The next step in smart-casual elegance; wearing a tie with your jeans. In our latest video, Chris and Austin create a wearable tie-and-jeans combination and discuss the elements needed to create a successful smart-casual look.
Chris: So what happened to trousers is my main question.
Austin: I got rid of them. They're no longer contemporary. It's all about denim these days. You can dress it down. You can dress it up.
Chris: So this is a dressed-up look for denim?
Austin: I would say so.
Chris: So you're definitely dressing up the denim, not dressing down the tie?
Austin: Yes, I think I'm dressing up the denim, in this instance.
Chris: I like this outfit, I think it's a very cool style. I also think that ties - as we're seeing less people wearing ties with suits, which annoys me because I don't like the open-neck suit look - to wear a tie as an accessory, why not? It looks cool.
Austin: I think with a look like this, the tie is the focus here. Denim is so universal, unstructured jackets are so universal, but then to bring it all together with the tie, which is quite uncommon, I think actually brings the outfit, together and makes it cohesive.
Chris: I like it. I think the tie you've chosen works really well.
Austin: If you're going to wear a tie with denim, it has to be the right tie without a doubt.
Chris: Yeah. I wouldn't do a Macclesfield woven tie. I think it has to be a slightly more casual option, so shantung, or in winter cashmere looks great. I think the texture of that tie really complements the texture of the jeans.
Austin: Yeah. I think it needs to definitely have that texture. In this case, a nice regimental stripe sort of plays into the 'preppiness' of this whole look, so it's all well-considered.
Chris: Do you think being American helps carry this look off?
Austin: I think so because I think this would be a quite controversial look for around town in London. But being American, this feels very me. It feels to my core. I love wearing denim. I love dressing-up denim. And I think wearing a tie with the unstructured jacket, a softer, more natural cut jacket, suits the casualness of the denim. But wearing a tie, isn't something you see in London much.
Chris: Not so much these days, it comes and goes in different trends, but at the moment, I think it's quite subversive. It's a good look.
Austin: But I think what's really fun about it is this, in a lot of ways, it's no different than what you're wearing. I've just swapped out the trousers, but thought about all the other elements the same.
So, starting with a nice leather shoe, then I have a proper pair of jeans here - they're high-waisted, they have a little bit more drape through the leg - and I'm treating the denim shirt just like I would any other.
Tie, jacket, I mean, it's essentially, it's the uniform, right? But I'm doing something a little bit different with the jeans.
Chris: For sure. I think also you could really play around with the shirt as well. You could put a slightly smarter shirt with that, perhaps a white poplin or even a French cuff to really play around with high-low dressing.
Austin: Yeah that would be that would be really interesting
Chris: And the shoes, I mean loafers would be my first choice. Would you consider perhaps a Chelsea boot or going the other way maybe like a sneaker?
Austin: I think a Chelsea boot, it's going be sleek, it's going have a really nice silhouette. I think that'd look really sharp with this. But also, sneakers, a good pair of sneakers, right? Something that's clean, not your everyday trainers.
Chris: But controversially, no pocket square?
Austin: No pocket square. I think for me, it becomes a little bit too fancy.
Chris: Most people would be more comfortable not wearing a tie, but perhaps wearing a pocket square. That would be a more common way of dressing in London.
Austin: Well, I think you just hit it. I think it should be maybe one or the other. Pocket square, no tie. Tie, no pocket square.
Chris: When wearing jeans?
Austin: When wearing jeans.