Four ways to wear: A blazer
The one blazer that looks right at (almost) every occasion
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Great wardrobes are all about smart investments. Partly that’s about where you put your money; quality clothes, made with care from great materials, will always look better, feel better and offer better cost-per-wear than cheap stuff that’s been bought thoughtlessly. But it’s also about your time. Because the best way to improve your look is to focus on tweaks that offer big improvements for little effort. It’s the way to make your wardrobe work smarter, not harder.
“A lot guys think that dressing better means throwing everything out and starting again,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. “Understandably, that sounds like too much effort. But it’s actually about fixing the little things. Small details can have a huge impact to the way that you look. And they’re really easy to sort out, once you know what they are.”
So before you subject yourself to a top-to-toe overhaul, try these smart style tweaks first. You’ll level up the way you dress almost overnight.
This is the big one. If you get fit right then you can wear the wrong colours, pair pieces that don’t go together, misjudge the outfit for the occasion, and you’ll still look better than someone who got all that right but is in clothes that are too big. “Clothes are designed for certain body shapes and sizes and they’ll always look best when they’re on the right one,” says Freddie. “Get it right and you’ll feel more confident in your body and the outfit that covers it up.”
To help, check out our perfect-fit guides: jeans, formal shirt, t-shirt, blazer. “For anything else, message your stylist,” says Freddie. “They can explain what fits will look good on you and pick out the brands and items that will suit you best.” For favourite clothes that aren’t quite right, take them to a tailor. It’s more affordable than buying new and will make even old clothes look and feel like new.
If your sock drawer is only restocked at Christmas, you’re missing an opportunity to give your style a signature. “They’re often neglected or garish, neither of which makes for strong style,” says Freddie. “By pairing socks to your look, you make them feel like part of an outfit, rather than just something to cover your ankles.”
Wearing black every day is dull; bold patterns all the time is too wacky. “Pair the colours like you would a tie and blazer,” says Freddie. “For example, blue jeans, dark green socks and brown leather shoes creates an interesting, complementary effect. It’s more refined. You have character, but avoid accidental comedy.”
Clothes are complicated enough without worrying about everything else you carry during the day. But a backpack that’s meant for sport undermines the rest of your outfit. “It’s the same as wearing running trainers with a suit,” says Freddie. “They’re not designed for the same purpose, so it feels wrong. The more formal your look, the more formal your bag should be.”
You can have both form and function if you lose bright colours or technical fabrics, and instead carry something simple, streamlined and made from a material like leather or canvas. “You won’t lose any practicality, but you will feel more stylish,” says Freddie.
Trends can seem like a shortcut to being more stylish. Which is logical – do what the fashion industry says is cool and, by the power of transference, you too will be cool. “But it’s rarely that simple,” says Freddie. “You end up spending a lot of money on clothes that date quickly and are often hard to wear together.”
The smart move is to think about style, not fashion. “Invest in timeless pieces that will last a lifetime,” says Freddie. “One designer t-shirt won’t elevate your wardrobe as much as a few staples for the same price.” This lets you develop a style that feels personal, rather than like you’re wearing someone else’s clothes. “It’s a base to build from and which means that everything your add to your wardrobe makes it stronger.”
The basics you should know, and the tricks to wearing them well