Trackies, baseball caps, trainers and rock-and-roll t-shirts all have their place at certain stages of life, but if these are still your only go-to pieces after the age of thirty you may want to consider a style injection.
Here are 10 items that every adult man should think about introducing into his wardrobe if he wants to channel his inner George Clooney.
1. A beautiful leather travel bag
Judging from the horrible detritus I see stuffed into the overhead lockers on Sydney to Melbourne flights, it appears that quality, carry-on luggage is a much-overlooked men’s accessory. Why ruin a good suit with a grubby backpack, cheap briefcase or canvas duffel? Invest in a smart designer bag that will last for years and make a more positive statement about your personal style.
2. An expensive watch
Despite the digital age, watches still speak volumes in the style game. Maturity means making the move from a sports watch to a more classic timepiece (from a brand like Breitling, Rolex, Cartier or Omega) which will only increase in value, sentimental and otherwise. And please, no fakes.
3. A bow tie
A black silk bow tie. To be tied, not clipped on – tricky but not impossible. Then you can do that sexy thing when you get too hot, undo it and let it hang outside the collar of your dinner shirt, like a GQ pinup.
4. A Blazer
It’s the entry point to the captain’s table, a classic navy blazer to smarten up everything you own. It can of course be worn with the dress shirt and chino/jean look, but it looks equally fabulous over a striped t-shirt and shorts. Pass the Pimm’s.
5. Dress shirts
It’s remarkable how long it takes for young guys to get into button-up shirts, especially when they think a polo or a t-shirt will suffice, but a good quality dress shirt really plays hard ball in the style stakes. I still recall my sons telling me at age 12 that they didn’t like long pants or button-up shirts, which presented an unsettling sartorial challenge. Up your game and make sure it’s 100 per cent fine cotton, fitted to the body and flush at the neck. A white tuxedo shirt with French cuffs is the winning shot.
6. A pocket square
A small detail with next-level impact. A silk pochette tucked into the slit pocket of a suit – brava. Other excellent details include cufflinks and, also gaining in popularity, a lapel pin. Especially if it has been handed down through generations or found in an antique store.
7. The three-piece suit
Rarely seen anymore, but there is nothing more chic, more confident, and more fabulously old school than a three-piece suit. In chalkstripe cashmere. Gasp. The ultimate in ‘Master of the Universe’ attitude.
8. An overcoat
A coat. A really really nice coat. Not a Uniqlo puffer. Not a parka. Not a spray jacket. An overcoat, or a slim, knee-length pea coat, perfectly tailored and fitted for a fifties film star. Black, navy, grey, camel. Collar turned up, hands in pockets. Handsome profile braced against the wind.
9. Dress shoes
Not all dress shoes are created equal. Look for a gently tapered and rounded toe (if they look square, or the toe curls up when they are placed on the floor, pass). Go for the best leather, with the finest sole, and always polish them between wears.
10. A tuxedo
An elegant, fitted black tuxedo is a must have for every black tie event you will attend. Make sure you have the suit adjusted by a tailor to your exact body shape, and ensure the pants are hemmed to the right length. A trouser that puddles at the floor is a reminder of the ill fitting suit that you probably wore to school formal.
Congratulations gentlemen, you’ve moved on.
All photos courtesy of Getty.