Q. I cycle to work and struggle to look smart as a result (creased shirts!). What can I do?
A. There’s two simple solutions. Firstly, it’s not the 1920s, you can be smart without a shirt and tie – presuming your office dress code allows it (and if they don’t it’s really time they shook it up), a fine merino knit sweater always looks dapper, and doesn’t hold a crease like cotton. Or how about a good polo shirt – these are much easier to fold and to transport. The second solution: have some shirts ironed at a nearby dry cleaners and keep them in the office, pristine and ready for the working day.
Q. I’ve got a spring wedding coming up – I want to look well dressed but with some of it taking place outside there’s a high chance of getting wet. Any tips?
A. This isn’t a problem at all, rather a chance to put an outfit together that will be turning bridesmaids’ heads for all the right reasons. You can build a strong wedding look around your jacket – our recommendation, a long classic macintosh in navy or beige, or even a stony white. Finish off with a seriously good umbrella – not some cheap oversized golfing one – take a look at London Undercover, hand-made classic brollies crafted right here in the UK.
Q. Are they any hard and fast rules about when to tuck your shirt in and when not?
A. We’re not really ones for strict style rules, but there are some guidelines that will keep you looking modern and smart (when needed). To tuck or not to tuck comes down to the type of shirt you’re wearing, what you’re wearing it with and where abouts. For instance, jeans rarely look rarely good with a shirt tucked in (see Jeremy Clarkson) whereas with formal trousers it’s the opposite. With chinos it’s less clear-cut but, for a relaxed contemporary look, we recommend an untucked Oxford shirt, that – if you’re wearing one – finishes shorter than your blazer.
Q. Should you tie touch your belt?
A. A tie should be neither too short (the gap can add weight you don’t have) or too long (looking messy, or worse still, getting stuck in your fly!) Ideally aim for just above your belt, the length depending on the type of trousers you’re wearing and how high they sit.
Q. Can I really wear black jeans?
I’ve got a few Rolling Stones albums, but I’m no rock star. Can a man who doesn’t front a band where black denim and get away with it?
A. Get away with it? You can make it a key go-to item for everyday sharp style – just follow these rules and you can’t go wrong…
Don’t make them too skinny
They don’t have to be slim, much like regular denim they’re best worn to suit your body shape.
If you’re looking for something tighter but are of a more athletic build your stylist will recommend a carrot fit.
Dare to double denim
We all get into the habit of wearing our style staples the same way but why not try something different like blue denim or a chambray shirt worn open with a mid-toned tee underneath.
Careful with the colours
Black can make whites look whiter and brights become brighter – so be careful what you pair with your jeans. We recommend mid-tones such as olive, mustard, burgundy and shades of grey.
Go black and blue
Take this classic navy blazer and deep black denim combo as a fine example. The jeans hit the perfect note between smart and casual and balance perfectly with the lighter toned jacket.
Keep your belt simple
If adding a bit of support around waist is needed, then keep it basic. That means no wild brash buckles or spiked studs adorning the leather, something minimal and classic will more than suffice.
Q. Can I Wear Brown Shoes?
A. Your choice of footwear is key to making an outfit truly great. With black and darker denim there’s only one rule, make sure your shoes differ from your trousers, either in colour or the finish.