The heat of summer is the one time of year when a man may rightly consider the option to go without a jacket (once he has taken that step he might as well get comfortable and go sockless too). Of course, the short sleeved man in the illustration may have had his equerry carry his things but that is hardly an option for most of us.
When it comes to warm weather office dress, contemporary Australians have probably taken things as far as modesty allows with their equatorial ensembles of short sleeve shirts, Bermuda shorts and a necktie that pays homage to the suit (they do wear socks), but they are not the only ones to decide that even a lightweight jacket is too much. The problem with this sort of thing is where a man puts his cell phone. Money, keys and a couple plastic cards will fit in his trousers. Perhaps a handkerchief as well. But the cell phone is an inconvenient bulge in a pocket that argues for a separate bag, an accessory that grows in importance for middle aged men who must also carry reading glasses.
Now shirt and trouser dressing is common in San Francisco where the weather is usually mild, but instead of a bag many blue oxford shirt and khaki trousered men have opted for the belt pouch, a crime against aesthetics if not humanity itself. I do, however, digress. Oxford cloth is hardly a summer shirting and San Francisco rarely warm enough to justify leaving the jacket at home.
When a bag must be carried, two options that may not get the respect they deserve are the small portfolio in the city, where there is some presumption that the folder contains business papers or a clean shirt, and the tote at recreational sites like the beach, particularly when one is accompanied by a female or two so it appears as though he is merely a gentleman who has offered to carry the day's supplies.
Of course, as wardrobe problems go, this is hardly a challenge of the first magnitude. But it did touch 84 degrees (29C) inland yesterday for the first time this year. Wallet, cell phone and glasses were in a portfolio, and I was glad I had it.