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Style Advice

Two ways to wear menswear classics

Two ways to wear menswear classics

There’s a reason the same styles that hung in the wardrobes of your dad and grandad still hang in yours today. Trends and fads come and go, while menswear classics are fixtures of any wardrobe, and we’d argue many get better with age. While there are still tried-and-true ways to style them that always look good, reworking a classic item in your outfits can also break the mould and make it feel entirely fresh – even if that style originally dates back to the 19th century. 

But don't just take our word for it. We've enlisted the help of Thread stylist Alice Watt to demonstrate how these time-tested pieces can work both ways. Consider it a new way to study the classics. 

Keeping it classic

Old-school items stand the test of time for a reason. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your look classic and leaning towards a more traditional approach to menswear. Classic tailoring looks good on any man, after all, and this look proves you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to style. “Sticking to classic items works especially well when you want to dress smartly with minimal effort,” Alice says. 

Here, she’s created a smart, simple look by pairing suit trousers with a button-down shirt and a crew-neck knit on top. In line with the sophisticated feel, she finishes it off with a staple pair of derbys and a slick, checked mac. “Each item in this look is super versatile and timeless, meaning you can wear them time and time again, and even use them as a base for more contemporary styles,” Alice says. Neutral shades are favoured over any bold, bright colours, letting the sheer simplicity and quality of the outfit be its most appealing factors.

The classics, updated

What really makes the classics endure is the fact you can always find ways to wear them in a modern context. In this second look, for instance, Alice keeps the suit trousers and the shirt as a base, whilst swapping out the mac for a bright, workwear-inspired overshirt. “Although originally crafted for manual labourers, utility pieces have taken on a new role as being modern-day heroes of casual dressing,” Alice says. “This overshirt offers a more relaxed silhouette than the mac, pushing the look into more contemporary territory, while the wool material keeps everything elevated.” 

Playing with expectations again, Alice places a button down atop a rollneck knit instead of (more predictably) layering it under a crewneck or blazer. Finally, the classic suit trousers adopt an entirely new sensibility when worn alongside a pair of trainers. They instantly become a considered, balanced part of your contemporary outfit, shedding any illusion that you have to wear yours with a pair of brogues. “Trainers are transformative,” Alice says. “You could even wear a pair of trainers instead of the derby shoes from the first look, and they’d immediately give it a cooler, more casual feel.”

Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Photography: Jamie Stoker
Styling: Alice Watt
Styling assistant: Alexander McCalla