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.

HOW TO

HOW TO | Not Look Boring at Work

Going back to work for the new year is upon us, which mean now is the time to reassess your work wardrobe. It’s not as simple as the cliché of dressing for the job you want: your clothing needs to fit your role and the organisation you’re in. The aim is to dress for the job you have. Just, you know, better. So instead, follow these nine ways to appear less dull at your place of employment.

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Tie the Knot:

The yoke of corporate oppression has been thrown off in recent years by men desperate to assert their tieless independence. Congratulations: you now have the freedom to look exactly the same as every other guy in a navy or grey suit and an open-necked white or blue shirt. Instead, you should see a tie as an opportunity to express your individuality. A knitted tie will instantly make you more noteworthy, as will seasonal materials: wool in winter, linen in summer. There’s also something understatedly classy about their matte finish.

Take Positive Steps:

There are some workplaces where only strictly formal black shoes will cut it. In which case, you don’t have much scope beyond Oxfords. Generally, though, brown is acceptable in town, gives you more scope for variation and is way less boring. Providing they match your suit, navy, burgundy, oxblood and even dark green are also surprisingly versatile, and will put you in higher standing than your less imaginative co-workers. And depending on how soft the rules are, suede can be a nice touch.

Get Shirty:

For most men, the only types of shirt they are familiar with are white or blue. Maybe pink if they’re feeling brave. However, expanding your horizons with colours and patterns such as checks or stripes can give your look the promotion it deserves.

Bag A Promotion:

Crappy, overfilled backpacks drag down many a work rig. Especially those that come free with gym memberships. You could upgrade to a luxe backpack, but even that might be too childish for grown-up jobs; and without thorough thought, hard briefcases can be a tad stuffy, not to mention difficult to dress down. Get hold of a more modern, soft briefcase that’s just wide enough for your workout gear without giving the impression that you’re staying overnight. 

TREND

TREND | Best Dressed Men in 2018

You couldn’t call it a boring year for menswear, could you? Looking back, 2018 has been the most diverse, colourful and expressive spell we’ve had in a long time. Clothes became fun again.And in a year when all bets were off, these five men were there to show us how it’s done – leading trends, breaking rules or keeping it classic, their message was the same: wear whatever the hell you want, and do it with a smile on your face.

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5. David Gandy

When trends go crazy, as they undoubtedly have this year, you can always navigate your way to good style by following the north star of menswear himself, David Gandy. Brilliant and unchanging, he’s a fixed point – a guiding light through choppiest of fashion trends. Gandy’s formula of excellent suits and tailored casual wear is and always has been masculine, rakish and proudly British. This year, he debuted his first ever tailoring range, with a capsule collection designed for Marks & Spencer. Somewhat predictably, it’s really good.

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4. David Beckham

It’s usually bad form to out-dress the groom on his big day, especially when the lucky man is also sixth in line to the throne. But then Prince Harry should have known better than to invite David Beckham to this summer’s royal wedding. Beckham in morning dress is the same as Beckham in motorcycle gear, or Beckham in tweed, or Beckham at Fashion Week – better than everyone else, basically.

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3. A$AP Rocky

Praise the lord, it’s the undisputed king of high-fashion hip-hop. A$AP Rocky is one of the originators of the couture streetwear look that has become the new fashion paradigm over the past few years. He sang “Raf Simons, Rick Owens: usually what I’m dressed in” while draped in a Supreme gym towel in the video for ‘Peso’ back in 2011 for crying out loud. If that isn’t predicting the future of fashion, then we don’t know what is. Anyway, he’s still at it here in 2018, mixing sportswear, high-end fashion and grills to glorious effect.

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2. Henry Golding

At the beginning of the year, Henry Golding was a presenter on the BBC’s The Travel Show. At the end of it, he’s a Hollywood leading man and one of the most stylish men on the planet. It’s a modern day Cinderella story, only less of the glass slippers and more of Golding’s impeccable three-piece suits. The British-Malaysian actor flits effortlessly between classic and contemporary tailoring, keeping it all buttoned-up for the former, loose and relaxed with a pair of chunky trainers on the latter. Every inch the leading man.

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1.    Michael B. Jordan

A series of hits from Black Panther through Fahrenheit 451 to Creed II means 2018 has been a blockbuster year for Michael B. Jordan. The same is true of the man’s style. He doesn’t show it off like some do, but he’s made every menswear move that matters this year and topped it off by becoming the face of Coach for 2019.

We’ve seen chunky, multi-coloured knits, statement streetwear, subtle nods to the leaders of the black rights movement and exemplary tailoring, usually with an individual twist that makes it his. The fact that he does all this on the bulky frame of Adonis Creed makes it even more impressive.

The kaleidoscope of colours and silhouettes that surfaced in menswear this year could be off-putting for the average guy. Michael B. Jordan is the man who proves that it doesn’t have to be. He takes what he wants from trends, makes them his own and seems to understand the single best thing about the way menswear has gone this year: you can have it all and still look great.

MUST HAVES

MUST HAVES | Style Rules for the Party Season

Dust off your finery, polish your shoes and prep your liver – it’s party season once again. And while we know the next few weeks is about easing off and letting your hair down, we’re also aware of the potential pitfalls such events pose. From turning up underdressed to getting too turnt up, it’s not always plain sailing through the festive circuit. So to help, in the wardrobe department at least, we compiled a handy guide. Who’s getting the drinks in?

Make A List (And Check It Twice):

Drafting a list of Christmas gift ideas that’s long enough to put you in the red might be a priority at this time of year, but, as well as ensuring stockings get stocked, it pays to plan for pre- and post-Christmas parties. Preparation is key to a stress-free party season. Spend some time going through your eveningwear a few weeks ahead, making sure you have everything and that it has been dry-cleaned, so that it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Make an Effort, But Don’t Try Too Hard:

Like the concept of smart casual, dressing, nailing a festive party dress code can prove tricky when it’s not as straightforward as ‘Christmas jumpers’ or black tie. There’s nothing worse than feeling underdressed at a party. Especially if there is a work connection to the invitation – you won’t impress a prospective client or future boss by turning up unprepared. That’s a thumbs down for the snowflake-pattern onesie, then.

Keep Your Locks Low-Maintenance:

No amount of hairspray will hold a quiff in place once attacked with unforgiving weather. So while it may go with the pomp and ceremony of party season, consider swapping a pompadour for an easier to manage mop. Avoid high-maintenance styles. This is summer: it’s hot, humid, and potentially stormy and these types of haircuts are just going to get annoying, and you’ll never look as intended once you arrive at your destination. Instead, steer simple with unfussy cuts, which simply require a little texturising product such as sea salt spray or volumising powder to finish.

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MUST HAVES

MUST HAVES | 20 of the Best Quotes about Fashion & Style

If you’re the sartorial sage in your peer group, setting the agenda and the dress code for everything from a business-casual office to a few days at the beach, then you could quickly run low on modish pearls of wisdom.

In which case, breathe a sweet sigh of relief, as we’re here to provide you with a rundown of our favourite quotes about fashion and style – all of which you can pass off as your own musings after a few beers down at your local.

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1. “Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally.” — Christian Louboutin

2. “Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself.” – Jay Z

3. “Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are.” – Quentin Crisp

4. “To achieve the nonchalance, which is absolutely necessary for a man, one article at least must not match.” – Hardy Amies

5. “Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquillity that no religion can bestow.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. “If people turn to look at you on the street, you are not well dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.” – Beau Brummel

7. “If you’re asking someone for money wear a tie.” – Unknown

8. “People always ask me what the trends are, but I’m not a believer in trends. Individuality is more important to me, to stand out and have the confidence to wear something you’re comfortable in – it just happens. I’m comfortable wearing a suit.” – David Gandy

9. “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” — Lauren Hutton

10. “Fashion is a playground up until a certain age. But then you have to find your own signature and your own style.” – Nicolas Ghesquière

11. “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” – Marc Jacobs

12. “Fashion is more about feel than science.” – Pharrell Williams

13. “As you age, it’s quite important to pay attention to how you look and to take steps towards ensuring that you stay happy with how you look. And grooming, whether you just use a moisturiser or go the whole hog at a salon, can make that much-needed difference.” – Saif Ali Khan

14. “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Orson Welles

15. “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

16. “Every man should have a magnifying mirror. If you look good magnified, you are set to go” – Tom Ford

17. “People will stare. Make it worth their while.” — Harry Winston

18. “Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” — Bo Derek

19. “We define a metrosexual as someone who really takes care of themselves in terms of grooming and style. There is nothing wrong with that. But I think you need to have some other values. It’s cool to incorporate some traditional values into metrosexuality. Then it becomes a good lifestyle.” – Frank Vincent

20. “To be noticed without striving to be noticed, this is what elegance is about.” – Luciano Barbera

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