We asked our menswear buying manager Tom Saunders and AskMen editor Ian Taylor to give us their top 5 styling tips for men, just in time for London Collections Men 2016. These tips – like our designs – are timeless and independent minded. Trust our industry-insiders to steer you in the direction of a stylish wardrobe:
IAN’S TIPS – ASKMEN.COM EDITOR
WEAR TRAINERS WITH SMART TROUSERS
You won’t get away with it in Parliament or stuffy old City firms, but tailoring is loosening up to the extent that you can pair trainers with more formal trousers. They’re even doing it here and there on Savile Row. Cool, comfortable and a god-send whether you’re legging it between fashion shows or just running late for the train. Keep the hem slightly higher than usual (around the ankle; let’s not go crazy) and slip on a pair of crisp white, or off-white trainers. Not the battered pair of Asics that got you round the Brighton marathon.
IN KNIT TOGETHER
Yes, it’s the summer, but it’s the British summer, which means you can’t bag up your knitwear and put it under the bed until autumn. Besides, light knits are cool in every sense of the word. A merino sweatshirt is breathable and works just as well under a blazer as it does with a pair of tailored shorts.
STAY NEUTRAL AT ALL TIMES
The easiest way to look like you’ve made an effort, even when you haven’t, is to limit your wardrobe to neutral colours. If 70 per cent of what you own is navy, white, grey or cream, you could almost get dressed in the dark and still look presentable. Almost. Throw in some olive and a few summer pastels and you’re ready for anything.
PRINT IS NOT DEAD
At least when it comes to your shirts. The floral trend is big this summer and there are enough muted options around to ensure you don’t step out looking like a background character from Hawaii Five-0. Pair with neutral trousers or shorts, for obvious reasons. If the tropical look isn’t your thing, a simple geometric pattern under your suit gives a fresh summer lift.
AND IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES…
Keep some classics on standby that you can throw on in a hurry. There’s not much you can’t do in a white tee and a navy unstructured blazer.
TOM’S TIPS – JIGSAW MENSWEAR BUYER
EMBRACE UNSTRUCTURED TAILORING
It’s a common misconception that unstructured jackets cost less; no shoulder pads, no lining – it must be cheaper right? Wrong. This type of construction actually takes a great deal of skill and workmanship to produce, providing an impeccable fit and finish throughout. Unstructured tailoring is pretty much appropriate all-year-round, but particularly comes into its own through the summer. It’s lightweight, travels well and effortless when it comes to smartening up.
GOOD SHOES MATTER
It’s often said that you can tell a gentleman by his shoes, so don’t scrimp when it comes to your footwear. You can’t go wrong with a good pair of leather trainers which, as Ian said, you can comfortably wear with tailoring. If you are after something more traditional, look no further than Northampton, the home of British shoe manufacturing. This season, our collaboration with Sanders has produced an impeccable derby shoe, which is whole cut from a single piece of leather.
INVEST IN ESSENTIALS
Many of us guys are creatures of habit when it comes to buying clothes, so invest in your essentials: A great pair of selvedge denim jeans (which only get better with age), the perfect white oxford shirt, the iconic Breton stripe… or even mix and match when it comes to tailoring. These are all essentials that you will come back to time and time again, so buy well and it will pay back in the long term.
TRY A WIDER LEG
Slim fit has been around for so long now, that many of us have forgotten what it’s like to wear anything else. It’s taken a while, but the wider leg is definitely making a comeback; whether it’s a straight fit pair of jeans, or twin pleat trousers. It might take some getting used to, but once you’re sold on a wider leg, you may find yourself casting those skinny jeans to the back of the wardrobe.
DON’T BE A SLAVE TO TRENDS
There’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple. Regardless, what matters is that you have your own style.