Perhaps the most seasonally appropriate of warm weather jackets is a solid or semi-solid with a cream ground. The reason for that is simple - cream complements a sun tan, like the one that perpetually graces the face of Mr. George Hamilton in the photo.
Cream is the exception to the general rule that odd jacket ensembles should have contrast. HRH Prince Charles for example usually combines his cream linen double breasted with khaki cotton trousers during the day. Add a white shirt and some tan or white shoes and it all works together. Other colors have their place on holiday or the weekend, especially below the waist summer classics like Breton red and madras trousers.
After six o'clock, contrast comes into its own. Worn with lightweight trousers in charcoal gray, a cream single breasted jacket, white shirt and a bow tie are all but semi-formal.
Key to choosing the cream jacket is to be certain that it is visibly not white. White cotton in particular is a bit too similar to the coats worn by service people on duty, and though honorable duty that is probably not a desirable image on social occasions. Ecru, ivory or eggshell though, in linen, gabardine, or silk, will be just the thing.
Photo: Robert Sebree