Despite always getting a bad rap, suede is extremely versatile and very luxurious. All suede starts life as leather (usually lamb’s and frequently goat’s) which has had the top grain removed. Thinner and more porous than leather in its original state, suede is much softer than natural leather, but unfortunately is also an unequivocal stain magnet. Nonetheless, whether you are looking to merely sample, or swathe yourself in suede’s premium softness, this guide will arm you with the know-how to stay stylish and hopefully stain-free.
Whether you opt for a safari, bomber or worker jacket as your suede outerwear of choice, you’ll want to steer towards the cornerstone colours of any man’s wardrobe - navy, black, grey, tan and white. These colours are extremely versatile, which means you’ll have a fighting chance of recouping through wear the fairly significant outlay a quality suede jacket demands. On that note, chances are you’ve shelled out a fat chunk to secure a suede jacket, so make it count by making yours the focal point of your look. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid print and pattern and instead play with colour combinations or try a head-to-toe tonal approach.
The beauty of suede accessories lies in their subtlety, so they’re the perfect foil for men who’d rather stop short of putting the fabric front and centre. Your first port of call should be a belt (if in doubt, go for black, rich chocolate brown or navy), which promises to give even your most unremarkable chinos a welcome facelift. For an even easier way of tapping suede’s premium feel, try picking up a wallet or cardholder lined in the fabric.
Rendered in suede, Oxfords, Derbies and brogues retain a sense of elegance but shrug off some of the stuffy formality of their leather counterparts. Add to that suede’s natural texture and you’ve got yourself a pair of shoes you can easily team with your smarter denim and tailored trousers. Meanwhile, in the sports arena, suede has repositioned trainers from comfy cop-outs to legitimate objects of desire.