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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Peter Bevan

The best men’s co-ords for a splash of matching style

Summer’s not over yet, so there’s still time to treat yourself to some holiday garms before the sun disappears for another season.

Dressing for the hot weather isn’t always plain sailing, though - do you wear a T-shirt? Is that too casual? What kind of shorts should you wear? Will you sweat too much in the fabric?

Enter the shirt and shorts or shirt and trousers-co-ord, the Holy Grail of summer dressing, which is comfortable, breezy, and matches from head to toe with no thought, or effort, required. The most foolproof silhouette is a little oversized for a relaxed look that gives an air of summer nonchalance - and it’ll help you stay cool, too.

With options aplenty, from silk to denim, cabana sets to linen combos, the only rule is that the colour or print is consistent for the full outfit. You may be partial to a colourful pattern, or maybe you prefer an understated navy, and either way there will be an option to suit your style. Some even come with swim shorts to keep you on-trend even when you’re relaxing poolside or on the beach.

As with most fashion, the devil is in the details, so make sure you go for high quality fabrics and well-cut shirts to avoid looking like you’ve just been voted out of the Love Island villa. When styling it up, it all depends on the vibe of the day. On the beach, feel free to reveal a bit of torso, whereas for a day in the city, you might consider adding a T-shirt for an extra layer.

From high street hero Arket, an expert in the linen two-piece, to Budapest-based designer Nanushka, who know their way around a printed set, we’ve pulled together a selection to suit everyone’s taste. These co-ords should be going straight in your basket.

Shop the best below

Arket Regular-Fit Linen Shirt and Trousers

With a low thread count, antibacterial qualities, and the ability to wick away sweat, a linen set is a summer essential. Crafted in pure linen, Arket’s dark blue two-piece is great for those warmer days when you want to look like you’ve made an effort - even though you haven’t. Experts in elevated basics, the shirt is a regular fit with contrast mother of pearl buttons and a chest pocket - just size up if you’re going for a laid back vibe.

Shirt (£45) and trousers (£69)

Buy now £45.00, Arket

Ahuluwalia Robyn check-print recycled-fibre shirt and shorts

This set by London-based sustainable designer Ahluwalia has a lot going for it. Not only is it crafted using 100 per cent recycled fibres, but it’s expertly cut to a slightly oversized silhouette and designed in a winning print that is equal parts statement and chic.

Winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, Priya Ahluwalia, who has also collaborated with the likes of Ganni and Mulberry, is a visionary who expertly pulls on tailoring, streetwear, and her dual Indian-Nigerian heritage to create thoughtful yet wearable menswear.

Shirt (£418) and shorts (£295)

Buy now £418.00, MatchesFashion

Reiss X Che Valbonne Contrast Cuff Cuban Collar Shirt and Swim Shorts

If you, like us, are a fan of short shorts, then Reiss’ most recent collaboration with model Oliver Cheshire’s sustainable brand Ché is the one for you. This shirt is crafted from a viscose derived from renewable wood sources, whilst the swim shorts are made using recycled nylon, making for a sustainable set ideal for any boat trip or pool party. Coming in three colourways, there’s an option to suit all.

Shirt (£90) and swim shorts (£125)

Buy now £90.00, Reiss

Cos Relaxed-Fit Camp-Collar Shirt and Board-Shorts

Think pink! If you’re feeling the Barbiecore trend but hot pink is a step too far, this dusky pink set from Cos could be the answer - you may not look quite like Lewis Hamilton in the Valentino campaign but at least you’ll be a step closer.

The shirt has an airy camp collar, side pockets, and is a roomy fit, whilst the shorts have an elasticated waistband, making for a minimal look that will be comfortable day long - regardless of whether you’re lounging on a yacht in the Italian Riviera or in a pub garden homebound.

Shirt (£59) and shorts (£49)

Buy now £59.00, Cos

Daniel W. Fletcher Quarter Panel Shirt and Half Shorts

For a smart take on the look, go for award winning London-based designer Daniel W. Fletcher’s quarter panel shirt and half shorts. You may remember him from Netflix’s Next In Fashion, or perhaps you’re a fan of his work as creative director at Fiorucci, but either way, he’s a name you should remember.

A master in tailoring and with signature motifs like top-stitch detailing and patchwork designs, this co-ord is an elevated two-piece that would look great worn in the evening with loafers and socks - and it’s on sale.

Shirt (£125) and shorts (£75)

Buy now £125.00, Daniel W Fletcher

Nanushka Jari Long-Sleeve Shirt and Tymeo Loose Seersucker Trousers

Designed in a brown check, Budapest-based Nanushka’s Jari set is ready to be thrown on after a day lounging on a sunbed to spruce up for the evening.

Designed in a relaxed silhouette in a light seersucker fabric, the long sleeves and trousers are ideal for those warm summer nights where there’s a breeze in the air - and with no need to think about what to wear, getting ready will be a breeze, too. If this design doesn’t take your fancy, they offer a whole host of other matching two-pieces that would work as easily in London as they would abroad.

Shirt (£265) and trousers (£395)

Buy now £265.00, Nanushka

Love Brand & Co Elephant Palace Linen Shirt and Swim Shorts

Home of the swim shorts and linen shirt combo, Love Brand & Co have an array of block colour and printed styles that wouldn’t look out of place worn on a yacht in the Greek islands or on a beach in the Caribbean.

Inspired by the long standing charity partner Elephant Family, this print also comes on linen trousers, so you can swap your swim shorts to create a smarter look for the evening.

Shirt (£140), swim shorts (£120) and trousers (£150)

Buy now £140.00, Love Brand & Co

De Bonne Facture Camp-Collar Printed Cotton-Voile Shirt and Shorts

A phrase that means ‘doing things well’ in French, Hermès alumnus Ms Deborah Neuberg founded De Bonne Facture with the desire to do just that. Designing menswear classics that will stand the test of time, each garment comes with a tag detailing the name, location, and history of the atelier that produced it, with a transparent approach to design. This set is created using ancestral techniques by independent artisans in India, and is naturally light and airy, perfect for a day in the sun.

Shirt (£200) and shorts (£185)

Buy now £200.00, Mr. Porter

Missing Clothier Patch-pocket regular-fit linen shirt and drawstring-waistband regular-fit linen shorts

Launched just this year, Missing Clothier, founded by Paul and Deborah Missing, is a London-based brand that manufactures all of its clothing in London using materials sourced exclusively from the British Isles, including top quality Irish Linen. Every piece is designed with mixing and matching in mind, and this green co-ord is no exception. It will brighten your day with every wear.

Shirt (£240) and shorts (£200)

Buy now £240.00, Selfridges

Jacquemus La Chemise Jean gingham woven shirt and shorts

With over 4.9 million followers on Instagram, Simon Porte Jacquemus, the creative director of his eponymous brand, is an expert at creating a buzz. As part of the label’s SS22 show which was shown on the shores of Hawaii, this set exudes summer cool. Featuring a gingham check, it’s cut in a relaxed silhouette using a floaty viscose that will see you through even the hottest of days.

Shirt (£335) and shorts (£315)

Buy now £335.00, Harvey Nichols

Insiders short sleeve hipp shirt and shorts - burnt orange

If you’re partial to a utilitarian style and a relaxed silhouette, look no further than London-based brand Insiders. Founded in 2020, when all we were doing was sitting around at home, the brand creates sets that can be dressed up for a day out or worn on a Sunday lounging on the sofa - and you’ll feel great no matter what the occasion. Featuring workwear inspired patch pockets, a revere collar and a half concealed placket, the unisex pieces have elevated design details that take them from loungewear to daywear in no time.

Shirt (£75) and shorts (£65)

Buy now £75.00, Insiders

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