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  1. #1

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    Young Guy Dressing In A Classic/ Formal Style.

    What's up everyone? I'm sure there's a lot of younger men on here (late teens to mid twenties) who dress in a more classical/ formal style. Particularly at the moment, with the likes of blazers, tweed jackets, brogues etc. being on trend.

    I know the above items are some of the key pieces in my wardrobe (Personally, I see A LOT of my style in that Eddie Redmayne guy who was recently feature. No clue who he was, but a great article nonetheless!). However, I think this can often look out of place on a younger guy such as myself.

    My question is, does anyone have any ideas/ methods that they use themselves to adapt a formal style like his, so that it doesn't look as out of place on a younger guy? I'd be interested in hearing any suggestions! I'm talking accessories, certain pieces that bring down the maturity of an outfit or any other ways to bring out your youthful side whilst still maintaining that formal look. I'm realising that there's plenty of time for me to dress like this, so why not bring a youthful edge to classical pieces whilst I still can?

  2. #2
    Jay's Avatar
    Jay

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    Firstly, age has absolutely nothing to do with how to pull of a classic style. In many ways, I would argue that the younger man can wear a straight up classical style more easily than a more mature guy (such as myself). Done wrongly, a more mature guy can end up look like an actual geography teacher rather than pulling off geography teacher chic, for example. As a young guy, you have no fear of looking like a geography teacher.

    The key to pulling off classical, formal, tailored looks in a modern way is fit and cut. A sharp, slim silhouette brings a classic outfit bang up to date. Wear mis-fitting, baggy items and you just like you're wearing old man's clothes. That means blazers should be in a slim/modern fit and nipped in at the waist by a tailor if necessary (not as expensive as you might think), trousers/jeans should be skinny (without being clingy), and turned up above the ankle (I wear tweed trousers, chinos, indigo denim all like this), shirts shouldn't billow out at the waist.

    Another important thing to do is to have one eye on fashion and one aye on style: those cable knit jumpers, fair isle cardigans, nordic patterns and tweeds might well shout 'fashion savvy' now, but next AW they may well be back to shouting 'dressing like an old man' again. So, mix fashionable and classic carefully.

    Be bold with colour. Men have only recently begun to really to be comfortable with colour (and many yet still aren't). A pair of red, green or blue chinos, with your tweed blazer and brogues will give a definite modern edge to an outfit. It can be as simple as bold socks if you aren't so brave with colour or you can go the whole way and invest in a boldly coloured coat.

    And I've said this before, and it's worth repeating, the haircut makes the biggest difference in looking like a fashion-conscious stylish chap and someone who hasn't a clue.
    Last edited by Jay; 14-01-2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: grammar

  3. #3
    billyreedwah's Avatar

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    I'm 17 and studying a levels at sixth form. The dress code is "smart". Don't really know what I'm getting at there.

    Anyway, what I think I'm trying to say is, I wear smart at school:

    Rustic Barbour Beaufort wax jacket.
    Deconstructed tweed/dark grey stripe/black blazer.
    Various coloured crew/v neck jumpers.
    Whatever coloured shirt.
    Various ties (knitted/wool/normal)
    Grey tailored trousers.
    Black skinny jeans (which I guess could answer your question about adding a bit of youth)
    Black/brown pointed shoes.
    Brown leather satchel.

    My casual wardrobe (weekends etc) includes:
    Denim jackets.
    Skinny jeans.
    Sweaters.
    Flannel shirts.
    T-shirts.
    Vans.
    High tops.
    Dr. Marten hiking boots.

    I'd say I dress quite "indie" and it sort of reflects in my "smart" dress with the incorporation of skinny jeans, my Barbour jacket and my leather satchel.

    Don't know if I this is any help as I've kind of rambled on but I hope it does.
    "There's only one thing worse than being talked about and that's not being talked about."

  4. #4
    billyreedwah's Avatar

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    Haha, it took me so long to write that, Jay's beaten me to the first post and explained everything much better than me
    "There's only one thing worse than being talked about and that's not being talked about."

  5. #5

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    Thanks guys.

    Jay - I think the point about colour is very important. Admittedly, I am not brave with colour, but the bold coloured/ patterned socks are something I've been meaning to try for a while now. That's a great suggestion. The fit and hair points are also essential, but I think I have both down.

    Perhaps to reword my OP a little: What are some ways a younger guy may go about dressing down the formal look?

    I mean, I never have any need to dress formally whatsoever, and whilst I like to stand out, I do often feel a little out of place in brogues, matched blazer and trousers whilst simply out getting groceries or whatnot... often like I could pass as wearing some kind of 'work wear' :/ I think this is fine for an older guy, but not so much a 20 year old student haha.

  6. #6
    Jay's Avatar
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    I think half of the issue is the fact that you 'feel ' out of place when you probably look great in that get-up. Sometimes a little boldness and confidence is all that's needed to carry off a look, not maturity (although the latter helps the former somewhat).

    If you feel too formal, don't wear the blazer, the brogues and the trousers all at once. Instead of the trousers, stick on a pair of turned up skinny jeans with the other two. Or stick a pair of desert boots on with the other items.

  7. #7
    Nath6644's Avatar

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    This is an interesting issue, and one I was forced to confront the other day. I was watching Stephen Fry on TV and realised that we were both wearing nearly the exact same items of clothings. This made me wonder, what made him look like an middleaged teacher, and me look (I hope) relatively fashionable?

    Firstly, Jays point about fit is important. Stephen's cord blazer was relatively untailored, mine was a skinny fit. Same with my chinos
    Also age, I am 18 so I can get away with a alot more.

  8. #8
    William Colman's Avatar

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    Having recently turned 21 I have decided that as soon as possible I would like to fully mature my wardrobe; it's half way there but I still have my Bright Green hi tops, hoodies, tees, Skin tight skinny jeans and varsity jacket that make me look a lot less mature, but then again, you have to dress for the occasion or the purpose, if i'm going to a gig for example I don't want to be wearing my brogue boots, roll neck jumper or nice shirt, I want to wear something that I don't mind getting hideously sweaty in. I don't think I will completely remove this side of my wardrobe for a few years because it still suits some of the situations I find myself in.

    The remainder of the time my outfits consist of looks that make me look a lot more mature, for example, yesterday I wore my brogue boots, thick knit cream roll neck jumper, skinny jeans and my vintage peacoat which, along with my hair (brylcreemed teddy boy style), made me look a bit like a Second World War submariner OR a Swedish woodcutter.

    I have no bones about my style being more mature for my age, the earlier you accept it the better your wardrobe will be when it really matters, when your style HAS to reflect your age simply because that is how life works.

    Essentially, just do what Jay said. He has actually explained himself and been helpful.

  9. #9
    WinterShorts's Avatar

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    Well, Jay has given really good advice. I just want to say is that there are levels, adding a tweed blazer is easy and will make existing items look different. However, I really commit to it, but that doesn't mean you have to run out and get a seersucker suit and wear it with a red bow-tie and a straw-boater.

  10. #10
    Ivan Condor Aasllani's Avatar

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    I agree with the point Jay made about not putting it all together at once. I think wearing a shirt and blazer with jeans and white trainers, for example, could provide what you are looking for.

    Also, hats are a good way to look younger I think, and can add an edge to your getup.

    And finally, as already said, there is nothing that adds edge more than a pair of black skinny jeans. Black skinnies, brogue boots, shirt & blazer is a look that can take you anywhere. You could also think about switching out the blazer for a Barbour quilted jacket, possibly in a bold colour if it suits your style. I have recently seen a Burgundy one on Asos which is pretty special.

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