As the weather warms up it’s time to hang up the pea coat and fold away the tweed in favour of lighter, brighter vintage garb. But is it just me or is it always harder to look stylish in the summer months? Luckily, after re-watching the modern adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel, ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’, resident Vintage King George Walker has come up with the ideal vintage look for guys this spring.

Let’s face it, here in Britain we go all a bit frantic and kooky when those first days of summer come.  So unfamiliar with blue skies and warm breezes are we that we’re often to be found covered in goose-pimples, wearing sandals and khaki shorts as soon as there’s a parting in the clouds.

Choosing what to wear for the summer needn’t be stressful, however – just try copying some timeless vintage looks that you know will look both smart and summery.

The 1999 film The Talented Mr Ripley has always intrigued me, partly because it’s a great film, but mainly because it just oozes continental summer style from the late Fifties. Oxford shirts, wayfarer shades and knitted polo shirts make up the men’s wardrobe of this visually stunning film.

Matt Damon plays TomRipley in Anthony Mighella’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, which was actually just the first in a series of books by the writer. Ripley manages to slip his way into a job which involves travelling from New York to Italy in the quest of bringing back Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) to his family business. It’s a story full of twists,  deceit and stolen identities – perfect viewing for those of you who like a good quality ‘new’ film set in time past. (Try following the current thread called  ‘New films set in the past’ on the QueensOfVintage social network if this sounds like you!)

Anyway, back to the fashion. Somewhere between the yacht club and a fun-loving beach party, this is a way of dressing that manages to mix dressing up and dressing down perfectly.

Yes, I like to think that when Anthony Minghella was writing the script, he wasn’t  proposing that Tom Ripley’s murderous tendencies were due to sexual jealousy or a psychotic temper- no, not at all- the main reason for Ripley’s violence must have lay in the fact that he was so darn jealous of Dickie Greenleaf’s cravat and boat shoes. And who could blame him?

From the backstreets of a sleepy Italian village to the boisterous jazz clubs of Venice, the men in this film show how late Fifties summer style is a timeless look for gents. Soft blue cotton paired with stone coloured khaki and crisp white linen creates a palette of summer colours brighter than the white-wash houses sitting by a Greek island’s shore. Add to this the combination of fine tailoring worn in a non-chalant ‘holiday way’ (think unbuttoned Oxford shirts worn on top of crisp khaki trousers rolled up over boat shoes.) Just remember: no denim allowed.

If you think this is the summer look for you, read on for some rather riveting Ripley finds…

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