Should a modern gentleman’s wardrobe be focused more towards classic wear or follow trends? In my case they both seem to be vastly different.
The desire to defy trends in favour of a more timeless approach to dressing embodies the idea of prudent, elegant sartorialism. However, that doesn’t mean that one has to dispense entirely with the fun and frivolity of fashion. Following a trend is useful only until you start alienating it from the original.
To maintain one’s sartorial principles is of utmost importance as it is a display of maturity, gravitas, resilience and individuality.
Today, the sartorially minded gentleman values the dependability of his classic, bespoke navy blazer, which has been tailored to fit its wearer and that can be relied upon season after season, pulled out from the wardrobe time and again.
We look to the bespoke suit, which is the 21st century’s most enduring item of menswear. It’s been a staple garment pretty much since the beginning of the 19th century.
This leads us to a style of dressing that retains a classic approach, but where elements such as colour, fabric and accessories can be elegantly incorporated to create a unique yet timeless style.
Here are some ‘trends’ that can be used as a springboard with which to have fun with one’s personal appearance. The aim is to look up-todate but in a manner as if they have always been part of your look: White suits, patterns, tonality, jacquards, greys; these are longstanding styles that are being revisited of late.
The white suit may make some men nervous. Wearing a white suit can set you apart from the crowd in a delightfully romantic, yet conspicuous, way; it’s a look that has been immortalised in The Great Gatsby and worn by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.
Whether you opt for a tuxedo or linen style, impeccable tailoring is key, while the slightly intimidating prospect of dressing top-to-toe in white can be softened through the clever inclusion of accessories such as a long scarf, tie or breaking up the white with a shirt or t-shirt of another colour.
Meanwhile, when it comes to exploring colours and patterns of the traditional suit, stalwart elements such as stripes or checks are revisited to tonal, subtle effect. A wider pinstripe shows that it is entirely possible to wear professional attire while conveying flair and personality. Meanwhile, checked jackets convey the intent of the wearer to make a statement that is discreet yet noticeable – the gentleman wears clothes, and not the other way around.
Finally, no self-respecting wardrobe is complete without a blue suit; a sartorial blank canvas, it lends itself to endless stylistic possibilities, and can be dressed up to look sharp with brown brogues and a conservative white shirt, or dressed down with sneakers and a t-shirt.
The best-dressed men demonstrate the greatest degree of self-knowledge, a superior understanding of their physical manner and appearance. Once you have mastered an understanding of your own innate physical attributes, only then can you begin to truly dress yourself as befits you best.
Pawan and Ashish Ishwar are tailors at Knights & Lords, a bespoke tailoring house in Dubai