It is my sad duty to inform you that other than on Suits, it’s obvious that classic men’s style is on the verge of extinction (an article to follow soon on this statement which sounds suspiciously like hyperbole but isn’t); that said, if you haven’t yet noticed, it’s quite apparent that most men don’t dress like this anymore. Officially, the barometer for classic men’s style points towards trends where the trending personal style radar tilts past the devil-may-care insouciance of classic Italian sprezzatura to a level of street style more appropriate described in street nomenclature of DGAF, translated: “Don’t Give A Fuck” style. From T-shirts with ties to loud prints, the old rules have been bent if not broken, but there are new rules of classic elegance which still allow a classic gentleman to endure and thrive a new era of style and dressing. Remember this maxim: Good quality and great taste will always survive tests of time (and trends).
It used to be that every gentleman followed a sartorial template of classic men’s style with room for singular flourishes (a pocket square folded differently or puffed forgetfully), a boutonniere here and there – it was as John William’s Star Wars symphony with recognisable leitmotifs and the familiar comfort of string’s of the Jedi’s theme or Yoda’s motif. Today, style is less Williams and more Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight, jarring, discordant, rough but with oases of Batman’s theme – a point of sole familial comfort in otherwise attention dominating electro-string compositions. Men’s style today is less about fitting in and more about peacocking (without appearing to be).
Men’s Style: The Balanced Look (punctuated with whimsical accessories)
Because you’re throwing down good money for men’s garments, the financial hawks that we are would prefer that you put money down on “investment grade” trend-proof pieces that would stand the test of time; to ease your transition (and gradual acceptance) into these new rules of elegance, we highly recommend Alessandro Michele’s Gucci Cruise 2017 collection – an eclectic but still very much English inspired collection of bags, accessories and suits but steroid enhanced in terms of colourways and motifs.
Getting experimental with textures and colours
Sure, stick to the sombre staples of classic men’s style with a serious palette of blues, greys and browns but do punch things up a bit with bright patterns and motifs like those of Hermes, Bally and Gucci.
The new Men’s Smart Casual
The new rules of classic elegance also mean that with DGAF style, your casual weekend clothes can start beginning to pull their weight as parts of your weekday ensemble too. This revolution in classic style has given rise to streetwear which is now luxurious, sneakers which are now artisanal and leather jackets which are less for the motorcycle and more for the office – your weekend uniform now pulls double duty as weekday hallmarks of great sartorialism and stylish panache.
Luxuriously Old School
Fewer devotees to men’s classic styles also means an opportunity has risen to dominate a space in the fashion spectrum where plenty of men have vacated – time to embrace houndstooth patterns and checks again.
Special Thanks to sister publication Men’s Folio for shots and styling.
Image credits for Classic Men’s Style and the New Rules of Classic Elegance – Photography assistant – Alfie Pan, Styling assistant – Henry Boen Lim, Hair – Joanne Er/ Monsoon Salon Novena using Hatsuga, Grooming – Aaron Ng/ Decorum; Photography assistant – Marie Liang, Hair – Junz Loke/ Passion Salon, Grooming – Benedict Choo using YSL; Models – Stefan Fucina/ AVE, Xu Bin