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MENSWEAR DIARIES: HOW TO MASTER CASUALWEAR

03.09.15

It's undeniable, menswear's preoccupation has shifted from the buttoned-up sensibility of the last decade (call it the Don Draper effect) and there's a new sartorial order making waves in the wardrobes of the most stylish men. In steady ascent season upon season, casualwear has not only become an acceptable personal style signature on the weekend, some select pieces have even worked their way into, well, workwear. The resulting mood is every bit as sharp, but with an added dose of swagger. We explore how menswear got street smart and show you how to perfect dressing for this new mood in three easy-to-wear ways.

Just when it seemed like menswear had smartened up its act for good - such is the nature of men's fashion - casualwear got cool. And, despite its seemingly self-explanatory name, this latest men's style code is anything but throw on and go. It's considered, well-cut and a more grown-up take on a relaxed approach to dressing. So then, those worn out joggers just won't cut it if you want to tackle menswear's new mindset.

While casualwear (or streetwear) has always had a place in men's wardrobes, it's only relatively recently that it has become such a hit for style aficionados. This is thanks in large part to an increasing preoccupation with the pursuit of style that looks every bit as good as it feels to wear. No longer is casualwear designed purely for comfort, it's a bona fide style statement in its own right.

What does that mean for menswear? Well, it means that dressing well and retaining a level of comfort are no longer mutually exclusive. Excellent news for those who view tailoring as a sartorial straitjacket. Trainers with suits? Sure. Joggers and shirts? Absolutely.

After so many years of menswear looking to tailoring and tradition for inspiration, casualwear's appeal lies in its inherent irreverence. Despite this, when incorporating casualwear into your wardrobe, you should always be mindful of small details.

That's where we come in. We've put together our failsafe rules to abide by when loosening up your wardrobe, bear these tips in mind and you'll look every bit as sharp as you do in suiting.

HOW TO WEAR CASUALWEAR AT WORK

No matter how casual you deem your work dress code to be, when on the job err on the side of caution and be sure that you're still dressed with an appropriate level of formality. Make small changes. One of the subtlest ways to add verve into your wardrobe is to swap out a shirt and tie for a plain white T-shirt, and if you're in a creative environment slip into some high-end trainers to showcase your casualwear style signature.

The Herbie charcoal blazer, the Herbie charcoal trousers, the Wheeler ercu T-shirt, the Jack Purcell white Signature leather trainers

HOW TO MIX CASUALWEAR WITH SMART CLOTHING

One of the most appealing things about menswear's new found nonchalance is its ability to offer up surprising new sartorial combinations. More specifically, the mix of smart and casual pieces provide the perfect way to get dressed when taking to city streets. Sharp style meets forgiving fits, and the result is endlessly wearable looks. Try teaming dressier pieces (think an overcoat and trousers) with more comfortable pieces (a knitted polo shirt and sports luxe trainers will do) for style that ticks all boxes.

The Gabriel navy epsom coat, the Wish bordeaux knitted polo shirt, the Don slate grey trainers, the Bryant grey tailored trousers

HOW TO WEAR CASUALWEAR ON THE WEEKEND

Want to embrace casualwear in all its nonchalant glory? The key to getting this weekend-ready look right lies in choosing the right fabrications and fits. Joggers should come closely fitted, jackets crafted from luxurious suede and ditch a backpack in favour of a tote to smarten things up a little. When wearing casualwear from top-to-toe, pared-back shades are your best friend. In black, white and navy, casualwear feels fresh, contemporary, but suitably restrained enough to stay on the right side of tasteful.

The Forge white sweatshirt, the Murray navy suede jacket, the Sigma blue flecked joggers, the Trapper navy tote, the Dylon navy desert boots

For more ways to wear casualwear, see the Reiss 1971 Collection AW15