There is a good reason why immaculately dressed men such as Cary Grant and Paul Newman solidified themselves as style icons. From sharp-looking brogues to a sophisticated trench coat, some classic pieces will never go out of style.
Even so, sticking to the classics can get tiresome after a while. If you want to spruce up your wardrobe and take your style game to the next level, you need to put your own modern spin on things.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to achieve a classic-meets-contemporary aesthetic. Here are a few clever ways to modernize your wardrobe without ditching your time-honored pieces:
- Take Business Wear to the Streets
While dapper attire may seem more at home in a professional setting, it’s not strictly limited to office wear. In fact, you can easily take your old-fashioned menswear to the streets with only a few minor tweaks.
For instance, you can dress down khakis and a blazer with a fun pair of kicks (think high-top trainers or canvas sneakers). However, don’t let it be the only playful piece in your dapper ensemble. Enhance the playfulness by cuffing your chinos and draw attention to your on-trend kicks.
- Go Androgynous
Unisex fashion has been a hot trend in recent years, with women wearing men’s trousers and men wearing pieces formerly tailored for women. If you want to enhance your classic style, adopting androgynous pieces is an easy way to do it.
Keep in mind that it’s not always about wearing clothes made specifically for women. Androgynous clothing is genderless, meaning that your flower bomber jacket or flowy top can transition from your wardrobe to your girlfriend’s with ease.
When shopping for androgynous clothing, focus on the color and cut. Unisex pieces are often defined by their neutral hues (greys, blacks, tans, etc.) and their tailoring, which can be either flowy or form-fitting depending on the look you’re going for.
- Make a Modern Statement Piece Pop Against Classic Attire
One of the easiest ways to modernize a classic style is by starting slow with a modern statement piece. Classic style is all about appearing immaculate without drawing attention to yourself. However, a statement piece does the opposite and is meant to be eye-grabbing.
These days, a modern statement piece can be anything. It can be a pea coat in a unique pattern or a hat in a bold color. These days, you can even spruce up a suit by draping your vaping device around your neck with a stylish chain.
The sky is truly the limit with your statement piece. Just don’t overwhelm your outfit with too many patterns and prints. Keep things neutral and let your statement piece do all the talking.
- Wear a Surprise Underneath a Blazer
What man doesn’t have a blazer in his closet? If your trusty blue blazer is getting a little boring, add some interest to your outfit by wearing something underneath that isn’t the typical white dress shirt or polo shirt.
For example, play up the retro vibes with an old-school graphic T-shirt or a polka-dot dress shirt. Wearing something unexpected underneath your blazer will instantly up your style game and give your classic pieces a refreshed look.
- Pair Classic Staples with Bold Hues
Another simple way to modernize a classic wardrobe is by shopping for your favorite, timeless pieces in bold hues. We’re talking brogues in blue rather than their usual brown, your favorite blazer in a jewel tone or a bomber jacket in pale pink silk.
Again, the key thing to avoid is overwhelming your outfit with too many bold choices. When wearing a brightly-colored shoe or blazer, remember to pair it with neutral pants to balance the look.
- Play Around with Fabrics
On a similar note, you can also modernize your entire wardrobe by experimenting with different fabrics. For instance, refresh a classic top coat by finding one in orange suede or by jump on the corduroy trend by wearing corduroy pants.
In addition to playing up a classic style with trendy and unique fabrics, try experimenting the other way around. Trendy track pants in an old-fashioned, checkered style, an oversized scarf in plaid or a pair of loafers in snakeskin will all fit the bill nicely.
- Tailor Your Suits
Tailors are in high demand as more men realize the power of a suit that’s tailored perfectly for them. Not only will tailored clothing make you look sharp, but it can also modernize your favorite pieces.
The baggy suit trend is still alive and well, but even a baggy suit should always fit in the shoulders. Otherwise, it runs the risk of making you appear outdated and unflattering.
No man will ever regret finding a great tailor who can instantly enhance their smart-casual or business professional attire. By forming a relationship with a tailor you trust, the two of you can finally bring your attire into the 21st century.
- Combine Edgy and Respectable Clothing
Classic pieces are inherently respectable. To avoid looking too stuffy or preppy, dress down classic attire by mixing and matching respectable and grungy clothing.
Ripped jeans and a neutral trench coat, a motorcycle jacket with chinos or a graphic tee under a pea coat are just a few combinations you can try.
- Incorporate Wearable Technology
We live in an extremely connected world where fashion and technology are now closely intertwined. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a man sporting a dapper tweed suit with a smartwatch disguised as a classic watch or rocking a smart ring.
In fact, you’ll soon be able to put a spin on classic clothing by wearing high-quality smart fabrics. Smart fabrics have been in the news lately for their ability to change hues and regulate body temperature.
- Embrace Denim
If you’re a fan of the classics, you no doubt have at least a couple pairs of blue denim in your wardrobe. To upgrade your look, it’s time to fully embrace the latest denim trends of 2019.
One of the most daring trends we’ve seen is the denim-on-denim trend. However, it’s understandable if you’re not quite ready to pull off that look. Instead, try rocking a modern, white denim jacket or be slightly bolder with on-trend denim coveralls.
Remember, Less is More
While it might be tempting to revamp your entire wardrobe all at once, remember to make incremental changes at first. Going overboard can lead to a disorganized wardrobe that is more confused-looking than anything else.
When it comes to modernizing your classic style, less is always more. Make a single bold change per outfit that won’t overwhelm your ensemble. Soon enough, you’ll find the sweet spot with your modern-meets-classic style.