Eight Street-Smart Accessories And Shoes For The New Season
Now tailoring has had a 21st-century refresh, the rest of your outfit should follow suit
In the past, designers have been content to team a two-piece with some sneakers and call it a day. That’s not what we’re talking about here. And, no, this isn’t about wearing a blazer and chinos to the office on dress-down Fridays in lieu of your usual DB either. In fact, it has very little to do with what’s office-appropriate at all. Instead, this is about the suit taking to the streets. It’s about wearing tailoring with the same ease and attitude one would a hoodie or logo T-shirt (and sometimes with a hoodie or logo tee). Much of that, we’ve discovered, comes down to the accessories. The right shoes, bag or even watch will alter the mood of a suit faster and more effectively than loosening your tie ever did. Here’s how.
If you know your sneakers, you’ll probably be familiar with Alexander McQueen’s best-selling exaggerated-sole sneakers – and the stir they caused when they were first released. These outsized black Derby shoes are the natural successor to that recognisable silhouette. Made with polished and patent-leather uppers, this pair is set on chunky track-ready treads that offer a bit of extra height, as well as an unexpected, but welcome, splash of contrasting colour. Just promise us you won’t go jogging in them.
All the small things
The devil’s always been in the detail. But it is particularly true when you’re talking about smart dressing. Chosen with care, these little things remain the simplest way to ease yourself into a trend or spruce up an otherwise classic look. You might not be ready to try out Balenciaga’s super-sculptural tailoring or don a pair of its Triple S ugly sneakers to work, but a bold logo cardholder or a pair of 1990s-inspired rectangular-framed glasses from the brand’s new eyewear line? Sure, why not?
Pick up a pouch
Everyone, including us, is keen on mini bags at the moment – the belt bag, the camera bag, that little circular thing you hang around your neck from Jacquemus – but in all the excitement we’ve overlooked the strapless alternative right under our noses: the humble pouch. Sometimes called a portfolio or, in a slightly larger format, document holder, this streamlined piece is one of those accessories that makes the carrier look like the most organised man at the meeting and, if you happen to be carrying Prada’s pouch, the most stylish, too.
If you happen to be travelling farther than your next meeting, you’ll probably need something bigger. That doesn’t mean you have to take the orthodox route with a briefcase, though. Take this angular Puzzle bag by Loewe, so named after its intricate piecemeal construction. It’s essentially the size of a messenger bag but, at a pinch, you could pack in everything you need for an overnight getaway. If you don’t feel like slinging it over your shoulder like a handbag, it also lends itself to being worn across the back like a rucksack.
Right and proper
You can take some comfort in the fact that tailoring’s core principles will always remain. No matter how radically designers reinvent the suit, chest pockets and cuffs will endure and so, too, will the pocket squares and cufflinks you adorn them with. As tradition also has it, these are the items that tend to pass from father to son, which is why it often pays to invest in something that is timeless. Dunhill’s gold-plated sapphire cufflinks and Gucci’s pleasingly retro pocket square are heirloom quality.
Times are a-changing
While we’re on the subject of timelessness, what about your timepiece? Convention has it that formalwear or smart tailoring should be paired with a dress watch. This tends to be simple, elegant and unobtrusive in design. A sports watch, for example, would be wholly inappropriate, right? Not quite. In the horological universe, Cartier’s Santos model, which relaunched last year, is a rare breed in the watch market in that it manages to straddle both the dress and sports categories, which makes it the perfect pick for this new world we find ourselves in. And, if you’re still feeling somewhat apprehensive about that stainless-steel bracelet strap, you’ll be glad to know it comes with an interchangeable leather version, too.