New Year’s resolutions are often pointless exercises in guilt-tripping ourselves into discovering just how little willpower we have. So this year, we’re ditching Dry January and trying something new (and with more longevity). Rather than buying racks on racks of sale clothing (maybe just a few choice picks) and edgy things Kanye would wear, we’re taking up investment buying. As any financier worth their loafers would tell you, there are safe bets with solid payoffs, and there are risky investments with the potential for both untellable glory or complete disaster. We think we’ve gone for the former, but see whether you’d invest the same as the editors of FashionBeans, as we set out our fiscally-responsible fashion choices.
Ask any woman about the first thing she judges a man on, and I guarantee she will reply ‘shoes’. A good pair of shoes is a genuine investment; £50 shoes will last half as long as £100 shoes, but £500 shoes should last an entire lifetime. So this year I’ll be buying these black Shannon Derbies from Church’s. Minimal detailing ensures they remain timeless, and the craftsmanship that goes into the Northampton brand’s shoes is flawless (they still use the traditional – and in my opinion, unbeatable – Goodyear welting method). At £500, they’re not cheap, but they’ll still be on my feet when high street alternatives would be rotting in the landfill, so there’s a few eco-points to be gained there, too (tick another one of your resolutions off the list). Shannon Derby Shoe, available at Church’s, priced £500.
January is well known as one the most common months for staff asking for a raise at work. Some say it has something to do with us coming toward the end of the calendar fiscal year (whatever that is), others because Christmas has skinted them, but I’ve figured out the real reason – leather weather. When it’s cold enough outside to freeze the balls off a brass monkey there’s only one material that offers true stylish respite. But like most people, every year I try on a leather jacket such as the Schott Perfecto (made famous by style icons like James Dean) before putting it back, remembering I have bills to pay. Unless you have a taste for diamond-encrusted jeans, it’s one of the most expensive investments you could make, but do you really think the Rebel Without A Cause cared about paying rent? No, he just hid behind the sofa when the landlord came round like me. AllSaints Jasper Leather Biker Jacket, available at House Of Fraser, priced £380.
Menswear is loosening up, in every sense of the word. Cuts are relaxing, rules are going out the window and there’s a lot more room for experimenting. So now that they’re no longer stuffy, there’s no excuse not to invest in a few smarter pieces. But if, like me, you have a love for all things nineties (chiefly oversized sweats and stonewash jeans), polishing your wardrobe can be somewhat difficult – only a maniac would pair a Fila sweatshirt with a structured blazer. Difficult, though not impossible. Well-fitting trousers sit just as pretty with a white T-shirt as they do an Oxford shirt. Plus, they tidy your act up without the full Savile Row treatment (and cost) – just pair with minimalist sneakers and tuck in for a flattering shape. There’s life in the Reebok Classics yet. Etro Straight-leg Linen Trousers, available at MatchesFashion, priced £230.