The Casual Man's Key Pieces / by Mike Tyle

The Fall & Winter months edition. Why is this coming out in January you may ask yourself? 

2 reasons:

It's sale time so everything listed below will be easy and cheap to find especially important since men, in general, don't shop.

Also, thanks to global warming this is when winter finally hits. Albeit stores turning to Spring/Summer already nobody will be wearing that until July sales come around... leading us back to reason 1 and completing the circle of the maybe 2x a man goes into a store a year.

Now take some notes gentleman (or gf/bf/mom of said guy).

1. Fit.

This is the first and most important hurdle for many men. The key to looking good is to not be a sloppy ass mess. That starts and ends with how the clothes fit your body. This will impact your mood, your posture and in turn, your confidence.

The right fit means the right proportions= the right look. Don't fuck it up.

Design brief: How many things can we add to this?

 

 

 

 

2. Functionality.

Talking to a friend who designs outerwear, shout out to you Isabell, explained to me if you put enough pockets on it they will come.

Basically, men like to think that they can do things and every pocket/zip/button/hook... is a technical element creating interest and versatility to a garment.

I get it. The functionality adds newness to the styling and adds value in eye of the consumer. I'm looking at you G.Star... so many details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From a design standpoint this is a place where creativity can work it's magic!

As a merchandiser I automatically think how can I remove items because how the fuck am I going to cost this out with each extra little detail.

Personally as a minimalist I prefer clothing that is free of any accoutrement. However that doesn't mean the functionality is lost. You'll be a lot happier in a pair of Hunter boots & a Rains jacket during a Lake District hike whereas a thin, overpriced, yet immaculate #likebutter Rick Owens turtleneck will function perfectly in an art gallery setting.

 

 

 

 

3. Layering

This is key to achieve a multitude of looks. Once you've got the form and function under your belt you can literally tuck it in or hide it with a blazer! To get a good idea of what this means look at basically any J.Crew catalog.

4. Mix It Up

Have fun! Really part 2 or #3, this is key to dressing down an overly formal look and perfect for the modern office. Swap the classic shirt for an easy plaid or chambray option. To tie the look together put a sporty sweatshirt under a smart blazer and cuffed denim. Unexpected styling adds to the modern heritage trend that every guy wants to embody at some point.

Technically chambray slub... but you get the idea.

 

 

 

5. The Chambray Shirt

Easy to wear and adaptable aka you wont look whack as fuck with this oldie but goodie. Just trust me.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Knitwear Hybrid

It's cold but not that cold... remember the functionality of point 2, here is where a sweater does the job but the trend factor comes in. 2-become-1 as knitwear becomes outerwear aka a chunky cardigan.

Look for chunky ribs and twisted yarns to create the right texture and weight for this jack of all trades. Thank me later or instead just go and buy a light down jacket at Uniqlo and call it a day. You'll be happy either way.

 

 

7. The Sweatshirt

The star of this new era of laid back dressing is the humble loop-back sweatshirt. Worn with smart chinos and sneakers, this is a key piece in the topic for wardrobe building. Works with separates and perfect for layering. Comfy enough for a lazy Sunday but nice enough to layer up on Monday at the office.

8. Texture

Salt & Pepper surfaces, space dyed yarns, mossy textures create the feeling of the season... Have I lost you already?

Just remember adding textured surfaces to plain crew necks add interest and a level of casual cool.

 

 

9. Shearling Jacket

Attention to detail with shearling trims. A cosiness is created with the teddy bear optic. A simple and effective way to elevate outerwear styles.

Started as a trend item the past few seasons and has grown to be a wardrobe staple.

 

 

 

10. Color

Don't be scared, embrace something other than black and navy... unless your a Dutch man reading this. One look in a Scotch & Soda store tells me you guys got color and pattern down.

Key color statements most men can easily wear, especially in winter months, are jewel tones. Everyone looks good in them!