Hitting the right note: men’s elegance

Tips and ideas on accessorizing your suits and maximizing your style with mens formalwear from Next

Contemporary notions of elegance have become broader in recent decades, with the upper class reign of the white dinner jacket or black tie receding to encompass blazers, sharp tailoring and statement accessories as alternative routes to male style.

As the working world also changes – with many businesses working through outsourced HR and recruitment units, offshore offices and freelance creatives and graphics experts – so too does the notion of the working look.

Suits and loafers are still the proviso of the City workers, but for those looking to find a fashion answer to days which bounce between public-facing meetings, social events and lunches, and afternoons late in the office, items such as a mens blazer are far more versatile and popular in providing simple, wearable elegance.

The key to adding personality and style to your workwear is the in the accessories. Taking a comfortable, well-fitting suit as your base is a start – or playing around with Next’s incredible Italian linen jacket (pictured) which combines summer lightness with long-lasting style.

Italian linen jacket from Next, £110

The next step is to add the right components to complete the look. The first component is invisible:fragrance. In the past 5 years some of the biggest designer and couture houses in Europe have joined US brands like Calvin Klein in creating iconic fragrances for men – and they are proving increasingly popular.

A satchel or smart leather bag is another must-have. Recent seasons have seen the satchel rise to the top of men’s accessories – from Ralph Lauren’s opulent $900 versions to canvas and suede combinations, it can add a sense of firm Hamptons style, or casual  ready-to-roll energy depending on the fabric and cut used.

And what about your hands and wrist? The world isn’t looking at your cufflinks anymore, but it does care about what’s wrapped around your wrist. Watches have become a staple mark of luxury and style, and your choice of watch face can add a stamp of personality. Non-digital timepieces remain favoured for creating a sense of dependability, transcendence and class. Think leather straps rather than metal, and minimal watchface typography.

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