Casual Suiting | Men's Outfit of the Day

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Today I'm going to talk about this pin stripe suit I was gifted from River Island and casual suiting in general. This is the perfect place to start if you're just dipping your toes into casual suiting. 

The garment is 100% poly-blend which is not normally my scene, but it's not always convenient to wear your best suit, or even your off-the-peg Hawkins and Shepherd suits. (I can't believe I'm talking you out of buying my garments now!) 

If you're going to be running around London all day, scooting from stop to stop, meeting to meeting, then you'll need something durable. And one redeeming feature of polyester is that it can take a kicking. It can still pass off as a look that is smart and respectable. 

Personally I’m normally a traditionalist when it comes to suit style, with a beautifully tailored handmade shirt (from Hawkins & Shepherd of course!) and tie. However simple layering with a t-shirt was comfortable and felt like I’ve just shaved 10 years off my age! 

By wearing a T-Shirt underneath and my Nubikk sneakers, I'm letting you know that I'm not taking this look seriously. It's just a smart way for me to look professional and well presented, without downgrading my overall style. 

The suit is very accessibly priced for £90 and available to buy on the River Island website and in stores. 

Fit details: 

It's a skinny fit and fully lined with a pinstripe print. It says this is dry clean only but I'll be honest, I've always washed polyester and it's never come back to bite me. 

Best places to wear Casual Suiting? 

If you're going to wear a t-shirt underneath like I have, make sure that it concurs with the dress code of the venue. Most restaurants are fine but some are funny, as are members pavilions. Just because you're wearing a suit, don't get over confident. 

I'd be fine wearing this day to day, pub lunches, first dates, even walking Charlie round Clapham Common. If I were having business lunches and professional meetings I would certainly wear a shirt and shoes. 

My Favourite High-street Tailoring Brands | Men's Style Edit

Recently I have been reading up on the history of Savile Row tailors and I think Nick Hart said it best 'Savile Row is a reminder of qualities and values that outlast and transcend depressions, recessions, fads and here-today-gone-tomorrow fashion'. However much I adore Savile Row tailors, their craftsmanship and skill I also realise that their prices are also out of reach for many Londoners.

That said my go to brand for a decent suit, on the high-street is REISS who have a large selection for suits for the masses priced at around £450-650. Another alternative is my very own Hawkins & Shepherd suits which are currently on-sale from £650 down to around £250 - a massive saving on a suit made from 100% British Wool fabric.

 

SHOP MY SUIT PICKS

Outfit of the Week | Wearing Jaeger AW17 Collection

I absolutely love a good suit, so much so that half of my wardrobe is taken up with suits of different cuts, colours and styles. My latest addition was from the Jaeger AW17 collection, my first from this brand so was keen to get my hands on one. What initially drew me to this particular one was the subtle fine check pattern print of the navy suit. I wanted a suit the stepped away from classic plain palette designs and a bit more unique and therefore this one was the stand out piece from Jaeger's AW17 suit collection.

As we dip our toes into the autumn/winter 2017 season, I've moved away from traditional suit styling of a shirt and tie. Instead I went for warmth and style with a smart navy roll-neck jumper, which is a menswear trend right now. When wearing navy on navy, it can look a little boring and unimaginative, so I've added a plain white pocket square to give the suit a little more punch and the wow factor. My shoes are a dark tan colour, but black would also work equally well.

In this outfit of the week style edit, the suit is from Jaeger at £399 as is the navy wool roll neck jumper at £104.  The white pocket square is by Drake's via MR PORTER and part of their Kingsman edit at £55. The shoes are by Goodwin Smith and available for £125 and finally the watch is by Rotary at £155.

 

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Photography by Charlie Sawyer

ACCESSORISING MY SUIT AT WESTFIELD LONDON

Westfield London and myself believe that accessorising a suit enables a man to stand out from the crowd and put your own stamp on otherwise conventional work-wear. This is why when asked by Westfield to take a £75 gift card, go shopping and personalise one of my own suits, I thought it would be a good little challenge and something that would interest my awesome readers. Accessorising a suit however is not easy, you should have a basic understanding of what colour accessories compliment the colour of your suit and also each other. You need to do this without over accessorising, remember that a suit is a masterpiece of classic tailoring so sometimes less is more.

Last week I headed over to Westfield in London, White City (Nearest Tube - Shepherds Bush) to be precise. Being in the SS16 Spring/Summer season, I decided to accessorise my light grey, double breasted suit from Hawkins & Shepherd. During the journey to Westfield I had to think about what colours would work well with the suit and match my personal style. Colours I wanted to look for were, pinks, greys, peach, mint and blues. In terms of the materials, I was looking for light linens, silks and cotton...nothing with a heavy weave.

One of the first shops I visited was Reiss where I picked up a light pale pink pair of socks for £12. I then spend the next hour or so visiting so many shops such as TM Lewin, Thomas Pink, M&S, Suit Supply and NEXT. However I just couldn't find what I was looking for. The ties and pocket squares were all heavy silk and were all the same old styles that I have seen year after year...I was after something a little different. Finally I ended back at Reiss where I found this semi-skinny grey linen/wool blend tie (£45) and this blue geo-metric print pocket square (£25). Okay so I went a little over budget, but I think it was worth it.

 

MY STYLED LOOK

 

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Photography by Kylie Eyra

*this post was sponsored by Westfield*

PINK & GREY - A CLASSIC COLOUR COMBINATION

There are so many colour combinations which I go to when I want to play it safe...those are:

  • Orange & Navy
  • Light-Blue & Plum Purple
  • Mint, Peach & Dark-Grey
  • Black & White
  • Red & Navy

AND Finally...Pink and Light-Grey.

With summer around the corner it is now acceptable to start wearing lighter shades of suit and brighter coloured shirts. Although never go over the top, you should mix and match brights with pastels and different colour palettes. So in this look I have tried to highlight each of those points.  

I have gone bold with a pink thick striped shirt. In this look I have opted for the Pin Collar however this shirt is also available in a classic business shirt. I'm also loving my knitted ties right now, so this dusty pink tie by Gibson London worked well - navy would have also been a good choice. Not wanting to look too pink, I have styled this look and toned things down a notch with an aqua blue pastel pocket square.

If you are having or being a guest at a wedding this summer, this would be a great look. So I have put together this style board to help you look the part!

 

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Gibson London Tie | Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | ASOS Suit | Dune Shoes | Hawkins & Shepherd Pocket Square

Photo Credit Sophie Milner

COLOUR MATCHING - ORANGE & NAVY - SMART FORMAL

Following on from my Casual styling of the orange and blue colour matching (read that blog), here I have showed how orange and blues can also be used in a smart formal attire.

In this outfit I have used my bold statement jumper to give a greater understanding of how orange can work so well with Navy. Although it also works with small touches of orange. So remove the jumper and you have the small details in the polka of the pocket square, the orange socks and small orange detailings on my Omega watch bezel.

The shade of blue used here in my Suit Supply suit is French Navy which works the best with orange because of its darker tone.

 

SHOP THE LOOK

Suit Supply French Navy Suit  | Hawkins & Shepherd Shirt | Reiss Orange Jumper | Reiss Socks | Dolce & Gabbana Shoes | Hawkins & Shepherd Pocket Square

Photo Credit: Caroline Nicholson Location: Chatham Historic Dockyard