You might not have the bank account to drop £250,000 in Monte Carlo, but the understated elegance of everyone’s favourite tax haven can be attained with ease. We’d all love a lifestyle of fast cars, expensive champagne and multi-million pound penthouses (hailing from the East Yorkshire countryside, I’m sure you can imagine my own acquaintance with such luxuries), and your sense of style can also reach such great heights. Summer has never looked so elegant.
Recently we’ve seen a wave of distressed denims, oversized shirts and super-clean sneakers, and whilst this look is spot on, it’s easy to let the casual wardrobe take over. There’s nothing wrong with injecting every social occasion with a dose of sartorial sharpness. Playboy or just a pretender, take some inspiration from the European kingdom of excess.
Monaco is known for sparkling waters and a harbour filled with multi-million dollar yachts, so it’s easy to see where all the nautical themed clothing comes from. Team Breton stripes with tailored shorts for a look that radiates luxury from every thread.
The secret here is simplicity. Any modern embellishments and attempts at ‘funky’ designs (naming no high street names here) will immediately cheapen your look and will have you cringing in mere months when browsing through your Facebook photos.
You don’t need to spend a bank loan to achieve simple elegance; just look for clean lines, a tailored edge and pieces that aren’t over-thought or over-worked. A relaxed silhouette really is key.
Aim for neutral colours – think nautical shades of blue, white and cream – that are more than appropriate for spring/summer and you’re halfway there. Mix and match varying shirts and well-crafted tees with a pair of tailored shorts or slim trousers/chinos for an effortless look that can be dressed up or down to suit. A simple formula, but it works every time.
- Topman Blue Chino Shorts
- Reiss Apollo Stripe Casual Shorts
- Slowear Incotex Slim-fit Cotton-seersucker Shorts
- Reiss Wickham Clean Cotton Pressed Chino
- Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Cotton
- Boglioli Cotton And Linen-blend Blazer
- Farah Vintage T-shirt With Breton Stripe
- Allsaints Rosar T-shirt
- Shore Leave Anchor Jacquard Shirt In Blue
- Hartford Long-sleeved Linen-jersey Polo Shirt
- Topman Blue Multicoloured Fleck Short Sleeve Smart Shirt
- Selected Three Paris Chino
Prints and patterns have only just seen recent trend resurgence, and they are perfect for making a statement at events that demand a heightened degree of formality.
Incorporating a print can be tricky, but when done right will work wonders for your look. Monaco is all about extravagance that doesn’t border on tastelessness, and adopting this ethos when incorporating print is most helpful.
To start, look for something that will have fashion longevity. Animal prints and neons may seem like fun, but over time, the appeal will wear off and timeless style always overrules fleeting bouts of popularity. Instead, try stripes (they don’t have to be Breton – vertical stripes work well for specific body types), checks/gingham, polka dot and even floral.
For those that aren’t adept at pattern mixing, make sure you always reserve your chosen print to just one piece – be it a blazer, shorts or trousers – as anything more will be overkill. We’re looking for more Marlon Brando than The Magic Roundabout.
For those that still aren’t convinced prints and patterns are here to stay (they are), why not consider giving your outfit a shot of life via striking trend colours such as orange, blue or pink, the traditional pastel shades of the Riviera or a pair of coloured statement shoes?
Don’t be afraid to be bold with your choices; menswear is continuing to push the boundaries season after season – there’s no room for worrying about anything you deem a little ‘out there’.
- Topman Multi Smudged Skinny Blazer
- United Colors Of Benetton Blazer With Floral Print
- Ted Baker Haloze – global Check Blazer
- Edwin Japanse Printed 55 Chinos
- Asos Skinny Fit Smart Trousers In Leaf Print
- Topman Navy Jungle Mid Shorts
- Uniqlo Men Linen Cotton Jacket
- Reiss Preacher Patch Pocket Blazer
- Junya Watanabe Slim-fit Unstructured Cotton Blazer
- Allsaints Pipe Chino
- Reiss Ivy Cotton/linen Dyed Trousers
- Reiss Atom Shorts
Traditional leather footwear is a staple every man should have in his wardrobe. Whether you’re a Derbies chap or a brogue bloke, there’s no excuse not to own a decent pair of shoes.
Clumpy brown loafers can look awesome with a shirt and shorts, but if you prefer something lither, opt for deck shoes or driving shoes for an effortless level of relaxed sophistication.
If you’re looking to channel real opulence, avoid flip-flops like the plague; unless you’re by a pool or on the beach, they’re 100% unacceptable. I’ve been known in the past to be something of a footwear militant, but the consensus on flip-flops outside of the holiday realm seems pretty universal.
For those looking for a viable alternative, leather sandals are steadily making waves for SS13, based on how many campaigns and lookbooks they feature in, although you need rock solid confidence and a masculine edge to pull them off successfully. Leather strap flip-flops are also worth considering if you cannot bear to leave them at home – the material will bring them up a notch instantly.
In terms of colour, the safe bet is to stick to timeless brown/tan, or nautical tones of blue and white – white leather shoes being FashionBeans‘ pick for SS13. However, as previously mentioned, a striking coloured pair of suede drivers/loafers will help make an instant statement, especially when paired with a predominantly neutral palette.
- Aldo Rago Boat Shoes
- Sperry Topsider Suede Boat Shoes
- Reiss Lisandro Suede Driving Shoes
- H By Hudson Antara Canvas Shoes In Navy
- Car Shoe Suede Driving Shoes
- Topman Sear Suede Loafers
- Topman Beige Suede Gibson Shoes
- Asos Tassel Loafers In Leather
- Mr. Hare Miller Leather Oxford Shoes
- Paul Smith Swift Suede Driving Shoes
- Topman Blue Chevron Brights Driving Shoes
- Asos Driving Shoes In Suede
Now this is the area where you can really let loose. We Brits are infamous for pulling out the shades at the slightest ray of sunshine; our continental counterparts can sniff, but nobody embraces summer more than we do.
Tortoiseshell keyhole sunglasses are a classic choice, and we’re finally seeing a move away from the Wayfarer model that has saturated the market. Wire-framed Clubmasters really evoke the marine aesthetic of Monaco, whilst the more fashion-forward could opt for the circular options that are fast becoming the must-have frame style for SS13.
Smarten up a shirt and shorts combo with a pocket square (more seamless than you’d initially think) or go for a simple plaited or webbed belt – both of which are the epitome of relaxed nautical chic.
I’m more than a fan of a gold watch, and when combined with the typical Monaco aesthetic, it provides a playful spin on the moneyed European elite. You can better my own questionable ‘Rolex’ from Thailand at plenty of online retailers; a timepiece is one of the soundest sartorial investments you could ever make, in terms of both style kudos and sentimental value, although there are plenty of stylish alternatives that come in under £250 these days.
FashionBeans Tip: consider a rose gold watch if you want to subtly separate yours from the crowd. The material is a rising star within the timepiece market and has a beautiful tone that looks even more expensive than it is, especially in the mid-price bracket.
Other finishing touches you can consider, dependent on personal style and body/face type, would be the on trend Panama hat or a neckerchief/silk scarf in a bold colour/print.
- Asos Flatbrow Keyhole Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Clubmasters
- Asos Clubmaster Sunglasses With Black Lens
- Reiss Kupple Lattice Weave Trimmed Leather Belt
- Loro Piana Leather-trimmed Woven Waxed-cotton Belt
- Andersons Striped Woven Belt
- Uniform Wares 250 Series Steel Wristwatch
- Boss By Hugo Boss Leather Brown Chronograph Watch
- Reiss Arvin Paper Hat
- Borsalino Small-brim Straw Panama Hat
- Alexander Mcqueen Skull-print Silk Scarf
- Topman Burgundy Floral Print Silk Neckerchief
The temperatures on British soil may be a little inconsistent, but by looking towards the continent, we can remain fashionably on-point without a second thought. Comb that hair back, throw the sunglasses on and treat every single day like you’re partying in Monte Carlo. The Lamborghini prince look is more attainable than you think.