There comes a time in life when we are all faced with a style conundrum. The pivotal point when clothes no longer co-operate with our biological clock, forcing a wardrobe rethink.
For some it is an effortless transition into a style re-birth. For others the phrase “mutton dressed as lamb” was coined. A phrase our city’s favourite comedian Bruce Devlin could not bear to have had said about himself. But what is a 30-something gent to do when it is time to stop dressing like a teenager without heading into middle age?
It was a question he toiled over when his agent suggested a man makeover might be in order before he embarked on a trip States side for the New York Comedy Festival next month.
A severe grooming season at Ruffians, on Queensferry Street, was first, leaving only one problem to be solved: the clothing overhaul.
Cue the Evening News style squad. The great thing about Bruce is he has a bundle of personality. This is something to tap into when you are thinking about creating a new look for yourself, as you want it to be authentic. I’m not talking novelty dressing, I’m taking about expressing yourself through clothing.
Bruce was keen on the idea of tapping into his heritage with tweeds and wools – and using local retailers.
Securing yourself a couple of great coats, one overcoat and a blazer, can form the back bone of a new wardrobe. Scottish textiles are being celebrated by the fashion set around the world so why not join them. Tartans styled for different occasions can look classic or edgy, depending on what they are teamed with. For a flamboyant look throw a printed top underneath and inject some colour.
To dress down, team an overcoat with some chunky boots, turned up denims and a simple black T-shirt.
Layering is also really important when you are wanting to create a more polished look. Bruce isn’t the kind of guy who would look comfortable in a suit and tie. But if he needs to impress over a business meeting his options are limited. White shirts under thin knits gives a conventional nod to being casual. Paired with a waxy Barbour it looks grown up without being contrived.
Have fun with colour, but keep the cut classic. Florescent rain macs are certainly not for wall flowers out there, but that doesn’t mean guys over 25 can’t give them a spin – as long as the tailoring is right.
“I love the coats. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of them,” says Bruce. “Also, I’m a bit obsessed with the boots, it’s good to see that I can wear them formally as well as casually.”
Think capsule wardrobe. Invest in a few key pieces that you can wear over and over again. That will create a sense of identity to your new look.