There’s been so much change in menswear lately, I don’t know where to begin. We’ve seen the preppy revival, The streetwear takeover, the Savile Row fightback (along with Pitti Peacocks), not to mention the tech bro uniform, normcore and gorpcore. Have I missed anything?
Overall I’d say there’s been a casualisation of menswear driven by the post-Lehman changes in the workplace. We don’t have jobs for life any more, people flit from role to role and even cross-industry. Plus we’re more entrepreneurial, with people working flexibly, on side hustles or start-ups, requiring less formal hierarchical wardrobes. At Hermès, sales of ties are down and sneakers are up. And who even carries a briefcase these days? Your iPhone is your office, Evernote is your PA. So what are men wearing now?
I’m always interested in how creatives dress and I get a lot of inspo from 20th century artists like David Hockney, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Remember when Louis Vuitton did that Basquiat-inspired collection? Although funnily enough, the one place where I still see men dressed in formal suits is in the cafes around Mayfair’s galleries and auction houses. Albemarle Street, Mount Street and Old Bond Street are teeming with immaculately tailored men in shined shoes and E.B. Meyrowitz spectacles. Are there any street style blogs documenting Sotheby’s style? Let me know!
Mr DRG isn’t a Mayfair art bro, but he does run a gallery and has nailed the 15-hour creative-but-smart uniform that takes in client appointments, meetings, openings, plus all the globetrotting the job entails. His flexi-uniform revolves around Italian blazers (“unstructured for a less formal fit, and generally with a Neapolitan three button roll”), Dries van Noten trousers, Sea Island cotton polo shirts and a chair-drobe of pocket squares.
Go-to labels for the Euro gallerist look are Boglioli, Lardini and The Gigi (above), with Smedley polos and pocket squares from Lanvin, Drakes or Charvet. Loose-fit ankle-swinger Dries pants are accompanied by Crocket & Jones grained leather Derbys or a box fresh Converse high top. For weekends, out come the camp-collar shirts, or a slim fit Lacoste under the Boglioli blazer. A good watch and eyewear are the other accessory essentials. Oh and fragrance. Beards seem to be on the way out (Acqua di Parma is going hard with the shaving shizz), with colognes a key personal style signifier. I love classic Acqua di Parma on a guy, but Mr DRG also rates its Blu Mediterraneo line and Florentine favourite, Santa Maria Novella.
What I like about this sartorial combo is that it’s comfortable, trans-seasonal and open to individual expression. Unstructured blazers can be smart when you add a polished accessory or two, but everything generally works for those multi-tasking days when you can be doing anything and everything. And by the by, it also translates easily to womenswear (a lot of it is about fabrics rather than silhouettes), so here’s a request for more women’s unstructured blazers in malleable wovens please. Until then you’ll find me perusing the womenswear line from The Gigi…
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WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: The Gigi ss19
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