Tonight we’ll be writing about potential ways that we, as gentlemen, can carry our stuff around with us. I’ll outline several possible types of bag that you can incorporate into your every day life so that you can remain efficient, stylish and elegant whilst carrying everything you need.
Baggage is a serious item to consider because you are always carrying something around with you and it is always on show. If you take good care of your appearance by being well groomed and dressing well but walk around town with a plastic carrier bag holding your possessions then you’re giving off an air of carelessness.
As with clothing, staple colours (Navy, Black and Tan) work well for bags because they match with nearly all outfits.
Style One: The Satchel
The Satchel is probably the easiest way to carry one full days worth of belongings around with you; the across-one-shoulder strap allows you to have your hands free whilst supporting an admirable amount of essentials.
A cheap option for this style would be the Asos Smart Satchel.
At a reasonable £25 you can find this bag here: Asos Smart Satchel
A more elaborate version of the same style might be the Royal RepubliQ Tan Satchel.
At £160 it is notably dearer and can be found here: Royal RepubliQ Tan Satchel
Style Two: The Man Clutch
The Man Clutch bag is really interesting because many associate it with a woman’s handbag and dismiss it straight away. Male Clutches are great because they are incredibly portable, weigh next to nothing and hold your basic essentials on a night out. They are ideal for dinners, drinks and short trips that don’t require more than your wallet, phone and keys. They deserve more attention than they currently hold because they can be really stylish and look great with a jacket and brogues.
A more upmarket alternative could be the Balenciaga Printed Clutch which comes in at a more hefty £200 and is found here: Balenciaga Printed Clutch
Style Three: The Holdall
The holdall is a more classic gentleman’s bag which is good for carrying loads of belongings to and from locations. It won’t score brownie points for its portability but it can be quite refined and elegant when bought with style in mind. There are varying sizes of holdall and we’ll focus on the medium sized holdall here. Medium holdalls would be used for weekend vacations or when holding your gym stuff as well as your belongings during a day.
Your more upmarket alternative might be the Hugo Boss Tracker Holdall, which comes in at a reduced £138 and is found here: Hugo Boss Tracker Holdall
There are so many choices out there for your sartorial baggage and we hope that these examples of man bags have helped to inspire you to coordinate you bag with your outfit and give your overall look further refinement.
If this has been useful at all please comment, like or subscribe!
Thanks again for being part of our sartorial fashion blog,
B & B.
This morning I want to talk to you about what I consider to be essentials in a gentlemen’s wardrobe.
Since variety is a good thing within your look it is important to have several options when considering detailing so that you can layer/ mix with some creative freedom.
The picture below gives a brief snapshot of some of the items we at Brogues & Braces consider essentials:
These are not set in stone but are complex enough pattern wise individually to bring interest to any outfit.
This post is the second in our series ‘Lookbook of the week’. The main idea of this series is to showcase different outfits that we have featured during the week on our Instagram account and talk about the different styles and points of interest that have caught our eye.
Look 1: Denim Street Sartorial
We’ve chosen this look because it incorporates denim into a style of fashion usually reserved for suits and waistcoats. Using the White shirt as an anchor we’ve been able to add layering that helps to keep the denim appropriate within this smarter casual context. In designing with chinos and contrast brogues rather than dress trousers and dress shoes we’ve enabled the faded Blue denim jacket to work.
Features worth mentioning are the Yellow Citrusy coloured socks that match with the contrast brogues and help to coordinate the Dark Green chinos with the Burgundy shawl-neck cardigan and the Navy polka bow tie. By adding several carefully picked patterns we have been able to design around the denim jacket to give this outfit a Street Sartorial feel. Designs by @broguesandbraces
Look 2: Crisp and Contrasted
@fabioattanasio provides awesome style in this look. Pairing the Dark Mustard knit tie with the Bright Sky Blue blazer immediately provides contrast. The use of plain White shirt helps to enable this contrast and the Red pattern pocket square further creates interest.
This post is featured because it provides the most boldly coloured outfit this week which, whilst catching the eye, remains elegant, crisp and contrasted at the same time. Impressive.
Look 3: Points of Contrast
We’ve featured another Brogues & Braces design this week because of the sheer difference in style.
This outfit is much more work/office centred. Whilst it can be easily worn out on a night out, this look contains subtle patterning which helps to keep the staple items more interesting.
Pairing Navy stripe socks with Tan brogues, Maroon paisley tie with White shirt and Grey waistcoat and Yellow polka pocket square with Navy blazer really helps to bring the more typically plain items to life.
Adding one point of contrast to each outfit can really help to change its appearance from something unexciting to something more fun and cheeky.
Look 4: Earthy Winter Shades
We love this outfit by @iamtomee! Here the mixture of Mustard, Caramel and Brown within one outfit has really triggered our Winter colour palettes. As we can see in the picture above, the fine Mustard check shirt is a perfect pattern combinator for the larger check Brown and Caramel pocket square. The Brown in the pocket square then matches the Brown knit tie which helps create colour consistency. As an anchor we have the Grey plaid blazer which relates to the check in the pocket square and helps to underpin the Earthy Winter colour scheme. All in all a fantastic outfit!
Tonight’s post is an attempt at answering the immortally difficult question… What should I wear to dinner/out?
There are many possibilities, of course. We at Brogues & Braces have put a little something together for you here in order to give you some pictorial inspiration so that you can arrive looking like a sartorial boss for all occasions.
As we’re considering dinner options as well as being out and about we think it’s best not to go too formal and wear waistcoat, suit or 3 piece. Instead we’ve opted for slim fit chino which will help to keep your outfit on the smarter side of casual. By incorporating contrast pocket square and knitted tie into the look you instantly help maintain an air of sartoria.
The tie-front in the loafers and the lapel pin here serve as welcome detailing to give your attire an added elegance and complexity.
Comment underneath with your stand out item! Which would help add variety to your wardrobe?
Below we have provided links to the places where we bought each individual item so that you can pursue anything you are particularly interested in.
We’re back to posting on the blog here after the Christmas break later than expected due to unforeseen personal circumstances. This post will showcase different outfits that we have featured during this week on the Instagram account and talk about the different styles and points of interest that have caught our eye.
Look 1: Bold patterns
This look was featured because it has that initial wow factor. It captures your attention instantly. The bold paisley tie works with the mix colour gingham jacket because of the white shirt, which helps to neutralise the two patterns and bring them together.
I’ve featured this look because it is pushing boundaries and because Instagram user @tweedandties is someone whose profile is adventurous with colour and pattern. Definitely something to look at if you’re interested in being that trend maker.
Look 2: Layering for Winter in style
This outfit is refined, fitted and honest. The thing that has me hooked with this look is that it is put together so well. The contrast pocket square, pattern tie, waistcoat, watch and bracelets and dress scarf. Everything works because the colour palette is staple colours. @federicolapo appears in this week’s ‘Lookbook for the week’ post because all of his designs and outfits are sharp and truly worthy of sartorial fashion enthusiasts.
Look 3: Details, details!
This collab between @thepocketsquareindustry and @camicissima_us deserves a mention in the lookbook because they are pushing boundaries. Incorporation of the bowtie alone is a great, quirky feature and the pattern mixing between shirt and bowtie is phenomenal. The matched check detailing in the pocket square is out of this world and, as always, @thepocketsquareindustry helps to add interest to the outfit with their signature pocket squares.
Definitely check out both profiles for more inspiration.
Look 4: Working the Winter overcoat!
I’ve chosen one of my own outfits because I think it’s important to use the Winter season wisely. Wearing a mac is efficient and they do pack away but they are boring. Sartorial Overcoats are really stylish and add both layering, colour and even patterning if you so choose.
My matching of Black polka tie with Purple contrast collar shirt helps to create interest whilst the Beige trench coat provides welcome contrast and completes the look.
Check out the post on Sartorial Overcoats using the link provided below: http://broguesandbraces.com/2014/12/05/the-sartorial-overcoat/
Hope you take inspiration and ideas from these outfits.
Today we’ll be covering overcoats since where we’re based in the UK it is mercilessly cold all the time at the moment!
For most of us aspiring gents it is very difficult to judge what to wear in the colder months of the year; leaving the house in your woolen 2-piece suit at 9am is to ensure that by 9:30am you’ll be freezing and feeling terrible on the way to wherever. There are obviously different fabric types, like polyester and wool, that will insulate you better than cotton or linen, but even if you wear a 2-piece or 3-piece you’re still going to be thinly layered and you’ll feel the cold breeze easily. There’s the option of adding more layers (the waistcoat with the 3-piece) or a crew-neck jumper or shawl-neck cardigan perhaps in more Street Sartorial looks but again these are thin layers under another thin layer.
And that is why we are talking about the overcoat today and its context within Sartorial Fashion!
The overcoat is a great item to use in the colder months since, by nature, it is thick and large so covers a large surface area. It will keep you warm whilst adding depth and another layer to your outfit. Typically it will be worn over whatever outfit you have on and is very effective if used properly.
There are several ways in which you can use the overcoat and we’ll cover those below now:
Contrast The most simple use of an overcoat is to contrast it against the matching colours in your outfit.
As you can see here the Black overcoat, pictured above, with its length and fitted style, really intensifies the light Grey in the suit and helps it to ping out. This works with any number of combinations: Navy and light Grey, Blue and Grey, Beige and Navy etc. The list goes on. The reason that this is the most effective, yet simplistic use of an overcoat is because it creates the biggest impression since, by contrast, it captures your undivided attention.
Pattern Another fantastic use of the overcoat is incorporating a pattern into you outfit or perhaps another variation of the same pattern into your outfit.
Patterns are good in general if matched well. A patterned overcoat is an ideal way to continue a pattern trend through your outfit, mainly because of the size of the garment. Source: Pinterest
The overcoat pictured above is a perfect example of pattern matching. Whilst the light Grey in the overcoat contrasts the dark Grey in the 2-piece waistcoat and trousers, the windowpane check pattern is matched nicely with the fine stripe of the shirt. Since the windowpane check pattern is large it doesn’t overwhelm the outfit.
This is a good example because we actually have a combination of both of the types of overcoat mentioned so far: Contrast and Pattern. Mixing both of these can be rewarding so experiment.
Street Sartorial Our final type of overcoat is what we might dub the ‘Street Sartorial’ overcoat. This is a more adaptable type of overcoat that wouldn’t look out of place over a suit whilst also appropriate over a pair of jeans and a crew-neck jumper. Some overcoats give off an overriding sense of formality and it would be difficult to rock a pair of jeans and some boat shoes with something so formal. In this case the ‘Street Sartorial’ overcoat is a good bet and will be suitable for both occasions. Typically this could be either a Pea coat or a Trench coat in a staple colour such as Black, Navy or Beige. Source: Pinterest As you can see here, these coats are slightly more Street Sartorial. The larger turn-up collar and the widened lapel give these coats a more casual feel yet wouldn’t, as we can see here (1st picture: Pea coat), be inappropriate over more formal wear. Since these coats are both staple colours you could get away with wearing a pair of jeans under this with boat shoes and a crew-neck jumper. A more casual example is found here in the second picture (Trench Coat).
There is plenty you can do with this style of overcoat.
An important factor you must consider here is that the overcoats are often quite expensive and since they don’t have a hood you are prone to the weather. The most efficient way of dealing with this is to own a gentlemans umbrella. Source: Pinterest
As you can see here, this gent won’t ruin his coat because he owns an umbrella. Whilst the idea of owning an umbrella is silly it will actually save your clothes from damage and can, as in the picture above, look stylish and highly coordinated. Try to avoid heavily patterned/branded umbrellas though as they clash with most of your outfits. Again, a staple colour will be appropriate here.
You can find these items of clothing all over the web.
I’ll give you a few examples in links below so you have a few ideas to work with:
It’s the first of a new month and the perfect time to post the first article in our new series: Brogues & Braces Street Sartorial.
This series will, in each post, seek to evaluate an outfit/ a couple of outfits and explore the different defining features that help to shape the outfit. Much like the posts on the @broguesandbraces Instagram account, this will be mostly of pictures that inspire me and that I find sartorially interesting.
The gentleman pictured above is fully in charge of his colour pallet. As you can see our first Street Sartorial look focuses around pastel colours. The White chinos are the show stopper, but these will only work within an outfit if they are spanking clean. Otherwise the suave kept look vanishes. Rolling the bottoms of the chinos up has allowed a more casual approach to the Sartorial fashion here and the faded Grey loafers perfectly accompany the rest of this outfit. The pair of Blues, light Blue within the shirt and darker, more intense Blue from the pocket square, are kept in check by the double breasted Sand blazer. I really appreciate here how the only hint of intense colour comes from the smidgen of pocket square we can see, as this enables the super clean pastel look to work.
The White/Black fine check pattern tie doesn’t overwhelm any one part of the outfit, matches the White chinos and is a perfect accessory, as is the White man clutch.
Our next look:
This outfit is one of my own and is a distinct mix of casual and Sartorial; the White salt and pepper ‘hoody’ is at the absolute limits to how casual I am, personally, willing to take Sartorial fashion. I am more than happy to wear T-shirts as they can be paired down with blazers and sports jackets but the hoody takes any formality out of an outfit. My decision, then, to wear the denim on top was to bring the casual style of Sartorial fashion into check with the bottom half of my outfit: dark Green Chinos and a pair of Tan tie-up front loafers.
The bright Blue in the check shirt is complimented by the faded Blue in the denim jacket and the Red, in the same shirt, helps the Tan loafers to pop. I prefer to wear block colour hoodies as they don’t contain branding logos or slogans, and, as you can see here, the monochrome doesn’t take attention away from the Sartorial aspects of this outfit. Dressing down your Street Sartorial look is well worth an experiment and it can help you vary up your wardrobe nicely.
And finally our third and final look for today’s post:
Our final look tonight is a more adventurous one. Perhaps the most enticing of the three, for obvious reasons, this bold look with turn heads. The bright Red lace up Derby shoes here are unavoidably daring and work well in this context because of the mix of colours. I would advise staying away from trying to mix too many bold colours together at random before thinking more in depth about it and how they will feed off one another.
This final outfit is entirely dependent upon the Sand overcoat which completely anchors everything.
The Navy cropped suit trousers and light Blue shirt work well together, whilst the Red skinny tie matches exactly with the Derby shoes.
Mint Green, found in the low-lying crew neck jumper, is quite a soft pastel match with the light Blue shirt and sits nicely next to the Sand overcoat.
The bright Yellow accessory bag under this Gentleman’s arm is a lovely final touch and is daring enough to help the outfit be suitably daring without one aspect, such as the shoes for example, appear as though they are trying to hard to stand out.
All in all a great look.
Street Sartorial here is by and large less formal than the 3 piece suits and bow-ties of more formal occasions. It can be a refreshing change in an otherwise more intense formality within a wardrobe. If you’re already a master of the more smart-casual Street Sartorial approach, perhaps try to incorporate denim or a cheeky block colour hoody.
That’s all until next week, folks.
Stay Safe, B & B xo
Today we’ll be speaking to you about footwear and the importance it has on your overall look and appearance.
It is said that ‘a lady can tell a lot about a gentleman from the shoes he wears’ – how he treats himself and whether he can look after himself. If, for example, you meet someone for the first time and you are wearing a pair of 3 year old beaten up off-white Vans, the impression you give out is one of not caring very much.
In this post I’ll try to cover a few different types of footwear; we at Brogues & Braces believe that owning a couple of different types of footwear can significantly increase your overall sartorial scope and add a depth of variety within your own individual style. A good pair of shoes will draw attention to your outfit when out and about and will give strong initial impressions, even if you never speak to half the people you see.
The most accessible footwear colour is Tan; I say this because the colour goes with Navy, Black, Stone and many other day-to-day staples whereas others such as Black, for instance, would not be compatible with Navy and would look more awkward in Stone. Tan is a safe bet for a beginner and is a good solid buy for a more experienced sartorialist. The colours within shoes are transferable across all types of men’s footwear, whether it be Brogues, Loafers, Boat shoes or Dress shoes.
I will expand a little more on these now……
The Brogue Pictured above is a pair of Aldo classic Tan Brogues.
The Brogue is an absolute classic, hence why I thought the name Brogues & Braces was appropriate. Brogues are great in that there are unlimited options on colours and many styles. Brogues can be used in both formal and smart-casual settings and they work well because they give off an impression which says “I am conscious enough about my own style to warrant buying a nice pair of shoes”. For us at Brogues & Braces a decent pair of solid colour Brogues is really the most staple foundation within sartorial fashion.
They can be worn with suits, chinos, shorts and any number of formal or informal occasion.
A variant upon the classic Brogue is the contrast Brogue. The contrast Brogue has become more popular in recent times and when worn appropriately can generate a lot of attention!
With contrast Brogues try to avoid pairing them with too many other patterns in your outfit as it will overwhelm people and give your look a general feeling of scattiness.
Pictured above is a pair of Office White/Tan contrast Brogues.
Another good way of creating contrast and variety within your classic Brogues is to get contrast laces. I personally think they are more effective if they are subtly contrasting but can, of course, be bold and directly contrasting. Below is an example.
Loafers are wonderful. There are a few main types: tassle, tie-front and ordinary
Depending on the tailoring within your outfit you can get away with wearing immaculate loafers with a suit, but more commonly they would be worn with chinos. Loafers are more formal than boat shoes but would not be out of place being worn with jeans. Loafers can be worn with or without socks.
Again, there are many colours and materials available- I would stick with leather in Tan, Navy or Black. If you wanted to go for a more casual suede loafer, a more fashion forward colour is advised since the suede material will only be appropriate in good weather- perhaps light blue or a soft pink to go with chinos and a blazer or jeans. Below are examples of the 3 types of loafers most commonly found in sartorial fashion.
Above: Asos Tan leather tassle Loafers
Above: Asos Tan leather tie-front Loafers
Above: Asos Black leather dress Loafers
The Boat Shoe
The Boat Shoe is by far the most casual of the featured footwear styles today. Boat Shoes are typically casual wear, but would not look out of place with some less formal chinos. I would normally pair Boat Shoes with jeans or shorts/ beach wear.
Characterized by the lace that circles the outer sides of the shoe, Boat Shoes are something that you should have in your footwear collection for variety, but they wouldn’t be my go to shoe.
The most common boat shoes are in Navy or Brown/Tan leather but you can get them in a variety of styles and colours. These shoes can be worn with or without socks.
Above: Asos Navy Boat Shoe
The Dress Shoe
As it says in the name, The Dress Shoe is solely intended for formal wear and evening dress. In recent times adaptations have been made and you will often see people wearing patent leather Dress Shoes on a more frequent basis out in town. This de-formalising of the dress shoe has helped it become more accessible but I would argue that it is still far more effective when employed as a statement shoe in a formal context. The patent leather itself being the obvious stand out feature of this type of shoe.
This style can contain many styles and colours also, but typically Brown, Tan or Black leather feature heavily here.
If one were to want to employ the Dress Shoe less formally then, as pictured above, the Dress Loafer is the best option. This look only really works if your fits are immaculate though. Whether it be pairing it with a less formal blazer and chino or a tweed 2 piece, everything needs to be sharp and tidy.
Examples of both the formal employment of the Dress Shoe and the less formal are below.
Above: Patent Leather Black Dress Shoes with patterned formal suit
Above: Patent Black Oxford Dress Shoes with chinos and tweed blazer
The Monk Shoe
These shoes are both formal and informal. They are distinctive because of the buckle fastener and they look sleek and sophisticated whilst being a great accompaniment to any more casual outfit.
The Monk Shoe is another that can come in a variety of materials and styles, whether it be through double buckle fastener or Tan colour rather than Black or Navy. This style is adaptable to all tastes and can be worn with jeans and blazer, a suit, chinos or even shorts.
Examples are below.
Above: Topman Black Leather double buckle Monk Shoes
Above: Asos Oxblood Leather Monk Shoes
As you can see from all of the styles listed above, there are a wide variety of shoe types, colours and materials that you can incorporate into your individual sartorial fashion. By owning a couple of these styles of shoe you allow yourself to build a solid foundation on which to branch out your range of outfits. If you only possess a Navy Boat Shoe, for example, then you won’t be able to wear them with a suit or Black chinos without your outfit looking untidy.
Explore these different styles!
I’ll see you next week for the next Brogues & Braces Essentials post.
A little about me: I’m a student in England, UK and I love everything about the sartorial style of fashion. Many people around me at uni, my own age (21), choose to wear clothes that fit into a pre-determined style that reflects student life and being ‘different’; I feel that they lose most of their personal preference and individual style because they all wear things they consider to make them ‘different’ which, essentially, is the same for everyone. Thus everyone looks the same! Personally that’s not for me and I much prefer rocking a smart casual combination on a daily basis that is both appropriate in formal and informal contexts.
I’m writing to you primarily because I care about my appearance and enjoy the clothes I wear and subsequently thinking about how to wear them. A blog, therefore, seems like the best way for me to document my thoughts on sartorial fashion, write posts about my likes and dislikes and also illustrate my individual adaptations of this style in everyday wear.