With Trinity collections a definite thing of the past, as an auburn sun sets once more over the rusty rooves of our handsome city and the teasing breeze tickles the sandstone bricks, every young gent asks himself the same question: Is it too cold to unship my quarter-length chino shorts?
Last week, we looked at the ways to best stand out with colour. This week, we examine not so much the ways in which we tint our outfit, but rather the ways to assemble it. Sadly, not every outfit can be practical for the modern chap – and thus the above question – much to the benefit of wardrobe liberty, becomes redundant. Gone are the days when the waffle greatcoat would be neglected on the coat-hanger during a particularly fiery August. We live and dress in a progressive age. One must not spurn one’s Geox sandals just because it’s below freezing, and, similarly, the choice of a mackintosh must not be merely motivated by the promise of a shower: this week, we break down the oppressive traditions of weather-driven dressing.
The true Oxonian Dandy will pick his outfit irrespective of the weather, and, for those looking to free their style from its meteorological confines, layering is a concept that must be at the forefront of the mind when stood musing in front of the wardrobe before a 9am. Don’t leave behind your scarf if it complements the Givenchy turtleneck you happen to have chosen just because the weatherman has prescribed the factor 50.
Though we interact with the world at present, nonetheless we base these same undertakings on events of the past. A poignant reflection of this would be to enact a glancing twist on that 90s staple of the short-sleeve T atop a contrasting long-sleeve. Shake it up by instead donning a ‘beater. Remember what I said last week about colour! I would advise a lilac lavender combination, here. Or, if you wanted to give your countenance a sporty undertone, dig out the rash vest from the catacombs of the commode.
Another look of the future (one to watch out for on the late spring catwalks in Milan) is the twinning of spray-on skinny jeans and a truly bulging puffer. You want to look as top-heavy as you possibly can. You aren’t going to be able to achieve the required appearance of wadding without packing out the under-layers: I’m talking vests, at least one jumper, a fleece and maybe a sweatshirt if you’re really going for that seam-splitting rotundness.
Despite my eternal misgivings on the constraints weather imposes upon fashion, since the summer is drawing ever nearer, I will offer a quick final word or two on lawn-party chic. The most important forethought of a successful outfit for such an occasion is most certainly making sure your top layer matches the sludgy hue of the drink you’ll most certainly be knocking back: Pimms. With a mud-brown or toffee cable jumper, you’ll never worry about the inevitable spillage. If you’re looking to emulate the smoothness of melted caramel, put a few cocktail sticks in your pocket for skewering strawberries.
Next week we’ll be trying to bridge the gaps between smart and casual.