Know Logo - British GQ's Teo van den Broeke knows his
Have you noticed heavily logoed garments creeping back into this year's menswear collections? Teo van den Broeke, Style and Grooming Director at British GQ has. Here's his guide to dressing successfully in an age of brand designs.
I was recently given a voucher to spend at a major fashion retailer, which shall remain unnamed. When I went to buy something from said retailer's website, I was confronted with wave after wave of heavily logoed sweat tops, sneakers, sweat pants and backpacks - all of which were less whispering, more screaming at me to buy them.
I have yet to make a purchase. The reason? As a man in his early '30s I struggle to pull off anything with a logo, and it's something I know my friends and colleagues grapple with too. The big, brash, branded shell suits and sweatshirts of the '90s and early noughties are still too fresh in my mind, and the thought of returning to an age that celebrates conspicuous consumerism and scoffs at the tasteful (if slightly boring) minimalism I've come to love, is simply too much to take.
Having given the issue some thought, however, I've come to the conclusion that the only way for an adult to get in on the logo trend, without looking like Ali G or Danniella Westbrook's Burberry check-clad baby, is to approach it with a heavy dose of irony and an even heavier dose of subtlety.
I ended up buying a Gucci logo T-shirt with my voucher and I now wear it as an underlayer with simple, understated items in complementary tones. The clash of the logo looks wry and knowing (I hope) and the rest of my simple, tasteful pieces are free to do the talking.
The same rule applies to a logo sweater or hoodie (careful with the latter). An elegant silk shirt worn with some white jeans will be lifted by a chic logo belt, as long as there are no logos also emblazoned on the shirt. Likewise, a pair of logoed tube socks pulled up with some simple white tennis shoes and worn with bleached jeans will nod to the trend without bowing to it. If you're still struggling, however, just remember Alexander McQueen's mantra that "menswear is about subtlety. It's about good style and good taste." But how you interpret that is entirely up to you.
Teo van den Broeke is the Style and Grooming Director at British GQ.
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