Unexpected Layering, Pt. I
January 9th, 2013
The best thing about menswear is that it’s very simple.
A gentleman only wears a handful of shapes in a few traditional silhouettes, all from a simple collection of wardrobe staples.
The key is organizing and pairing these classic shapes in creative ways.
Here’s a few examples that I hope will get you thinking differently about the pieces in your closet.
1. Shawl Under Jacket
Too cold for just a blazer, but not cold enough for a bulky overcoat?
Slide a shawl cardigan under your jacket and you’re all set.
Keeps the body insulated and serves as a pseudo-scarf covering the neck (especially when “popped”).
If you haven’t invested in a tweed jacket yet, I highly recommend it.
It treads the dressy-casual line perfectly and can be worn a million different ways.
Gotta love them winter textures!
The nappy texture of suede shoes was meant for the cold chills of winter.
- “Huxley” eye glasses by Warby Parker
- Forest Green Donegal Tweed jacket by Michael Andrews Bespoke (Cloth by Ariston A 579/27)
- Blue chambray shirt by Rag&Bone
- Burnt orange wide knit tie by Corneliani
- Wool/Linen shawl cardigan by Club Monaco
- Brown wool flannel pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson
- Brown Leather Plaque belt by JCrew
- Brown corduroys by H&M
- Tan suede wingtips by Bass
2. Turtle Under Shirt
As a general guideline (not “rule”), layers look more natural when they get heavier toward the outsisde. By that theory, there’s no reason a thin turtleneck can’t be styled under a heavy shirt.
I picked up this awesome corduroy shirt at Wal-Mart when I was back in Canada. Yes. Wal-Mart. It’s made by their house brand George and it was eight Canadian dollars – which is a small handful of mixed coins.
Although there are often expensive items featured on Articles of Style, if you know what you are doing, you don’t need a lot of money to have style and look great! Post on this topic coming soon…
A few classic pieces, thoughtfully put together, is all you need.
The best casual looks are the simple ones.
- Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda
- Brown moleskin topcoat by Banana Republic
- Camel turtleneck sweater by Gucci
- Rust corduroy shirt by George (Wal-Mart)
- “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi
- Brown woven leather gloves by Hilts and Willard
- Jeans by APC
- “New Standard” Raw denim jeans by APC
- Brown suede boots by Massimo Dutti
3. Bootlegger Chic
My inspiration comes from all over the place (as I wrote a little about here).
This fit was largely inspired by the movie Lawless (you should check it out, for the menswear alone) and the awesome rugged layering of 1920s hillbillies.
You’ve heard us say it before. Pristine is not real. Casual menswear looks better with some authentic worn-in character.
This look is a great example. It works better because the chambray henley is soft from years of wear, the cardigan is starting to pill, the workbooks are naturally scuffed, etc.
So invest in long-lasting clothes and let them tell your story!
Funny enough, a reader sent us a question a while back asking if a henley + waitscoat + cardigan was a good look or “too many buttons”.
I wrote him back with something like “sounds like too many buttons brother. Keep it simple”.
I take that back, because I’ve been loving this combo lately.
The key is a band collar shirt (rather than a knit henley) with a deep placket that hits below the waistcoat stance, and a cardigan that is both chunky and rugged.
My apologies guy. Do you!
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.