The return of the London gentleman

By Richard Benson Director of Guide London@GuideClothing

It’s no secret that fashion works in cycles. When flicking through the pages of a glossy magazine or simply walking the streets of London, we often get a sense of déjà vu — a sense that the gorgeous attire on display isn’t completely new and original. Whether it’s the return of tie-dye or the skinny jean, trends never really die. And, while we’d prefer to think the string vest and dodgy shell-suit era never happened, there’s one trend we’re glad to see the return of: the classic gentlemanly suit.

Offering timeless sophistication, London men are putting their own stamp on this elegant style. Here’s how you can follow suit.

Material man

To carry off this look, quality is crucial. Like a great watch or classic sports car, the satisfaction you’ll get from your suit all comes down to investing well. As we’ve mentioned, this trend is never going to go out of fashion, so it’s worth spending a little more on items that will last.

It goes without saying that your suit should fit well — get this wrong and it simply won’t work. There are a few simple tips to make sure you’re doing it right. For example, the arms of your jacket shouldn’t hang lower than your watch strap. And unlike Maggie Thatcher, a dapper gent’s shoulder pads definitely shouldn’t be wider than your actual shoulders.

You also don’t need to worry about purchasing a matching two-piece suit. Many A-listers have been spotted wearing a statement blazer with complementary, but not necessarily matching, trousers. We’re firm believers in this style trend; it’s one of the reasons Guide sells its suits as single items, to encourage mixing and matching between textures and designs. Heritage styles, like tweed and subtle checks, are particularly hot trends at the moment, so why not go authentic and invest in a well-cut jacket to see you through the upcoming AW14 season?

The shirt needs to be right too. An all-rounded fashion label we most certainly are, but we’re particularly well-known for our exquisite choice of shirts. While we’ll always recommend keeping it simple with a crisp white or pale blue number, so as not to distract from the sharp cut and rich fabric of that newly discovered tweed, experimenting is definitely the way forward. We favour vibrant colour and bold designs when it comes to shirts. Contrasting textures and patterns, like a striped shirt and with a checked suit, might sound like a bold move, but it’s one that can be easily carried off and is sure to turn heads on the fashionable streets of the capital.

Dress it down

Creating an off-duty look doesn’t mean you have to ditch your typically formal suit though. In fact, striking the balance between smart and casual has become something of an art form on London streets.
The general rule is to keep it formal up top and casual below. Choose a crisp shirt, stylish tie and statement blazer, but swap your tailored trousers for a pair of mid-wash jeans to achieve a laidback aesthetic. Team with a pair of everyday tan brogues for a look that’s sure to get you noticed in the capital.

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