There are many things in life that are better off for being complicated, I am often accused by my friends as being technologically illiterate; I don’t really understand anything about computers, however I do understand however the necessity of their complexity. I imagine several processes are at play right his second in my laptop which is allowing me to type out this article to you (none of which I could comprehend at all) and I am grateful for them I don’t however understand them. This being said there are also many things in life that are much better off for being simple and the way a man dresses and cultivates his personal style is one of those things.
I have said many times that being simple and understated are key aspects to being both stylish and fashionable but I haven’t really gone in to any depth about what I mean by this; the aim here then is to discuss the concept of simplicity of dress, tell you why it is going to improve your look and in the hopefully give you a more practical understanding you can use to improve your style.
The easiest way to describe simplicity for me is that is implies a subtle kind of class; a man who is confident and sure of himself should not have to shout about this fact; equally he should not have to complicate his outfits with unnecessary amount of flash. What I mean by flash is basically wearing something (or not wearing something as the case may be) that basically shouts “look at me”, it makes you look childish. Take for example when lately Justin Bieber was photographed without his shirt on, in London, while it was cold. It certainly isn’t stylish and it screams desperate for attention; the people like Ozwald Boateng who makes it on to my style icons series don’t need to show off in such an overt way.
Dressing simply will allow you to put yourself forwards as a cooler more confident individual, an individual who doesn’t need to shout from the rooftops about what kind of man he is; you’re style should reflect your individual confidence, when a stylish man dresses simply he speaks volumes. When you dress with simplicity you evoke people like Steve McQueen, James Dean and Ryan Gosling; men who don’t have to try hard for your attention, this is the kind of man you need to be.
So how can you dress with more simplicity? The simple answer (ha) is not to wear less clothes, or even more clothes it’s to pick outfits that go together in a way that looks effortless, that’s what you’re aiming for, and over the course of this blog I hope to give you the tips and the know how to be able to do this yourself. I apologise for the philosophical theme of this article and I promise the next one will be more practical.
The photograph I have chosen for this article is of Mr Mark Vassolo, one of Australia’s best fashion directors, this photograph personifies the simplicity, confidence and individuality that this article is all about.
Okay so let’s talk Macs, no not the overpriced computer kind the clothes kind. The observant of you will notice that I have talked about Macs before; specifically in my style essential series I do however feel that because this is a resurrection of sorts that they are worth mentioning again; not least because spring is (hopefully) coming soon and the Mac is the perfect coat for the season.
So what is exactly is a Mac? A lot of people (me included) get Macs confused with trench coats, the term is pretty much interchangeable because most trench coats are usually Macs and the stylings are very similar. A Mac if we are going to use its proper definition is a form of waterproof raincoat made out of rubberised fabric, named for its inventor Charles Mackintosh. Mackintosh itself being a house hold fashion nowadays, however for all intents and purposes when someone refers to a Mac the one you should be talking about and indeed own is the trench coat style.
The trench coat is usually a double breasted Mac with a high peaked collar and a belt which goes around the waist of the coat. First made famous in the black and white films of the 1940’s and 50’s often worn by some hardboiled detective on some foggy street waiting for a mysterious girl. Basically think Mr. Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca and adjust your attitude accordingly.
So why should you buy one? Well first of Humphrey Bogart had one, which probably should be reason enough, many of us well never ever look that cool. However for those of you who require more than the gospel of Mr Bogart here are some reasons you should be buying one.
• It’s Iconic, much like the leather jacket the trench coat/Mac is a piece of clothing that has transcended just being a piece of fabric, it’s an icon it has a personality of its own.
• It will never ever go out of fashion, if you buy one now you are pretty much set for life, especially if you take good care of it, wear it all year around (spring is peak season though) and always look stylish.
• It’s versatile; it’s a coat that you can wear with almost any outfit, from casual to your best suit; however it looks best when paired with something smart.
So we all agree that you should have one, now which sort should you get? There are many combinations and I could go through them all and tell you the Pros or Cons of the various different styling but I like to keep my musings short and sweet and I assume (perhaps arrogantly) that they you are here for my advice on style so I will instead tell you my preferred style and then let you draw your own conclusions.
First off I prefer the trench coat over a normal Mac, the belt just makes it more chic and stylish and the amount of ways you can wear the belt both tied and untied is amazing, it allows you to put your own personal touch to proceedings. Traditionally trench coats fell below the knees however I prefer a shorter coat, one that falls just below the hips but above the knees. The reason for this is that I find it gives the coat more of an edge, and makes more of a modern and impressive silhouette; the color is the traditional camel, beige or navy; why? Well these colors have enough going on to not be boring but are simple and timeless; they will be ageless much like your coat. You could buy a bright red one, which is lovely but I feel as if you won’t be wearing it in three years time. Now where you get one is entirely up to you, if money is no problem (lucky you) then Burberry is the last word in trench coats, they’re legends and you should absolutely buy one, for those of us who haven’t got the money to spare then most of the high street big boys (Topman, River Island, H&M etc) have great stylish alternatives that won’t break the bank too much. I would say that you get what you pay for, I for example have a lovely little navy one from Topman that I love, however I am looking to upgrade because after repeated wearing it is starting to look a bit bedraggled. Maybe it’s time to save up and invest in one from Burberry. Then again maybe not.
A lot has changed since I was last here, for starters it looks like the arctic tundra outside and it’s coming up to April, which is madness; however I have it under good authority that we are not staring down another ice age or the end of the world and eventually spring will indeed spring. So let’s talk clothes, or rather something that has been bothering me for a while: Hipsters. I’m sure you’re aware of the phenomena and the attitudes surrounding it, to put it blankly the internet seems to hate them, and to me this is strange because a lot of what they wear looks very nice but after much research I have begun to understand why.
To put it simply it’s not the clothes at all it’s the attitude or rather it’s the apparent lack of substance; style for styles sake, Which brings me on to my main point: I can give you a list of clothes you should buy, you can wear them all and you will undoubtedly look good, but you won’t be James Dean, you won’t make an impression. The most important part of an outfit is you, you make the clothes, without the man they’re just pieces of fabric. The difference between Errol Flynn and the guy who got photographed in a coffee shop typing on an old type writer is that Errol Flynn would never feel the need to qualify himself like that they key to being truly stylish is simplicity not necessarily of dress but of yourself; a rich man doesn’t have to tell you he’s rich he already knows. Equally you shouldn’t have to shout from the rooftops about how stylish you are people will take notice in their own time and the effect is much more powerful. Here are a few do’s and don’ts:
• If you don’t need to wear glasses please don’t just wear the frames, glasses are a practicality first and a style option second
• If you do wear glasses then don’t just get a pair of black rimmed ones, they don’t suit everybody.
• Dress on trend but make sure you have some timeless pieces in your wardrobe.
• Timeless is one thing, out of date is another learn the difference, don’t just wear something for the sake of it being vintage
• Patterns are the domain of the truly stylish, but don’t overdo it. I’m looking at you leopard skin.
• Don’t let your clothes wear you; if you look uncomfortable you might as well be in pyjamas.
Finally don’t be a sheep find out what works for you naturally. Be simple. Be elegant. Be a man.
Oh and if the world is ending and we are in fact facing down a new ice age, FOR GOD SAKE STOP READING THIS AND GET HELP. Also spring is coming for god sake buy a Mac. I’ll show you how, where and why next time.
As you may have noticed there hasn’t been much activity on here lately at all, in fact there hasn’t been any; and this is entirely my fault, I have been incredibly lazy and have let other aspects of my life take over this and for that I apologize. However I’m back now, so get ready for some high quality content coming your way starting tomorrow. I would also like to apologize to all the people who e-mailed me while I was away, I will endeavor to get back to you all as soon as I can.
Hello ladies and gentlemen autumn is firmly upon us and despite the rain it’s been surprisingly warm ; that being said those of us who follow fashion know that this is the time you should be buying clothes for the colder months ahead. Over a few articles I will be going over the key trends and ideas for autumn and winter 2012 so you guys have an idea of what to buy.
Let’s kick it off with layering; layering has been a staple of men’s fashion for a number of years now, and the reason for that is simple it looks good and you can come up with a lot of different combinations to make your look unique. I’m going to start with a very basic guide on how to layer properly and include some example pieces so you have an idea on where to start. The following guide is just to inspire you; everyone should have their own personal style so experiment!
For a base layer you need to start with something thin; this essentially is the foundation to your outfit, it’s the only layer you can’t take off so it has to be right, personally I’d start with a shirt or a polo shirt. Earthly tones are in for AW 12 as is navy blue with orange or red for a splash of colour.
Layer one: For the first layer you have a couple of options, personally I’d go with a light cardigan or an over shirt, these items should be in a different but complementary colour to your base layer, a different shade is also great and can look quite good. Here are some examples:
This is the final layer and can be done in a couple of ways; a big chunky knit or a coat. For the colour I’d go with a block colour, especially in a neutral shade such as a black or a grey; this means that it will go with whatever colour you’ve already chosen. In the coat department I’d say that a wool Mac or pea coat is always a safe option but judging by the catwalks at this year’s London fashion week, leather is definitely in this season so a leather jacket is a great investment not just because it’s on trend but because a leather jacket will never not be stylish; James dean looked good in a leather jacket in the 50’s, people look good in them now and they will do in the future. It’s worth spending the extra money on a good leather jacket, it will never go out of style and it should last a long time. Here are some options:
Layering is a constant fashion staple for the simple reasons that it looks great, it’s so versatile and it works equally well with a smarter more formal look as it does with a more casual look. The very nature of layering means that you have a lot of different options available: you can lose a layer altogether or try it with a different combination of clothes and looks as long as the colours are complementary it doesn’t matter. And although this article was geared towards A/W that doesn’t mean you can’t layer in the summer! Finally the key to this and most looks is to make it your own; put a personal spin on every outfit you wear by accessorising and you’ll be sitting pretty (literally).
While not wanting to dwell on this subject for too long because it’s kind of off topic for this blog I thought it was worth putting the advert up because let’s be honest this is fashion history in the making. The advert itself feels a little bit too cheesy and forced for my taste but I’m sure it’s impact won’t be anything less than profound.
Fashion has always very much been a woman’s industry and while there have always been stylish men the actual industry itself, the shows, the magazines etc have all really been geared towards women. Over the last twenty years however men’s fashion has come on leaps and bounds to the point where we are almost as big as the girls; with this coming equality in fashion also comes blurred gender roles and this is exemplified by Chanel no 5’s new advertising campaign.
Chanel no5 as I’m sure you all know is Chanel’s premiere fragrance for women and was created by Coco Chanel herself and perfumer Ernest Beaux in 1921 and since its inception has had some of the most famous women in the world as it’s spokesperson including names like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Nicole Kidman. Now however for the first time in its history Chanel have appointed a man to be the spokes person for Chanel no5 and that man is no less than Brad Pitt.
Now I’m not sure what to make of this at all and I don’t know what it’s going to mean for fashion in general but what I do have a theory on is why Chanel would pick a man for its new advertising campaign. Fragrances are one of the most difficult things to advertise on the television/internet because you are dealing with a sense that the mediums in question are ill equipped to deal with; to put it simply you can’t smell the fragrance through your television, so the purpose of perfume advertising is twofold to remind you that there are still around and to make a link in your head between the fragrance and a certain lifestyle you should aspire to. By picking Brad Pitt Chanel has done both brilliantly the controversy of choosing a man has insured that Chanel no5 is all over not just fashion sites like mine but all over the news too meaning that the fragrance is again on the tip of tongues all around the world and who better to exemplify that glamorous lifestyle than Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt?
Now I may be talking rubbish but at least I’ve given you all food for thought. I will post the advert after this post so you can check it out yourselves and then we will resume normal business