Get more use out of your smarts by breaking them up into separate parts
By Jason Basson and Luke Kuisis
If, like me, you were a 80s and 90s kid then chances are you've been indoctrinated by the 'collect them all' sentiment that made your younger self believe he was incomplete without every possible version of a Micro Machine or Monster In My Pocket. Since then the world has been teaching you that you, alone, won't ever be enough… Not without extra props, powers or sidekicks. Well, we're here to tell you otherwise.
Take the suited-and-booted look you bought for your last wedding. A look you were probably dreading wearing, but that once you pulled on you really started feeling yourself.
The same sartorial splendour can work for other occassions, especially in your work life. Yes, young Goku, turns out you don't need to gather all the balls to unleash your mighty wish-fulfilling dragon! You can, and will, look perfectly smart and work-appropriate by breaking down your full suit into five tailored looks. Here's how...
Do not underestimate the power of formal shoes. Though they don't go with everything, they certainly can make anything they're paired with look and feel more polished and expensive. And while certain styles are only appropriate at different degrees of formality (or with particular items) you simply cannot go wrong with a standard pair of derbies or oxfords. Brogue detailing is more casual, of course, so if your intention is to buy a shoe that you can wear to work, which also gives you the option to wear with casual separates, then the brogue or any simple brown leather shoe is the way to go. Wear them with jeans and a T-shirt or polo.
This magical item is all you really need to tell the world, 'I'm here, I care about how I look, now take me seriously!' Be vigilant with your ironing, as wearing a creased or wrinkled shirt is tantamount to arriving at work wearing Uggs and pyjama pants. When things get hot you can even wear a shirt over a tee in lieu of a blazer. Dress it down with jeans and a pair of sneakers and you'll still look smart. Just remember – the darker the jean; the smarter the look.
The blazer is the sartorial equivalent of Sunlight dishwashing liquid – just one splash is enough to purge an entire man-child of his untidiness. And it's such a versatile item, too. You can dress it up with a shirt or chinos, dress it down with a pair of jeans and a tee or even jazz it up with some darker or more fitted pieces for date night.
Formal trousers are a personal favourite of mine. We see them popping up more often in casual iterations of runway fashion, these days. There's nothing wrong with a jean or a chino, but they can feel a little common or pedestrian sometimes. Formal trousers will not only help you look smart (even if you aren't), they're a sure way to inject a friendly dose of personality into your style without tipping the scale on your taste levels. Wear them with sneakers and a tipped polo for a very cool, modern update on preppy.
There was a time not too long ago when waistcoats were all the rage amongst emos, screamos, post-punks and every other forerunner of hipster style. Today they sit quite firmly in the company of suited dandies, coffee baristas and their waxy tash-clad ilk… which is to say that they're actually quite stylish, albeit somewhat of an acquired taste. All you need to make yours sing is a shirt, some jeans, leather boots and a turn up on your ankles (not a roll) that skims the boot at ankle length.