I love this dusty, hazy yellow university stripe OCBD. It is beautiful all year but in summer it exudes a complimentary warmth that is perfect for the season. The yellow is so light, it is so gentle and faint. Dusty and hazy, these are the words that come to mind immediately. It is so soft in appearance. The yellow almost blends right into the white. I have a few other yellow university stripes but none are as faint as this. One is almost more of a gold. That is beautiful in its own way. That is a nice warm winter stripe. Many go pretty hard on Brooks Brothers these days and I understand it, it isn't without reason. Yet, if they make something nice I am not going to pretend it isn't so just because we are supposed to cut on them hard today. This yellow university stripe is one of their re-booted OCBDs. I picked it up last year. The fabric is heavy, the collar is big and beautiful and the fit is roomy. Is it perfect, no. Is it a nice shirt? Yes, it is.
Navy and yellow work beautifully together. We know this from our ties and our navy blazers. The same truth applies equally to our pants (or in this case, shorts with a 7 inch inseam) and shirts. This faint yellow stripe next to the thin clean white are easy on the eyes when paired with the navy of the shorts and brown belt. It feels classic and traditional yet ever so slightly more interesting than if the same shirt was paired with light chinos. Some guys don't like shorts, I do however. I live in a cottage vacation-centric area and so summer cottage-wear is very natural in this setting. Shorts with a blazer is ultra prep and fits perfectly. An OCBD with the sleeves rolled up tucked into shorts is natural. A Harrington jacket over an OCBD complimented by shorts and boat shoes for a picnic near the water feels classic and pure summer. On a chilly summer evening I have no problem with a jacket on top of shorts and boat shoes. It feels like the essence of cottage-vacation-summer. That is where I live.
Earlier this summer I resolved to wear my pink boat shoes and my black boat shoes more often than usual so as to break them in more. Largely, I have failed at this endeavor. I just keep coming back to the classic, the traditional, the neutral. This is why we have classics. This is why the classic pieces that go with everything have such a low cost-per-wear. You are wearing them all the time. They are the classics for a reason.
In the summer when we layer less it can feel as though there is less opportunity to let our own personal style come through. There may be truth to this. Assuming this is true, it is (even more than usual) the colors and simple pairings that speak, and reveal more. Because there is less, everything has more weight. There could be more emphasis on how we are wearing a piece. I understand lots of guy don't like summer as much because they feel this sense of lacking opportunity in terms of personal style. It feels almost boring to them. I understand, although I think with a slight perspective shift (just a small re-orientation of how we are viewing the summer), we can begin to have a new appreciation for the necessary simplicity and minimalism of the warm season. We can appreciate, with fresh eyes, the lack of layering and start to think and really feel the nuances of personal style emerge even when it seems almost boringly imperceptible at first. In the strangest way, there is a manner in which we almost fine tune our perception in summer.