Firstly, just want to say this is purely evidence-based stuff. I wear the brands on this list and really do value them. They offer great options for men of my age and so are relevant to the blog and what I am hoping to achieve….namely men my age dressing a bit better and knowing what is out there that might suit them. I am not working with any brands.
Paul Smith was a keen cyclist when younger. A serious accident stopped him in his tracks and so he turned to tailoring and fashion design and opened his first shop in Nottingham in 1970.
Cycling’s loss has been our gain as Paul Smith offers a quite distinctive take on men’s style. It can often be fun, fashionable and serious all at once. I started buying shirts from Paul Smith when in my late twenties and most of these shirts are still in great condition and still look and feel really good. This demonstrates the quality of the clothes and the thoughtful design is shown well by the fact that even the oldest shirt I have is still so stylish on. I heard on a BBC radio show that Sir Paul Smith himself casts his eye over every single item that makes it into production. In this day and age that is very impressive and admirable. That is the kind of story you want to hear about the brand you are buying into.
Over the years I have bought shirts, t shirts, pyjamas, denim, socks, wallets, shoes and boots from department stores or the website www.paulsmith.co.uk. I did visit the Floral Street shop in Covent Garden as a student, but I was too skint to buy anything. I did take it all in and said to myself “someday my son.”
So, I can talk all night about quality and design, but how to wear it and what to buy is the most important aspect and the actual purpose of this blog.
Best buy- Shirts
The shirts come in a tailored, classic and slim fit. Formal as well as the more versatile casual are available. I go with slim or tailored generally as they suit my build well. The classic fit will of course give a bit more room around the chest and midriff for bigger guys. The shirts are just cut and finished so well and will look good on most guys. A flattering cut in a shirt is essential or your look will be totally shot. Find your fit with the online measurement calculator on the website. Too loose and you just look unkempt and too tight is Fast & Furious territory.
Paul Smith also offers plentiful welcome alternatives to the boring blue or checked shirts that we see on men everywhere. Try a floral shirt (see below) with your best denims and a pair of brogues or Chelsea boots.
Not talking loud floral here, but a bit of colour and style that says “yeah, I am comfortable with my look.” I have several floral shirts in a few different shades and I get loads of positive comments. I think at 41, I look much better with the shirt tucked in for what it’s worth. Less of a schoolboy playing hooky look.
The rest of his range stands up well, but I do really like his footwear. Really positive experiences with it. My brown PS boots are a desert island must-have for me. Made in Italy, they just ooze class and masculinity. I also have trainers and terracotta brogues. They work with a variety of different trousers, so offer versatility which is important in a man’s wardrobe which tends to be a tad sparser than a woman’s.
Why is Paul Smith in a forty-something man wardrobe?
Paul Smith is relevant to the mature man because the clothes are stylish without being faddish. The clothes offer a timeless classic look with a touch of individuality. They are also of a reliably high quality. In English this means you look good and you will get a lot of wear out of them over a period of years. They also wash well (although do wash only when really needed) which is good news if you are putting down 120 quid on a shirt you don’t want it coming out of the wash like the tinfoil from the kids packed lunch. The range is designed with all builds in mind, so there is something there to fit all of us.
When you are buying clothes you want solid performers with a bit of panache. Paul Smith provides this. That’s why it makes the list for men of my vintage. Simple style and quality with a bit of something special thrown in.
Next time….#2 Massimo Dutti