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10 Style Commandments for December

As the festive season gets underway we decided to tap River Island for 10 stylish commandments that men should take as gospel. We sat down with Giles Farnham who is Head of River Island Style Studio recently. He lends a humorous outlook on Christmas season styling and gift giving. 

1. Thou shalt not wear novelty jumpers

The days of the musical Rudolph jumper are well and truly over. Dump the novelty numbers and invest in something more après ski. Don a chunky cable knit or a fair isle piece for something that is little more ‘hygge’ and a little less ‘ho ho ho.’ 

Recommendations: Grey Aztec roll neck jumper / Grey zig zag twist jumper / Grey graduated cable knit jumper

2. Thou shalt not give terrible gifts

Keep it classy when it comes to gifting the other gents in your life this Christmas. Swerve that ‘Female Body Inspector’ mug and purchase something that they’ll actually use. Fragrance, leather goods or a watch are sure-fire winners.  

Recommendations: Tan leather foldout wallet / MAN eau de toilette fragrance / Burgundy classic watch

3. Thou shalt not wear a onesie

For a fleeting moment in the not too distant past, the reality TV elite deemed it appropriate for full-grown men to wear onesies. Now though, guys are looking for something that is just as lounge-worthy, minus any giant baby connotations. A simple pyjama set will do just fine, or a luxe fleece hoodie and joggers will up your home-style ante. 

Recommendations: White t-shirt and bottoms pyjama set / Navy fleece hoodie / Navy fleece joggers

4. Thou shalt not go matchy matchy

Wearing a matching red hat, red gloves and red scarf is akin to strolling in to the office clutching a Sesame Street lunchbox. Avoid looking like your mum dressed you by subtly coordinating your accessories with a fleck or a pattern instead of block colours. 

Recommendations: Brown geometric block scarf / Light brown docker beanie

5. Thou shalt wear shearling

Shearling is a huge trend on catwalks and high streets alike and will be around for a while, mainly because the hardy fleece brings hearty measures of both fashion and function. Warm, comfortable and supremely stylish, a shearling jacket with distressed denim and chunky boots is the perfect weekend ensemble. 

Recommendations: Black shearling jacket / Khaki brown shearling lined coat

6. Thou shalt not wear ill-fitting tailoring

Partywear 101 – Never, ever rent a tuxedo, even if you’re only going to wear it once. If you want to stand out from the sea of black at a formal event, the key is in the fit. Take your suit to your local tailor and have it adjusted to fit perfectly. 

Recommendations: Blue skinny tux suit jacket / Blue skinny tux suit trousers / Red wool skinny suit jacket / Berry slim fit suit trousers

7. Thou shalt wear appropriate footwear

When it comes to choosing footwear it’s simple, really, save the posh shoes for posh dos. Snowing? Don’t wear crushed velvet loafers. For the extremes, a hardy leather boot is best suited. For milder, dryer days a classic brogue or white sneaker. Bring out the big guns when it comes to formal events with a monk strap or loafer. 

Recommendations: Burgundy velvet tassel loafers / Black patent leather monk strap shoes / Black tumbled leather ankle boots / Burgundy patent leather chunky brogues / Camel tonal trainers

8. Thou shalt maintain ones barnet

The key to upkeep of a flawless mane is regular cuts. For a longer style e.g. a slick back style, visit your barber once a month. For a shorter style such as French cut or buzz cut, as often as fortnightly. Find a barber you like and stick with them, they’re hard to come by. 

Recommendations: Ruffians / Murdock London / The Nomad Barber

9. Thou shalt not chap

Hoping to finally make your move on Sharon from Finance at the Christmas party? Well, there’s nothing less alluring than dry, cracked lips that resemble streaky bacon, is there? These extreme climates are really bad for your skin, be kind to it. 

Recommendations: Gentlemen's lip balm

10. Thou shalt layer effectively

The rules are simple, really. The more layers you’re sporting, the lighter the gauge (or the density) of your knits should be. For the weekend, waste no time in pulling on that chunky cable knit jumper or heavyweight roll neck over a tee. But, during the working week, try layering fine-gauge cotton or merino wool versions underneath your blazer instead. 

Recommendations: Burgundy merino wool high neck jumper / Navy merino wool roll neck jumper / Camel merino wool roll neck jumper / Stone merino wool high neck jumper


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