7 Of The Best Menswear Duos

Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra, Ross and Rachel, and, er, tuxedo and bow tie?

Unless you’ve been living some kind of digital detox on a remote island (in which case, how the hell are you reading this?), you’ll probably have noticed that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and seen the customary tidal wave of saccharine messaging from companies encouraging you to quantify “just how much you love them”.

So, this year, why not show your appreciation by doing the hard work for your other half? Drop a hint you’d like one of these hardworking menswear duos and you’ll lessen your chances of disappointment come V-Day. Not to mention save yourselves a couple’s counselling session.

Camel Denim

If you’re an early adopter of the camel coat, then feel free to rest smug in the satisfaction that this outerwear classic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – the recent AW16 shows were awash with them.

The reason why camel is popular isn’t hard to pin down: as a lighter neutral colour, it looks great with the lion’s share of your wardrobe. But there’s really no better bedfellow for this variant of beige than some blue denim. Why? It’s a classic case of opposites attract.

The camel coat started out as something to layer over tailoring and most modern versions nod to its smart sartorial origins. At the other end of the spectrum is denim, a man’s hardest working wardrobe hero now synonymous with the concept of off-duty dressing.

Put the two together and you’ve got pretty much one of the best high-low combinations since the burger went gourmet. Tasty.

express aw15

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Navy Blazer Breton Top

‘Riviera chic’ is a phrase wheeled out with clockwork regularity by the fashion press. But despite appearances, menswear isn’t stuck for new material – there’s some method in the ad nauseam repetition, not least because nailing a Johannes Huebl-level summer wardrobe taps into that primal pipedream of packing in the rat race for Mediterranean island-hopping.

Look the part for when you win the lotto in a navy blazer and Breton top. Worn for the best part of a century, this timeless pairing has weathered sea changes in style with its unashamed simplicity.

What’s more, it looks just as good worn for a jaunt around a concrete jungle as on its native sun-soaked stretch of the med. No yacht necessary.

Burberry Black SS15

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Green Bomber Jacket White T-Shirt

Like many of its listmates in the canon of menswear staples, the bomber jacket has its roots in military wear. The original, the MA-1, has been worn by movie stars, skinheads, presidents and punks, and was also the jacket that launched a thousand imitators – from leather bombers to silk blousons.

Loved for its wearability and versatility, the iconic green bomber jacket teams easily with just about any tee or sweatshirt, but it undoubtedly flies best with a classic white crew neck in the cockpit.

This is the Dorian Gray of menswear duos: it’s been worn for decades but hasn’t aged a day. File under ‘things to wear that won’t make you cringe in years to come’.


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Double-Breasted Blazer Roll Neck

Fresh from having shaken off its unfashionable status (no wardrobe item should have to be held responsible for the good taste bypass that was much of the 1970s), the roll neck jumper has banished cold necks to the history books.

Riff on this elegant knit’s naval origins by combining it with the captain of smart jackets: the double-breasted blazer. Sophisticated but not stuffy, these pieces slim down your waist, broaden your shoulders and save you the faff of having to wear a shirt and tie. Which pretty much makes this a match made in heaven.

Sartoria Rossi aw13

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Flannel Shirt Indigo Jeans

In a time when most of us spend our days chained to a desk, there’s something very satisfying in dressing as if you make your money getting your hands dirty outdoors.

No wardrobe coupling undoes modern-day emasculation like a flannel shirt and some hardwearing denim. Yes, this may be a shameless attempt to channel the lumberjack’s ability to wield an axe, but who cares if you struggle to keep hold of a kitchen knife?

To really reaffirm your alpha status, opt for a check flannel shirt and a pair of raw selvedge jeans you won’t wash for at least six months.

Mango man aw16

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Tailoring Trainers

There was a time when the way a man wore his tailoring was not to be tampered with. Circa 2004, for example, American designer Thom Browne’s second skin-like suiting raised eyebrows with its hiked up hemlines. During the noughties, men everywhere rediscovered the appeal of traditional suits – thanks in no small part to a certain Don Draper – and wearing the whole nine yards (three-piece, brogues, pocket square etc.) wasn’t merely a way of dressing, but a means of showing you were in on the tailoring renaissance.

Fast forward a few years and not only are we more eager than ever to air our ankles, we’re also kicking back against the strict confines of full-on suiting, choosing to slip into something more comfortable instead.

Namely trainers. No, not that pair ripe from your third gym session this week, but the sleek, minimalist styles that are, in many respects, closer in appearance to shoes than trainers.

Music to the ears of men who take their style sharp with a side of streetwear.

cerruti 1881 ss16

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Tuxedo Bow Tie

Shocker! Right, we get it, not exactly the most novel of sartorial dream teams. But if you’ve ever seen a tux worn with a neck tie, you’ll know anything other than a bow tie is just not OK.

Adding to the pull of this power couple is the fact that it’s hardly a cakewalk to wear. As anyone who’s ever made the honourable decision to grapple with a self-tie bow tie will know, getting it to sit just so is a task so Herculean we’re surprised it’s not yet an Olympic sport. Which means cracking it instantly wins you gold.

Think of the tux-and-bow-tie pairing as the Usain Bolt of the formalwear world. Many others will try, but none will succeed. Ever, probably.

sarar ss14

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Final Word

More than the sum of their parts, these are the menswear duos with staying power. Are these tried and trusted twosomes part of your rotation? Or are there other great menswear romances we’ve missed out?

Let us know below.

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