It’s easy in winter to reach for a tweed jacket when you’re heading out for a weekend lunch with friends. However, if, when dressing for the same kind of occasion in summer, a man wants to wear something more interesting and less formal than a navy-blue blazer then the options can seem limited.
The obvious alternative is to go for a linen jacket, ideally in a heavy, open-weave cloth that will rumple rather than crease, and allow a good flow of air through it. It could be made from cream, tobacco brown, or blue linen, but these solid hues are ideally saved for Mediterranean holidays or country weddings.
It’s very easy for such jackets to look like the top half of a suit, rather than a sports jacket, which is a much more particular and casual item. The first qualifying criteria is that the fabric be sufficiently interesting for it to be clear that you’re not dressed for the office; faded madras checks, seersucker stripes or pale rowing-blazer flannels are all proudly informal. The second of the defining features is the styling (single-breasted with patch pockets is a good place to start), and the third is the way you wear it.
An ideal outfit would consist of a linen shirt, a raw silk tie, a pair of bespoke linen trousers and chestnut brown loafers, but depending on the day the shirt and tie could make way for a polo shirt, and the loafers could make way for deck shoes. Which leaves only one question – which rosé to order at the lunch?