Editor Introduction: Matt Allinson
Matt is one of the key members of our team here at FashionBeans.com. He has been with FashionBeans from the very start, and developed the men’s fashion basics series which has helped to guide and sculpt the style of many men who just didn’t know where to start within the ever evolving and transitional nature of fashion. For many he is a life-saver; offering smart and easy fashion tips weekly in order to help men all over the country look and (more importantly) feel their best on a daily basis.
I asked Matt if he would be interested in giving back to his fans, by creating a variety of his personal looks for you to peruse in order for you to see just how he would wear particular items, and for you to also get to know the man behind the advice. He very kindly agreed to do this, and so today we bring you a great insight into his thought process and some of his favourite looks of the moment. We hope you enjoy…
Note: This article couldn’t of been created without help from the brilliant Olivia in our street style photography team. Please check out her recent work in our street style section, as well as visiting her personal website at: http://www.olivialouisehart.com/
I would say my style is probably a product of my journey and education through menswear that started about three years ago. Before becoming interested in fashion and style in general, you could pretty much find me in a baggy pair of jeans, a black T-shirt with a band logo and a knackered pair of converse. I wore this uniform for such a long time for one simple reason – it was comfortable, and I mean that both physically and mentally. They were easy pieces to pull on that didn’t make me feel uneasy and gave me confidence.
I’ll be honest that still stays true now. The only difference is I now feel more confident, comfortable and put together in more tailored clothing. I make sure my wardrobe is full of basics like shirts, chinos and suits that every guy should own and then I buy a few select pieces from trends that I like and then incorporate them into the rest of my outfit.
This is a standard look for me. You can’t go wrong with a pair of chinos, a shirt and a jacket of some kind. I like to play around with colour so I went for a light yellow shirt and some dark wine chinos that I picked up from ASOS.
A denim jacket should be a staple in every guy’s wardrobe. It really helped to bring the look together and anchors the colours really well. I then topped it off with a black felt trilby and some brown desert boots.
This photo was taken by my friend Colleen who has a photo-blog over at http://poppiesandpence.tumblr.com/. Check out her photos or just say hi!
When I need to get things done or just raise my productivity in general, I tend to pull on a suit. This one of my favourites at the moment and is from TM Lewin. I love the richness of the navy and the overall fit once I got it tailored.
Colours that I love to pair with navy? Pink and brown. So I covered these with the shirt and the brogues. All that was left to do was pull on a navy and green striped tie and add a few flourishes with a pocket square and tie bar.
Oh yeah, and in the summer I always go sockless. I even get my trousers cut with no break so I can show a bit of ankle.
Double Denim Part 1
Nothing says summer like a pair of white jeans (even though I wear them in the winter too). They’re a great plain canvas to work with for a look. You can add all kinds of colours and textures and it will always look great. I decided to go for a light denim shirt and a grey blazer.
All in all, I thought this was a pretty simplistic look. Which was kind of the point so that I could draw all the attention to those oxblood tassle loafers. They are my shoe of the moment and are so comfy.
That watch is brown leather by Original Penguin with an orange face. It was a gift to me from our very own Ben Herbert.
Folding Your Sleeves
Oh and when it comes to folding your shirt sleeves, take note. I picked this one up from an Italian guy when I was in New York.
Rather than rolling all that material to the elbow, just take a more folded approach. First off, undo all the sleeve buttons and then pull the end of the sleeve just above your elbow.
Then grab the bottom the sleeve below the elbow and fold it over once more, tucking the first layer under.
It’s a simple, neat and practical way to roll your sleeves without all that excess material.
Dressing Down a Suit
Easiest way to dress down a suit? Pair it with some more casual items. Usually with my navy suit I go for a grey or white v-neck t-shirt but I was in a more playful mood with the sun out. So I went for this bright yellow polo shirt. Yellow and blue are a contrasting colour combination but because of the deep hue of navy it helps anchor the overall look.
Nothing says weekend off like a pair of black suede penny loafers.
I never feel more confident than when I’m wearing this look. I’m all business up top with a shirt, tie and blazer combination. I kept both the shirt and blazer in neutral tones so I could let the plaid tie do all the talking. I also like to pull my ties out when I’m not wearing a tie bar, a little tip I picked from staring at so many photos of Lapo Elkann.
Downstairs I’m wearing the only pair of blue jeans I own. Yeah, that’s right. Slim but not skinny cut, dark blue with minimal detailing is all you’re ever going to need. Why would I buy another pair?
That hat is a black straw fedora and ideal for the warmer months. Great if you shave your head like me.
Double Denim Part 2
OK, first things first, yes I like denim (more specifically chambray) shirts. Steve McQueen is my style icon so it’s only natural I’m attached to them. However, I’m keen to point out I very rarely go all out on the denim on denim front. Most of the time the shirt is paired with a pair of chinos and if it is with jeans one of the pieces will be in a different colour. I find this is the easiest way to avoid the double denim (or Canadian tuxedo) look that can make most people cringe.
The shirt is a red dyed chambray shirt from H&M I picked up ages ago in a sale. It looks great when paired with navy and I often wear a jumper or cardigan over it during nights out.
The shoes are from Fred Perry and are a leather/canvas hybrid. I get the most compliments from girls due to these bad boys. I am however ashamed to say that these photos were taken the morning after a heavy night out which I wore them on. So I’m sorry they are dirty.
Don’t Even Need to Think About
But what about when I just need to wear clothes without having to think about it? Easy. All I need is a pair of chinos like these from Uniqlo in a camel/beige tone and some knitwear. This navy v-neck jumper is in a light merino wool so you barely notice you’re wearing it. I also like to wear jumpers without anything underneath because I don’t see many guys doing it and it’s kind of my thing.
Bookended with navy? Sure why not. Navy jumper and navy boat shoes adds a nice symmetry to the look. I also find bookending is a great way to add colour. I could’ve worn a pair of pink shorts or yellow chinos with this look and it would still look good.
So there you have it guys, this is pretty much my style and what I wear on a day to day basis. If you have any questions feel free to leave comments. Or you can follow me on twitter (@Ollinson) or check out my tumblr – http://dreamingaboutsuits.tumblr.com/ for more updates on what I’m wearing on certain days.
Finally, I would like to thank Olivia personally for taking the time out to do the photoshoot and image editing.