Artificial Hipster

I don’t know how many of you are readers and, for those that are, how many like the self-help kind of books? By my own admission, my reading tastes generally mirror those of a teenage girl or frisky pensioner, but I’ve been taken with a book recently called The Secret. The Secret is one of those books that finds you when the time is right. I’ve known about it for aeons, but never felt inspired to pick it up until recently. Sometimes people turn to these books when times are hard, but mine’s different: I’m loving life and want more. And that’s the funny thing; that’s exactly what this book devotes itself to: saying it’s okay to want more, to love yourself and to dream big.

I won’t spoil it for you, but the premise is that you visualise success; own it – even before it’s happened. And, by the laws of attraction, you’ll get what you wish for. You might think it poppycock, but what I can tell you is that this consistently positive thinking is therapeutic and appears to be working for me. Life’s never been better. Of course, as its typical me, I also use this visualisation on stupid stuff, too. Getting a parking space being one of them or finding a pair of trousers or a coat in exactly my size and colour in the first shop I go into. Hey, I don’t make the rules…

I also don’t make the rules when it comes to trends for the coming season – but I do follow some of them. Autumn is, for me, the most exciting of the seasons, fashion-wise. Sure, it’s also one of the most expensive as you need to invest in the staples for the coming months. I’m sure I’m not the first to have my head turned by a bargain blazer or too-good-to-be-true trench coat -my wardrobe is full of them. Jumpers, the same. And don’t get me started on footwear. But, this year it’s going to be different. I’ve put it ‘out’ to the universe and visualising my style investment and imagining myself looking sharp, sexy and definitely DILF material.

Here are my Secrets to being the best you this season with all the key looks you need to know about.

The first thing you have to consider is colour and complexion. They’re important topics, even for us. I doubt most of us give it much thought, but if you spend time picking nice clothes to wear, why not take that extra step to pick colours that look best with your skin tone? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Try to follow some of these guidelines for three different skin tones, some of which I live by, and I guarantee you can’t lose.

One, if you have a lighter, paler complexion, avoid stark black and white and you’ll want to avoid an abundance of soft, pastel shades or bright colours, as they’ll more than likely wash you out. This goes for neutrals too; rather than white, try light beige and stone and opt for richer shades such as sand, camel, khaki and slate grey. Darker colours like grey, brown, burgundy, bottle green, navy and bolder shades of blue will all work well, as these shades contrast with your skin tone.

Two, if you have a medium complexion, or otherwise known as a warm complexion (and if you don’t know what I mean by that, it comes down to the fact that you tan rather than toast in the sun), the primary and more bold colours will suit you the most. However, you can ensure to look your best by choosing shades that are either brighter or darker than the middle ground. For example, instead of pale beige, try warm sand if you’re wanting a light neutral, or even try a bolder shade of purple such as magenta rather than mauve. Since your skin will likely to have green or yellow undertones, you should avoid wearing shades of these colours that are too close to your skin tone. Shades you should probably give a miss include pistachio, mustard, olive and mocha brown.

Three, if you have a darker skin tone, you have more freedom with whites and pastels than most. The colour of your skin is perfectly positioned to go well with the vast majority of shades, as it doesn’t run the risk of being washed out, like pale skin tones. With that said, there are a couple of things to watch out for such as brown being pretty much a no-go. Much like how pastel shades wash out paler skin tones, brown won’t contrast clearly enough with your skin, resulting in your look ‘bleeding’ into your skin. While black and navy are two key colours in any man’s wardrobe, it’s worth keeping these to a minimum to really make the most of your especially versatile skin tone.

Next we move onto accessories and if you didn’t already know, they are key to completing an outfit. Belts, for example, may seem like a trivial detail not worth paying much attention to, but you’d be wrong. Many of us hold on to that one belt that we wear with absolutely everything, even although it’s falling apart at the seams. If you want to take your style game to the next level, I suggest in investing in at least a few good quality belts. I recommend at least two leather belts, one dress, one casual and one canvas belt. These should easily cover your needs. The best kind of leather belt you can buy, that will last longer, is “full grain leather”, so watch out for those key words when shopping around.

Everyone loves a good tweed jacket, they are especially autumnal. The kind of tweed jacket you’re after, though, is the kind that have colours worked into the fabric to give it a lightly-speckled but textured appearance. Tweeds have a variety of different colours, but earth tones are proving most desirable this autumn and winter. Sport tweed jackets are particularly great for any activities in autumn and winter, whether it be for a walk in the woods or for business and social events. As with flannel trousers, having a range of tweed jackets, in different colours with different weaves, makes your wardrobe flexible to mix and match with other pieces.

Don’t think I’ve forgotten about jumpers! I know we’ve all got a favourite jumper, probably left in tatters with the amount of times we’ve thrown it on over the years, but a quality jumper particularly knitted for autumn and winter, that properly fits, is one of the most flattering garments a man can wear. It adds weight to a skinny physique and streamlines a large figure. It keeps you warm and can break up the monotonous wearing of dress shirts to the office. Cable knitwear is a must this autumn for every man’s wardrobe, including mine. Not only are they a classic, but they stand out far more than a plain jumper, and for the right reasons. As they are knitted, they provide that extra warmth for the colder months that are regrettably getting closer and can easily be worn on top of a shirt or t-shirt and a pair of jeans and boots. For a more casual look, pair your cable knit jumper with a knitted beanie, raw denim and leather ankle boots, perfect for a more relaxed environment.

It’s also important to have a selection of classic jumpers at your disposal. A crew neck jumper is the king of knitwear and are key when it comes to autumn and winter layering. The V neck jumper is also crucial, worn at its best when paired with a shirt, because of the neckline and everyone loves a chunky cardigan, which is a great alternative for when it’s too warm to wear a coat.

It’s all well and good having a great outfit, but if the shoes don’t match the effort you’ve gone to, then you have a problem. If dressing smartly, it’s a good idea to have a couple of pairs of smarter shoes in your wardrobe to go with different suits, and so one pair doesn’t suffer too much wear and tear. Try a leather brogue or Oxford in black, tan or brown, vital for autumn and winter. For going out, or even for work, you may be able to be a bit more smart-casual, so again you could go for a brogue or Oxford, but in a different material or colour. Suede is great for a smart-casual look, and you can try navy, khaki, grey, burgundy, more excellent colours for autumn.

Hopefully this helps you become the “hipster” you’ve always wanted to be and if not, you’ve definitely got a few tips on how to dress like one at least!