Sep 3 2013
Written by Simon Crompton
Suits are easy to wear. Navy or grey; white or blue shirt; any manner of tie. It is the reason men ending up wearing them their whole careers. Why do anything else when a suit suggests authority and competence, and the alternative is so complicated?
For all the debate over the minutiae of suits and their accessories, casual clothing is much more difficult. Which is why, when men have mastered the basics of suit and tie, they quickly begin asking me how to dress away from the office. Can middle-aged men wear jeans? Does a suit jacket ever work with those jeans? Do I need to start paying attention to fashions?
The answers are yes, no and no, respectively. But then you knew that, didn’t you? Much harder is, exactly what kind of casual jacket works with jeans? Which elements of my (now mastered) formal attire can I transfer to weekend dress? And why do I never look quite as cool as that guy in the bar half my age?
Hairier questions, these. In as small a space as possible: one in a rougher cloth and/or a bigger pattern; many things, including hats, overcoats and suede shoes; and, because he’s half your age. All could and probably should be answered in posts that are each at least twice as long as this one. Which only demonstrates why casual wear is so complicated. One of those posts, soon. In the meantime, visit Permanent Style and search for ‘casual’.
Simon Crompton is a London based, freelance menswear journalist. His personal blog, Permanent Style, can be found here.