Father’s Day is held on the third Sunday of June in the UK. It’s a day to honour fathers and father figures, and this month I would like to celebrate these men (including the legend that is David Bowie) by sharing some experiences that my male personal shopping clients have shared with me, namely the sheer terror that is jean shopping over a certain age (we’ve all seen those Top Gear photos!).
You cannot argue that denim changed the landscape of fashion forever and without question it deserves all its laurels, but how should jeans be worn as men journey through middle age and beyond?
There are just a couple considerations a man in his 30s or over should take a look at that a man in his 20s or younger doesn’t. A good start… stop wearing the same stonewashed distressed jeans you’ve had since 2004 (you are no longer 17).
Start with a good fit, not too baggy, long, short or tight. A straight leg in a dark colour is a good start; a really sharp pair of indigo or dark jeans looks great with a blazer or mismatched suit jacket, and if you’ve got a nice crisp shirt to tie it all together all the better. And don’t feel you need to wear a tie (if donning a jacket); jeans are sexy enough to warrant an open collar and maybe even an undone button or two on the shirt.
Secondly, don’t wear jeans with old and tired trainers, tennis shoes or converse etc. In order to maintain a grown-up and classic look only wear jeans with trainers that ‘look like new’ and, where possible, keep them understated (i.e. one colour, simple, not over-stylized). In addition, the size of the shoe should reflect the trouser – follow the silhouette of the jean leg with the foot, if it’s a slim, tapered leg, don’t go for big and bulky trainers.
For me, brogues or suede desert boots are clear winners and both look great with jeans. Brogues look especially good with turn-ups and for both the initiated and uninitiated, the desert boot is a great choice; they’re so easy to dress up and down. For example, light coloured suede desert boots look fantastic with dark denim, the two tones play off each other perfectly and, as mentioned above, if you keep the jeans slimmer you create a refined silhouette that avoids swamping the shoes.
Finally, try to avoid over-distressed jeans with holes and patches (unless you’ve worn them out yourself!). The best bit of advice I have ever given (and received) is to keep it simple.
As a general rule, start with a good pair of well-fitted jeans and avoid matching them with anything too cheap or juvenile-looking. Pair with an equally well-fitted plain white T-shirt and you’ll look great, and just add a simple shirt and sweater in cooler months.
However, man (and woman) cannot live by denim alone and a lot of my male clients ask for recommendations for casual, stylish alternatives to jeans. So if you want to give your jeans a well-earned rest, try one of these casual options currently available on the great British high street instead.
Military style slimfit chinos
Update the classic chino with khakis and heritage inspired colours and directional shapes.
Strike a cord with some slim cotton corduroys. Keeping the cut and style contemporary is essential to avoiding the ‘geography teacher’ look. A slimmer cut and therefore more streamlined silhouette is what you want to be aiming for. Cords in black, brown or camel with a simple white shirt and brogues finishes will create a timeless outfit.
Crisp fitted black trousers
Dressier than denim but still versatile enough to dress down if required. Look for straight leg, flat-fronted, preferably a wool blend with fabrics such as cotton, nylon and even some Lycra. Opt for a dark grey or indigo for a softer look and to add variety to your wardrobe.
Create the urban outdoorsman look with this stylish yet hardwearing style. Wear with a neutral linen shirt, bomber jackets and boots to give the look its final touches of style.