Fun and Games: A Knockabout Suit for the Practical Man

Fun and Games: A Knockabout Suit for the Practical Man

Leather trousers and cuban heels are all well and good if you're an icon of rock and roll, but for those of us with more quotidian concerns, clothing needs to be practical, durable and - above all - stylish. 

My days of drooling over a whippet thin Bobby Gillespie are long gone – thank God. I've lost count of the nights I spent dodging hypothermia, sleeping in my best friend's 2CV in various carparks across the north, insulated by all the cheap cider I consumed watching the Cuban-heeled space cadet clapping his way through the Screamadelica tour. Back then, all a bloke needed to attract my attention was a floppy fringe, some grimy looking white jeans and a black leather jacket – which made sense when I was busy being a stroppy, cigarette-smoking part of the zero-responsibilities indie rockchick shoegaze tribe. Now, I look for practicality in a partner. The last thing you want when you need help changing the fan belt or fitting a new Chubb lock is some plonker with a pair of maracas. Don't get me wrong, I'm a modern woman who can manage both tasks solo, but occasionally prefers the help of someone with more facial hair than me.

Changing life priorities appears to be reflected not only in my newfound love for garden centres and DIY forums, but also in the outfits worn by my better half. The current beau has a wardrobe auditing regime that makes Marie Kondo look like Imelda Marcos – he's all about those hardcore, multi-functional pieces that look good, wash well and fit properly. Not one for frivolous one-hit-wonders, he carefully considers each and every purchase, and can occasionally be overheard in shop changing rooms mumbling, "Actually…no. I don't need it. I've already got one of those." As a self-confessed outerwear, shirt, shoe and knitwear enthusiast, his reductionist attitude never ceases to amaze me, but for him, it works. His philosophy seems pretty straightforward – whatever he buys has to be of sound quality, but more importantly, can't work in isolation. Garments have to work as a modular system of interchangeable parts. Choosing items that can transition from laid-back to formal with just a switch in footwear isn't easy, which is when the humble chino and unstructured single-breasted jacket stride into shot.

Cotton separates make life breezy. Comfortable, practical and resilient, they're the kind of everyday classics that make getting dressed in the mornings super easy – regardless of the weather. Teamed with a t-shirt, button-down or a lightweight jumper, it’s a look that says, "I've got my shit together." Drake's have refreshed these timeless favourites for AW19 with the Games Blazer and Games Chino, by adding twin needle seams to give both elements a more robust, workwear feel.

Straddling the half-world between super sharp and slovenly, both pieces are cut with ease to make sure they sit at the more relaxed end of the formal spectrum. With a boxy silhouette and patch pockets big enough to slide your hands into (think awkward moments at family gatherings) or for nonchalantly stashing a Penguin Classic and a Mars Bar for the daily commute – the Games Blazer nails the need for crisp clean tailoring in our busy, modern world. Chino-wise, I'm the kind of low-life nerd who looks to Ron Swanson for trouser inspo – unhelpful I know, so perhaps we ought to think instead of someone like Hirofumi Kurino instead, who for me, absolutely smashes the 'blending utilitarian vibes and elegance category' with seemingly effortless aplomb. If he's not your man, let's imagine what a young, off-duty David Attenborough might be wearing if he was going on a first date in 2019; a sturdy cotton-heavy suiting situation – something smart but slouchy, with a pleat-front trouser that sits just above the hip for that take-me-seriously-I've-read-every-Steinbeck vibe. Hell, he might even flash a bit of sock. With that much excitement in store, you can count me in. Who needs a rock-star boyfriend in leather trousers anyway?

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