The fickle nature of fashion often means that it’s a constant juggling act to stay on top of the latest trends, and as we head into summer, you might well be pondering the staple pieces you should be adding to your wardrobe. But with the latest ‘in’ styles and prints barely seeing a month or two of daylight before we’re onto the next, the prospect of trying to keep up once again can take the fun out of it all.
But any sartorial male will know, the key to maintaining a well put-together image year-round isn’t about chasing fashion – it’s about building a carefully crafted capsule wardrobe that comprises some classic pieces that will never go out of vogue. There are certain garments that not only go with everything, but have long stood the test of time – and opting for sharp silhouettes and a muted and monochrome colour palette, you’ll never go far wrong.
So, if you’re eager to stay ahead of the style game not just for summer, but forever, then look no further – because we’ve rounded up the three key staples every well-dressed man should add to his wardrobe in 2021. Choose quality over quantity, and you’ll likely still be rocking them in decades to come, and all without the fashion police in sight.
The leather jacket
The classic leather jacket dates back as far as the 1900s, when film star Jimmy Stewart was seen sporting one in the popular movie, ‘Night Passage’. By the 1920s, they had also become a favourite garment for pilots to wear to protect them from harsh weather conditions in the cockpit.
Fast-forward to 1957, and they were already dominating the Hollywood movie scene – although it wasn’t until the 70s that film fashion began to translate onto the catwalks, and the first civilians began to add them to their wardrobes.
Since then, we’ve seen various different styles of leather jacket dominating in the fashion stakes – from the classic bomber and aviator to an edgier biker style that most recently made a comeback in the 2010s. But none of these styles has ever fallen out of favour, and even today, you could throw one on and make an effortless style statement.
The super-fitted designs of times gone by have made way for a variety of different and more wearable styles, and they’re now more accessible than ever. The plus size leather jackets from Pala leather have paved the way for everyone to get their hands on one.
So, which style should you be going for if you’re looking for a staple piece to last the difference? Well, why stop at just one? Our top picks are a casual biker for the spring and summer months, and a men’s leather trench coat to see you through autumn and winter.
The slim-fit jean
May 20, 1873 was a historic occasion, and marked the day on which Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained a US patent on the process of putting rivets in men’s work pants for the very first time. The result? The birth of the blue jean – which is a piece that remains in almost everyone’s wardrobe to this day.
While styles and washes have changed through the ages, the garment itself has remained in full favour, with the slim fit outlasting flares, bootcuts and skinnies to become the most timeless of them all.
Easy to dress down with a pair of tennis shoes and a t-shirt as they are to dress up with a leather jacket or a navy blazer and shirt, there’s a very good reason that every man should own a pair in smart indigo – because they quite literally go with everything. Wear turned up, or swap for a pair of black slim-fit jeans for a more formal occasion and team with a shirt, brogues and suit jacket.
A designer pair is, of course, a must – because with jeans, you really do get what you pay for. Splurge on a quality pair and they will look even better with age.
The brown lace-up shoe
To pull it all together, no man can go wrong with a pair of chestnut-brown, lace-up leather shoes. Smart, sophisticated and endlessly versatile, they work perfectly for both casual and formal occasions and are the perfect partner for your jeans and leather jacket combo, as well as a multitude of other different looks.
Keep yours well-polished and they’ll take you seamlessly from day to night – so if you’re heading out straight from the office or lunch with friends, then no need to bring a spare pair. Northampton shoemaker Church’s, which is part of the Prada Group, does an exemplary model which features a leather triple sole and elegant stitching, while Hugo Boss offers a range of different options for a more pared down, casual look.