What do stubbies, singlets and wrap around sunnies have in common? Australia Day, obviously. It may be the Aussie-est day of the year, and a right of passage for the Australian bogan to get it – and let it – all out.
But that doesn’t warrant public display of blueys, supermarket-bought thongs and short shorts. Want Aussie tradition? Have a barbecued snag. Or a sanga. Or a snag sanga – with some dead horse.
Confused? Don’t be. Summer’s here and you have the day off. But your warm weather style doesn’t have to snooze too. Here are 5 stylish alternatives to dressing like a bogan this Australia Day. Now, keeping those temporary flag tattoos, mullet wigs and litres of goon at bay, is completely up to you.
#1 Beachin’ It
With so many stylish swim shorts for men this season, there’s no excuse to sport awkard gym shorts on the sand or dickies in the surf. Key short styles include retro silhouettes – generally cut shorter on the thigh – with a floral print or geo-patterns in monochrome hues.
Made from a quick-dry polyester-cotton blend, pair the shorts with a comfortably fitting singlet or a scoop neck t-shirt with a relaxed neck. And go for pure cotton for breathability on the beach. Practicality on the dunes requires sandals or even rubber thongs. Just make sure the latter don’t come from the supermarket or petrol station and are quality-made to avoid blow outs.
#2 Cuban Cool
Channelling the Havana moment of the season, short sleeve shirts – button downs to polos – arrive straight from the shores of Cuba. And 1950’s America. The revere collar is the signature detail – one that sits flat on the torso with lapel-like collar below the neckline to form a v-neck.
Vintage summer prints – florals, palm throngs etc – are key prints – pastels or darker for a dressier option. Try matching a tone from the shirt print with tailored shorts or cropped chinos, ensuring the bottoms are a solid colour to absorb the shirt noise. Woven footwear like leather moccasins or espadrilles in tan add a grainy texture to the summer look. Then, add tinted-lens shades and that all essential panama too.
#3 Urban Mood
Not leaving the chatter of the concrete jungle this Australia Day? Keep it urban then. This looks like a mix of Nineties grunge and sportswear from the same decade, bouncing to the beat of a neo-street -polished casual wear set to soar this summer.
Sneakers set the tone of the outfit – opting for an old-school hi-top silhouette or the streamline low-cut variety, and in suede or leather with minimal appendages. Light cotton sweatpants (cuffed at the ankle) or vintage-wash jeans in a straight-cut leg are key bottom styles, selecting a basic cotton t-shirt (from boxed-fit to longline) and layering an over shirt for a summer version of the jacket.
A brassy ring or silver cuff adds some metal to your mojo. And don a snapback cap or a backpack for a youthful touch. But just don’t overkill the street vibe but looking like a dude. Less is more with accessories.
#4 Athleisure Addict
Won’t rest on your workout laurels for even one public holiday? Forget compression tights and tech-ed out singlets. You want to go for something fashion savvy but comfortable.
Light cotton joggers or jersey track pants (not fleeced for summer) are the best balance of function and style. Tapered and shaped like trousers, they’re a sophisticated active pant, teamed with a perfect fit Supima cotton (very soft) shirt with long raglan sleeve. Then, add knitted sneakers in your favourite colourway – bright or monochrome.
Too hot for trackies? Jersey shorts and a relaxed fit tank are a simple and breathable combination. Kept monochrome – black, grey or white – and in luxurious fabrics, active outfits have a winning place for casual Aussie Day treks. The best part? These looks double as options for stylishly lounging about on the couch.
#5 Ahoy, There!
It wouldn’t be a summer style guide without a nautical mention. The perennial style is one of the classiest way to wear a t-shirt – thanks to the French-derived Breton stripe. But beware – nautical stripes are fine, but white chinos, boat shoes, a flat cap and anything with anchors (worn at the the same time) will have you looking like you’re in costume.
Instead, look to invite vibrant pastels – Serenity and Rose Quartz – onboard your yacht this season, the garden colours perfect chino short shades when teamed with an azure blue Harrington jacket – something Steve McQueen would have sported. Then add McQueen’s tortoiseshell shades for more iconic class.
Deck shoes – in intrecciato woven leather – are an obvious boating choice. But for an urban edge, stark white sneakers are a breezy, light choice that will go the distance. And you’ll get more wear from them, once retired from a day at sea.
#5 Louche Suits
Planning something plus posh – like a meal of shellfish and champagne au terrace – this Australia Day? Cue tailoring. Channelling the European summer is easy with light cotton separates. For a contemporary suave, opt for slim-fit single-breasted blazer in a neutral pastel – sandstone, mint or light blue, layering a bold floral shirt in darker tones to play the role of style feature and anchor – sans tie.
Alternatively, navy cotton trousers (with a touch of wool for a more formal sheen) pairs perfectly with an on-trend gingham shirt. Avoiding red checks (too much like an Italian tablecloth), tuck the collared shirt in and button up to the neck.
Again, there’s no need for tie – or a jacket, especially with the refinement of leather accessories – a brown belt and derby shoes in buttery chocolate. Speaking of sweets, what’s for dessert?