Can You Beat The Heat?

— Tue, 20th July 2010 —

It’s hot. And, save for severe drunkenness, heat is more damaging to one’s outward appearance and composure than any force known to man. Sure, we’d all like to keep it together like our man on the right. But, like the poor chap on the left, the merciless humidity and sewage sauna that is NYC’s subway system leaves many a good man defeated — literally falling to pieces. We wonder: Is keeping up appearances amid harsh conditions the mark of a real man? We’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Also, any creative tips for keeping cool? (Seriously, we’re dyin’ here!) In the meantime, treat yourself to this summer style montage by our favorite photog and fashion historian, Bill Cunningham.

  1. I find that, maybe counterintuitively, wearing a t shirt under my office shirt helps matters, even in 95+ heat. Might be a little stuffier, but the t shirt soaks up the sweat, leaving the shirt shirt drier. Nothing worse, in my opinion, than having a nice button-up shirt sticking to your back, arms, pits, etc. Let the t shirt do that dirty work. Cuts down on stank, too.

  2. I struggle terribly with the heat. Even though I barely sweat, my face often develops an oily sheen and clothes become sticky and cumbersome. I also strongly dislike wearing shorts – I think shorts are almost always unflattering (with rare exception) – but I don’t often have the resolve to suffer in pants unless I’m indoors the whole day. What do people think about shorts? Am I making too much of a non-issue, or are cargo shorts the bane of summer. (I will admit that Ervell’s refined summerwear includes some acceptible shorts, but I find them the clear exception to the rule.)

  3. Boxer briefs – we all sweat all over. Boxer briefs help cut down the chafing factor.
    Also, Gold Bond foot powder – even if you’re wearing socks it helps cool the insides of your shoes, and keep them feeling (and smelling) a little fresher,

  4. @Owen, in my opinion depending on where you live shorts are a fact of life sometimes (not always). If it really is too hot to be comfortable in even the most breathable pants, then shorts are fine. I personally go for the more refined shorts, rather than cargo shorts. That is, a lot like the ones you can find at J.Crew and the like: at or above the knee and slim (but not tight).

  5. Men should try to keep their sartorial integrity no matter what the conditions. In this city, you really don’t know who you’ll bump in to next. Rather, we should know how to prepare: Light weight fabrics, talcum powder, hair cream in favor of pomade, etc.

  6. I find the best way to beat the subway wasteland is to avoid it altogether. I recently modified my commute for a more summer-friendly approach: the public bus. If your circumstance is such that you can replace the subway without adding unnecessary delays, I would highly recommend it. I have found that it is the waiting at the subway platfrom that lays waste to my best-dressed plans more than anything else. I do not know whether that is the case for the other men here.

  7. Engineered Garments makes excellent shorts. Hats are crucial as well during the summer, especially for those of us getting thin on top.

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