When it comes to clothes shopping – I feel for men. Having been tasked with styling a few ex-boyfriends in my past, I fast realised that dressing with any sense of originality or flair is a challenge for the opposite sex.
The reason? Choice is limited; menswear departments are without fail smaller than women’s and many shops seem to carry near-identikit items. The odds of rocking up to an event in the same shirt or suit as another chap? Pretty high.
Then there’s the sartorial minefield of summer dressing. Often considered the trickiest fashion season to navigate, loud Hawaiian shirts, socks and sandals and string vests are some of the worst crimes committed against style in the summer months, heck even the most stylish men seem to struggle. As my brother-in-law, who is a particularly snappy dresser, recently lamented ‘is there such thing as a nice sandal for men?’ after failing to find a passable pair for his honeymoon.
If you’re helping your chap get kitted out for an upcoming hot holiday you might be facing a similar dilemma. Beachwear is tricky sartorial terrain where Speedos are (in my opinion) best left to Tom Daley and his fellow Olympian divers. At the opposite end of the scale, baggy board shorts are also a no-no, unless you’re looking to channel Busted in their heyday.
For a stylish summer look, I think chic and streamlined swim shorts are a failsafe option – look for something simply cut with an interesting print or pattern for a point of differentiation. And if your chap is looking for a pair of shorts that every next holiday-maker round the resort pool doesn’t own – may I draw your attention to luxury men’s swim and resort wear brand LOVE BRAND & Co.
The cool thing about shopping with Independent labels is that they offer something unique and thoughtfully crafted. This is very true at LOVE BRAND & Co., where each print is specifically designed with a unique meaning or unsuspecting motif hidden beneath a spectrum of colour and pattern. Founded in 2010 by Oliver Tomalin and his wife Rose, LOVE BRAND & Co. is a menswear label with an ethical mission; their brand strapline – ‘Loving life and saving wildlife’ reflects a real passion for wildlife. So committed to the cause are LOVE BRAND & Co., that they donate 5% of all brand revenues to charity projects supporting elephants and other endangered species in the wild. One such charity is Tusk Trust, a wildlife charity funding conservation and community driven and environmental projects across Africa, supported by HRH Duke of Cambridge as Royal Patron.
LOVE BRAND & Co.’s passion for wildlife also inspires the brand’s design handwriting. The new ‘Travels to Paradise’ collection looks to the mosaic of nature for design inspiration, referencing the rich depths and hues of the majestic Maldives. Prints borrow forms found in the natural world and use playful and spirited travel concepts, bringing life to a fun, subtle and sophisticated effect.
The collection comprises of 4 key prints to collect:
Plain Sailing is inspired by the delicious blues and greens of the tropical waters. A geometric yacht repeat and fresh, vivid colours create a mesmerising summer blur.
If you prefer a bolder pattern, the Friendly Fins print mimics the graceful migration of the gentle Whale Shark. The dark blue silhouettes of the sharks are placed carefully ‘fin to fin’ leaving the rhythmic and flowing negative space to be explored in a paler blue.
Dive beneath the ocean’s surface to uncover nature’s wonders that inspired the Coral Maze shorts. Discovering the textural wonder of the surface grooves which can be found in the Mussidae or Brain corals were the inspiration behind this stimulating print in Coral Red and White.
For the daydreamer, the Island Sky print shorts captures the notion of iconic sea planes traveling from one paradise island to the next is what inspired this print. Plane motifs are used to create an elegant and energetic graphic texture. Soft ceil blue and white have been placed together to capture a sense of movement and journey.
The smart shorts also look great paired with a polo shirt and retro wayfarer sunglasses for a midday jaunt to the beach bar. And for the mini sartorialists, LOVE BRAND & Co. offer boys shorts to ensure the little chaps in your life are stylishly decked out on the beach too. Mens shorts are £135 and boys are £70.
So that’s his stylish summer beach look sorted without a wacky Hawaiian shirt or questionable sock and sandal combination in sight. Now that all is left to be done is book your flights for an exotic getaway – fancy a trip to the Maldives anyone?