HOW TO | Pull Off A Risky Style Statement

You may deny it, but I know you have a secret style fantasy: something that completely pushes every style boundary and equally terrifies yet mesmerizes you. Every now and then we daydream about totally pulling off this unorthodox get-up, but wouldn’t dare take the risk. However, with good planning and some self-regulation, reveries can trespass your wild dreams and make their way into reality. Read ahead on some of the most controversial style statements that we never thought we could pull off, and how to make them work for us.

(1) Leather Trousers

They stand for rebellion and ooze endless sex appeal, leather trousers are among menswear’s most loved/hated wardrobe guilty pleasures. Leather alone is a statement. Make sure the fit is not too tight, both for practical and sartorial purposes. A pair that fits just like your tailored chinos or slim jeans will do the job. Styling should be as minimal as possible- stick with plain jumpers and t-shirts, a dark, well-cut jacket and make sure your shoes blend in with the trousers (similar texture and colour), or completely offset the effort with relaxed sneakers.

(2) Bright Suits

A returning runway favourite that crops up in stores every season, yet also keeps us wondering “what if?”, a coloured suit can work for you if styled correctly. Choose a colour that works with your skin tone. If you are unsure what this may be, think of the hues that get you noticed (in a good way) or a certain tie or shirt that garners compliments in the office. Your suit should be in a similar shade. Impeccable fit/tailoring is mandatory and wear it with complementary colours. Solid or subtle shirt and tie combinations are the easiest to get right.

(3) Short Suits

When you want to incorporate a little more structure and interest to your weekend/smart casual attire, the short suit is your new sartorial best friend. When summer hits, they make a sharp but practical option for a garden party, dressier barbecue or smart outdoors event. Whether you opt for a matching suit jacket and shorts or slightly cropped trousers, pair with a summery tie and loafers or boat shoes. Needless to say, tailoring is key. When lengths are this specific, even more so. If the shorts are designed to hit above the knee, make sure that’s exactly where they finish. If you go down the cropped trousers route, 5cm above your shoes is enough. Quirky or bold-coloured shoes and accessories are encouraged, as they complement unorthodox lengths and ensure that there are no lingering suspicions that you pulled out your old middle school uniform for memory’s sake. 

(4) Silk/Lightweight Scarves

You don’t have to be French to pull off a silk scarf. For beginners, start off with a subtle pattern and slowly work your way towards ultra-loud colours. Gradually work the scarf out of your jacket and slowly manoeuvre the scarf until you find the perfect knot and position for you. You’ll look straight out of the French Riviera in no time!

(5) Loud Eyewear

Unexplainable by anyone, we’re often lured by over-designed frames, unwelcome detailing, over-sizing and other eccentricities that will sit upon our nose and frame our faces to the world. If you want to try bright-coloured lenses (or play it safe with gold), make sure the colour suits your skin tone, and the frame style should be kept classic to avoid over-doing the look. Finally, when it comes to sculpted frames, futuristic designs or unusual textures you should try on the glasses and carefully observe your own reaction to them. If you look, feel or sound apologetic, silly or embarrassed, drop the frames and pick something else.