FashionLooking Good

Summer Fashion Exit

Written and Produced By James Vincent


You think the Brits have problems with Brexit? Summer is half over and you’re just barely starting to put your summer wardrobe together. If you’re like me – you’ve bought a few pairs of shorts and a few polo shirts. The Chicago summer just sorta happens. There really isn’t much of a spring – it’s just hot all of a sudden and catches most of us by surprise.


To have a boat in Chicago in the summer is to have a shimmering pot of gold sitting in a gorgeous, vast aquamarine pool of paradise. Whether the boat is yours – or – your uncle’s – who’s been generous enough to let you occupy it for this one weekend while he’s out of town working, doesn’t matter. It’s YOURS for the weekend.  He’s finally relented to your asking (whining?  begging?) over the years. You also have sworn and that you’ll be extra, extra careful with his prized possession – as he stares you down pressing the keys in your hands.


Never mind that of all weekends, this one is jammed packed with parties and events that you committed to long ago. It’s finally yours and you’re not going to waste any time getting started, so you head right from work Friday afternoon. Shedding your tie and shoes as you get on the dock – and there you are.



 Suit, Ralph Lauren; Shirt, H&M; Belt, Perry Ellis; Pocket Square, Vintage; Watch & Wristband, Model’s.

What says summer more than white jeans? Forget the khakis – leave those at home for the summer – and to the other guys in the office. White jeans look great paired with any color – especially orange which is just the color you want to have on this summer. White jeans have endless styling options. They’re gonna look great with just about anything and go just about anywhere – think of pairing them with a dress shirt, sport coat and dress brogues – sans socks. But they look phenomenal with just a bright color – tan and barefoot on a boat.


Tank, Nike; Jeans, AG.


Wristbands, H&M; Watch & Sunglasses, Model’s.

If one of the parties is an afternoon event that requires a little more fashion thought than the usual shorts and Polo – grab a light weight, unstructured sport jacket like this classic summer blue pinstriped seersucker. It’s so forgiving – both with the heat and wrinkling. You can always casually shed after you get there – but you’ll look casually elegant as you do so. And if that Polo is a slim fit turquoise Lacoste, you’ll look great with the jacket on or off. And, while you’re at it, get a new pair of aviators for the summer. And not just any old pair – but a tinted shade – they show a little more of your eyes while giving off more of a mysterious vibe, while also giving your eyes a different color outlook.


 Sport Jacket, TailorByrd Collection; Polo, Lacoste; Shorts, Izod; Sunglasses, Calvin Klein; Wristbands, H&M; Hat, Hipster; Shoes, Nautica; Watch, Model’s.


Finally you’re relaxing and getting into the water – a little fun with a boating accessory. Be sure to not only take lots of swim trunks – but several Polos as well. It’s easier, of course, just to grab a bunch of tee’s and be done with but a tee with a collar is just as easy to wear and gives you r look little more punch. They look great with swim trunks when you want to show a little fashion attitude to other boaters around. Don’t worry about matching the trunks to the Polo – but keep them in the same color family – like here – a muted salmon pink horizontal stripe that picks up the same pink the bold, floral print trunks.


 Polo & Swim Trunks, Penguin; Watch, Model’s.


And finally, which swim trunks to get? First, get the length right. The right ones are shorter now. Leave the old ones at home that were hitting you below the knee. The length you want this summer should be somewhere between mid-thigh or just a bit south of there. That length makes anyone look not only stylish – but younger. They don’t all have to be wild and crazy prints. Get a few that are a mix of solid and print – as here with this surfer style orange crush paired with a fish print waistband.


 Swim Trunks, Rainforest, Beach Towel, Trina Turk.


There’s one more party and it’s a bit of a swanker affair that needs a bit more of fashion flair. Florals for summer? Groundbreaking. But, why not? Then go a step even further with these pale pink, buttery soft trousers. You’re sure to make an entrance – and – an exit.


 Sport Jacket, Paisley & Gray; Polo, Ben Sherman; Jeans, AG.

 *Photography, Alejandra Guerrero,; Model, Mac for Ford Models Chicago; Grooming, Ashley Condron; Styling, James Vincent; Shot on location in Montrose Harbor, Chicago, IL on the Vayu, complements of Ron Buzil.

The Author

James Vincent

James Vincent

JD Vincent is a freelance visual merchandiser and display designer based in Chicago, IL, with a life-long interest in fashion. He has been a local Chicago display designer for many years and has been an independent contractor in wholesale and retail visual merchandising for 20 years. He started the wholesale tradeshow design company, tradeshowoffs! in 2013. You can see his company’s wholesale and retail projects at His visual merchandising clients have included well-known companies such as Reebok, The North Face, Cartier, the Chicago Merchandise Mart as well as many other local retail and wholesale companies. His product focus in recent years has been in the men’s wear tailored arena. He has honed his professional styling skills with companies such as Hart Schaffner Marx, Zegna, Hickey Freeman, Kenneth Cole, DKNY amongst many others. Mr. Vincent currently resides in Chicago and works as an independent visual merchandiser and designer for both retail and wholesale companies that include, among others, Bobby Jones, Hickey Freeman as well as yet to be discovered new clients.

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