Efficiency and effectiveness are extending beyond the workplace and gym routine, and into our wardrobes. While men’s style does have its hang-ups (thus, the plethora of buyer’s guides and men’s fashion tips available to you on here), suddenly we’re finding ways to streamline our personal style. What? Fashion? Easy?
With just a simple shirt and trouser, we’ve crafted four go-to menswear combos (that only require two items). Designed for the weekend, holiday or mid-week dinner date, these outfits are basic, with a bit of what’s trending now guidance (in colour, texture and print) thrown in.
From here, add your own the finer details: footwear, accessories and a signature cologne, and you’ve got a few go-to menswear combos up your sleeve – that still feel like your own.
#1 White Linen & Tailored Pants
Light and breezy, the white linen shirt is a must-have when it comes to keeping smart and comfortable in the warmer-months. But being linen, it’s designed to look relaxed – oozing effortlessness via an open-neck and the neatly rolled sleeves. The hem should also be more a nonchalant half-tuck into pants at the front and without a belt.
Try teaming your white shirt with smartt pants (in a lightweight fabric too) and roll the cuff to expose those mankles. Add woven leather loafers, espadrilles or sandals (all no socks) for footwear that embodies summer nights. More of a planner? You can even buy your cotton pants pre-cropped, and do away with the hassle of rolling the hem at all.
There’s something summery about short-length trousers (just like white linen shirts), so embrace it. You’ll soon be feeling like your on holiday in Europe, without leaving the comfort of Bondi, Byron or Burleigh.
#2 Muted-Floral Shirt & Chinos
This season’s floral offering is more muted and mild in colour, letting florals venture into autumn as well as spring. However, there’s nothing heavily Hawaiian about floral shirts. Shirt prints are more like abstract works of art; desert coloured and grubby-ed so the flowers could be seen as blotches or blurred colour – until up close.
For the gardenia gent, fronds and ferns still abound but in subtle monochrome, appearing more textural and grainy than bold and patterned.
For styling, juxtapose the formal floral shirt – in short sleeve or rolled – with heavy cotton chinos. This look sits well with long sleeve types, buttoned down to the cuff and the collar closed. Worn with penny loafers or monk shoes – in tan or brown – the absence of a belt creates a softer nighttime look. And carries that playfulness pertaining to florals.
#3 Shirtjacket & Jeans
Also known as the ‘shacket’, the shirtjacket – a hybrid men’s fashion item that combines the layering capabilities and sturdiness of the jacket with the design and lightness of a collared shirt – is taking men’s style further into fashion-cum-functional territory. And we aren’t complaining.
The perfect choice for the when it’s spring or autumn, designers are making ‘shackets’ – in sporty nylons or breezy cottons – that work for every taste. To get the most out of it, wear the shacket closed (to the neck or slightly open) or layered over a basic t-shirt.
The shirtjacket embodies the deconstructed elements of a casual blazer without the formalities of suit jacket, made all the more weekend-smart paired with your favourite tapered jeans.
#4 Polo Shirt & Lightweight Trouser
Polo shirts are witnessing a second wind. No longer reserved for preppy jocks and pop-collared pimps, polos are relishing in the Seventies (yes, designers are still loving the disco decade), made from lightweight cotton or piqué for some authentic René Lacoste-cool in 2016.
Despite its aesthetic ties to the humble tee, a polo collar gives summer pants a smart-casual finish, especially in the new season’s cuffed, army construction for a neater fit.
And update the classic shirt with a change in textures, intarsia prints and an injection of colour, especially muted yellows, greens and blues. Worn solo, only button up the third button; never go all the way to the top.