HOW TO

HOW TO | Dress Better this Autumn/Winter

There are few men who would pass up the opportunity to look a little better each morning (and that probably includes you, seeing as you’re here). But most, understandably, want to do so without spending any more time in front of the mirror. Far from an impossible task, these low-effort, high-reward style hacks for the autumn/winter months prove it’s possible to upgrade your look and still hit the snooze button. You’re welcome.

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Dial Down Your Brights:

Now don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of colour-based fashion trends to try out this season. However, in a grey world, overly bright shades can be nauseatingly optimistic. To ensure you’re better-hued, look for deeper, richer versions of bright summer shades. Neutral tones such as grey, black and brown make getting dressed in the dark (a real possibility some mornings) a breeze. But that doesn’t mean you need to go monochrome (although it’s rarely a bad move). Alongside these, echo the changing leaves with rust rather than orange, moss green in the place of lime and mustard instead of sunshine yellow for an seasonally appropriate touch of colour that won’t look like you’ve just stepped off the beach.

Update Your Accessories:

Before you do anything, buy a decent, full-size umbrella. Bargain bin examples are a false economy. When they flip inside out, that’s five dollars wasted, and your suit ruined. Instead, look to specialist brands for something stronger and infinitely more sophisticated. Extend your waterproofing efforts to bags too, by grabbing hold of a bag that won’t soak through in seconds. Coated leathers beat just about anything during the rainy season, or pick nylon and treated canvas for something thriftier and equally water-resistant. Helpfully, a bag is also a good place to stow the lightweight scarf you should also be buying when hopping onto public transport or into buildings to avoid overheating.

Invest in Your Outerwear:

There are plenty of pieces in the male wardrobe that are done excellently at lower price points. And remembering this for most other purchases should afford you a bit more money to splash out on a winter coat when the time comes. A premium piece won’t just last longer, but it’s also likely to perform better when the weather turns. A wool overcoat is the most versatile option. Look for well-cut examples in neutral colours like navy, grey or camel. This style will slot seamlessly into your existing wardrobe, working just as well with tailoring as sweats; sending the cost-per-wear ratio through the roof.

Choose Your Fabrics Wisely:

Getting the right material, in the right place, at the right time means you’re as comfortable in torrents as packed trains. As a general rule, pick breathable cotton or merino for items near your skin, working up to heavier wools next for warmth and then something weatherproof on top, be it century-old gabardine or a space-age polyamide. When it comes to shoes, look for easy-to-clean materials. Mud brushes off leather, but suede will stain at even the idea of drizzle.

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HOW TO

HOW TO | Wear Your Summer Wardrobe in Autumn

New season, new wardrobe. Right? Well, not necessarily. With some of fashion’s most influential players conceding the industry’s pace is out of whack, the idea that what you wore last season is redundant now, isn’t just outdated, but irresponsible, too. To help you navigate the shifting seasons without spending a fortune on new pieces you don’t need, here are a selection of summer garments you can wear year-round. 

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T-shirts:

 

Despite being intrinsically linked with the warmer months, the barely-there material of t-shirts can still be worn when it gets cooler if you think of them as a base layer. T-shirts can also be used as an accent to your outfit to add some colour.

 

Polo Shirt:

Summer’s smart-casual staple looks every bit as sharp even after the season is over. Lightweight, breathable and not as airily thin as a T-shirt, a polo shirt is a top seed player in your transitional line-up. The only thing that needs changing is the placement. Where in the summer a polo might sit front and centre, its role is more supporting once the mercury begins to drop. Layer then under a lightweight jacket to transition to the cooler months.

Striped Top:

Autumn’s onset might mean sailing city streets rather than clear blue seas, but that shouldn’t mean putting striped shirts on the plank. Timeless and versatile, the striped top’s simplicity makes it virtually seasonless, so while, sure, it looks great sipping a negroni on a beach, it’s just at home with a pint of beer in the depths of winter.

Denim Jacket:

If street style has taught us anything, it’s that a denim jacket isn’t just an outer layer – it’s a bona-fide wardrobe workhorse. Sure, you can throw it on over a T-shirt or shirt, but a denim jacket is so much more: it’s the mid-layer that offers a textural contrast or the extra outer layer that dials up the heat.

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HOW TO

HOW TO | Avoid Office Style Mistakes

Previous generations had it easy when it came to dressing for work. If you picked a suit that fits and kept your shirt and tie sober, you’d be unlikely to put a foot wrong. Yes, it was restrictive. But at least everyone knew where they stood. The revolution against the dress code has unyoked us from style servitude but, with right and wrong now less clearly distinguished, it’s easier to take a sartorial stumble. Just follow our map through the minefield.

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The Mistake: Creased Shirts

There is no business pressing enough (pun very much intended) to warrant leaving the house in the morning with a wrinkled shirt. Not only will doing so see your style stock de-crease, but chances are it will also ruin the rest of your look.

The Fix

In short: invest in a good iron, and use it. If unsure how, learn. If that’s too much effort, buy a steamer. 

The Mistake: Dad Denim

By now your DILF-dressing game should be on-point, but the urge not to be too out-there can steer you into Clarkson territory. Be wary of anything shapeless, or that looks like it’s been washed in an acid bath.

The Fix

Treat your work jeans like formal trousers by sticking to something rich in colour, without distressing, in a tailored fit. Pair indigo denim with an Oxford shirt, blazer and Derby shoe to make them safe for work.

The Mistake: Poor Shoes

There’s an old saying that women judge a man by what’s on his feet before anything else. Which isn’t exactly true, men do it too. Whether they’re scuffed, in dire need of a polish, or just square-toed monstrosities, lax lace-ups just won’t do.

The Fix

Not every type of shoe needs to have a you-could-shave-in-that level of shine. However, taking time at least once a fortnight to remove loose dirt, buff out any marks and apply some shoe protector will pay dividends when it comes to salary negotiations.

The Mistake: Gym Bags & Suits

You’ve binned the briefcase for a backpack as a more modern way to cart your kit to work, but know your limits. If what’s slung over your shoulder is riddled with velcro and pockets, save it for hiking.

The Fix

A backpack is office-ready if it passes a few tests: premium fabrics, muted colours, and a contemporary shape. Ideally, that means leather in black, brown or blue, with high-quality hardware and enough space for your laptop and a spare layer.

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MUST HAVES

MUST HAVES | Hoodies

It’s difficult to think of any one item of clothing that has had quite as colourful a history as the humble hoodie.Today, the hoodie is enjoying a golden era of acceptance. Just as with Elvis, denim jeans, electronic music and all other aspects of youth culture that initially made grown-ups nervous, everyone has now calmed down and said a collective, “You know what? Maybe a sweatshirt with a hood on the back isn’t inherently evil after all.” Read ahead for our top tips on finding the perfect hoodie.

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Fit:

They don’t come in skinny fit, but if you want to wear a hoodie under a regular-fit denim jacket, look for one that’s relatively form-fitting. Otherwise, go maxi with an oversized hoodie that nods to the street culture that made it cool in the first place.

Fabric:

Fleece back or loopback cotton are the most likely options you’ll find at the shop and they’re ideal because they’re comfortable, hard-wearing and easily washed. Higher-end brands will also experiment with fabrics like merino or even cashmere if you want to loaf in luxury.

Colour:

As ever, grey, navy and black are the no-brainers that will get the most wear, but consider khaki, off-white or brownish tones for alternative neutrals. If you want to make a statement, bold reds and yellows will do the job, although a mint green or purple gives you a more subtle way to stand out.

Smart Hoodies:

It sounds like a contradiction in terms but ever since sportswear and loungewear got the high-fashion seal of approval, hoodies have become appropriate for smarter dress codes. We’re not talking dinner at the Ritz, more like dress-down Friday’s done in style and comfort. Stick to neutral colours and you’ll find a hoodie looks great over tailored trousers or under an overcoat.

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MUST HAVES

MUST HAVES | Four Suits Every Man Should Own

There are few guys who don’t aspire to one day own a walk-in wardrobe filled with every type of suit, but we’re often in the dark as to how to get there. For the remainder, suits are a necessary evil: an insurance policy for professional and social occasions that you want to spend the bare minimum on.

Whichever camp you fall into, allow us to illuminate you. This is a guide to building a tailored wardrobe. Not in the IKEA sense, more along the lines of what to buy, and in what order, to most economically cover your event bases and get maximum bang for your sartorial buck.

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1. The Plain Navy Two-Button Suit

The tailoring equivalent of the little black dress, if you buy just one type of suit, make it a plain navy two-button with a notch lapel. You won’t get more use out of anything else.

2. The Plain Grey Two-Button Suit

The other type of tailoring workhorse. The cavalry. Just when your navy suit was about to give up the ghost (or just head to the dry cleaners), grey rides to the rescue, ready to make you look good.

3. The Dinner Suit

Black tie invitations may be few and far between — as infrequent as one a year, even — but they will come, with increasing regularity as you get older. And when they do come, they’re invariably for occasions when you want to look and feel at your top: a swanky work party, a wedding, a long-overdue Oscar nomination for Best Actor. 

4. The Summer Suit

It’s common knowledge that a pair of board shorts goes far better with the summer season than a suit. However, that’s not to say the warmer months don’t cater for the man who needs to dress with a touch of formality. The trick to staying cool when the weather is not isn’t just in choosing the right type of suit, but the right textiles. Tightly woven fabrics such as twill and artificial fibres may be less prone to creasing, but they restrict the amount of air that can circulate through the garment, making ultra-lightweight open-weave linen, seersucker or hopsack a far better choice.

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MUST HAVES

MUST HAVES | 8 Habits of Well Dressed Men

Do you get your jackets tailored? Wash your whites separately? Press your underwear? No? Then there’s a strong chance your style might be suffering as a result. According to club menswear’s most influential opinion-makers, there are a few habits shared by nearly all the most impressively turned out blokes on the red carpet, and it’s not necessarily having a stylist on speed dial. In a bid to give you the sartorial shortcut to wardrobe success, here are eight things worth adding to your daily routine.

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1.            They Know The Basics – And Stick To Them

Well-dressed men rely on basic uniforms and don’t worry about making a statement if that’s not their style. Cover your bases with a few well-fitting white T-shirts, a sky blue Oxford shirt, grey sweatshirt, denim jacket and some light coloured chinos in a slim or straight fit.

2.            They Shop Offline, Too

With thousands of brands at your fingertips, no queuing, and the ability to buy pants without wearing any, shopping online has revolutionised the way we stock our wardrobes. But steer exclusively digital and you might miss a trick.

3.            They Don’t Ignore Care Labels

There are few things in life more irritating than discovering that the new season jumper you just bought is dry-clean only. But caring for your clothing could be the difference between subpar and outstanding style. 

4.            They Only Settle For the Best Trouser Break

Aside from allowing your footwear to be on full display, nailing the trouser break is something that separates the men from the boys, and can also elongate your frame to make you appear taller and slimmer.

5.            They Don’t Wash Their Jeans

Believe it or not, in some cases it’s possible to look better by doing less. This is particularly true of jeans, which you should skip washing in favour of a swift half down the pub for at least the first six months of wear.

6.            They Take It Up With Their Tailor

Every well-dressed adult knows that the key to looking good is fit. From your basics to your best two-piece, there’s nothing that can’t be improved with a nip and a tuck.

7.            They Wear The Shoe That Fits

It’s not uncommon to hear people waxing lyrical about how footwear is the most important component of an outfit. And while it’s quite a bold statement, they have a point. Some of the most versatile shoes a man can have are Chelsea boots in brown, plain loafers, a pair of white sneakers an and an all-rounder black shoe.

8.            They Organise Their Wardrobes

It’s been established that not all impeccably-dressed men spend hours meticulously planning their outfits. However, they do give themselves the right tools to work with, thanks to a spot of wardrobe organisation. Try organising by colour, type of garment or season, and you’ll find getting dressed in the morning becomes a whole lot easier.

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HOW TO

HOW TO | Wear the Right Colours for Your Skin Tone

Just like finding the right haircut for your face shape— selecting hues that work with your complexion is often easier said than done. With such a kaleidoscopic spectrum of shades on offer, it’s no mean feat sorting the wheat from the chaff. But if you want to shave some time off your shopping rounds or buy more confidently online, then it’s worth acquainting yourself with a few fundamental rules when it comes to knowing the tones that are sure to complement you.

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Fair/Pale Skin:

Find yourself constantly looking for somewhere to shade from summer sun? More freckles than a speckled goose egg? Or, at the very least have red, blonde or light brown hair? Chances are you’re the proud owner of a milky pallor.

Colours To Wear:

If you’ve got pale skin and light features, then hues that clearly contrast with your skin tone will – quite literally – bring some colour to your complexion. Darker colours like grey, brown, burgundy, bottle green, navy and bolder shades of blue will all work well as these shades contrast with your skin tone.

Colours To Avoid:

Avoid soft, pastel shades or bright colours as these will only wash you out further. The same goes for neutrals too; so rather than white, light beige or stone, choose richer shades such as sand, camel, khaki and slate grey.

Olive/Medium Skin:

If you’ve got olive-toned skin that tends to tan rather than toast in the sun, then you have what’s known as a ‘warm’ complexion which suits a much wider spectrum of colours than those with fair skin or ‘cool’ complexions.

Colours To Wear:

While most colours will work with a medium skin tone, you can ensure you look your best by opting for shades that are either a little brighter or darker than the middle ground. What does that mean exactly? Choose pale beige rather than warm sand if you’re opting for light neutrals, or try a bolder shade of purple (such as magenta) rather than mauve, for example.

Colours To Avoid:

Since your skin will likely have yellow or green undertones, it’s wise to avoid wearing shades of these colours that are too close to your skin tone. What you’re trying to avoid here is ending up looking nude i.e. having your skin blend in with your clothing. Hues you should probably give the heave-ho include pistachio, mustard, olive and mocha brown. 

Darker Skin:

Much like those with medium skin, when it comes to finding colours that suit you, guys with darker skin have won the genetic lottery and can try their hand at pretty much any hue without much need for trepidation.

Colours To Wear:

The world, gentlemen, truly is your oyster. The colour of your skin is perfectly positioned to marry well with the vast majority of hues and shades, as it doesn’t run the risk of being washed out like comparatively pale skin tones. With that said, there are a couple of caveats. Be mindful of adding balance to your outfit with a colour that will hold the look together. In practice, that means not spinning the colour wheel like a mad decorator, but choosing a single pop of colour or two that complement rather than compete with each other.

Colours To Avoid:

Brown is pretty much a no-go. Much like how pastel shades wash out paler skin tones, brown won’t contrast clearly enough with your skin, resulting in your look ‘blending’ into your skin. While black and navy are two key colours in any man’s wardrobe (making up the majority of formal and corporate wear), it’s worth keeping these to a minimum to really make the most of your especially versatile skin tone.

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MUST HAVES

MUST HAVES | Accessories That Never Go Out of Style

Accessories: no decent outfit is complete without them. But sometimes it can be difficult to know just how good an investment any of these stylistic accoutrements might turn out to be. Fortunately, history has taken some of the trial and error out of the process; because if it looked good 50 years ago, and it looks good now, chances are it’ll look good for 50 more. These are the men’s accessories that will never go out of style.

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Classic Sunglasses:

Few things do a man more favours than a pair of sunglasses. Flattering, practical, and a dab hand at hiding dark circles when needed; glasses conjure up images of golden-age movie stars like Steve McQueen at the flick of a hinge. It’s telling that the most popular styles have changed little over the decades. Aviators, Wayfarers and Clubmasters are all time-honoured staples that suit different face shapes. Seeing as a decent pair of sunglasses will stick around for life, don’t be afraid to make them an investment piece. Just be sure to maximise longevity by keeping everything classic and understated with either black or tortoiseshell frames and brown, black, or dark green lenses.

A Leather Billfold Wallet:

Practical, moulded to the contours of its contents and aged to perfection over time, a leather wallet is an accomplice that will do the business long after the business has stopped accepting cash. It’s for this reason that many men choose to have their note carriers embossed with their initials; a move that sets out intentions to keep it for life, even if what’s inside doesn’t make it to the end of the month.

Leather Belt:

A good belt does more than simply hold your trousers up – it also holds a look together. Choose brown, black or (better yet) one of each, and always opt for the best you can afford. This thing will be holstering your trousers for many years to come, and you wouldn’t want to be unseated by a crumbling imitation number. Subtle, classic buckles in unprocessed metallic tones will also stand you in good stead.

Leather Holdall:

Is there any name in the world of fashion more winning than ‘the weekender?’ A bag reserved for the best time of the week, a friendly porter for an adventure, and the container of the wardrobe’s greatest hits. Theweekend bag – or leather holdall – is an enduring favourite of the menswear arsenal. As with most leather accessories, favour simple black or brown (or, in defiance of the rules, a mixture of the two), or a faded olive shade for a more contemporary take. As well as colourways, look to experiment with texture. Supple, smooth calfskin is a sleek choice, while a fuller, more tactile pebble grain lends a rugged feel to jetting off for a weekend at the beach.

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TREND

TREND | Style Epiphanies Every Man Goes Through

It’s a long drive down this road we call life, and along the way, your brain will absorb constant gems of new information, sometimes without you even noticing. Some of these will be microscopic practical realisations, while some may unlock the answers to bigger philosophical questions. And, of course, others will just be simple lessons in how to improve the way you dress. Read ahead for the style epiphanies all men discover sooner or later.

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Suits Don’t Always Look Smart:

You think you look like James Bond emerging from the ocean (yes, in a suit) before wandering into a bar to order a martini. But get it wrong and you look more like a 16-year-old who went to the formal in his dad’s suit. Four words: find a good tailor. 

Sometimes the Most Simple Outfit is the Most Stylish:

It can be easy to get caught up in the insane whims of fashion, as you find yourself making a grand entrance in a sarong and what looks like a dressing gown. But there’s a reason why all the fashion greats, from Steve McQueen to James Dean, kept it simple. Because it just works. It’s amazing how far you can get in pair of straight-cut jeans, a well-cut tee and a cool jacket.

Your Hair Should Not Be Overcomplicated:

There’s not a jury in the world willing to forgive frosted tips, or a gelled-down fringe, or that weird phase you went through with the blond stripe down the middle, or the spiky front bit and the soft, feathery back. The key to good hair is to understand how yours works with your face and to stick to the simplest and most obvious cut there is.

Trends Aren’t as Good As A Signature Style:

At some point during your sartorial puberty, crackling light bulbs will start repeatedly exploding above your head, as you realise that you have developed your own nose for what looks good, and no longer feel the need to tick off every seasonal trend.

Show Your Feet Some Respect:

Just as a princess has to kiss a lot of frogs before they find their prince, you will likely have to work your way through a conveyor belt of bad shoes before you find the ones that fit you perfectly. Fairytale metaphors aside, the point is this: if you want to expedite the process, avoid extreme shapes – particularly anything too pointy or too square.

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HOW TO

HOW TO | Fix Common Style Oversights

Getting to grips with looking your best can be a challenge. From finding the perfect-fitting suit to ensuring all accessories are on-point, we would be lying if we said we didn’t slip up now and again.

With so much to consider when crafting an outfit, effortless is often anything but, and occasionally details get overlooked. With this in mind, we’ve identified the most common oversights that could be holding back your look and show how to go about setting things right.

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Bulging Pockets:

Though they serve a purpose as convenient carriers for life’s little essentials, overstuffing the pockets of your jeans or pants can quickly destroy a look. This sin can undo the sharpness of a silhouette you’ve worked hard to perfect. One easy change that can be made is to slim down on wallet size, which is mercifully far easier than shifting your own excess. Ditch old receipts, bin expired gift cards and reduce the amount of change you carry. Better yet, swap the whole wallet out for a slimmer, more stylish leather card holder.

Sub-Par Shoelaces:

It’s often said that one of the first things other people notice about a man’s appearance is his shoes – and that, unsurprisingly, includes shoelaces. While it may sound like nit-picking, it’s this level of attention to detail that wins serious style kudos.

Much like underwear, laces should be replaced at regular intervals – especially when they appear worn, are dirty or have lost their anglet (the metal or plastic casing at the end of the lace). This advice doesn’t just apply to formal shoes, either. One of the easiest ways to make a pair of white sneakers appear cleaner is to wash or replace the laces with a fresh white pair.

Forgetting to Check the Weather Forecast:

Outfits can be planned down to the very last detail before hitting the hay, but if you wake to pouring rain and thunderstorms that suede jacket shouldn’t be making it out the door.

Try to avoid setting outfits in stone. One of the benefits of building a solid capsule wardrobe based around pieces that all work together is that options can be kept open right up until a final scan of a weather app.