5 Essentials of Summer 2013 The Blackhawks are toting around the Stanley Cup, the weather is hot and humid, and festivals are popping up in every neighborhood. This can only mean one thing - summer in Chicago has finally arrived.

Now that we have officially said goodbye to spring, it’s time to get your wardrobe ready for the onslaught of heat that will inevitably conquer our Windy City. These 5 summer essentials will help you combat the heat while guaranteeing you’ll be one of the most stylish guys in the city.

Khaki Suit

A staple for summer, the khaki suit should be considered the blank canvas of suiting. It is extremely versatile and its biggest strength lies in its ability to transform simply by what you pair it with. For a casual, daytime look, wear it with a polo shirt and brown loafers. If you have a wedding on the beach, pair it with a white button down and a knit tie (we’ll get to that in a minute).

Also, keep in mind your khaki suit works wonderfully as separates and can be worn as easily at night as it can during the day. How so? Before you head to happy hour, switch out your suit slacks for jeans and ditch the tie, ensuring you have two completely different looks for both day and night time.

Deconstructed Sport Coat

A deconstructed jacket is a great alternative to your everyday sport coat, because it removes a substantial amount of the jacket’s canvasing (skeleton of a jacket) and lining. By removing these two elements, you are able to have a lightweight feel with hardly any of the heat retaining properties of a regular sport coat. Reducing the canvas and lining also changes the way the jacket drapes; it will be far less structured and feel much more casual than a fully-lined jacket. This style is great when you are traveling to warm climates or have a less formal event to attend.

Linen Slacks

While linen slacks are too lightweight for spring, they are perfect for summer. The beauty of linen is that it breathes incredibly well, keeping you cool when the temperature rises and letting air circulate regardless of whether you’re at a rooftop bar or on a yacht on Lake Michigan. The major thing to keep in mind when it comes to linen is that it is extremely prone to wrinkling. With that being said, we would recommend lightly pressing them before each wear.

100% Cotton Dress Shirts

Similar to linen, cotton breathes extremely well and is great for the warmer months of summer. While many people like the ease of a custom, “wrinkle-free” dress shirt, we typically advise against it for summer, because it’s usually a blend of polyester and cotton.  The downside to polyester, a synthetic material, is that it retains heat more than a 100% cotton dress shirt; when its 95° outside, you’ll appreciate anything that keeps you cooler.

Knit Tie

Switching out your run-of-the-mill tie for a knit tie is a simple and cost effective way to give your summer wardrobe a pop of color and texture. Whether paired with a pinstripe suit or a patterned sport coat, a knit tie looks best when tied in a four-in-hand knot due to the thickness of the tie itself. Complete the look by adding a silver tie bar and a cotton pocket square.

With these 5 essentials, you’ll have no problem beating the heat while still looking dapper all summer long.