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Reiss x Getty - Men's Summer Style Icons

08.06.16

In partnership with Getty Images Gallery, for spring/summer 2015 we look back on the icons of men’s summer style

Though Reiss menswear constantly looks to the future, each season our design team take inspiration from the garments which have persisted to become staples for countless generations of stylish men.

On our list of summer style icons you’ll find the eight items (worn by eight pioneering men) which we can’t imagine being absent from the summer wardrobe.

Fred Astaire Wears Tailored Chinos
THE TAILORED CHINO

An undisputed essential, the tailored chino trouser is to the summer wardrobe what denim is to the winter wardrobe. Originally intended for use by the military, the design became standard issue as the result of an ability to be both highly durable and comfortable to wear in humid climes. Thanks to the chino trouser’s elegant yet laid-back appearance, it's little wonder that the design has become a mainstay of men's summer dressing.

THE CUBAN COLLAR SHIRT

As its name suggests, the Cuban collar shirt began life in South America. Formative styles share several distinctive hallmarks: a lightweight composition, pockets for storage and a straight shirt hem designed to be worn untucked. Fast forward a handful of centuries, and while the Cuban collar shirt may have been nipped, tucked, reinvented and revived countless times, the core essence of the original design remains intact and the shirt remains a summer staple.

Marlon Brando Wears Cuban Collar Shirt
William Holden wears linen blazer
THE LINEN BLAZER

A man’s summer wardrobe is never complete without at least one linen blazer. Originally designed as a way to keep cool and sharply tailored in the warmer months, the linen blazer’s weave offered a more wearable alternative to heavier tweed and flannel fabrications. It’s hard to imagine a summer formal event without the linen blazer present, and for that reason it is surely an icon of style under the sun.

THE TAILORED SHORT

Taking its inspiration from the Bermuda short which prized a smartly cut shape, today’s tailored short owes much to this formative design. The Bermuda short sprung to life as a means of dressing smartly in persistently sunny climes and modern versions marry this core design with a contemporary, streamlined cut. The resulting garment is held in high esteem by menswear’s best dressers thanks to its ability to provide sharp style in hot conditions.

Errol Flynn wears tailored shorts
Montgomery Clift wears the field jacket
THE FIELD JACKET

Like many of menswear’s staples, the field jacket’s provenance lies in military apparel, though it has graduated from the battle fields to become a stalwart of men’s off-duty style. Current versions remain largely unchanged and those same practical pockets nod to the garment’s functional heritage. Admired for its ability to be casually worn over practically anything, the field jacket is still one of the most versatile items a man can possess in his sartorial arsenal.

THE POLO SHIRT

Few items are able to boast the same stylish simplicity of the polo shirt. Assuming the sartorial sweet spot between smart and casual, the polo shirt provides a neater alternative to the T-shirt while retaining that same wear-with-anything versatility so required by men during the summer months. The design was developed for wear on tennis courts, which explains just why the garment feels so practical to wear in the heat. Technical considerations aside, the polo shirt’s universally appealing design has enabled it to stay relevant for countless generations of well-dressed men.

James Dean wears a polo shirt
Roger Moore wears a white dinner jacket
THE DINNER JACKET

It may not be the most practical inclusion on our list of men’s summer style icons, but the dinner jacket can surely lay claim to being the most elegant garment to make the cut. Though the dinner jacket has been worn all year round since the Victorian era, for summer the white dinner jacket is the natural choice for the most formal of occasions. Whether worn with a black or white neck accessory, the design is prized for its ability to bring formalwear into the realm of summer.

THE SWEATSHIRT

In the event that fashion and function conspire to produce something both easy to wear and unassumingly stylish, you can be sure that it will receive the wholehearted backing of menswear aficionados. It’s no surprise then that the humble sweatshirt has transcended its native sports field - by way of mid-century American college students – to become an off-duty staple for stylish men the world over. Equally at home whether worn with chinos or jeans, the sweatshirt has seasonless sartorial relevance.

Paul Newman wears a classic sweatshirt

Drawn from the Getty Images archives, each image on our list is available to buy as a photographic print from Getty Images Gallery. 

See www.gettyimagesgallery.com for details or call 0207 291 5380