Our Top Picks For Your Summer Wardrobe

If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Nashville, then you know summer threw down the gauntlet this year and 100+ temps have already wreaked havoc on outdoor festivities, our AC systems, and our very souls out here along the Cumberland Plateau.

Nothing takes the party out of summer like sweltering heat and we consider it a success that Nashville didn’t just strip down to their skivvies and call it done the majority of last week (hey, we’re not ‘judging folks’ around here… in fact, if ya got the legs for it, more power to you).  However, record high temps or not, the dog days of summer have more effect on your wardrobe than any other time of the year… we’ve seen many a guy get away with wearing a lightweight wool suit in January but we can bet the farm not a soul is gonna walk out of the house in a flannel or cashmere number anytime in the near future.

So, with this propensity towards all things cool, we’ve hand selected a few favorites to keep you as civilized as possible when the occasion calls for something other than a suit & tie.

1.  Washed Cotton & Linen Shirts

These mini ginghams from Seaward & Stearn, Luciano Barbera, Mastai Ferretti, and New England Shirt Company are one of several patterns available in the new washed down cotton/linen shirts. Other favorites have been the Bills Khakis Chambray and Fine Line Twill Shirts and our closer fitting Glenshirt collection.

Sleeves rolled up or down, the relaxed washed down version of your standard sport shirts are becoming more prevalent and, if it was up to us, they’d be here to stay.  We still have quite a few options from Bills Khakis, Seaward & Stearn, Mastai Ferretti, Glenshirt, & our own private label brand out of New England among several others and we can guarantee these will wear like your old favorites the first time around.


2.  Tailor Vintage Reversible Shorts

Tailor Vintage Reversible Shorts have been a big hit for our guys this season. Available in a variety of patterns-to-solids and patterns-to-patterns options. Featured at center is one of our washed pink chambray shirts (refer to #1 above).

We know, we know… how could a pair of reversible shorts find their way into a (semi) respectable men’s store like ours?  When they are the best fitting shorts, reversible or not, we’ve ever come across.  All gimmicks aside, we haven’t been able to keep these shorts in stock long enough this season.  With fully functional pockets, buttons, and zipper closures on each side, versatile solid to pattern reversible fabrics, and starting at $98.50 these are the best deal in the whole store.  Not the mention they make for more room in that carry-on for your weekend getaway.

3.  Southern Tide Pique Polos

Southern Tide's Classic Skipjack Polo Fit - Available In Shop

A consistently great fitting polo is hard to come by and over the years, Southern Tide has won out in regards to overall fit and wear in our book.  Mind you, we’re still surprised how many guys out of college roam in looking for that little Skipjack adorned polo but it truly is the best fitting casual polo on the market.  What’s even greater is Southern Tide offers three different fits so that guys of every age and build can get in the game – Classic Fit (the standard), Club Fit (a bit looser and longer in the sleeves and body) and the Trim Fit (which is, well, just that – trim).  The majority of what we carry in the shop will be the Classic or Club fits but we’ll accommodate your Southern Tide addiction no matter your preference.

4.  The Knit Tie

Knit ties from Robert Talbott, Peter Millar, and Cantini in a myriad of colors.

Summer and neckwear often butt proverbial heads with one another.  Outside our day to day business attire, you’d be hard pressed to find us ‘tying one on’ and we’re in the clothing business.  However, the necktie does polish off a look and if you need to step it up a notch this summer, may we suggest something other than your standard repp stripe.  The knit tie may bring back memories for some and be a brand new idea to others but, like it or not, they’re back and more popular than ever.  The texture and straight bottom lend to a more casual, yet still evolved, aesthetic and our favorites from Cantini, Robert Talbott, and Peter Millar didn’t fail to impress this year.

5.  Lightweight Cotton Five Pocket Pants

These Hiltl Cotton Five Pockets in their Dude model are available in a whole range of colors and are just one of the fan favorites this season.

The inclination towards five pocket pants for us started roughly four or five years ago as more and more guys grew weary of their tired khaki pants but had enough sense to deem a jean inappropriate for every day wear.  So some genius (jury’s still out on the origin really) took the two ideas and came up with what has been deemed the ‘five pocket pant’.  Essentially, the pant fits like a jean with five pocket construction but feels and wears like a cotton casual pant.  Into the colder months, you’ll even see some great wool and cashmere blend options which, again, we tend to live in if we’re not all gussied up.  Available in a myriad of fabric weights and colors, five pockets are a great alternative to your regular casual wear and, if sized correctly, can look just as appropriate with a sportcoat as any pair of dress trousers.  Take that, casual Friday.


6. Peter Millar Sunwashed Twill Shorts

Peter Millar's Sunwashed Twill Short in Spearmint - one of a dozen or so colors that could make your summer wardrobe easier from here on out.

Still our most popular short to date, Peter Millar’s washed cotton flat front short is a perfect inseam length, the perfect level of washed-in goodness, and the perfect variety of colors available each season.  Peter Millar got it right with this style and we hope it doesn’t go anywhere for quite some time.  The brushed cotton makes for easy wash and wear and the detailed pick stitching along the seams and pockets really elevates the style factor to make this short a favorite amongst all our guys.

7.  Barbour ‘International’ Polytech Windjackets

Barbour International Waterproof/Windproof Jackets - Available in shop in Marine Blue & Seafarer Red

Whether you spend your summers by sea, land, or somewhere in between, these waterproof/windproof/fully breathable outerwear pieces from Barbour will not only get the job done but keep you cool, comfortable, and dry.  That extra layer is often thrown to the wayside once the temperatures hit record highs but when protection from the elements calls, we can’t imagine you’d want to grab for anything else.  And, in these colors, you’ll find it difficult to get lost at sea.

8. Donald Pliner Tangerine Lightweight Mesh Slip Ons

Tangerine/Grey Slip Ons from Donald Pliner. Give summer a good kick in the ... well...

Okay, we know what you’re thinking.  No, we haven’t gone off the deep end.  And no, our loyalties do not lie entirely with those out in Knox county.  They aren’t for everyone but you might surprise yourself upon trying them on.  Not that we hold doctoral degrees in the fine arts, but orange is the complementary color to blue in the big wheel of color and, by that train of thought, the majority of your casual wardrobe (which we can bet the color blue holds a lot of weight in) would be happily juxtapositioned next to these here bright ass orange shoes.  Plus they are comfortable as all get out.

9.  Bills Khakis Poplin Pants

Bills Khakis signature poplin pants - a fan summer favorite since we can remember

Bills’ poplins have been a mainstay in many a guy’s summer wardrobes for decades now but we can attest to the fact that a basic never dies, it just gets better with age.  You’ll find that we are still carrying a good deal of Model 2 fits in the shop but their newly engineered Model 3 fit is taking the reins and many guys who try on the cleaner, more streamlined fit seem to not be looking back.  Bills’ 5.6 ounce cotton poplin is the ultimate lightweight, breathable summer fabric and in their 110% guaranteed quality construction, what’s holding you back?

10.  Cotton/Linen Soft Construction Sport Coats

Scott Barber's Navy Cotton/Linen Soft Coat - Available in shop in Navy and also in Toast

When the occasion calls for something a bit more grown up than a polo or sport shirt alone can handle, may we suggest our new love affair: the soft coat.  Tailored to look and act like a standard sport coat, a soft coat is just that: soft.  Little to no padding at the shoulders, a lightweight pliable canvas inside, and washed cotton and linen piece goods total up to an easy, relaxed yet still tailored and well-fitted garment.  We’ve had a number of soft coats in the shop early this year and we’d suspect you’ll continue to see more of them.  Dressed up or down, with a pair of dress trousers or pair of dark rinse jeans a soft coat is the grown man’s new best friend.  In shop, we have soft coats from Luciano Barbera, Scott Barber, RNG, Tombolini, Montedoro among others.


All the items above are available in store or on our website.  Feel free to give us a call or drop us a line if you can’t find items online as they simply may have been removed as we continue to sell through these puppies.  However, there’s a handful of sizes still available in each and we’ll be happy to help you round out your summer wardrobe.

Until next time,

Miranda & The J. Michaels Crew


This entry was posted in Hits & Misses, Meanderings Of A Haberdasher, Sartorial Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Our Top Picks For Your Summer Wardrobe

  1. Jeffey Miller says:

    Bill’s Khakis have lost their way, they no longer fit like they used to, the shilouette of the pants has completely changed. They are wider at the thigh, knee and hem by a good inch and one-half which makes for a very sloppy feel. I do understand they make different fits, but I have been buying the same model since 1998 and the 2 most recent purchases of the M1P style are no where near the same as the previous models. The consistency of the fit which you could count on with BK’s is gone. Very dissappointed.

    • jmichaelsclothiers says:

      Jettey, thanks for the comment! We get where you’re coming from with the Model 1 fit for certain. In fact, even Bills has succumb to the fact that most guys are looking for a all around cleaner fitting pant and they have consolidated their Model 1 plain and pleated front options down considerably over the past several seasons. You’ll be hard pressed to find a Model 1 fit available in anything other than their year round basics.

      In regards to consistency of fit, any customer who has experienced Bills in the past few seasons without the sage advice of their haberdasher could wholeheartedly agree with you. The deal is that, with the onslaught of trimmer fitting pants hitting the market, Bills has been tinkering with the fit of their pants and, depending on which model and what season you purchased, their probably has been some inconsistencies. We’ve been able to guide our customers through this process as Bills changed the specs of both their Model 2 and Model 3 fits to broaden their customer base a bit. Feel free to contact us here at the shop and we’ll be glad to answer any questions for you about Bills’ new fits as well as a few other brands available that might be more up your alley. Thanks! – Miranda Priest, J. Michaels Clothiers

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