Trying too Hard
It’s been a long week and I’m finally heading home. London holds a special place in my heart; It’s a city that pays dividends to those who are willing to explore its many secrets. I love the city and I’m excited at the prospect of hanging out in my favourite places! Even the paisley crinkle shirt of the passenger next to me isn’t enough to dampen my spirits… more about him later.
I’ve resolved to dedicate the 2 hour flight time towards penning this piece for Nike and & Tink Jewellery. I mean, how hard can it be?…An hour and a half later, I’m still starring at my keyboard …nada…I’d penned a few lines about the virtues of a silk knitted tie when suddenly Mr crinkle shirt provids much needed inspiration. I sum up his wardrobe in three words: trying too hard.
Truly, modern man has evolved far from his Flintstone origins. Fig leaves just don’t cut it these days.Yet, in today’s digital age, its easy to become a fashion victim and simply follow trends that fall off the catwalk. I still cringe at some of my fashion crimes ( as a side note, check out individualism.co.uk for their series on sins of style).
No sir, to be a gentleman of distinction and elegance today, one needs to employ a style philosophy of effortless charm and suave nonchalance. Check out Colin Firth‘s character in “A Single Man“; Style personified.
There are several hurdles to this style nirvana. The biggest challenge is to not look like you’re trying too hard (crinkle shirt guy take note). Style should be effortless. It ought to look like an incidental part of your normal daily pursuit and not the result of hours poring and obsessing through the look books of esquire and GQ. We don’t all have to wear dessert boots or roll up our denim trousers to reveal quirky socks.
I’m looking at paisley crinkle shirt guy with his flared jeans, pointy shoes, massive bejewelled watch and gucci type shades and humongous belt buckle. Where’s a time maching when you need it.
My suggestion for a suave autumn look? A fitted blazer (perhaps tweed), coupled with a casual look, strikes the right tone. Autumn temperatures means we’ll all be covering up a lot more, but you can still add a splash of colour to your ensemble. I’m really feeling the piqued polo shirts by 4stripes fashion or, as a homage to Steve Jobs, a roll neck jumper from John Smedley or Simon Spur. Over a pair of fitted or straight leg denim trousers and a pair of green velvet tassel loafers by LOLU. A discreet woven belt ( check out ASOS BLACK) would tie the whole look together perfectly. I’ve given up wristwatches at the moment, I much favour wrist beads and bracelets, like the ebony beaded bracelet by Luis morais from mrporter.com
As the shuttle slowly approaches the terminal, crinkle shirt guy has added a long neo-matrix style jacket to the look. I’m amused at this, till I notice he’s also observing my attire. And then it strikes me; crinkle shirt guy is probably thinking the same thing about me and wishing he had a spare crinkle top to hand me complete with paisley tie and cowboy belt.
A Stanstead express journey later and I’m still trying to figure out what it is I’ve learnt from crinkle shirt man ( In conversation, I discover he is German, a cocktail barman and is enroute to his Polish girlfriend in Stratford ). I guess in his own way, he has taught me something else about style: it is subjective, and the beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
After all is said and done, just be happy whatever you’re wearing even if guys like me might wrinkle their nose at it…well, a maybe give the crinkle shirt a miss next time.
About Guest Writer
Charles Deji Juba is the lead singer of Four Kornerz; an award winning, MOBO nominated electropop band. He is creative director of artesquire.com and a style consultant. A consumate artist, he has a passion for art, fashion and music. He loves italian food and he supports Arsenal.