We’re at a point where many of the classic brands are having to make a decision. Make moves forward, or make a stand with their tried and true methods. This applies to all aspecting of the brand–from design to marketing, store visuals to company culture. While the last few years have famously marked a renaissance in menswear, stimulated by an obsession with heritage, there’s that magical question that’s inseparable from the business of the industry: Now what?
I’ve realized recently that one of the things I actually think is really cool about men’s style these days is how guys can wear suits casually. Suits became standard uniform for men thanks to none other than Beau Brummell, but now it’s really rare for a guy to wear a suit by choice. It makes total sense, too–suits just aren’t easy…well, at least not usually.
But more and more guys are starting to embrace the suit outside of its normal context. Accessibility is such a great virtue in the fashion industry. I think that one of the biggest reasons these Italian brands are going so strong right now is that they make wearing tailored clothing approachable. The reason soft shoulders, patch pockets, and unlined jackets are so popular is because they put you at ease. It’s light, it’s not a burden. It’s not just a stylistic choice, a trend, it’s comfort. Go on, wear your suit with yellow New Balances–you’d wear them with your jeans so why not this?
I wear a suit about 5 days a week. I wear these sneakers about 3 days a week. There’s some overlap there. Sneakers with a suit isn’t a particularly new look, especially given the moment performance sneakers are having in the menswear community right now, but to me these are the best of their breed.
Designing something that’s complicated and original is hard, designing something that’s minimal and original is really really hard. Check the box on the latter when it comes to Common Project’s Achilles model. The lines are so clean that they have the sort of sculptural qualities I usually associate with dress shoes, which is the reason I think these work so well with tailored clothing. Add the green detailing, a little Stan Smith homage, to put these over top. Favorite sneaker…period.
These days I’m wearing boots more often than dress shoes or sneakers. Not just with jeans or chinos, either. No, I prefer to wear these hiking boots with heavier wool suits in the winter. They’re taking a good beating and will get a polish soon, but to me they look better with a few nicks and scuffs than they do all cleaned up.
photo by Ralph Lauren
The archives of Ralph Lauren are certainly dense. While I’ve spent plenty of time combing through them, it’s fair to say I’ve only scratched the surface. Of all the various RL looks that have passed by my eyes over the years, there’s one that has stuck with me above all the rest. Specifically, it was a Ralph Lauren Purple Label look from the Fall/Winter 2006 collection. I remember a few RL designers mentioning how much Ralph loved this collection personally, and looking at the full runway show it’s easy to see why. It was a more directional collection than we’ve seen in recent years, which leaves me wishing they would venture out a bit more–especially with Purple Label.
I’ve been wearing Boast as long as I’ve been playing squash. I’ve been playing squash as long as I can remember. Glad to see they’re expanding.
Crisp winter nights demand a bit of formality. Few do formalwear–or window displays, for that matter–better than Paul Stuart. Here’s a glimpse at the Holiday eveningwear from their Phineas Cole concept.