Dressing for fall is relatively easy. Just get some flannel trousers and chinos, and then pile on your knitwear, tweed sport coats, and Barbour jackets as necessary.
What to do for spring, though?
We turn to the often-photographed Japanese designer Yasuto Kamoshita for inspiration. Yasuto was one of the original founders of United Arrows back in the late 1980s and today runs his own (somewhat) eponymous brand, Camoshita. He mixes Italian and American influences, which he says he wears in a slightly more modern, Japanese way. His looks are a bit hip, to be sure, but even the most conservative of dressers can take away some style lessons:
- The Casual Brown Suit: You don’t see brown suits terribly often these days, but they make for great warm weather wear. Particularly in materials such as cotton or linen (and especially linen), they give a more casual and relaxed sensibility than their navy and charcoal counterparts. Yasuto shows how to wear one with a black tie and some brown derbies, or more casually with a bold shirt (remember, the bolder the pattern on a shirt, the more casual it looks). The best thing about brown suits: you can break the jacket and trousers up and wear them separately. See the first photo for how Yasuto combines a pair of brown pants with a navy blazer and light blue shirt. A bit different from the usual navy with grey combo, but very stylish.
- Your Summer Blues: It’s been said that blue is one of the most flattering colors you can wear, whether that’s through navy suits or light blue shirts, and it’s true. It’s gentle on your complexion, plays well with other colors, and if you happen to have blue eyes, may even make you sparkle. For the summer months, consider something outside of your traditional navy sport coats, however. Yasuto here wears a seersucker suit with a Nigerian print tie and a Carolina blue suit with dark, patterned neckwear. If you’re a shy little flower, like me, try anchoring the seersucker with a black knit tie and go for a slightly darker suit. I love this color on the late Francesco Smalto.
- Low Contrast Moves: Tonal or low-contrast looks can be a sophisticated way of making a statement. In the fall or winter months, you can do this by combining various shades of browns, grays, and olive. In the warmer seasons, however, you’ll want to brighten up those colors. Yasuto here wears a white shirt with off-white pants, although he breaks it up a little with a striped sweater. In the other photo, he wears a tan sport coat with beige pants, a white shirt, and a sunflower-colored tie. Perfect for spring.
- Home Style: OK, not strictly about spring/ summer. The last photo shows what Yasuto wears when he’s at home in Edogawa, which is east Tokyo. Here he’s photographed in an embroidered grandad-collar shirt and loose cotton trousers (still rocking that cuff). It looks comfy, but I’m mostly including the image because it has tea and a puppy, which are things everyone should like year-round.
As for why Yasuto sometimes only fastens the bottom button on his jackets? He says he gets the move from Fred Astaire.