What goes with what

Three foolproof summer pairings

Three foolproof summer pairings

Great style is all about knowing what goes with what. Sometimes that means experimenting, but often, it’s best to fall back on combinations that you know will always work. To streamline your morning decision-making, Thread stylist Toby Standing breaks down a trio of pairings that will always work.

Bomber + sweatshirt

Bomber and sweatshirt

Photographed (l-r): MVP Wickham black bomber jacket (£50) and Champion crew-neck sweatshirt (£75)MVP Wickham khaki bomber jacket (£50) and Suit Hunter sweatshirt (£59.95)MVP Wickham navy bomber jacket (£50) and Our Legacy sweatshirt (£139)

Why it works: “They were both originally military clothing, then became sportswear. So they’ve got a shared heritage that’s refined, but also casual. It’s a look that goes both ways.”

The bomber: “Think classic: plain shades and not too much bulk. There should be room for the sweatshirt but nothing more, to avoid making your silhouette top-heavy.”

The sweatshirt: “Because the bomber covers most of it up, it’s a nice way to safely play with colour. Stick to block colours and a fitted shape – that way it stays smart and will slot neatly under the jacket.”

Breton shirt + chino shorts

Breton and shorts

Photographed (l-r): Armor-Lux blue and white Doelan stripe t-shirt (£39) and Boden stone chino shorts (£45)Armor-Lux navy and white Breton stripe t-shirt (£35) and Boden pink chino shorts (£45)Armor-Lux red and white Doelan stripe t-shirt (£39) and Boden blue chino shorts (£45)

Why it works: “They’ve both got a summery, nautical feel. But because the shirt’s got military heritage, it’s smarter than a plain t-shirt and shorts.”

The t-shirt: “It should be striped, of course. The French navy has worn Breton shirts since 1858 and theirs have to have 15 white and 14 or 15 blue stripes. You don’t need to be so precise, but lots of thin stripes is smarter than fewer thick stripes. Navy is the obvious colour, but it’s such a classic piece that it’s an easy way to try new shades.”

The shorts: “This is all about length; a few inches above the knee is smart, but still relaxed. They shouldn’t be baggy, either – think about how your chinos fit and then go for something similar. And don’t echo the t-shirt too closely. Red stripes with red shorts looks like a holiday rep uniform.”

Jeans + white trainers

Jeans and trainers

Photographed (l-r): Natural Selection Narrow Pacific jeans (£160) and Converse Chuck Taylor 1970s Hi Top (£79)Natural Selection Narrow Arctic jeans (£160) and adidas Stan Smith trainers (£79)Paul Smith dark wash jeans (£145) and Spring Court canvas trainers (£67)

Why it works: “They’re both neutral when you first buy them, but take on character as you wear them. A few scuffs on your trainers, or fades in your jeans, gives them personality. They quickly feel like a pairing, rather than individual items.”

The jeans: “Any colour of jeans will work, but a slim or tapered fit is best as it means you won’t smother your shoes in fabric. They should either kiss the top of your trainers or you can cuff them to give the shoe some breathing space.”

The trainers: “Clean and simple; the less detail, the better. You want a nice colour contrast with the jeans, but logos and other colours spoil the effect. And don’t worry about keeping them boxfresh. There’s a lot of guys in white trainers, and the odd ding makes yours unique.”