ASOS have come up with a treat for us today. As one of the premier men’s clothing destinations on the internet they continue to reinvent and push their brand forward by producing great editorial, trend collections and look books. One of their featured Autumn Winter 2010/11 trends is called “Smart”, and it brings relaxed formal and tailoring to a new level.

Now some of you may be a little bored of the same ‘traditional tailoring’ trend every single Autumn/Winter, and yes, I’m one of them. But fear not, ASOS have come up with a trend that does involve classic tailoring, but with an added twist. It integrates into your current wardrobe seamlessly, and encourages you to buy timeless items to pair with the essentials you already own. That is the key to this trend, reusing items and providing a mix between casual and formal. For example, if you have an old denim shirt in your wardrobe from Spring/Summer, you can breathe new life into the item by buttoning it to the top and pairing it with a tailored jacket, and as you will see below, this is one of the key looks produced. In the end it means you don’t have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe like quite a lot of passing trends, which will save you money.

This trend is all about mixing and matching and clashing of styles. The key piece in the whole trend is the tailored jacket, which I hope all of you should own by now. Every modern male should have a blazer in their wardrobe which can be used in formal or casual outfits. It is a timeless item that will form the basis of many of your looks throughout this Autumn/Winter and so is classed as an investment piece. If you have yet to pick up a blazer, or are in the market for a new one, there are some great new examples on the horizon this season with modern features such as double breasted cuts, shawl collars, military detailing and much more. You really are going to be spoilt for choice this year as designers and the high street look to progress and get even better.

That is not to say blazers are the only styles which will rise to prominence. The peacoat, mac and trench jacket are always staples for the colder months and so you can definitely substitute these into your outfits seamlessly. As we have mentioned above you can mix your denim, checked or plaid shirts with sharp trousers and a mac, throw on your favourite knitted beanie with a plain white tee and tailored blazer or simply pair your favourite hi-tops or military boots with razor sharp slim trousers. The options are based around what you already own, and the trend aims to bring tailoring up-to-date and modern. This is not formal dressing, but adding some sharp style to your casual outfits.

There was a great look book produced by ASOS, so what I’m going to do is to go through five of my favourite looks and you can then hopefully gain some inspiration about how you can work your existing wardrobe into this trend. You may need to pick up a few new items, but if they are timeless tailoring pieces that will last, then they are a wise investment, not to mention versatile.

The Key Looks

The Key Looks within the Trend

[Editor: Looks created by Senior menswear editor Robbie Spencer at Dazed and Confused in collaboration with ASOS. The looks will be described from top left clockwise]

Look 1

The first look I have gone for consists of a white shirt (could be a plain tee or grandad top though) under a double breasted tailored coat. Faint striped trousers mix well with the faint check on the coat. The addition of the loop neck scarf rounds off the look. Keep the tailored coat unbuttoned to show off the scarf and the contrast of the white under layer, which will also subtly highlight the stripe in the trouser.

Here are some key items that can be used to get this look:

  • ASOS Cutaway Collar Slim Fit Shirt
  • White Raw Edge Crew T-Shirt
  • J.Lindeberg Ivar Vintage Slub Grandad T-Shirt
  • Villain Luca Double Breasted Trench Coat
  • Navy Wool Mix Peacoat
  • dolce & gabbana pea coat
  • BLACK STRIPE SKINNY TROUSERS
  • Brown Striped Trousers
  • Smart Herringbone Trousers
  • Acne Fringe scarf
  • ASOS Loose Oversized Scarf
  • ASOS Jersey Oversized Snood
Look 2

The second look consists of one major statement piece in the navy tailored mac. The layering underneath is where we can use existing items within the look – a crew neck jumper paired with a shirt gives the impression of formal (shirt with collar), but brings it up to date and clashes by leaving the shirt untucked. You will probably already own these items within your wardrobe, it is just a case of getting the colours to work together. The shades of blue running throughout this outfit is particularly great though. The shirt really does break up the outfit by injecting a lighter shade in order to differentiate between the trousers and jumper.

For the trousers they have gone for a deep blue colour which actually looks to have a little shine to them. Again this keeps the look modern and fresh, but I think you can easily sub in dark slim/skinny jeans here and still pull off the trend nicely. Shoes are kept simple and you could use navy, black or brown here. Same goes for the bag which is a great finishing touch.

Here are some key items to get this look:

  • Ben Sherman Removable Lining Trench Coat
  • Mac Navy Overcoat
  • Navy Laundered Trench Coat
  • Navy Melton Classic Epsom Coat
  • Navy Moleskin Top Coat
  • Navy Single Breasted Fairmount Trenchcoat
  • ASOS Merino Crew Neck Jumper
  • ASOS Merino Crew Neck Jumper
  • ASOS Merino Crew Neck Jumper
  • Ben Sherman Camden Super Skinny Pindot Suit Trousers
  • ASOS Overdyed Slim Fit Trouser
  • Ben Sherman Flat Front Slim Chino Trousers
Look 3

This look is definitely for when we move right into the cold winter months. Consisting of a long three button plain overcoat, with a check blazer, shirt (or polo shirt), slim fit jeans/trousers and military boots, this is certainly going to keep you warm, but it also really has an edge. The layering of the outfit means you can remove items when it gets too hot, and add items when it’s too cold. It is very versatile, and again you should already own dark slim jeans and military boots because they were massive trend last Autumn/Winter as well. The overcoat and blazer are timeless pieces that will take pride of place in your wardrobe, so if you have yet to invest keep an eye out for the new season styles.

Here are some key items to get this look:

  • Military Boots
  • Fold Military Boot
  • Farrier Boot
  • Ammunitions Mac
  • Black Wool Mix Overcoat
  • Acne Charcoal Wool Detachable Collar Coat
  • Byard 9803-N83 Green Check Jacket
  • Byard 9803-N83 Green Herringbone Jacket
  • Selected Tweed Jacket With Tartan Lining
Look 4

The fourth look uses the old denim (or chambray) shirt you have in your wardrobe, under a tailored blazer with slim fit trousers. This look really emphasises the key idea of the trend – using what you have, and mixing it with something new. If you really want to add an edge and bring this tailoring bang up to date, then look for a similar item used in the picture. Military is a key trend each and every year within men’s fashion; so brass buttons, military pockets or epaulettes are going to have you right on trend. It will also really bring your whole outfit down into relaxed formal, especially when paired with a denim shirt. We cannot see the footwear here, but imagine pairing military boots with the jacket shown… perfect!

Here are some key items to get this look:

  • Light Blue Chambrey Shirt
  • Lee Western Denim Shirt
  • Diesel Sdolp Denim Shirt
  • Cotton Military Jacket
  • ASOS Military Jacket
  • DKNY Jeans Wool Mix Peacoat
Look 5

This is a really simple look which pairs a simple roll neck top with a blazer and dark slim trousers. I love the contrast between the neck lines of the roll neck and blazer which is great layering. You may have a similar piece of knitwear stored in your wardrobe from last year, or you may already have your trusty charcoal blazer. Either way, both these items are timeless and you should invest in one or both. You do not have to stick to monochrome colours, the roll neck would look just as good in red, green or blue, as the charcoal/grey colouring will really allow it to stand out.

Here are some key items:

  • Charcoal Herringbone Blazer
  • HUGO Ariminus Functional Collar Slim Blazer
  • 9080-169 Black Jacket
  • ASOS Merino Roll Neck Jumper
  • ASOS Merino Roll Neck Jumper
  • ASOS Merino Roll Neck Jumper

I love this trend and I hope you do too. It is ideal for Autumn/Winter with its layering aspect, and the integration of timeless classics with modern garments works perfectly… hopefully it will save you some money too!

Matthew Burt