4 Lightweight Knits Every Man Needs For Summer 2023

Image Credit: Sunspel x MR PORTER

Starting to piece together your 2023 summer wardrobe? Chances are knitwear is pretty low down on your shopping list. After all, knitted stuff is for wrapping up and layering in the colder months, right? Well, not quite.

If they’re sufficiently light and thin, knits are actually super breathable and excellent at wicking sweat. They’re also great for adding texture to otherwise bland summer outfits. Just switch your boring cotton T-shirt for a rakish knitted polo and try to tell us we’re wrong.

Think less chunky fisherman jumpers, and more mesh-knit short-sleeves and tanks. These types of garments can breathe new life into your warm-weather wardrobe, elevating your everyday getups and making it quick and easy to look put together.

Luckily, two of our favourite brands, Sunspel and MR PORTER, have teamed up to create a capsule collection of mesh knit pieces this season. Consisting four styles in a natural colour scheme, each will add a sense of effortless sophistication to any summer or vacation wardrobe.

Knit Polo

It’s easy to get stuck in a sartorial Groundhog Day with shorts and a T-shirt when the hot weather comes around.

A knitted polo like this buttonless one from Sunspel x MR PORTER can help you break the cycle. This is something simple and versatile you can put on instead of your boring old tee to instantly make your outfit look more intentional and refined.

It’s nice and easy to dress up or down too, which means you can lean on it for everything from evenings out to everyday duties.

How to wear it

Again, just wear it the same way you’d wear your favourite T-shirt. Pair it with shorts, jeans, chinos, or some loose-fitting high-waisted pants for a more trend-led look.

For dates, nights out and smart-casual occasions, combine it with trousers and loafers, or dress it down with sandals and swim shorts for the beach.

Knit Jacket

This chunky mesh-knit jacket is the summer garment you didn’t know you needed.

One of the trickiest things about making warm-weather outfits interesting is the lack of layering options, so if you can find something breathable enough to wear over a T-shirt it’s a huge plus. This is one such piece.

How to wear it

Style this light knitted jacket in much the same way you’d wear an overshirt. It can be worn zipped up and layered on top of with a light jacket on cooler days, or you can wear it open over a T-shirt or vest.

It can also be worn zipped up for a more streamlined look. It’s available in oak or ecru, so we’d advise picking contrasting legwear for the biggest visual impact.

Knit Short-Sleeve Shirt

The lightweight warp-knit mesh this short-sleeve shirt is cut from was originally designed by Sunspel to be worn by Daniel Craig’s James Bond with the Riviera polo shirt.

For its collaboration with MR PORTER, the brand has taken this luxurious fabric and used it to create a beautifully fitted camp-collar shirt.

It blends the breathability and airiness of a polo with the laid-back elegance of a great summer shirt, making it perfect for tackling the warm weather in style.

How to wear it

Team it up with some chino shorts in a contrasting shade and add either a pair of minimalist sneakers, loafers or sandals depending on the setting.

For cooler evenings, layer it with a T-shirt or tank top and combine it with a well-cut pair of trousers instead.

Knit Tank

When we hear the words ‘knit’ and ‘tank’ in the same sentence, our minds immediately conjure images of Carlton Banks jiving away in the poolhouse of his parents’ Bel Air mansion. But don’t let that put you off.

Contrary to popular belief, knitted tanks can be cool – you just have to get the right one. Take this understated number, for example. It’s cut with Sunspel’s Riviera polo shirt fabric and fits close to the body for easy layering.

How to wear it

This tank top is built with warm-weather layering in mind. It’ll be most at home worn underneath an unbuttoned shirt, short-sleeve or light jacket, topped off with a pair of shorts and canvas sneakers.

A paid partnership with Sunspel – words and opinion are Ape’s own.

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is Ape's Style Editor. His work has been published in Esquire, Men’s Health, ShortList, The Independent and more. An outerwear and sneaker fanatic, his finger is firmly on the pulse for the latest trends, while always maintaining an interest in classic style.