There have been plenty of iconic duos throughout history – Batman and Robin, Lennon and McCartney, Han Solo and Chewbacca – but you wouldn’t necessarily go to those examples for style inspiration. You don’t need to. Some of the best tag-teams in history should already reside in your wardrobe.
More than the sum of their parts, these are the sartorial soulmates with staying power, the tried-and-trusted twosomes that should be a part of your rotation. These are the greatest menswear double acts of all time.
The reason why camel is popular isn’t hard to pin down. As a lighter neutral colour, it looks great with the lion’s share of your wardrobe. But there’s arguably no better bedfellow for this variant of beige than classic blue jeans. Why? It’s a classic case of opposites attract.
The camel coat started out as something to layer over tailoring, and most modern versions nod to its smart sartorial origins. At the other end of the spectrum is denim, man’s hardest working wardrobe hero now synonymous with the concept of off-duty dressing.
Put the two together, be it with jeans or a jean jacket, and you’ve got one of the best high-low combinations since the burger went gourmet. Tasty.
Like many other menswear staples, the bomber jacket has its roots in military wear. Since its days on the backs of pilots, the original MA-1 has been worn by movie stars, skinheads, presidents and punks, and has spawned a thousand imitators – from versions in leather to silk blousons.
Prized for its wearability and versatility, the iconic green shade teams effortlessly with just about any T-shirt or sweatshirt, but it undoubtedly flies best with a classic white crew neck in and out of the cockpit.
A Dorian Gray of menswear duos: it’s a pairing that’s been worn for decades, but hasn’t aged a day. File this one under ‘things to wear that won’t make you cringe in years to come’.
Fresh from shaking off its affinity with Steve Jobs and the Milk Tray Man, and riding high on the 1970s revival, the roll neck has once again banished cold necks to the history books.
Though it’s difficult to say where and how the roll neck originated, we do know that is was likely developed as utility wear, making it a firm favourite on the high seas.
The best way to riff on this elegant knit’s naval origins is to combine it with the captain of smart jackets: the double-breasted blazer. Sophisticated, but not stuffy, worn together these pieces work to slim down your waist while also broadening your shoulders, not to mention saving on the hassle of having to wear a shirt and tie. Which pretty much makes this a match made in heaven.
Some combinations simply shouldn’t work, but absolutely do – like Nutella and pizza (just us?). Others, however, are a more natural fit. Case in point: a leather biker jacket and black jeans.
Equal parts rugged and rebellious, together these mainstays of menswear land hard on the trend for tonal dressing, while simultaneously offering up varying textures that keep your look interesting.
Take your style cue from Mr Marlon Brando in The Wild One and saddle up this pairing alongside a crisp white T-shirt, or bring the look speeding up to date with a hoodie or roll neck.
If you’d asked most men a few seasons ago whether they’d want their tailoring described as ‘slouchy’, the answer would probably have been a firm no. Today it’s a different story, and it’s the Italians we owe a grazie to for the contemporary, casual take on formalwear.
A staple of sprezzatura, the unstructured blazer takes the traditional straitjacket style and strips it back: the excess padding and lining is removed, creating a softer shoulder and relaxed silhouette.
As a result, whether bought in a classic shade of navy, more daring hues like khaki or textured materials like slub cotton, an unstructured blazer marries effortlessly with a crew neck T-shirt in a complementary or contrasting colour to create a wealth of modern smart-casual or business-casual looks.
Anyone with more than a passing interest in style will be familiar with the influence elite American educational institutions have had on our wardrobes. From letterman jackets to loafers, we have the A-grade appeal of Ivy league to thank.
So it stands to reason that two of the principle pieces behind preppy’s meteoric rise would go straight to the top of the class when worn together.
A sweatshirt and chinos constitute an ideal no-fuss look on the go, but the outfit can also be made smarter by swapping traditionally casual colourways like grey marl and beige for rich navies and deep blacks, or by adding in pieces like an Oxford shirt or Chelsea boots.
‘Riviera chic’ is a phrase wheeled out with clockwork regularity by the fashion press. But there’s method in the ad nauseam repetition, not least because nailing a Gandy-level wardrobe taps into man’s primal pipedream of packing in the rat race for life on a Mediterranean island.
Until such plans become a reality, settle for looking the part by pairing a navy blazer with a Breton top. Worn for the best part of a century, this timeless duo has weathered countless sea changes in style thanks to its unabashed simplicity.
Play up the dressed-down vibes by opting for a blazer with minimal padding, footed with either matching trousers or a pair of light chinos. The result is a look that works just as well for a jaunt around a concrete jungle as on a sun-soaked stretch of the Med. No yacht necessary.
In an age when most of us spend our days chained to a desk, there’s something satisfying in dressing as if you make your money getting your hands dirty outdoors.
No wardrobe coupling undoes modern-day emasculation quite like a flannel shirt and hardwearing denim. Sure, it may be a shameless attempt at channelling a lumberjack’s ability to wield an axe, but who cares if you struggle even to keep hold of a kitchen knife?
To reaffirm your newfound alpha status, opt for a checked flannel shirt and a pair of jeans in raw selvedge denim. Modernise the whole look with a pair of sneakers or keep it rugged AF with some worker or moc toe boots.
It’s not hard to remember a time when the way a man wore his tailoring was not to be tampered with. Fast forward a few years, however, and not only are we more eager than ever to air our ankles, but we’re also kicking back against the strict confines of full-on suiting in something more comfortable.
At least on our feet. Wearing suits with trainers is not quite standard issue, but it’s raising far fewer eyebrows than it was a few years ago. That’s because we’re not talking about the same pair you (claim to) hit the gym in, or the ones you allow to get as battered as you on the weekend, but sleek, minimalist styles that are, in some respects, closer in appearance to shoes than trainers.
To suit up with the right solemate, favour simple colours like white, black, grey and, at a push, brown. Keep your suit relaxed by swapping the shirt and tie for a T-shirt or knitwear and above all else, ensure your kicks are clean enough to eat off.
Not exactly the most novel of sartorial dream teams, we know, but when it comes to a black tie event, it’s worth pointing out that nothing short of a dinner suit and bow tie will do.
Though wearing a simple necktie (a move commonly referred to as ‘Hollywood black tie’) may seem desirable, given how difficult a dickie is to assemble, achieving a task of such Olympic proportions is one that instantly wins you gold.
Think of the dinner suit and bow tie pairing as the All Blacks of the formalwear world. Practically unbeatable. Same colour scheme, too.
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Aug 16, 2018 0Jenny Jin Für die Uneingeweihten, wachsen kann einschüchternd sein. (Heck, an der initiierte kann es immer noch beängstigend.) Abgesehen davon, dass potentiell schmerzhaft, es wirft...
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