Sunday, 3 October 2010

How to get classy.

We all get to a certain point in our lives where we stop thinking about street-wear, hair dye, shag bands and Kanye West sunglasses. And that point should be a signal to each of us that it's time to get classy, whatever age you are when that revelation hits you. I'm not quite there yet but in an attempt to plan ahead I noted some stuff down and took some pictures, also check it out - when you're looking classy you're also instantly taller.

Swap your cap for a slicked back

If you're like me and would rather avoid the whole hair game by covering that shit up with a hat everyday, you're already minus 1 clasy point. I suppose tweed caps could be deemed acceptable if you're engaging in a light session of grouse shooting or a brisk Sunday stroll, but 5 panels, new era's, snapbacks and beanies are all a definite no go. What you need is a handful of wax, a comb and a pocked mirror to ensure no slippery stray hairs are dangling down over your forehead, that look is so 1957, and we're going for straight up 30s elegance here. Trust me, the girls will dig this look as well; even though they usually go for guys rocking the 'just got out of bed (and spent 45 minutes delicately applying mousse)' look, with your new do you will remind them of Big from Sex in the City, and we all know most girls are like totally in love with him right? He's got that suave, sophisticated, just the right side of sleazy look going to maximum effect so let's, from now till the day we die, use Big - the man who actually married Carrie (wtf) - as our style mentor.

Swap your vans for some man shoes

I'm 21 and I still get ID'ed when I'm trying to buy cigarettes, maybe it's because my facial hair growth only amounts to a wispy little feather each week, or because I wear stupid hats most the time (see above point) but I tend to think it's because I still haven't invested in a good pair of man shoes. Rocking Vans everyday is hella comfortable and appreciated by girls who hang out at skateparks, but when it comes to buying fags, or in fact being taken seriously as an adult, I really wouldn't recommend it. Invest in some chelsea boots, some loafers or some brogues to max out the class in the foot department.

Swap your flannel/t-shirt for a jacket, waistcoat, dinner shirt combo

Flannel is dead, long live expensive tailored dinner shirts. You'll see I chose to drop two buttons rather than just the one, that, my friends, is referred to as 'money'. Be careful with waistcoats; leave it open and you'll look like a footballer hitting up Basildon's 'classiest' establishment, wear it without a jacket and you'll look like a first rate cocktail waiter - which is cool if you're a cocktail waiter but not great if you're going for king of class. As for jackets, a thinner lapel is bonus classy points over a 70s styled disco affair, but avoid the over cropped jackets with ridiculously skinny lapels from Topman, they are whack and make you look like a Michael Jackson impersonator.

Swap your khakis/jeans for suit trousers

Ok, so in this picture the suit trousers aren't looking so great - you can't see the fine thin pinstripe or the finely crafted brass button but trust, they're fresh. The trousers are the optimum part of this outfit where you can really flare out your classy look; always stick with the classic cut, but experiment with colours - burgundy & red for 'alcoholic ageing artist at a gallery opening' and navy blue or dark green for 'history teacher stud with money from penning erotica'.

Swap your roll ups for cigarillos

Rollies have never been cool - you have to stand in the rain trying to get the tobacco in the paper before it gets all sticky, they're never as charming when you offer one to the opposite sex, and they don't actually make you look nearly as bohemian and nonchalant as you think they do. If you're a smoker throw away your pouch of bacci or twenty pack of camels right now. Because it's time to make room for some cigarillos, packaged neatly in a slender vintage smoking tin, and kept in the breast pocket of your smoking jacket. "But what about cigars, surely they're way classier than their inferior younger cousin?" I hear you exclaim - NO! Cigars are for men in either their late 20s or early 50s who think that a cheap suit bearing the putrid scent of a status stogie will entice all the babes to the front seat of their Porsche, where they will revel in smoking an entire cigar with the roof up, so you're sitting there drowned in smoke and wishing you'd worn swimming goggles to avoid the stinging pain of smoke-eye. SO not classy. Granted I look like a smug ex-gangster living in Spain in the photo, but come on, it was late in the day and I'd lost my waistcoat and jacket.

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