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Style Advice

The investment pieces every guy needs

The investment pieces every guy needs

In every man’s wardrobe, there are the pieces – usually shoved somewhere towards the back – that were purchased to fit a trend, a holiday, or a season. Then, nearer the front, are the timeless items that are returned to again and again. These tried-and-true pieces often form the foundation of your wardrobe, and every guy would be wise to own at least a few.

It's worth noting that when we say ‘investment clothing, we’re not referring to how much you spend on each piece. We’re simply talking about the best, most classic styles – the ones you’ll wear for years to come. Sure, they sometimes come with a heftier price tag than more trend-driven items, but when it comes to price-per-wear, investment pieces are almost always worth it. So which ones top our list? We turned to our stylists for the pieces they lean on time and again.

A tried-and-true overshirt


Why it's a classic

“Overshirts perfectly toe the line of smart casual dressing,” says stylist Alexander McCalla. “It’s the pieces that you style it with that will either lift your outfit, or make it more casual. An overshirt also doubles up as a jacket in warmer weather, or as a mid-layer under your coat in winter. You can’t go wrong.”

What to look for

“I tend to dress quite casually, so my overshirt has a relaxed feel to suit the rest of my wardrobe,” Alexander says. “I recommend sticking to a simple design, in neutral tones with stripped back detailing, to really maximise on versatility.”


How to style it

“You can pair an overshirt with almost anything – from relaxed to casual outfits,” Alexander says. “It never feels out of place. It’s the perfect piece for layering, whether you keep it simple over a white t-shirt and jeans, or go smarter with a roll neck and tailored trousers.”

A handsome suede jacket 

Why it's a classic

“It’s almost a cliché at this point, but I think one of the best things you can invest in is a really good leather or suede jacket,” says stylist Toby Standing. “It’s the kind of garment where you can really feel the change in quality the more you invest.”

What to look for

“Biker, Perfecto, Blouson – whatever style you go for, there will be a jacket to suit your budget,” Toby says. “Go for something clean and simple, with a great fit and a lovely, buttery suede. This one gives off a lot of attitude but without any of the superfluous details. It makes me feel like I’m strolling through the Village in 1970s New York.”

How to style it

“I wear my suede jacket with my favourite pair of vintage Levi’s 501s and a vintage t-shirt, which I feel leans into the retro feel of this jacket with some authenticity,” Toby says. “To dress yours up, try pairing it with a camp collar shirt with smart trousers and chunky derbies for a cool 50s vibe.”

A pair of chunky derbies

“I’ve been wearing a lot of trainers lately, but I’ve always had a spot in my wardrobe for good quality leather shoes,” says stylist Luke McDonald. “Most of us own more traditional shoes that look good with tailoring and smarter outfits, but the beauty of a chunky derby is that it looks just as good with jeans and workwear as it does with a suit.”


Why it's a classic

"The shape, the leather, the lacing, it all comes together to form the perfect smart shoe that we all know, but that chunky sole just adds something a little extra,” Luke says. “It brings it into today, but still nods to the 90s trend and grunge era. And, as it doesn’t have the typical contrast stitching of the famous Dr Martens versions, they feel a bit smarter and more low key, which better suits my style.”

What to look for

“Make sure that the soles are genuinely chunky and don’t just look like work shoes,” Luke says. “A silk black derby won’t have the same effect, and closed lacing or a pointy toe will look too traditional.”

How to style it

“I’ve been styling these shoes with everything this past year, and I think their versatility is really the main reason to think of these as an investment,” Luke says. “They’ll have you covered for any formal occasions, but also look great paired with some old Levi’s jeans and a crisp white t-shirt.”

A sharp waterproof jacket

“For me, the extra you pay for genuine waterproof garments over ‘water-resistant’ or ‘shower-proof’ is always worth it,” says stylist Freddie Kemp. “That’s why I’ll always recommend investing a little more in a truly waterproof coat.”

Why it's a classic

“Not only is this jacket well-suited to battling the elements in the more rural environment where I live, it also hits all the style notes for when I’m in London, in the office, or on set,” Freddie says. “I’m not really one for heritage dressing, so taking the practical elements I need in the country but styling in a more contemporary way really drew me to this jacket.”

What to look for

“Go for a style that’s more contemporary than your typical heritage waxed jacket,” Freddie says. “Also, big front pockets and a double-zip front are details to look for in a more practical jacket. The pockets are useful when you’re out walking, and the zips make it more comfortable when you’re sat down. A high neckline is also great as you won’t need a scarf, so it will be just as warm without feeling stuffy.”

How to style it

“There’s a quote that always sticks in my head: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing,’” Freddie says. “I enjoy being out in the rain, as long as I’m dressed for it, and I think this jacket can go with almost anything. I get a lot of use out of it walking the dog every day, but beyond its practicality, it still looks cool styled with relaxed trousers and trainers, and it wouldn’t look out of place over smarter outfits on wet days, either.”


Words: Ella White
Photography: Jack Batchelor
Styling: Alexander McCalla, Freddie Kemp, Luke McDonald, Toby Standing