Recently, many articles have explored and recommended the necessary attire to keep you dry for when the British weather surprises us again. In fact, it is possible that the very utterance of that word – rain – may have you watching BBC Two’s fascinating documentary on the British weather. I am aware this is probably just me – which is all the better for you guys – who can trundle on oblivious to the fact that we suffer 199 days of rain a year. After prematurely moving off the topic of this piece, it is about time I attempt to explain the crux of my critique. In some way, I have written this article to appeal to my infatuation with the sun and the greatest thing to come out of Manchester since Oasis, but more so to make you aware of the understated elegance of the dream duo that is Hurts.
Hurts are a relatively young band. Since their arrival on the scene in 2010, they have featured on The Guardian website in their “Band of the Day” section. As a result of their notable performances all year round, the band finished fourth in BBC’s sound of 2010. Thereafter, Hurts have become more and more prominent at festivals and on the charts. Their début album Happiness was released in September 2010, containing an impressive duet with eminent pop star, Kylie Minogue. Thus, it is no surprise that Hurts are performing at the major UK and European summer music festivals this year.
Festivals scream summertime, and having already made memorable appearances around Europe (with more to come), Hurts, amongst many other artists, are the standard-bearers of what is good about summer for many people. In their performances, the Hurts have made it clear just how much they value the aesthetics of both themselves and their sets. Importantly, Adam Anderson and Theo Hutchcraft believe in the less is more approach, which omits the sort of caution to the wind, throw on anything vaguely smart and go out to perform vibe. Such an attitude is communicated by the absence of a tie, leaving the top-button undone, and the addition of classic men’s jewellery. The end result is one that proves they are representing themselves by not conforming to the traditional form of sharp, formal dressing associated with a gentleman who is suited and booted.
Hurts: Not Your Typical Band
Recently, more and more column inches have been dedicated to their personal style. When GQ held an interview with the duo last December, they revealed their passion for fashion when Hutchcraft asked for “a comb and a suit as part of our record deal”, whilst Anderson requested a “fox umbrella”. A far cry then from how one might expect a band to dress on tour; shorts and t-shirt, a pair of espadrilles or boat shoes, perhaps even a straw trilby. Yet these two are not your typical males. For these two sartorial gentlemen, looking like your typical festival-goer is far from ideal:
The Hurts clearly separate themselves from your traditional festival, indie or rock attire, performing at Latitude recently in a simple two-buttoned black suit. Dressing poorly is never on the cards with Hurts, and neither is over-complicating outfits – which states everything about the grounded, charming boys from the north. So frequently do they wear the same base to their outfits, one might think of them as boring. Yet as fashionable males (and readers of FashionBeans) appreciate, the key to this apparent bland, monotonous appearance is in the detail.
Hurts Look Book & Style Analysis
Whilst some artists are being praised for being ahead of their time and setting trends, Hurts are making their own waves in the music and fashion world by being the face of the stylish past for many people. For those retorting that they are bang on the 60s trend at the moment, you are right, but this is not them following the trend. I think that the Hurts will forever be adorned in such beautifully crafted tailoring, symbolising their own tastes – and that can only be admired. Such elegance is timeless, and their outfits consistently define such a term.
The base of their outfits is a well-cut suit, never in anything but a neutral colour. Combined with this industrious staple piece, fundamental to the Hurts look is a pair of well-polished, sleek shoes in a complementary colour, often in a basic Oxford style. As Hurts enjoy adding creative elements to their look, by wearing monk shoes you can really pull off the classical edge that the Hurts personify. These core pieces add to the ethos of being dressed agelessly.
Having a look at Ben’s article on tailoring with bold colours, it is possible to add this individual element by incorporating a splash of colour into the basics. Furthermore, it is very rare that either of the members of Hurts sport ties; both reject them as a matter of taste. This aids them in creating an informal look, more often associated with playing at concerts and festivals – perfect for when you feel like smartening up on a night out or for a relaxed summer event. It also enables them to add another dimension to their look by throwing on a scarf or a bow-tie. Similarly, the jewellery that can often be found round the necks of Hutchcraft and Anderson is a statement of individuality, enabling you to set yourself apart from the well-dressed gentleman on your right.
- Suits and tailoring are the building blocks to any well dressed gentleman’s wardrobe. Mix and match pieces in order to create a unique look, and do not be afraid to separate your suit and use the pieces individually to smarten up basics and more casual items.
- Separate yourself via the details. Pick fabrics such as herringbone and tweed in order to give your tailoring some depth and differential when compared to the rest of the male population. Other options to provide separation would be through style or cut; say a monk strap shoe or double breasted blazer.
- Jewellery can be used as a statement of your personality and style. Don’t go overboard, but a well placed ring, watch, necklace, pendant or bracelet can add interest to a classic look and show some flair. Keep designs muted and masculine to really hit 60s chic.
- Accessories are going to add flair and intrigue to an outfit. Printed silk scarves and cravats are perfect for pairing with tailoring when you do not want to wear a tie. Likewise, you could instead opt for a bow tie for a quirky look which is still to be taken seriously in the style stakes.
- Don’t neglect the basics. Plain crew neck tees, polo shirts and roll neck jumpers can be paired with waistcoats, blazers and trousers for a sharper take on smart/casual. All these pieces are the building blocks of a successful capsule wardrobe, so mix and match to your personal taste.
- This look does not have to become stuffy. Leave the top buttons undone, lose the tie, and substitute in more relaxed styles in order to bring the outfit down a notch. Granddad collar shirts are often utilised by the band without a tie, and look great with a more relaxed unstructured blazer.
- If this look is too dark for you, then remember you have the ability to adapt it to your requirements. Sub in bold tailoring for a fresh and youthful take, or utilise bold accessories such as coloured pocket squares, scarves, footwear and belts in order to give them a pop of colour.
Adapting The Look – Colour
So we have seen that Hurts prefer to keep things classic, sharp and muted for their personal style. It is timeless, looks great and they are certainly well dressed, but the look is not for everyone. For those who may be slightly younger, have a more outgoing personality, or just like to experiment with bolder colours, there are ways to adapt this style of dressing without sacrificing the core principles.
Bold coloured blazers can be used to create a real focal point in your outfit (especially when paired with neutral trousers), whilst bright coloured basics such as tees, shirts and roll neck jumpers could be layered underneath neutral coloured tailoring to give your outfit some ‘pop’. More subtle ways to introduce some colour and flair would be to look for coloured accessories and footwear. Suede shoes in particular are great for spring/summer and come in every colour imaginable these days. They add to the relaxed formal look we are going for but add some interest and intrigue to your bottom half. Pair with a similar coloured belt or pocket square, and you suddenly bring this classic 60s look into the 21st century.
Despite an in-depth look into Hurts’ style, I hope I haven’t inspired you to under-go any drastic transformation in an effort to be just as cool as either of these two! Having said that, I hope you are able to take away pieces of their style which you particularly admire and integrate into your own dressing.