I'm summer's biggest fan, except when it comes to clothing.

This week marks the middle of the Kiwi summer and I keep being reminded that sweat ruins everything.

I'm conscious of any liquid pooling in my underarms, my inner thighs, and the small of my back. Move too fast in this heat, or try to do anything in a rush, and I'll be met with a dripping brow and will have to consider changing my socks.

As a guy, all of this makes dressing well in the middle of January terribly difficult, especially when you still need to look smart for the office. Summer is also a time for socialising: for long lunches, after-work drinks, and barbecues.

The default Kiwi uniform is a singlet and jandals, but that's not befitting in most social situations (I liken it to the "undies, undies, togs" rule – there needs to be water in sight).

Dressing for hot days is an area where men actually have it much worse than women. Why? Because women can do sleeveless in the office and still be appropriately business-like. No matter your job, if you work inside, no man can get away with this.

If anybody saw you they would think were fresh from the gym, or taking the piss out of your business-casual dress code. Women, on the other hand, can wear chic sleeveless blouses, tops, and dresses and it looks perfectly professional.

The same goes for the lower half. It doesn't matter how many times ASOS tries to sell one to you – no man can pull off a shorts suit. Not for a meeting, not for a wedding, not on an island vacation.


You just end up looking like Prince George (who is five years old, by the way).

While the better half can wear skirts and at least let their calves breathe, males are stuck with long trousers which act end up feeling like a hot tent on New Year's Day.

And then there's the head wear problem. It's so damn difficult to look good in a hat. I've tried many styles. Baseball caps are juvenile and informal. Fedoras and panamas make me look affected. Straw hats are for retirees, cowboy hats only suit Bradley Cooper, and bucket hats make me look like a grumpy old fisherman.

Not all is lost, though. There are a few ways around this sweaty debacle. Having travelled to many very hot countries, I've picked up a few hacks for men's fashion to share with all Kiwi men.

Firstly, linen. It's the greatest summer fabric ever to be invented. It's lighter and more breathable than cotton, and you can wear it to work (even with a tie if you need to), and remain relatively cool.

The closest thing your underarms will get to airflow is through a linen shirt. Linen trousers and blazers can also be suitably fashionable, as long as they're not too baggy, or in pastels – you'll look like an extra from Weekend At Bernie's.

I can't stress how important natural fibres are in summer. Check all your labels before wearing anything, and put anything with a polyester or other inorganic blend back in the drawer. Anything you wear needs to be 100 per cent of a natural fabric.

What's more, you need to keep your colours light. The blacks and the navys need to stay home until March, guys. For the next six weeks, pull out everything you have in the light blue, cream, and white colour families.

Tempting as it may be, lastly, don't go sockless. It's a recipe for a stinky-footed disaster. Your feet will sweat through your shoes and you'll get blisters. Invisible socks – the ones women have known about for years – are now available for men in clothing and department stores across the country.

Whether from David Jones or H&M, stock up on these. You don't want to be left on a 30 degree day wondering if sporty white tube socks are work-friendly with your suit, because the answer – without exception – is "they are not".