: When matching ties to your shirts, it is always best to go with a lighter colored shirt and work your way up to a darker colored tie or stronger patterned tie. This creates an ideal level of contrast and makes your tie the statement piece.

Informal: Looking to exude that relaxed dapper look at your next spring & summer event, whether it’s the Kentucky Derby or a summer beach wedding? Pair your lilac shirt with a blue paisley tie and purple paisley or abstract linen pocket square.

Lilac Shirt Blue Tie

A lilac shirt can create the perfect backdrop upon which to create striking combinations. Here, a checkered lilac and blue shirts is perfectly complemented with a larger patterned blue foulard tie, creating that perfect spring & summer look! This combination can be worn in either a more formal capacity, such as work, or an informal capacity, given the perfect blend and contrast of colors between the blue tie and lilac checkered shirt.

Green Shirt

While fall & winter seasons are typically associated with darker shades of green, such as olive, the spring & summer months work perfectly with lighter green shades. Whether you are strutting a light green shirt with a beautiful navy suit, or accessorizing your suits with light green, an addition of said color will significantly enhance the dapperness of your ensemble!

Formal Event: Looking to make an impression at work or a formal cocktail party with a light green shirt? Pair this with a blue tie to create an elegant but somewhat understated look, or a pink tie to create that bold, dapper statement with a strong level of contrast. This green shirt is ideally worn with a higher super count (lighter weight) woolen suit during the spring & summer seasons. As noted above, these suits should be worn sparingly, given that they do experience wear & tear relatively easily given the finer nature of a higher yarn count wool.

Informal Event: Strutting your green shirt to your next horseracing meet , a beach wedding or a casual game of croquet? Pair your shirt with a light blue or pink paisley silk or linen tie, and a blue or pink linen or floral paisley pocket square!

Alternatively, you can incorporate green into your spring & summer ensembles with a paisley or animal print silk tie!

Printed Green Silk Tie

Injecting your ensembles with a lighter green hue can significantly enhance your look. Here, we have a beautiful plaid suit, that is accessorized with a light green lapel flower, a stunning blue checkered cotton pocket square and The Dark Knot’s Nantucket Fish Green / Blue Animal Print Silk Tie! This ensemble is best for a formal event, such as a church wedding during the spring & summer months!

Tie: Nantucket Fish Green / Blue Printed Silk Tie, The Dark Knot

Silk Ties | Ties | Neckties | Extra Long Ties

Yellow Accessories

While Fall & Winter months are ideally suited towards earth tones, including mustard yellows (often associated with foliage), the spring & summer months work best with a lighter yellow hue. While light yellow shirts can be worn, accessorizing your suits with a yellow tie or pocket square will do enough to significantly elevate your style game!

Yellow Printed Silk Tie Spring & Summer Seasons

Infusing your wardrobe with yellow accessories will provide your suiting attire with a unique look. Here, we have a traditional navy suit and white shirt that is completely brought to life with the The Dark Knot’s Ashland Burgundy Polka Dot Silk Pocket Square, Amherst Mustard Yellow Lapel Flower and Falmouth Birds Yellow / Blue Printed Silk Tie!

Lapel Flower: Amherst Mustard Yellow / White Lapel Flower, The Dark Knot

Pocket Square: Ashland Dots Burgundy / White Silk Pocket Square, The Dark Knot

Tie: Falmouth Birds Yellow / Blue Printed Silk Tie, The Dark Knot

Coral Accessories

While an often overlooked color, and not typically associated with dress shirts, a coral printed silk tie can significantly enhance your look during the spring & summer months, whether it’s for a formal event such as a presentation, or your next evening wedding.

Coral & Blue Printed Silk Tie

Adding coral to your spring & summer ensembles will undoubtedly make you look like the best dressed man in the room! With sharp hues, a coral accessory can really help you to stand out. Here, we have a traditional charcoal grey suit balanced with a stunning solid white lapel flower, a pink and purple paisley silk pocket square and a coral / blue fish motif printed silk tie! This ensemble can be worn in both formal and less formal capacities, given the prominence of vibrant pastels such as the coral tie and pink silk pocket square.

Lapel Flower: Marblehead White Lapel Flower, The Dark Knot

Pocket Square: Malta Paisley Silk Pocket Square, The Dark Knot

Tie: Nantucket Fish Coral / Blue Printed Silk Tie, The Dark Knot

Cream Accessories

An often overlooked color when building out a dapper man’s wardrobe, a cream accessory is the perfect addition to any spring or summer ensemble. Pair it with a darker colored suit in a more formal capacity, or with a lighter blue seersucker or linen suit for a beach wedding or a summer’s party!

Cream Silk Tie

Cream, an often underlooked color when building out a dapper gentleman’s spring & summer wardrobe, can provide your ensemble with an instant addition of refined elegance. Here, we can see a classic charcoal grey and white shirt brought to life with a stunning white lapel flower, pink paisley silk pocket square and a cream foulard / abstract silk tie!

Lapel Flower: Marblehead White Lapel Flower, The Dark Knot

Pocket Square: Malta Paisley Silk Pocket Square, The Dark Knot

Tie: Hanover Abstract Cream / Pink Silk Tie, The Dark Knot

Summer Suits

No summer ensemble will be kicking into full gear without a quintessential summer suit! While lighter woolen suits, as mentioned above, can work wonders with the rest of your attire during spring & summer months, you will know you have truly elevated your style game when you have incorporated seasonal fabrics.

Seersucker Suits

A suiting staple in the southern gentleman’s wardrobe, seersucker suits have come to embody a casual, relaxed dapper look that is prominent. Popular on summer weekends, derby meets, parties at the local country club or while watching an elegant game of polo, these statement suits exhibit a sense of relaxed confidence, allowing you to look incredibly suave and yet completely relaxed at the same time. It is this very paradox that makes the seersucker suit such a popular staple during the spring & summer months.

The term seersucker hails from India, where it is known as Shir-O-Shakar, which in Persian translates into milk or sugar, referencing the contrasting nature of the fabric – smooth yet crinkled.

Seersucker is a lightweight, crinkled, striped summer fabric constructed of puckered cotton. This puckered fabric allows air to circulate, helping you keep cool. While usually worn within the context of a suit, a seersucker jacket can also be utilized as a sports jacket.

Blue Seersucker Suit with Pink Shirt & Green Tie

A seersucker suit allows you to look dandy through experimentation with different colors. Here, you can see a classic blue striped seersucker suit with a pastel colored pink and green shirt and tie combination, that allows this outfit to completely stand out. This is beautifully balanced by a navy polka dot pocket square.

When accessorizing a seersucker suit, it is best to opt for a simpler patterned tie (unless you are a seasoned pro with matching 2 or more patterns within an ensemble!), especially If worn with a striped or checkered shirt. However, with a solid shirt, you will be afforded more leeway with regards to the types of patterns that you can wear.  Examples of patterned ties that will work particularly well with a seersucker suit and a solid shirt include madras cotton ties (typically come in colorful, plaid patterns), or animal print silk ties, that are instant conversation starters.

Animal Printed Silk Ties appear as splash of vibrant colors from afar, but upon closer inspection, reveal a pattern that often says something about the wearer’s interest, whether it be sports (golf clubs, tennis racquets, croquet etc), ocean life (beach, palm trees, sea animals) or travel (safaris, wildlife etc).

Animal Print Silk Ties

The Dark Knot’s Animal Print Ties make for the perfect complement to your seersucker suits during the spring & summer months!

Linen Suits

Few things speak summer like a linen suit. Whether you’re thinking of Tony Montana bringing a coke binge session to life with white linen pants, a Los Angeles Club reveler in a white linen suits, or one of any powerful men dressing dapper in the scorching summer heat, linen has already, whether you know it or not, made a significant impression upon your style aspirations. So why not bring these unearthed desires to life this spring & summer season with an addition of linen to your wardrobe?

Linen is a lighter weight fabric that is ideally suited for spring & summer months. With fabric composition that makes it light weight, breathable and durable, linen is the ideal spring & summer fabric. Linen suits, next to seersucker, provide that ultimate relaxed dapper look. If you are seeking out that desired dichotomy of relaxed dapper, you can opt for darker colored linen suits, such as darker brown. However, for that ultimate spring / summer day time look, try opting for a cream, off white or light blue linen suit!

It is worth noting that a drawback to using linen is that it creases easily. Hence, it is best to wear linen suits when out casually with friends or at a typical summer event, such as The Kentucky Derby, a country club or beach wedding! If you do insist on wearing a linen suit to a more formal event, it is best to opt for a darker colored suit so that the creasing is not as prominent.

Linen Suit Spring & Summer Season

A linen suit is ideal for that airy killer spring / summer combination! Courtesy of

Cotton Suits

A staple in any well versed men’s style wardrobe, a cotton suit will perfectly round out your staple of essential spring / summer suits. Please note that because cotton seems to be the most prevalent choice during spring and summer months, it is absolutely imperative that you have a strong eye when choosing the right fabric. Ideally, you want to opt for an open weave that allows air in easily, providing that elusive mix of both dapper-ness and comfort that you are looking for! The perfect litmus test for ascertaining whether you have right type of linen is to hold it up against the light – if you cannot see through it, you know it is not appropriate enough for the spring & summer seasons!

Cotton Suit Spring & Summer Season

Courtesy of

And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have found this article both informative and enjoyable to read!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of luxurious Spring & Summer Ties!

Looking to spice up your ensembles? Check out The Dark Knot's exquisite range of Spring & Summer Men's Accessories.


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