Fashion. Clothing. Two independent and not-necessarily-linked concepts. But I find myself asking, what is the point of one without the other? Championing the two, surely, is the aim of any young bullock studying among the dreaming spires. Why (the question truly begs!) trudge up the great staircases of Examination Schools in some decidedly common chinos when one can prance around in a pair of malachite corduroys? Oh, the sound of supple velvet ribbing caressing opposing inner thighs!
In this men’s wardrobe supplement, as I shall call it, I aim to provide insight and advice for the man-about-Oxford who wishes to stand apart from the rest by blending in to the history of this great city, picking up and accepting the mantle generations of well-dressed swain have left.
In this first issue, let us start with the great corner stone of attire: colour. In this modern era, vibrancy is paramount for pre-eminence in the on-looker’s eye. Avoid black at all costs: the progressive nature of our time invites distance from stuffy charcoal and sooty browns of ages gone past.
Having established the need for a posi- tively garish palette, one must take care in pairing garments based on pigment. There’s no worse sight than a variation in hues – you don’t want to look like you’ve just hauled yourself out of a water-well in a Lloyd-Webber musical, donning some awful entire-body, technicolour shell-suit.
It’s all about blocking. They’re all doing it at the moment: Simons, Vavartos, Bidjan- Saberi… they all take meticulous care to assemble an outfit from head to toe based on a common tint. So: stick to what you put together yourself: yellows, reds and oranges could all be integrated into one line-up.
Twin a magenta floral shirt with a vermillion waistcoat and a pair of peach chinos. Now that’s a rather extreme example – but I’m trying to hit the nail with a hammer.
The problem with the modern man at Oxford is he doesn’t block, and he wears too much neutral. You’ll see a chap in the same navy Next jeans and retro bomber jacket strolling down Radcliffe Square that he wears strutting along Park End Street. It’s just saddening.
Style has a time and a place – all the time and everywhere. What separates us from caveman but the desire to dress not in what is convenient or warm, but visually appealing? Absolutely nothing, I tell you. Nothing at all.
For ideas, try browsing the new Statement T line from Tom Ford. If you’re on a budget, cheaper alternatives can be found all over the web – Asos marketplace does the job nicely. Or, for those who prefer to see what they buy face-to-face, just take a look upstairs in Toast (it’s on the HighStreet, opposite Brasenose). I can particularly commend the (on-sale!) silk button-up pyjamas.