Sick of the sight of tight jeans and concerned about the men’s fashion becoming a lot less masculine? Us too. Plenty of other guys are feeling the same way – and there is a growing trend to return to an altogether more rugged look. Feel like making a change? If so, read on. We’re going to outline how to get the rough and ready look, while still maintaining your style and making a great first impression.
Inspiration – First of all, take a look around for some inspiration. Seek out pictures of those in hardy professions; fishermen, loggers, or adventurers. Oil rig workers can be a great example, too – as are most other blue collar workers. These guys are hard as nails and wear clothes to match. Once you have your inspiration, it’s time to find a style that suits you.
Think ‘built for purpose.’ – When you are looking at pictures of these ‘real’ men, you’ll notice their clothes are all designed for purpose. The traditional workwear of yesteryear was all about durability and toughness. People needed to buy clothes that would last. Imperfections are OK, too – in fact, you need to embrace them if you want to go all out for the look. Ripped biker jeans, oil-stained tees, sun-damaged, thick plaid shirts – you get the drift.
The brands – There are plenty of rugged brands to choose from. The likes of Barbour, for example, make a lot of high-quality gear created for outdoor living. Carhartt mixes workwear with modern cuts. Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply offshoot is also worth a look. And, when it comes to jeans, you can’t go far wrong by looking at the Japanese denim market.
The essentials – Plaid shirts and denim pants are an obvious starting point for the rugged look. But you should also invest in some high-quality knits from the likes of Edwin and Woolrich. Country blazers are another great option for when you feel like dressing up. Gant Rugger and Nigel Cabourn both provide excellent options.
Footwear – Time to cast aside your love of sneakers? The rugged look requires sturdy boots, not the softer fabrics of your Nike and Adidas kicks. The more rugged, the better. Timberland still does a great range as a good starting point. But look at fashion houses like Belstaff, or specialist shoe makers like Redwings if you want to make a big impression.
Accessories – Are you kidding? Forget about accessories if you are going for the rugged look. It’s pure utilitarianism all the way – there is no time for fancy chains or bangles. That said, a great, sturdy bag can help you perfect your look while out and about. Filson does some exceptional work in this area, as does Tom Bihn.
The bargains – The great thing about the rugged look is that because it is so durable, you can often pick up plenty of bargains. Your local charity stores and army surplus stores are the ideal starting point. You can pick up used items on eBay and Craigslist, too. There is no reason why this new look has to cost you thousands – all you need to do is spend time looking for the right gear.