Summer isnâ€™t just about shorts, sandals and tees. I know, I knowâ€”itâ€™s tempting, and itâ€™s also how I dress pretty much every Saturday, all summer long. But there are still occasions and circumstances that call for something more. Do you have a job interview at which you must not fail to impress? An unexpected dinner invitation to the White House? What about that seemingly ill-advised September garden wedding? Youâ€™ll need something dressier.
Fortunately for us, we have not been left to fend for ourselves. Ranena Olivierâ€™s summer collection includes a variety of light summer suit separates for the discerning gentleman. The beauty of separates lies in their flexibility: you can pick and choose, mixing and matching (or contrasting) as you choose. Whatâ€™s your pleasure, sir? Something sedate, traditional, even conservative? Done. Or something interesting, unconventional, even eye-catching? Now youâ€™re talking. Here, Iâ€™ve put together just two different looks, but the only limit is your own imagination.
Ranena’s Summer Suit Jackets are the perfect place to start building a summer ensemble thatâ€™s on the dressy side. They come with bothÂ open andÂ closed frontsâ€”available separately, which is worth keeping in mind if you yearn for flexibility. I canâ€™t help thinking it would be nice if each jacket included both open and closed styles in the same fabric color. In any event, both are stylish and quite handsome, with clean fabric textures that are lightly worked rather than heavily shaded. The jacket-layer garment is givenÂ form and dimension (â€œenhancedâ€ hardly seems an adequate description) by sculpted cuffs, lapels and bottom section. Although fitting the cuffs was no more and no less difficult than one might expect, I found that fitting the lapels and bottom properly was a more painstaking taskâ€”but well worth the effort. As always with sculpted pieces like this, how close a fit you can achieve depends at least in part on how similar the proportions of your shape are to those of the shape the designer used during the design process. At the end of the day, itâ€™s not worth agonizing over a tiny gap here or there, especially if (like me) you can be particularly fussy, and no one but you (and me) will ever notice. Donâ€™t lose sight of the forest while fussing over the treesâ€¦or the twigs. L$350 each in a range of natural earth tones and bolder colors.
It surely goes without saying that a fine jacket calls for an equally fine shirt and tie. Ranena’s dress shirts for men qualify, and handily at that. Each shirt includes not just one but two sculpted collars, each with integrated necktie. Why two? Well may you ask. The collars are complemented by different ties, one designed for wear with an open jacket, the other specially configured to look just right with a closed jacket. (Although prim cuffs are not included, the shirt can certainly still be wornÂ on its own, sans jacket.) The collars are carefully shaped to fit perfectlyÂ within the jacket’s lapels, and the effect is impressively realistic. Fitting collar and tie with the closed jacket was a bit more challenging, and officially non-trivial as I did have to fall back on my old friend Edit Linked Parts to get things just rightâ€”I needed to rotate the long tie prim forward just slightly. L$200 each in a wide variety of shirt colors and tie designs.
Of course no suit is complete without trousers. Itâ€™s often difficult to find new superlatives when discussing trousersâ€”the better examples tend to be simple and classic in design rather than mold-breaking, and they donâ€™t typically sport the kind of prim detailing that establishes the visual centerpiece of an ensemble. And this is all perfectly sensible and as it should be. Nonetheless, there are good trousers, and then there are others. Ranenaâ€™s casual pants and dressy slacks are among the better ones Iâ€™ve tried on, and they work wonderfully well in combination with her jackets. Each pair has matching sculpted cuffs that provide enhancement thatâ€™s more subtly realistic than some others Iâ€™ve seen. You can choose to wear the trousers with or without belt artwork. L$200 a pair in a solid selection of colors.
While not actually a component of a suit, in my opinion this is just a technicalityâ€”a hat is an essential accessory for a gentleman who wants to look his best. For me itâ€™s simple: real gentlemen wear hats. It will likely not surprise you to learn that I love and wear hats in RL. I do so love a fine, snappy hat, and this Wide Band Fedora in Brown Suede is exceptionally fine and snappy. Consider its shape,Â rakish and dashing. Look closely at the smooth, rich fabric texture. Take note of the band, embossed and shining as though metallic. This hat is sure to be the envy of all who behold it. Make your choice from a selection of hats in a range of styles and colors. L$125 each.
Ranenaâ€™s summer collection is available at ROC For Men (The Secret Gardens 145, 126, 22). Resize scripting on most prim attachments simplifies fitting at least somewhat. Iâ€™d like to offer a public compliment to Ranena for her superior customer service and supportâ€”she responded right away when I ran into a problem with the hatâ€™s resizer, correcting and delivering a replacement within just a few minutes.
Although I tried on at least three or four other dress shoes, trying to find the right match for these summer suits, none were quite right. Although handsome, they all seemed somehow too sedate, and none provided that nebulous â€œextra somethingâ€ I was looking for. But when I started clicking through the available leather textures for Guu Nishiâ€™s Leather Loafers, I knew my search was over. Although I didnâ€™t know it until I saw it, thisÂ beautifully fine snakeskin pattern, which in another context might have seemed too much, was in this setting exactly what I wanted. The sculpted shoes are nicely shaped, with a traditional silhouette and low dress heel. Touch scripting allows you to choose from nine different leather textures and two metal finishes (gold and silver). Just L$50 at HOC Industries Upper Fenland 47, 38, 66).
One single perfect piece of jewelry makes a bold statement. Itâ€™s certainly possible to accessorize with more than one, but thereâ€™s nothing that has quite the same effect, or that draws the eye in quite the same way, as one item of luxury that stands on its own. Here, the singular object that demands our attention is Tommy Anton’s Diamond Cross Ring. The precious metal setting gleams softly and the diamonds glow gently, as if with inner light. Peer deep within the glow and you may notice that the gemstone facets swirl very, very slowly, a clever trick that suggests the sparkle of real stones as they shift in the light. Itâ€™s an almost unnoticeable effect, certainly upon casual inspection, but a delightful reward for one who looks closely. L$250 at Culture Fine Jewelry for Men (Culture Island 84, 83, 23).