How to wear light-coloured jackets

Light-coloured tailored jackets take on a cool new nonchalance when worn more casually, says Tom Stubbs

Gieves & Hawkes linen/silk/wool jacket, £595, cotton T-shirt, £125, linen-mix trousers, £195, and silk scarf, £250
Gieves & Hawkes linen/silk/wool jacket, £595, cotton T-shirt, £125, linen-mix trousers, £195, and silk scarf, £250

While a cream suit is a perennial byword for sharp summer style, what’s striking about this year’s array is how particularly fine the jackets look dressed down and worn as smart-casual daywear.

Dunhill cotton blazer, £1,425, and trousers, £330
Dunhill cotton blazer, £1,425, and trousers, £330
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At Ralph Lauren, for example, a cream, heavy-weave Italian silk shantung jacket (part of a Purple Label suit, £2,995) looks suave paired with washed-out black jeans (£255) and a T-shirt (£70) – this monochrome styling would make a strong impact at laid-back summer events. Similarly, at Cifonelli a cream wool/silk/linen jacket (£1,450) works fantastically well with black linen cigarette pants (£290) and a white linen shirt (£280). And at Corneliani a dressy ivory silk jacket (£1,100) with nacre buttons has a gorgeous sheen that can be offset with low-key grey cotton trousers (£250). This jacket is just one of many in a cream-dominated collection: “The spotlight is on every possible shade of white, from ice and cream to pearl and mastic,” says creative director Sergio Corneliani.

Corneliani silk jacket, £1,100, and cotton trousers, £250
Corneliani silk jacket, £1,100, and cotton trousers, £250
Canali silk/cotton suit, £1,510
Canali silk/cotton suit, £1,510

Rich cream tailored jackets from Dunhill are also top-flight. Patch pockets on a silk jacket (£1,590) lend a relaxed feel, a slubby linen jacket (£1,425 for the suit) works well teamed with a charcoal cashmere/silk Henley top (£420), while the eight gold buttons on a long and lean cream blazer (£1,425) evoke a rakish, colonial air. Canali’s double-breasted slubby, ridged cream silk/cotton jacket (£1,510 for the suit) also has metal buttons, which in light bronze with a copper-plate “C” logo deliver a vintage accent.

Umit Benan cotton jacket, £1,110, cotton piqué shirt, £220 and cotton jersey joggers, £330
Umit Benan cotton jacket, £1,110, cotton piqué shirt, £220 and cotton jersey joggers, £330
Cifonelli wool/silk/linen jacket, £1,450, linen shirt, £280, and linen trousers, £290
Cifonelli wool/silk/linen jacket, £1,450, linen shirt, £280, and linen trousers, £290

Turkish designer Umit Benan (who distinguished himself with several strong seasons at Trussardi) has pushed this casual look further with a collection entitled Tennis Club de Cartegena, Colombia, where tennis-inspired separates are paired with cream tailoring to strong effect. A roomy double-breasted cotton drill jacket (£1,110) looks cool with a white cotton piqué shirt (£220) and tailored joggers (£330). Incidentally, wearing smart tracksuit bottoms as standard daywear is an ever-strengthening trend.

Hermés cotton/linen jacket, £1,830, linen top, £650, cotton trousers, £520, and cotton plimsolls, £510
Hermés cotton/linen jacket, £1,830, linen top, £650, cotton trousers, £520, and cotton plimsolls, £510
Bottega Veneta cotton jacket, £1,650, cotton shorts, £290, and leather lace-ups, £440
Bottega Veneta cotton jacket, £1,650, cotton shorts, £290, and leather lace-ups, £440

Tailored jackets in other light hues also look good when styled more casually. At Hermès a limestone cotton/linen jacket (£1,830) feels laid-back when worn with wet-sand cotton trousers (£520), a linen top (£650) and white slip-on plimsolls (£510). And I recently commissioned a bespoke double-breasted suit (£3,600) from tailors Thom Sweeney in a light Ariston silk/linen herringbone with slubs of blush and fawn, which I plan to team with a silk T-shirt or Breton singlet. “Light-coloured tailoring can make a big impact,” says co-founder Thom Whiddett. “It’s about getting the pastel tone right – nothing too bright – and a fabric that drapes beautifully.” Highlights in the ready-to‑wear collection include a champagne single-breasted cotton/cashmere suit (£1,275).

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Gieves & Hawkes also ventures into pastels and its pale mint-green wool/linen suit (£1,895) looks deftly styled with an off-white cotton T-shirt (£125) and grey cashmere scarf (£250), while a chalky pale blue linen/silk/wool weave jacket (£595) and trousers (£195) pair well with a matching cotton tee (£125) and dark blue patterned silk scarf (£250). At Marc Jacobs there’s a pastel blue cotton/silk blazer (£1,135) and trousers (£435), as well as a cream double-breasted cotton blazer (£1,155) and trousers (£435), which look great with an ultra-casual white shirt (£425) and plimsolls (£127). And finally, at Bottega Veneta there’s an especially easy-breezy take on the trend: a pale pink cotton jacket (£1,650) worn with shorts (£290) and matching soft leather lace-ups (£440).

For other dapper summer looks, see the new smart-casual jacketsand tennis shoes with kick.

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