Fashion, by its nature, is an ever-rotating and cyclical arena where you effectively have a yearly rotation of what’s “in” and what isn’t. It’s a lot to keep track of, and for those who have the time, it makes sense; but what about those who don’t?
For those men who aren’t able to keep on the pulse of “what’s hot”, it’s probably easier to invest in things that pretty much never go out of fashion. Fortunately, over the decades, quite a number of fashion-proof items have been established – and for every guy it’s worthwhile to have one or two dependable things within arm’s reach. We’re going to look at the top 5 men’s style items that’ll make looking on-point easy and timeless:
Starting at head level, everyone needs a pair of shades to keep either the summer rays or winter glare out of their faces. While the Wayfarer shape was originally unveiled by Ray-Ban in the 1950s, it’s become a commonly implemented design for every eyewear brand from then on. The main reason they’re so prevalent is because the Wayfarers tend to complement every face shape, so picking a pair up doesn’t have to be a headache, because they tend to look great on everyone. Another Ray-Ban design, the Aviators (think Tom Cruise in Top Gun), could also be potential candidates, but the teardrop lens shape mostly suits those with square faces and isn’t as universal as the Wayfarer.
White Oxford Shirts
While it may bring up uncomfortable associations for those of us unfortunate enough to have worn uniforms at school, the white Oxford shirt is a great piece of clothing to have primarily because it can be used in a variety of situations. It can be used for formal occasions like weddings or for work, or dressed down with the sleeves rolled up and un-tucked for casual weekends out. If you’re buying something, a key question to ask is how flexible it is – the more situations you can use an item in the more sense it makes. Versatility is the name of the game and the white button-down is exactly what every low-fuss wardrobe needs.
Bomber or Harrington Jacket
These two jacket styles are quite similar, apart from small differences at the collar and occasionally the pockets – but they continue the trend of versatility mentioned above. Usually coming in relatively neutral colours such as Navy, Black, or Beige, Harrington jackets have been style symbols for decades – associated with icons such as Steve McQueen and James Dean. It makes for a convenient convergence between style and practicality, and depending on the quality of the brand, it could easily last you as many decades as the jacket has been stylish for.
Dark denim is the next entry a list of items that need to be able to take you from a casual lunch with friends to a business casual meeting. Black denim can be an alternative to a dark indigo, but lately black denim might be associated a little too much with casual grunge trends, so they may not fly in a more formal setting. The medium-blue stonewash is perhaps a more common colour, but the same criticism applies to those as the black denim. Picking up a pair of jeans in a darker shade pretty much means you’ll never have to worry about being under or over-dressed.
Also a style trope as old as time, the white sneaker has made a noticeable resurgence in recent times, and although they’re extremely common, it’s not without good reason – they look good for most occasions where sneakers are acceptable in the first place, and they look good on everybody. Whether you’re going to go the old school canvas route like James Dean did with his Converse Jack Purcells or Steve McQueen’s Superga 2750s, there’s enough variation out there for you to put your own spin on an old classic.
While a wardrobe can’t consist only of timeless classics (because it would admittedly become rather boring), they’re a good place to start for anyone who isn’t sure about what looks good on them. Going for the safe options provides a good point of departure and gives you a good foundation to build on.
We’ve listed our five choices, what makes your cut for style essentials every guy should have? Let us know in the comments section below and Tweet us at @MenStuffZA!