Business style has become a little more informal of late. Not scruffy you understand, simply a touch more comfortable; better suited to those Silicon Valley-like brain shower sessions.
Conversely, come the evening the sartorial mood is ebbing the other way – our hair neater, buttons further done up, hybrid shoe-trainers in abundance.
Thankfully there’s one style essential that straddles both the needs of modern working life and any smart casual invites: the unstructured jacket.
Why you need an unstructured blazer
It still surprises us that not every gentleman owns an unstructured blazer. If you don’t you’re missing out on a versatile style essential, one that can take you from Friday meeting to weekend away with absolute ease.
What’s so special about it? It’s all about what’s not there. With no shoulder pads or canvas lining that you’d find in traditional tailoring, its makes both you and jacket less stiff; a relaxed feel but still reliably smart.
Exactly the freedom you need for those immersive powerpoint presentations, or when asking for an upgrade at the airport.
Be bold with patterns and fabrics
While there’ll always be place for a simple, unstructured navy jacket in your wardrobe, don’t stop there.
There’s a wealth of fabrics and combinations of them to be enjoyed, allowing you to playfully manipulate traditional tailoring – think brushed mohair, flannel, and fluid silk. For patterns, heritage prints, like herringbone and textured check, but with a modern attitude.
All of this is beautifully at play in the Autumn/Winter collection from JOSEPH – “elegance that conceals a fundamental wearability” as they say. Or in other words, that rare quality: practical and great looking.
Bring on the bomber jacket
The bomber – or the flight jacket to give it its proper name – has history which stretches back to World War I. Constructed to keep pilots protected from the elements in open cockpits, its durability – and unquestionable cool – have made it a menswear staple for generations of stylish men.
This unstructured, elevated Maurice bomber from JOSEPH has to be one of our favourite examples of the style. The quilted pattern practical for warmth and perfectly on-trend.
Like any unstructured jacket, its art is in providing an almost oxymoron in style: something which is both smart and casual, but not necessarily ‘smart casual’.
That might sound initially confusing but it’s not. The difference is these pieces can be dressed up or down: with tailored trousers they’re straight-up smart; combined with crisp white trainers and they’re casual.
Whatever the combination and you’re end goal, one thing you can be assured of, you’ll turn heads for all the right reasons.
Looking for more style tips? Here are the new dress codes for the modern man…