It’s probably too early to start compiling the best songs of 2019, but we feel safe predicting that come December, Mr James Blake’s “Mile High” will be among the year’s top tracks. But while Mr Blake always looks good, that isn’t why we mention him here; it’s because of the line in “Mile High” when he sings, “Less is always more”. Those four words capture exactly how we feel about style right now – sometimes we wish to take refuge from the fashion storm that’s howling around us. There are days when we want some calm, away from the patterns and prints that vigorously compete for attention in what has become a visual arms race. The 1970s are back; so are the 1990s, and the streetwear reign just won’t let up. That’s all well and good but sometimes we just want something… simple.
This season, we’re ready to invest in some high-quality basics made from the best fabrics; clothes that will still look and feel right in a couple of years – think plain T-shirts, hoodies, cotton rollneck sweaters and long-sleeve polo shirts. These discreet pieces represent the casual side of minimalist style.
If a crisply-ironed white shirt worn with charcoal-grey wool trousers and black leather shoes were a work of art it might be a piece by the late, great American artist Mr Donald Judd, perhaps one of his geometric aluminium boxes. But if a green piqué cotton polo shirt, worn with slightly loose-fitting jeans, were an artwork, it would be more like a mud painting by the British artist Mr Richard Long. The mood is still restrained, but now it’s also relaxed. These are pieces that, in the words of Mr Esteban Saba, co-founder of Handvaerk, “complement what you already have in your wardrobe”. These aren’t clothes that shout to be heard, rather, they’re for guys who are comfortable in their skin, and want to be just as comfortable in their clothes.