Men’s style essentials are often mentioned in the menswear pages. It is not always apparent to everyone as to what constitutes a style essential. Older guys are suitably enlightened though, right? Well, here’s my take on the subject:
Style essentials are the building blocks for a man’s everyday outfit. A style essential is a simple, classic (menswear does not change much) item of clothing that makes it easier to dress well every day. These items of clothing are a man’s ally and will become trusted sartorial servants over the years. If we ignore footwear, outerwear (aka coats and jackets) and accessories, then the four main style essential categories in my mind are;
Simple enough? The downside is that these are as easy to get wrong, as to get right. The reasons it can go wrong include;
Bad colour choice
The outfit hints at a “I just got dressed in the dark” look
The first three of these we can control. The fourth is a matter of taste which defines our personal style. All I can say about that it is better to experiment with some clothing combinations and find your comfort zone, than not to bother at all. A seemingly straightforward t-shirt and trouser combo might not work all of the time, but when it does, you have your own easy essential style on dial up.
So, style essentials make looking good that bit easier. The first that will be covered today on the fortysomething man guide is a t-shirt and a lightweight one at that. It is summer after all. Even in Ireland.
I approached ASKET from Stockholm and asked if I could road test some of their clothing. The reason I did this, was because I admire their style and ethos, plus I was pretty curious to see how an online only menswear store would measure up. I also see their range as an ideal fit for the older man who wants a low-key sophisticated outfit. You can pick up a few bits from ASKET and put them together very easily to achieve a breezy, modern take on a minimalist look.
ASKET excel in covering the essential style requirements for men. Their aim is to give us clothing that will dress us with permanent style with some of their refined pieces destined to become day to day favourites.
So, ASKET very kindly agreed and sent me a t-shirt to roadtest for the fortysomething blog. My wife, Orla, was away on a girls weekend in Porto, so I was predictably pretty busy on the homefront. Some gear looks good in the box, but clothing also has to deliver on a practical level. A busy Dad of two needs a new t-shirt to have his back at all times.
This ASKET lightweight t-shirt has been involved in driving children around to dance classes, preparing meals, reading bedtime stories, drinking coffee, eating gelato, cleaning up after two loveable urchins and a lengthy trip to the park and playground with my 5 year old daughter to play pirates. Standard enough family shenanigans then. It has been busy and you know what? It still looks and feels great. I will readily admit that come Sunday night, this t-shirt looks and feels a lot fresher than I do.
It is a lighter t-shirt than I am used to, but it doesn’t feel flimsy. It sits nicely on the shoulders and upper arm. It has enough slack around the midriff to flutter appealingly in the summer breeze. It feels like very good value for the €40 price tag.
This range is offered in a selection of five sizes, which is quite generous in menswear, but more interestingly also in a choice of three lengths. This offers the ideal opportunity to find that perfect fit. For me it was a regular medium in a tasteful off-white shade. The off-white looked good with a hastily chosen old pair of light blue organic denim Nudie Jeans. They hooked up like two old buddies on a road trip.
You can choose how you wear yours by measuring your vital stats and match them to the particularly helpful size guide on the website. I like this move by ASKET. The old one length fits all approach seems like old hat when ASKET will give a guy something approaching a made to measure t-shirt for €40.
In my view the clothing from ASKET sizes out as you would expect, however if between sizes then I would go up a size. There are five to choose from after all, so you might as well make use of this rare opportunity to find the perfect fit.
Provenance is of real interest to me and ASKET have made a very substantial effort to provide full traceability on the buttons, threads and all the other parts and materials that make a garment. Where an item of clothing was manufactured is quite often simply stated as “Made in China” or “Made in France.” As we become more curious and conscious consumers, we know that this is only part of the story and can often be misleading. So, when a menswear company lay out their stall and are willing to tell the consumer where even the thread is spun, it builds trust. I know I am making my fashion footprint smaller with ASKET clothing.
When you can see the factory in Portugal where it was all put together (on the website) it is a bit of a relationship builder with your new t-shirt. Then you wear it and it keeps you company while your other half is on a wine tour in the Douro Valley.
While my wife was in Porto, I had a sustainable bromance with a great new ASKET t-shirt, so I guess we are quits.
Thanks for reading,
ASKET sent me this t-shirt for review purposes.