Friday, 22 June 2018

Casual Style: A New Approach?

I'm aware that my style has become quite tailored of late. Some readers have kindly contacted me to point this out, but I'd already been pondering this gradual development for some time. Usually I dress casually: linen shirts, chinos and loafers in summer, knitwear and jeans in winter. When I go out I tend to 'dress up' and it's then that I'm photographed in suit or blazer with shirt and tie. The perception of my style doesn't quite match the reality, so I need to change the perception by exploring more casual styles here on the blog. 

Smart or casual? On left I'm wearing New & Lingwood, image Tom Edwards. On right image Nick Maroudias

Casual wear is too often interpreted as shapeless sportswear and ill-fitting, battered old clothes that double as gardening wear. There's a mistaken view that style and comfort can't coincide. However, comfort is about fit, construction and materials. Linens, soft cottons and unstructured cuts allow cool relaxation in the summer while tactile knitwear, tweeds and faded cottons give warmth in winter months. Shirts are worn tieless, looser and with soft collars; trousers less restricting, outerwear less tailored and softer in outline.

Cotton twill jacket Yarmouth Oilskins. Linen shirt Flax London (links in text below)

Clothes for casual wear may lack the crispness and structure of formal clothing but can still look dapper if they fit well and are of subtle hues and pattern. I hope to find clothes that fit these requirements over the next few months. My search for style continues; taking a slight diversion into smart/casual. In the image above I wear two brands new to me (both manufacturing in the UK), Flax London, who make slightly heavier-weight linen shirts and Yarmouth Oilskins, not a new company, but one reviving itself with British cotton twill workwear. I will bring you more on these brands soon.

As ever, I'm keen to hear from other brands who can help me in this search for casual style. Please get in touch. 

Readers, please let me have your thoughts. Do you take the smart/dapper/tailored approach, is your style more relaxed, or do you balance both? Do you have favourite brands or styles? Please comment here, or message me on Instagram or by e-mail.


Mark P said...

It’s only been the last four or five years that I’ve ventured into American-style workwear and that all-encompassing genre of ‘heritage’. Most days I will be sporting a pair of selvedge jeans with Red Wing boots and a linen shirt of some description. Uniqlo have some great linen this summer. You can really go to town with heritage during the winter months, layering workwear shirts with chunky peacoats or Filson style jackets. It’s a very easy style to get into and equally easy to assemble on a daily basis.

My favourite brands these past years have been Tellason, RRL, Nudie, Ironheart, Pure Blue Japan, Real McCoys and Buzz Rickson. I must caveat this novello with the fact that I’m in my mid-40’s with a lot of years to left to run with this particular saforial adventure!

Charles Burk said...

Summers here in Washington, D.C. can be brutal with heat and humidity. It can be a challenge to look crisp and structured when you're going through the months of June, July and August.

I usually wear light cotton pants, polo shirts and deck shoes. No socks. I wear shorts and try to get ones that are very light canvas. They have a "worn" look with faded colors, kind of giving them a nautical look. I'm not much for wearing shorts out to restaurants or outings and I never wear them to church (a personal preference on my part).

Really enjoy your blog and follow you on Instagram!

grey fox said...

Many thanks all - very helpful comments.


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