Your Style Fantasy

You may deny it, but I know you have a secret style fantasy. It involves role-playing, an audience, camera flashes, groupies and yourself, conspicuously clad in something that defies reality. Every now and then we daydream about totally pulling off this unorthodox get-up, but wouldn’t dare take the risk. We’re too shy to even discuss the subject.

However, with good planning and some self-regulation, reveries can trespass your wild dreams and make their way into reality.

We look good when we’re in full control of our attire: precise fit, no-nonsense styling, appropriateness (age, size and colour) and above all, self-confidence.

Let’s review a few controversial style statements we never thought we could pull off, and how to make them work for us…

1. Leather Trousers

They stand for rebellion, carry sexual connotations and generally draw attention to the most private parts of the human body. A classic for some, but certainly not unanimous, leather trousers are among menswear’s most loved/hated wardrobe guilty pleasures.

If you’re one of the many men who wonder what it would be like to sport a pair, what’s keeping you from trying it? Just keep in mind:

  • Leather alone is a statement. If the fit is too tight, you’re double-daring and making it that much harder for you to own the look. A pair that fits just like your tailored chinos or slim jeans will do the job.
  • Styling should be as minimal as possible. Stick with plain jumpers and t-shirts, a dark, well-cut jacket and make sure your shoes blend in with the trousers (similar texture and colour), or completely offset the effort with trainers, for example.
  • Need inspiration? Check out how Kanye West does it.
Lookbook Examples

Men's Leather Trousers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

zara man aw13drykorn aw13belstaff ss14balmain ss14
Key Pieces
  • Notify Leather TrousersNotify Leather Trousers
  • Balmain Skinny-leg Leather Track Pants 190630Balmain Skinny-leg Leather Track Pants 190630
  • Saint Laurent Slim-fit Leather TrousersSaint Laurent Slim-fit Leather Trousers
  • Givenchy Leather LeggingsGivenchy Leather Leggings
  • Blood Brother Leather Jogging BottomsBlood Brother Leather Jogging Bottoms
  • Alexander Mcqueen Leather Biker TrousersAlexander Mcqueen Leather Biker Trousers
2. Bright Suits

Spring is almost here and bright suits will be available from the majority of brands and in many stores.

A returning runway favourite that also keeps us wondering “what if?”, a coloured suit can work for you, provided that:

  • You choose a colour that works with your skin tone. Don’t know what colour this is? Think of the hues that get you noticed (in a good way): a tie that garners compliments in the office or a jumper/shirt you wear all the time and love. Your suit should be in a similar shade.
  • Wear it with complementary colours (e.g. red and blue). Solid or subtle shirt and tie combinations are the easiest to get right.
  • Let your shoes set the tone. You can wear trainers to make it casual, or dress it up with patent loafers for a night out.
  • Even more so than your traditional grey version, impeccable fit/tailoring is mandatory.
  • Pick an appropriate occasion for the premiere of your technicolour spectacle. You don’t want to turn up in bright colours to a friend’s wedding and outshine the bride.
  • Turn to Mark Ronson for celebrity inspiration. He manages to always maintain his cool in full pink, red and bright blue versions.
Lookbook Examples

Men's Bright Suits Lookbook Inspiration

h&m ss13CALIBRE ss14h&m ss12berluti ss14suitsupply ss13ovadia & sons ss13river island ss14Armand Basi aw13reiss ss13
Key Pieces
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In PoplinAsos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Poplin
  • Selected Skinny Fit BlazerSelected Skinny Fit Blazer
  • Selected Skinny Fit BlazerSelected Skinny Fit Blazer
  • River Island Light Blue Slim Suit JacketRiver Island Light Blue Slim Suit Jacket
  • Topman Raspberry Ultra Skinny SuitTopman Raspberry Ultra Skinny Suit
  • Acne Noel Slim-fit Cotton-blend Suit JacketAcne Noel Slim-fit Cotton-blend Suit Jacket
  • River Island Plum Slim Suit JacketRiver Island Plum Slim Suit Jacket
  • Topman Dark Green Tonic Skinny SuitTopman Dark Green Tonic Skinny Suit
  • J.crew Grey Ludlow Striped Cotton Suit JacketJ.crew Grey Ludlow Striped Cotton Suit Jacket
3. Short Suits

They’re not suitable for most offices, they’re likely to turn off your date and they’re best accessorised with a pair of binoculars for bird watching.

But let’s look at the positives of a short suit:

  • When summer hits, they make a sharp but practical option for a garden party, dressier barbecue or smart outdoors event. Whether you opt for a matching suit jacket and shorts or slightly cropped trousers, pair with a summery tie and sockless loafers.
  • Needless to say, tailoring is key. When lengths are this specific, even more so. If the shorts are designed to hit above the knee, make sure that’s exactly where they finish. If you go down the cropped trousers route, 5cm above your shoes is enough.
  • You are encouraged to wear quirky or bold-coloured shoes, as they complement unorthodox lengths and confirm you’re not wearing your nephew’s school uniform by mistake.
  • Nick Wooster is the possibly best Google search in this case.
Lookbook Examples

Men's Short Suits Lookbook Inspiration

he by mango ss12he by mango ss12topman summer suits 2012David Mayer Naman ss13comodo square ss13ted baker ss14gant rugger ss14new look ss14new look ss14
4. Gold Bling

You walk by a watch shop and see that chunky yellow gold timepiece that screams “I made it” to the world. In your head you’re rapping and buying multiple bottles of champagne. In reality, gold jewellery or watches can make us look like fools in an instant.

Whenever gold is involved, it’s important to understand how thin the line we’ll be walking on is. Here’s a list of precautions to bear in mind when turning up anywhere in bold gold jewellery:

  • No flashy car. Ride a bike instead.
  • Wear beat-up jeans and a t-shirt. This is one of the very few scenarios in which your style won’t be helped by sharp tailoring.
  • Keep your grooming as natural as possible. Stubble and dishevelled hair work best.
  • If you must to do it, really go for it: pile up bracelets, collect rings and stack chains. Interestingly, bling often looks better in excess than restrained.
  • For reference, the best male jewellery wearer out there is designer Philip Crangi.
Lookbook Example

Men's Gold Watch Inspiration LookbookImage: MVMT Watch

Key Pieces
  • Skool Ov Jenius By Lovebullets Link BraceletSkool Ov Jenius By Lovebullets Link Bracelet
  • Topman Plait Thread Chain BraceletTopman Plait Thread Chain Bracelet
  • Le Gramme 29g Polished 18-karat Red Gold CuffLe Gramme 29g Polished 18-karat Red Gold Cuff
  • Sekonda Gold Bracelet Strap WatchSekonda Gold Bracelet Strap Watch
  • Nixon Unisex The Time Teller WatchNixon Unisex The Time Teller Watch
  • River Island Gold Tone Casio Square WatchRiver Island Gold Tone Casio Square Watch
  • Casio Gold Classic Digital WatchCasio Gold Classic Digital Watch
  • Burberry The City Medium Rose Gold WatchBurberry The City Medium Rose Gold Watch
  • Michael Kors Mens Lexington Chronograph WatchMichael Kors Mens Lexington Chronograph Watch
5. Silk/Lightweight Scarves

Frenchmen do silk scarves best. It’s something about the way they wrap it around their neck; how natural the knot is tied; how detached from whatever else is being worn that makes their silk or lightweight scarves work so well.

If you’re tempted to try scarves for the sake of accessorising rather than practical reasons, here are a couple of ideas:

  • Start with a subtle pattern and avoid ultra-loud colours at first. Let time tell you how bright you can go.
  • Gradually work the scarf out of your jacket. Try a different position every thirty minutes – at some point during the day you’ll find the perfect scarf knot and position for you.
  • The ultimate celebrity scarf guru is Johnny Depp (who pulls off a handful of other risky style statements just as well, by the way).
Lookbook Examples

Men's Silk And Lightweight Scarves Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

boomerang ss14ln-ccpal zileri ss13he by mango ss14Duchamp 2012zara man ausgust 2012gant rugger aw13ted baker aw13river island xmas 2013
Key Pieces
  • Etro Paisley-print Linen And Silk-blend ScarfEtro Paisley-print Linen And Silk-blend Scarf
  • He By Mango Printed Wool ScarfHe By Mango Printed Wool Scarf
  • Paul Smith Abstract Print ScarfPaul Smith Abstract Print Scarf
  • Gucci Paisley And Polka-dot Silk Scarf 183036Gucci Paisley And Polka-dot Silk Scarf 183036
  • Lanvin Burgundy Miniature Dot Print Silk ScarfLanvin Burgundy Miniature Dot Print Silk Scarf
  • Drakes Spot-print Wool And Silk-blend ScarfDrakes Spot-print Wool And Silk-blend Scarf
  • Jane Carr The Ikat ScarfJane Carr The Ikat Scarf
  • Liberty London Green Dalton Modal-blend ScarfLiberty London Green Dalton Modal-blend Scarf
  • Alexander Mcqueen Skull And Snake Skin-print Silk ScarfAlexander Mcqueen Skull And Snake Skin-print Silk Scarf
6. Loud Eyewear

Nothing says “I’m a douche” as loud and clear as unfit eyewear. Still, we’re often lured by over-designed frames, unwelcome detailing, oversizing and other eccentricities that will sit upon our nose and frame our faces to the world.

If you’re trying bright-coloured lenses: the colour better look good against your skin tone, and the frame style should be kept classic. You don’t want too many features going on at once.

Gold frames work best if you’re under 25, over 65, or at any age if the style is a classic (aviator, caravan, etc.). Gold is also more likely to work against dark or tanned skin.

Finally, when it comes to sculpted frames, futuristic designs or unusual textures you should try on the specs/shades and carefully observe your own reaction to them. If you look, feel or sound apologetic, silly or embarrassed, drop the frames. You don’t own this look.

Lookbook Examples

Men's Loud, Coloured or Unusual Eyewear Lookbook

A.Sauvage SS14unknownprimark ss14LBM 1911 SS14PRIVATE WHITE SS13TOMMY HILFIGER SS14 WestcoastingSUITSUPPY SS14DIGEL SS14REISS 1971 SS13
Key Pieces
  • Komono Bennet Wayfarer SunglassesKomono Bennet Wayfarer Sunglasses
  • Illesteva Leonard 2 Blue SunglassesIllesteva Leonard 2 Blue Sunglasses
  • Illesteva Franklin Round-frame Acetate SunglassesIllesteva Franklin Round-frame Acetate Sunglasses
  • Thom Browne Round-frame Metal SunglassesThom Browne Round-frame Metal Sunglasses
  • Thierry Lasry Mastery Acetate Sunglasses 191788Thierry Lasry Mastery Acetate Sunglasses 191788
  • Dries Van Noten Sunglasses Tortoiseshell D-frame Sunglasses 191034Dries Van Noten Sunglasses Tortoiseshell D-frame Sunglasses 191034
  • L.g.r Sunglasses X Oki-ni Limited Edition Maputo SunglassesL.g.r Sunglasses X Oki-ni Limited Edition Maputo Sunglasses
  • Cutler And Gross D-frame Acetate SunglassesCutler And Gross D-frame Acetate Sunglasses
  • Komono Dreyfuss Round SunglassesKomono Dreyfuss Round Sunglasses
Final Word

If this short guide didn’t cover your own style fantasy, why not share it with us in the comments section below?

Whatever it is, just make sure every detail is under control and really go for it. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to make a mistake or two.