Get a Nightlife with Crystal McCahill: Summer Fashion Tips

By Crystal McCahill

Crystal teaches how to put your best fashion foot forward on these hot summer nights.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any hotter here in Chicago, the heat index skyrocketed to triple digits this week. (Where’s an alligator Slip ’N Slide when you need one??) If there’s one thing I’ve learned from going out on these oven-like summer nights, it’s that guys seem to be slacking in the wardrobe arena. Sure, less is more. Comfort beats style. But you can have the best of both worlds by putting a little extra thought into your look.

So when you’re reaching for those three-year-old flip-flops and that ratty graphic tee, try to remember these simple fashion tips. If you play your cards right, they might just be your ticket to a better nightlife.

  1. Fit is key. The easiest and most dramatic way to spice up your style is to make sure your clothes actually fit your body. More often than not, guys wear their clothes too baggy or too loose.  Make sure everything you throw on is almost hugging your frame. Clothes that aren’t tailored to your body can ruin any look. (H&M has a ton of options for fitted tees on the cheap.)

  2. Check your bling at the door. I’ve said it before: You want a wardrobe that looks great on you, but you never want to overdo it. Sporting more than three pieces of jewelry (a watch counts as one) or wearing more than three bold colors is bad form. And don’t dress like a rock star unless you’re actually in a band. Period.

  3. Change the way you see casual. A low-key look doesn’t have to be boring. Experiment with short-sleeved, collared button downs, plaid or madras-patterned golf shorts and all varieties of the boat shoe/top-sider family. (Sperrys or Toms are a safe bet.)

  4. Devil in the details. The last thing on is usually the first thing noticed. So mind the details instead of throwing together the core parts of your outfit. Could be anything from an interesting skinny tie or simple fedora to belts, lightweight blazers and cologne—three spritzes max!

  5. Shopping requires a wing man. It’s tough to trust salespeople. If they’re working on commission, they’ll tell you you look great in a paper bag. Shop with a buddy who will give you his/her honest opinion.

  6. Take risks. Dare to take it up a notch (just don’t overdo it). It’s always better to be a little bit overdressed than underdressed…in any setting. For example, if you’re out all day and know you won’t have time to change before going out, consider a pair of chino shorts for a day-to-evening look. Just think about where you’ll be and who you’ll be with and you’re good to go.

  7. Invest in a great pair of shoes. If there’s one thing women notice, it’s shoes. But for some reason, most guys forget to really think about what’s happening below the ankle. Show you’re a man of taste by rocking a great pair of kicks and keeping them in excellent condition.

  8. Fashion tees with logos. If you’re sporting a shirt with a giant logo design, you risk looking like a walking billboard. Lose the lame “Blondes Do It Better” shirt and go for a classic V-neck tee.

  9. Disregard trends. Beware of buying something just because it’s “in” right now. Stick to what you truly like. A lot of people rush to get in on the latest trend and end up with a bunch of clothes they don’t wear. It’s better to learn to build a versatile and timeless wardrobe first—then bring in your own twists with some of the new fashion. This one tip will save you so much money!

  10. Beware of brands. Before you get to the register, ask yourself if you’re buying something because of the brand name or because you actually love the quality and style.

A few visuals to wrap up today’s lesson:


Love the nerdy glasses look on JT. Just make sure your frames fit your face!


Cool, crisp, clean. The cop from Bridesmaids shows how a fitted jacket can play up a nighttime look. (Pair with jeans for a casual look.)


Which of these things does not belong? And don’t get me started on Zach’s hat.


Unless you have the arms and torso of True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard, beaters should never be worn alone.


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