Okay, let’s face it guys, Ireland isn’t exactly a paradisiacal island in which we can stroll around on sandy shores, basking in 30˚C heat, while forming a Hollywood style golden tan. The traditional and probably stereotypical image of the Irish man on holiday generates a vision of a guy with pasty white skin becoming ravaged by the foreign sun, while he wears 10 year old board shorts and his favourite GAA jersey, all the while strutting down the beach with buckets of self-confidence and fully believing he is the bee’s knees. ‘God’s gift and timeless’, he probably thinks. We’re not so sure that the jersey of your local hurling team should manifest itself in your summer wardrobe and become a staple of the Irishman on Spanish beaches.
Of course, this is a sweeping generalisation, akin to the traditional stage imagery of the Irishman as a ramping leprechaun, spouting idioms inextricably linked to potatoes. But guys this is nothing short of a polemic! Okay, I am slightly exaggerating, (just slightly) but it’s hard to deny that summer wear is something which is incredibly ignored by the majority of Irish men. There are those guys who look enviably cool in their retro Ray Bans and print shirt, but more often than not, we tend to wear the same baggy shorts year in and year out – apathetic towards style and seasonal dressing.
Well guys, it doesn’t have to be like this! Irish weather might not present us with Caribbean rays, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t exploit the few days of summer sunshine we get by bringing out some trendy tropical threads. There is no point in spending obscene amounts of money on summer clothes as, not only is the season too fleeting to justify such extravagance, but the geography of our Emerald Isle doesn’t exactly endow us with shining celestial kisses for too long.
The key to summer dressing is to master the art of preparation and foreshadowing – mixing light and casual clothing, with water resistant jackets, just in case Mother Nature looks unkindly upon our shores. Tribal prints are huge for summer and whether they appear inconspicuously on your shirt, or dominate your swimming shorts, the Aztecs have very much arrived on the Irish fashion scene. Light weight canvas shoes are a must and a reasonably priced pair of trendy sunglasses will see any guy through the summer months.
Here are some key pieces for summer 2012 from River Island Online:
And if you have wads of cash to spare, then my luxury purchase comes from Mr Porter: