Style has become a fickle business. One minute us men are buying skinny jeans, next we’re buying drop crotch joggers. It starts to feel like nothing ever really has any longevity which can lead to fashion poverty. However, through the style and trend jungle that is menswear, every so often something comes along with the perfect mix of practicality and style that makes it immune to trends and time.
Let’s take the Schott Perfecto leather jacket for an example shall we? This iconic jacket was first seen on Marlon Brando’s character Johnny Strabler in the 1953 movie The Wild One and, a few minor tweaks through the ages and it’s still a wardrobe staple today – still looks as cool today as it ever did.
Then there is the Burberry trench coat. Originally designed for WWI soldiers, this iconic piece of outwear now helps us battle the weather on our commutes.
These are just two examples of immortal items of clothing, ingrained into our collective mindset after decades of public and pop-culture exposure. But what are the menswear icons of tomorrow?
Here is my take on what I think are the next iconic pieces but please note I do not own a crystal ball that sees into the future.
Best place to start is with my favourite area of fashion is sneakers, being a self-confessed addict. Classic sneakers such as Adidas Stan Smith or Converse Chuck Taylor’s have stood the test time due to their simplicity. Common projects takes on the key learns from those two iconic kicks. The sneaker developed by designers Peter Poopat & Flavio Girolami is stripped back to it’s purest form with the aim of creating the perfect silhouette. Sleek, minimal, and made of high-quality materials, they probably have achieved their goal with the Achillies low and high model.
THE VARSITY JACKET
The “letterman jacket” or varsity jacket is probably one of the most recognisable symbols of the Americanisation of the globe, a topic for another day maybe? However this style icon began life in the late 1800s, introduced by the Harvard University baseball team, and adopted by university students across the US to represent sporting achievement. Like most stylish collegiate inspired clothing, it has since been appropriated by fashion designers. Vik Tailor the designer for MKI Miyuki-Zoku has developed my favourite iteration of the classic, so much so I recently purchased one as a present to myself from myself. Not only does it stay true to the ethos of the varsity jacket, that students were supposed to remove their letter upon graduation, it’s slimmer cut and timeless black on black colour scheme ensures longevity.
THE GREY SWEATSHIRT
Okay so this pick is a bit of a cheat but bare with, okay? Sweatshirt. Let’s take a moment to say the word out loud. S W E A T S H I R T. Sweat. Shirt. Hardly the most appealing name for a garment, is it? Yet this humble scrap of jersey cotton has managed to outgrow its athletic origins – not to mention its off-putting name – to become an essential part of the modern man’s wardrobe. It has gone through many reiterations in it’s long history, most recently as to go under the gaze of Mr. Ricardo Tisci. For longevity though steer clear of rottweiler prints and leather trims. Stay with a plain and well fitting silhouette! I highly recommend Acne Studios Casey Crew which has been created with a slimmer silhouette than the usual offering allowing for layering.
THE BLUE OXOFRD SHIRT
Here is a garment that makes a compelling case for inclusion in any man’s wardrobe: it’s versatile, timeless and pulls off that ultimate of sartorial tricks – abating a hangover. It’s not just a piece of attire exclusive for the gents of EC1 or residence of London Borough’s ending with ‘upon Thames’. Now you can go with torch bearer of everything preppy Ralph Lauren but allow me to through in an option totally out of left field…..ASOS own label. Yes ASOS has a very strong selection of Oxford shirts in varying fits to best suit your body shape. They also offer subtle detailing nuajscances which give a point a difference.
P.S. I know this is a cheat too with the likes of Paul Newman having adorned the Oxford shirt in iconic imagery.
THE SPORT SHOE
Innovation and a cult status often go hand in hand with longevity. Adidas Ultra Boost debuted to the world in February 2015 in New York and has taken the world storm. I who was initially sceptic have been fully converted into a believer. It was heralded as “the best running shoe ever” by Adidas, but with any techno savvy piece of apparel/accessory in recent years they have made there way into the street style images of the “IT” crowd. This innovate fusion of primeknit upper and energy redistribution outer sole has consolidated streetwear or dressing down smarter looks. Given their appeal in both the sport and fashion worlds, I don’t see this chameleon of the sneaker world fading out any time soon.