Saturday, 5 September 2009

5 Love Forever Pieces

5 Love Forever Pieces..

The AW09 catwalks were awash with a variety of contradictory trends. There was 80's power dressing at Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and Giorgio Armani. Disco chic reigned supreme at Gucci and Versace, while rustic knits and prints were the order of the day at Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Burberry and Aquascutum. Add to this a heavy dose of a rock and roll tinged gothic aesthetic and you have a rather confusing array of fashion options. Thank goodness then for the LFP's (Love Forever Pieces) - those savvy investments that will neither date nor lose their appeal in seasons to come. The notion of cheap, disposable fashion isn't so economical when you've a wardrobe packed to the rafters with ill fitting, poor quality clothing. Given that most of the time we only tend to wear 20% of our wardrobe, surely it makes sense to invest a little money on good quality, beautifully crafted capsule pieces that have that FGF (Feel Good Factor) ?

I've hand-picked five sartorial gems from that would enhance every man's wardrobe.

1. Paul Smith Blue Thin Striped Scarf

Accessories are the easiest way to update and add a little flair to your ensemble. This classic, graphic striped design would look as good with your work suit as it would with jeans and a jumper at the weekend.

2. Paul Smith Pitney Black Darby Lace Up Shoe

I can't help but wax lyrical about this shoe. A classic colour, quality glossy leather and an almond toe shape that isn't as extreme as the pointy styles that have been in vogue in recent years. The purple laces and floral print inner sole provide a subtle individuality that marks it out from the plethora of black shoes on the street.

3. Vivienne Westwood Blue Classic Wool V Neck Knit

Dame Vivienne Westwood is known for many things; punk, tartan, political activism and toppling Supermodels. Naomi Campbell famously came down to earth in more ways than one while negotiating her way down Queen Viv's catwalk in a pair of vertigo-inducing platforms. What you may not know is that she also designs some of the most sought after knits. The right fit is essential with knitwear lest you risk being mistaken for the Michelin Man. This blue wool V neck is the perfect item to stash in your manbag for freak weather changes. It's the perfect cover up for less than balmy late summer nights. Furthermore it would work equally well with a tailored navy suit in the office as it would with your favourite jeans at the weekend.

4. PS Paul Smith Grey Wool Velvet Collar Epsom Coat

Given that your winter coat is going to be on your back until spring next year (this is Britain after all), it makes sense to invest in one that you love. It's been well documented that Burberry have been giving Aquascutum something of a thrashing in the trench wars but between you and me I am a little bit over the whole urban spy look. Unless you happen to be starring in a remake of 'Allo 'Allo !, I recommend you opt for something luxurious and grown up like this single breasted grey wool coat with a sumptuous black velvet trim on the collar and cuffs. Worn over a suit, jeans or trousers, the sharp tailoring and simple cut is guaranteed to suit men of all shapes and sizes.

5. Vivienne Westwood Denim Classic Slim Jeans

If you're too trend driven when it comes to your jeans you run the risk of obscuring any hint of a body shape, or worse still, looking like an overgrown skater boy or indie rocker. Low crotch jeans may be all the rage right now but they also give you an air of incontinence. This presents something of a dilemma. Do you take the fashion route and look like you've had a 'mishap' or go for the safe option? Safe doesn't have to mean boring these days. These classic slim jeans in an indigo wash have a universally flattering cut. Trendy low crotch styles will obscure your posterior to the extent that you appear to have an extraordinarily long back. It's time to embrace your buttocks chaps (relax - I didn't mean that literally), believe it or not, people do like to see the junk in your trunk. Drainpipe skinnies can give men with rugby thighs the appearance of a tree trunk smuggler. Thankfully the leg of these jeans are slim enough to indicate you have a fully functioning fashion radar, but roomy enough to accommodate a larger leg. To quote David Bowie these are a Jean Genie. Whether it's a jumper, jacket, shirt or coat, they will magically go with everything.

Paul Smith Blue Thin Striped Scarf - £60

PS Paul Smith Grey Wool Velvet Collar Epsom Coat - £385

Vivienne Westwood Blue Classic Wool V-Neck Knit - £149

Vivienne Westwood Denim Classic Slim Jeans - £170

Paul Smith Pitney Black Darby Lace Up Shoe - £180

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