Men's style


Elemental, my dear

Just because the days are getting longer doesn’t mean you’re safe from the elements – take your tips from outerwear and wrap up in style, with something equal parts rugged adventurer and urban explorer.

What the  blazes to do?

I have a friend who is a 30-something, baldy (in a distinguished way) banker in need of some fashion and relationship advice. He has recently purchased a single-breasted blazer, which he likes very much.

However, his wife and he disagree as to what should be worn with it. She feels that skinny chinos are the way forward while he, despite being blessed with the figure to carry them off, does not, for a number of reasons, the main one being he has no desire to look “hip” (classic would perhaps be better), nor like an embarrassing uncle let loose with a Topman voucher.

There’s also the fact that he just doesn’t feel comfortable, physically or psychologically, in “skinny” trousers.

That said, he’s not against chinos in principle, but what colour? Nobody will be getting him into purple breeks, I can assure you of that.

– Alan (obviously not my real name)

Allow me to commend you for seeking advice on this matter – so many of us are reluctant to reach out in our times of need, and we find ourselves lost and alone in a sea of cheap polyester, unsure whether to try, buy or flee.

Your first course of action (and you’re fooling no one) should be to placate your wife – purchase a pair of skinny chinos and wear immediately, before relegating them to the back of the wardrobe, happy in the knowledge that you have ensured the safety of your relationship (for now).

Lucky for you both, “skinny” trousers have, of late, received a fabulous rebranding in the form of the term “slim fit” – which is, I think you’ll agree, far more palatable, not to mention sophisticated. Zara is the best bet on the high street for slim-fit trousers, from jeans (go for a true blue; they never go out of style) to chinos such as these blue trews, €39.95. If you fancy going down the burgundy (crucially, not purple) route, Penneys has a pair of slim-fit trousers at a bargain €12 – although the fit might be hit or miss, so be sure to bring an adviser. These cropped raspberry chinos (€54) by J by Jasper Conran at Debenhams, will be perfect for summer.

A single-breasted blazer, no matter what the colour, is a bit of a classic, so, ultimately, you can mix and match it with a variety of shapes and styles, from chinos to seamed trousers and slim-fitting jeans.

* Star buy

Put some spring in your step with this modern take on a classic – these bright blue Kurt Geiger brogues(€145, Arnotts) will bring you right up to date. Wear with tan or beige chinos and a nautical striped tee

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