Get your own personal stylist to help you find clothes you love. All online, completely free

Sign In

Brand and shopping advice

Q&A: I’m a pragmatist. What should I wear on the weekends?

Q&A: I’m a pragmatist. What should I wear on the weekends?

A pragmatist likes to prepare for life's little eventualities. You might be the guy who always carries a brolly, lives in layers of weatherproof gear—you never know when the skies might open!—or resolutely dons his most practical hiking boots whether he's going rock scrambling or to the office. 

As Thread's stylist Millie Rich is keen to point out, practicality and style needn't be mutually exclusive. "There's a feeling that if you care about looking good, you have to sacrifice simplicity and comfort—but that's not the case," she says. "Everyday, sporty, functional clothing has been transformed in recent years. You just have to wear your super-practical items with slightly more style-conscious pieces."

How to do this well? "Unless you're going for a serious expedition, try to wear half completely practical clothes and half clothes that are practical but design-conscious, too." Wonder what they might look like? Consider the below.

Pragmatic weekend staple 1. Utility jacket

"A utility, cargo or military jacket is extremely versatile: Layer it over a fleece or cable-knit jumper during the day, or over an Oxford shirt for a night out. It's quite lightweight, which makes it an ideal mid-layer in winter or outer layer in spring, and the shorter length gives you more mobility than you'd have with a trench coat or mac. Plus you can easily stuff it in a bag if you get too hot. Look for one that's simple and twill, and ideally army green."

Photographed: Whistles black jeans (£80), Oliver Sweeney white trainers (£279), Research Garments grey t-shirt (£15)

Pragmatic weekend staple 2. Cosy fleece

"When it comes to fleeces, practicality is the order of the day. If you go for a style that's not too baggy, with a half-zip, structured collar, it won't look scruffy. Try it under a gilet, too."

Photographed: London Undercover umbrella (£59), Timex olive watch (£69), Arpenteur olive jacket (£279)

Pragmatic weekend staple 3. Hard-wearing boots

"A chunky sole's the most important element here, because it means boots can tackle cold climates and uneven terrain. At the same time, it's important they're leather, which looks less outdoorsy and more appropriate for the city than full-on hiking boots; these will go with jeans or chinos alike. If you're wearing them in town, make sure they're clean—try baby wipes, shoe-cleaning solution or just water on the soles."

Photographed: Red Wing boots (£239)

Pragmatic weekend staple 4. Compact umbrella that won't easily break

"Need we say more? Go for a neutral colour like black, grey or navy. Umbrellas are one of those pieces whose quality almost always increases with price, so if you can, spend a bit more."

Pragmatic weekend staple 5. Weekend watch

"To me, the weekend is the perfect time to wear a watch: it helps you take a much-needed break from your phone. Look for a strap made of nylon (sometimes called a NATO strap), which is more durable than other materials."