If you wear menswear, this is the winter for you. Last year’s fishermen/workwear look has made babies with the heritage prep resurgence and the baby looks like this:
Sometimes, with fashion, a creative process occurs familiar to anyone who works in the arts. Say you have a FRIEND who’s writing a book, and has been for three years. Your friend works his ass off, spending his entire 2.5 hour round-trip commute and swaths of his weekend, say, crafting a story that’s dynamic, thoughtful, engaging, etc. There are a lot of moving parts, and so your friend (okay, your friend, Thomas) thinks he’s all done and sends it out, only to realize, “I am not done! I don’t even really have a narrative arc.” True story.
So, of course, I sit down to revise and what happens? The magical subconscious has made the whole arc in my sleep or some shit, and everything comes together. The moral is that that’s the creative process! Pride, failure, terror, and, hopefully, synergy.
That was an aside. The point is, we’ve waited a long time for menswear to look this good. Utilitarian but fancy, modern but classic, sleek but rustic. Something has been germinating over the last few seasons and now even the most inept dude can walk into J. Crew (or online order from Topman) a few key pieces (in, duh, the correct size) and look awesome.
No judgement, but if you are currently in baggy jeans and a hoodie (or an ill-fitting suit), it has never been easier to cast off that crap and shine.
How? With sweaters!
A sweater that fits is every guy’s secret weapon. It’s a great layer, and if you’ve got nothing else going on, this alone will make you look like you care about yourself. A sweater, dark jeans, and a (fitted*** presume I mean it always and forever) blazer makes you appear rugged and citified simultaneously. Why? Because this is actually the appropriate combination for a professional person navigating a cold, unforgiving city landscape. Do you need waxed pants? Probably not. Do you need multiple layers that fly at the office/bar? Probably so.
Add some lace-up brogues for a complete winter-y crossover look (that’s also practical and kick-ass):
What’s so great about this present moment in menswear is that everyone on the masculine end of the spectrum can work with the classic palette available and make it their own. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a sweater and thought of five different friends that could rock it, all of them differently. Now that’s all I see.
These vests are great for wearing over jean jackets, blazers, or collared shirts. Again, with everything else neutral, paired down, and fitted. And with some great boots.
Wear a (hand-tied) bow tie with this instead of a tie! Do it at work. You look awesome. Or, stick with a tie, and experiment with pattern mixing. And throw on a winter jacket. You look EVEN MORE AWESOME:
I have recently learned that I like cooking. How did I learn this? By fucking up a bunch of stuff, then making the same thing over and over, then getting bored. But the fucking up allowed me to figure out what I liked (roasted vegetables, greens cooked in olive oil, etc.) and now I have specialties. It is not that hard to figure out what you really, really love and then experiment. In style, as in life, curiosity from a stable base yields an adventurous, grounded self.
Steve McQueen was a man who knew what he liked, and what looked good on him. It is a coincidence that a thick knit sweater–with its attendant masculine glamour–is often associated with him? Look, by comparison, at his compatriot. Is that a track suit? That is how he’s immortalized in this awesome photo of McQueen. Food for thought.
My point is, it’s not that hard, friends. We are in the era of the well-dressed, classic man. You don’t need a million dollars to look like it. From designers to J.Crew to a solid thrift store, Fair Isle/knit sweaters, tailored blazers, and pants that fit are a basic canvas that can yield as many results as the men in them.