Black Is Back
There’s a scene in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line where the great musical raconteur walks into the offices of a record boss to be confronted with the line “What’s with the black Johnny? You look like you’re going to a funeral.” Quick as a flash, the deadpan Cash retorts with that waspish country drawl “Maybe I am, maybe I am.” Whether the line is real or used for cinematic effect matters not, it simply adds to the mythology of Cash and the all black attire which became an integral part of the man himself.
Whatever music moguls may think of Cash and his sartorial appearance, black isn’t just for funerals. Black is the colour of cool, it oozes sophistication and class, it screams rebellion and rock’n’roll. No matter the myriad of colours you see walking down catwalks, chances are, when the designer meekly pokes their head out from behind the curtain they’ll be awash with black.
Here in the UK, as the curve of summer reaches its zenith and we begin to turn our minds toward the colder months, black will come into its own more than ever so here’s a quick guide to the key pieces.
One of the first articles I ever wrote for MenStyleFashion was about the leather jacket and the power it possesses. The black leather jacket is the epitome of cool. From McQ Alexander McQueen to Topman, the leather jacket is a staple piece no matter the season; from bikers to bands to actors, everyone needs a leather jacket so make sure you have yours at the ready.
As with the leather jacket, a pair of well-polished black brogues are a must for any self-respecting gents wardrobe. For the more fashion-forward amongst you, you might want to look at Prada or Gucci but for the traditionalist, great British brands such as Church’s and Loakes are ideal. However, my favourite pair this season comes in the form of the Grenson Commando sole brogue. With a chunky sole unit – hence the commando moniker – supporting the base of an otherwise classic brogue, Grenson, one of England’s oldest shoemakers, combines the traditional elements of shoemaking with a contemporary twist to produce a hard-wearing solid brogue that looks great on the city gent as well as the urban street kids. Perfect.
Wide Brimmed Hats
For many of you, the wide brimmed hat is a little too fashion, a little too much of a statement piece, for me, that’s exactly why I love it. Yes it’s fashion, yes I’ll know doubt look back at photos ten years from now and laugh at myself for wearing one but I’d rather that than looking at the same old tired attire over and over again. Dior brought the wide brimmed hat back into the male psyche a couple of seasons back and while it’s still very much on the edge of fashion, I’m all for promoting the look this winter. One of my favourites is from the tiny Belgian brand Bellerose who have produced a soft, unstructured hat made from 100% wool. Go on, try it.
The Clash, Nirvana, The Strokes. Since the 70’s any rock’n’roll band who have gone down in the annuals of time have been wearing a good pair of black jeans. Joe Strummer, quite literally, rocked the tapered slim look, which have since been recreated by Californian denim connoisseurs Tellason; the Kurt Cobain style, slouchy fitting grunge era is having something of a fashion renaissance across the mens high street while the skinny jeans pioneered throughout the Naughties by a plethora of bands as well as designers including Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane (initially for Dior and now at Saint Laurent) show few signs of wearing out with fashion conscious men.
However, while skinny jeans are still the fashion du jour, there have definitely been murmurs of a move away from the skinny aesthetic. Denim aficionados Cheap Monday have recently introduced the High Slim to their burgeoning denim department, creating a jean that is high in waist and slim of silhouette, and with leading Japanese brand Edwin continuing their expansion of tapered jeans including their classic ED-55, this will most certainly be the style I’m adopting this winter and into the new season.