British Casual Style: it Might Rain Anytime!

bensherman, casual, british style, jacket
Founded in Brighton in 1963 by a chap called Arthur Benjamin Sugarman, Ben Sherman is one of my favorite British sportswear brands.

Switch the Tv on, weather channel: you are visiting London, and you never know. Yes, you might end up drinking a pint or two at the Red Lion’s Pub, and the only thing that rain there is beer, but you still need to take into account the fact that there could be some walking involved anyway. Still, you don’t need a pair of running shoes. If there is something I suggest you DON’T take into account instead, is the possibility of including a pair of Saucony Triumph 12 or Mizuno Wave Rider 16 in your casual outfit.

People usually argue that these sorts of shoes are, indeed, extremely comfortable, but what they are really saying is: I’ve paid 130 euros for these sneakers and now I’m going to use them. There is nothing more comfortable than a good pair of expensive leather shoes. But I don’t condemn sneakers tout-court. When it come to fashionable sneakers try to go for the ones that are made of leather, anyway. Rubber souls are ok, just check that the quality of the various elements is acceptable. Check the stitching, try them on before you buy them: sneakers, unlike dress shoes, should be comfortable from the very first time you try them on. If they aren’t – even though they are cheap, run for the hills. if you go for a pair of cheap sneakers to save some money you are going to regret it, I can assure you. The reason being: these sorts of shoes are made for walking and you can’t use them to walk, then you can’s use them in any way shape or form. Now, if you decided to go for the 49 dollars sneakers, instead of the 79s – all of a sudden – you lost all your money: basically, instead of investing 79 dollars on a good pair of shoes, you have completely wasted 49 bucks for no reason whatsoever.

Mark my words, if you have a reasonable collection of shoes so you can switch and you aren’t using the same shoes every single day, each and every new item you add to the collection might last almost for a lifetime. You must keep the cost-per-wear (Cpw) in mind: If you spend one hundred dollars on a good pair of shoes that will last you forever, really, you have saved a good amount of money, meaning you can wear these one-hundred-dollar shoes so many times before they wear out that the Cpw would be basically neglectable. On the other hand, if you go for an extremely cheap pair of sneakers, your Cpw would be extremely high: each and every time you wear them might be the last one.

grid, style, flatlay, wrangler, wexford, sneakers, hat, rayban, festina, wrangler
It took me two ours to take this picture… you’d better like it!

There are other considerations involved in my “it might rain outfit”: a good pair of sneakers, usually, would be somehow hydro-repellant, especially if it’s made in leather. Not only, you can still use some water resistant spray on a good pair of leather sneakers. On the contrary, go out in the rain wearing cheap sneakers and you’d most assuredly end up with wet feet and miserable, can you put a price tag on that? The sneakers I’m wearing in this picture a pair of Wexford. They were made in Italy and even though I don’t exactly remember how much I’ve paid for them, they must have been a little under 100 Euros on a sale. They must be at least six years old if I remember correctly and even though they don’t look brand new anymore, I’ve never taken care of them and they are still intact, apart from being quite comfortable. Yes, you might have noticed – unless you are under the influence – that I’m talking about a pair of semi-boots in leather, with a rubber soul. Ideally, chances of rain taken into consideration, you want to wear a pair of boots, or semi-boots: Elementary Watson.

The most quick-witted individuals among you might also have noticed that the color of the sneakers is a tone or two away from the color of the jacket, and that – at the same time – both the color of the jacket and the one of the shoes are slightly split complementary in relation to the trousers’ color. Verily, verily I say unto you: consider the lilies of the field, anyone?

Since I’m here, the jacket is a Ben Sherman. I would place this one between a Varsity jacket and a bomber jacket. However, it is not suitable for very rigid temperatures – let’s say you could start wearing this in Autumn – if you leave in the south of Europe – and switch to a heavier coat in January. However, this jacket would keep you warm and dry most of the times. It’s also somehow classy, given its color: a Midnight-Express blue.

Let’s go for the trousers now, the ones I’m wearing here are a pair of hydro-repellant corduroy five pockets in Chocolate-brown by Wrangler. You can see their legs are straight, not slim. Even though I’m not a huge fan of slim legs, I have to admit that there’s a good chance that I’ll take these pair of trousers to my friend Marian Vitel, so he can work some magic. He’s usually recalcitrant when it comes to adjusting trousers, but he’s all talk. Anyways, I would like you to notice two things here: the contrasting colors and the contrasting textures. This is the way you work with sportswear’s combinations.

slim fit, wrangler, trousers, corduroy
Slim fit or not? That is the question!

Also, notice how the shirt does NOT match the color scheme of this outfit. I did that on purpose. We are dealing with a classic, gingham cotton shirt with a button-down collar in white, red and dark gray, also from Ben Sherman. Read the following sentence with a thick London accent (minute 0:55), Does it get any more British than this? As a rule of thumb, add ONE (and only ONE) interesting, as well as personal touch to your outfit, otherwise, you’d look like a mannequin. Don’t mix more than two-three, perhaps four colors in an outfit. If you do use three or four, make sure one of them is neutral. For example, my driver cap’s color has nothing to do with either the pants or the jacket or even the shoes, but it is in gray, with a Madras pattern on it, so the color is neutral and the pattern is typically British.

At this point, you might think that I’ve been thinking too much about this outfit. In reality, though, you must believe me: it was the instinct that guided me when I put it together. This is what I want you to do: once you are done reading this book, as well as other books on the same topic, and after some practice, you should be able to effortlessly put together different outfits for different occasions in a matter of minutes, regardless of weather conditions, venues or Weekends. I’m sure you can do it.

Color scheme for this outfit:

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Andrea Loquenzi Holzer

The truth will set you free

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