Your Summer Starter Pack

I think it’s safe to say that this has been the most chaotic year that we’ve collectively lived through in our lifetime. It can get pretty exhausting. A global pandemic that we all thought would last three weeks, covered in a thick layer of crisis in America, with a dollop of increasingly heightened tension about what horror you’re about to stumble across on Twitter each day. Someone said “Fatigue, my favourite colour”.

The exhaustion seems to melt away as the sun comes out, spirits are lifted and throats are opened and we focus on the simple things that bring us joy and only joy. ‘tis, afterall, the season to be jolly. Spring-cleaning may sound like the biggest cliché of this time of year, but stripping away the clutter and investing in that which makes life easier in your physical space, mental space and your wardrobe is still an important part of preparing yourself for all the goodness waiting out there. Four ways to declutter and put your happiness first, incoming.


One action: Breathe

Deeply and consciously. Remember that “If you’re reading this” tweet that sprung up mid-lockdown, reminding the reader to unclench their jaw, relax their shoulders, breathe deeply and not live in a state of constant anxiety? Might have something to do with the unconscious collective tension that we are living through, I don’t know. We’ve become really accustomed to breathing for survival, but taking a few minutes every day to direct all your energy to bringing fresh air into your lungs and clear your mind can be a very important part of staying mentally fit. Add these steps to your morning routine for a clear start to the day:


  1. From a standing position, bend forward from the waist with your knees slightly bent, letting your arms hang close to the floor.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, while you return to a standing position by rolling up slowly, lifting your head last. Focus on feeling the air fill up your lungs.
  3. Hold your breath for just a few seconds in this standing position and imagine the air moving through your body.
  4. Exhale slowly as you return to the original position, bending forward from the waist.



Two words: Marie Kondo

The Japanese organisation-Guru became kind of a parody of herself when the internet got hold of her, sure, but her method still holds truth. If the stuff in your environment doesn’t elicit some kind of happiness in you, why is it there? Your space, over time, can become a reflection of your schedule and your mind as life gets faster and faster. If you don’t make the conscious effort to declutter your mess will hold you captive and haunt your dreams. Your wardrobe is not off the hook either. Consciously move your winter wardrobe out of the way and bring your summer pieces to the foreground. Be honest about how 2020 has been wild and how that can change a man – you might want to go through all your summer pieces and throw out those things that just don’t make sense for who you are anymore. You really don’t need to hang on to that old, tattered tee because it’s great to sleep in. Have some self-respect, sir!


Three minutes: Down your social media time

While we wait for the official stats on our screen time use in 2020 it’s pretty easy to acknowledge we’re spending an unhealthy amount of time sucked into the white light in the palm of our hands. This writer will confess that his current average screen time is 7h39m per day and my only question is how my phone hasn’t grown into my body like those sea creatures latched onto The Flying Dutchman’s crew.

In all seriousness, with the constant barrage of bad news and slew of information that we consume while using social media, it’s important to give your mind a chance to rest and process everything you’ve seen. One way to do that is try to use social media for only three minutes at a time. Limiting your intake means you are more discerning with how you spend your designated time, instead of the endless scroll, and you’re giving yourself a moment to wade through all that information at the end of your three minutes. Making it a conscious choice to pick up and put down your phone can help you focus and clear your mind.


Four items: Two tees, a pair of shorts and flip-flops

Assuming you’ve been paying attention to the point on self-respect and clearing out your wardrobe, now take a tip from some of the greatest minds of our time. Visionaries like Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Barack Obama have spoken about their belief in creating a daily uniform, to relieve yourself from the daily thought-spend of deciding what to wear and focus on the important things like creating the next best mobile computer… or however you choose to fill that time. Jobs’ iconic black turtleneck, blue jeans and trainers dress code might not be the best fit for the incoming heat, but your summer uniform should take on some of the same principles. Timeless classics that you can rinse and repeat, without a lot of thought. A simple tee, shorts and flip-flops combo might be just that.


Also, unclench your jaw.

Akim Jardine – MKM guest fashion editor