How To Nail Casual Tailoring

Tailoring has upped its game. It’s now not all about how smart you can look or how well put together everything is. It’s all about how you can now look at tailoring in a different light. A more casual light. Not sure how to do this? Well, we’ve got a few ideas.

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A challenge that most guys face is figuring out how to look smart. Classic tailoring may be a solution for some occasions, but not all. And as society has moved quite far away from the traditional ‘men wear suits everyday’ frame of mind, it’s time to understand how to wear tailored pieces in a more relaxed way.

We’re not saying that you should look ‘scruffy’ or un-coordinated in your tailoring. It’s more about how you mix and match pieces so you’re able to wear them to more than one setting. Don’t get us wrong, we love it when guys pull out the stops and go for the best of the best when it comes to formal wear but sometimes it’s all not necessary. Our relaxed society has brought to our attention that we want to look smart but we also don’t want to look smart, both at the same time. Confusing right? We’ll break it down for you.

Are Dress Codes Becoming Less Formal?

This is a question that we’ve been looking at and contemplating for a while now. Are dress codes becoming less casual? Do people really want to wear full on suits everyday? And do business men want to look like stereotypical business men? OK, so before we start asking more questions, we should probably answer a few of them first. Everyone wants to be comfortable in what they wear. It sometimes even makes us feel better and more productive (from personal experience anyway). And when we say comfortable, we’re not saying you should just chuck on any old thing, we still want you to look good. You can still be comfortable and smart you know.

Your clothes should make you feel good because if they don’t, whats really the point? Other than making sure you’re not walking around naked of course. We all have jobs and we all have some kind of dress code that we have to follow. So, when it comes to dressing ‘smart’, what does smart actually mean? In today’s society and work place you can look smart and not go for the typical look that springs to mind.

Mix and Match Pieces

To start off the casual tailoring topic, we’ll first tell you that by simply mixing up the pieces you already own, you can create a smart look that still comes under the tailoring umbrella. Depending on the setting of course, you can go for the smarter look by sticking to a few of the basics. Smart trousers and shoes will always level up the smartness of your formal wear. So if you keep these smart, you can swap the shirt and blazer for a T-shirt and jacket. This way you’ve mixed the smart aspect with something that adds a little more of a relaxed vibe to the outfit.

Another way to get the casual tailoring look is by opting for trainers instead of a your formal shoes. However, for this you need to be careful that you don’t take it too far as it may look like you haven’t thought about the bottom half of your outfit that much. Choose the trainers wisely and make sure you don’t go too formal on the top half either. A polo top will work best as it’s smart but has that sporty edge to it.

casual tailoring the idle man suit lookbook
You can dress your tailoring down to suit the occasion
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

Go for Separates

Next, we’ll go on to the whole separates thing. This pretty much means that you should mix up the colours and fabrics within the outfit. A navy blazer with a pair of grey trousers compliment each other well without being the same. The colours should be contrasting yet tonal and you should also stay within the spectrum of the basics. So navy’s, blacks, greys and whites and colours similar to this work the best. As well as colours, it’s about texture as well. There’s a huge array of tactile materials out there that add a casual element to your tailoring. So why not experiment with the wool’s, cashmere, linens and cottons.

Separates are great versatile pieces that can be worn as many different variations. And while colours and fabrics will help with nailing the casual tailoring look, you should also think about pattern. Pattern is a great addition to any outfit, if it’s done right. Keep to pinstripes and checks and you’ll be in the safe zone. And don’t ever mix the two. Choose a piece you want to have as the patterned part and stick to it. Blazers are always the better option but if you have a subtle grey checked trouser, we’d highly recommend wearing them.

It’s All about Structure

The structure of the outfit and the structure of the tailoring is essential. First, we have the outfit. We want you to think about what you’re wearing with what. In all cases, the overall outfit still needs to represent a ‘suit’ look, it just doesn’t always have to have all the trimmings. Trousers, a blazer and a smart polo, or Trousers, a shirt and a jacket are just a couple of examples. All combinations should add up and create a look that’s still smart, even if sometimes you switch up the colours and cloth.

We then have the structure of the tailoring. Try to go for blazers with less canvas and padding, you can even go for half lined jackets. Just be wary that these will be lighter to wear but they can snag on jumpers worn underneath as a full lining helps with slipping the jacket on and off easily. If you cut down on the padding of the tailoring, the garments will fit closer to the body, therefore creating a natural silhouette which helps the overall tailoring look, look a lot more casual.

Tailoring at the idle man casual converse suit blazer
Mix up your tailoring and make it a little more casual
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

On That Note

Sometimes it’s all about breaking the rules, mix and matching fabrics and colours and creating looks that have a little bit of imagination. Keep the fabrics light and close to the body and if you can, try to go for separates instead of a matching suit. And, if you’re feeling very daring, swap the shoes and shirt for smart trainers and a polo. It’s all about trying new things and seeing if they work. Trial and error is key.

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