5 Styles for a Rugged Gentleman
The mud slides off you?
You do battle every day, but stay chilled?
You climb mountains, and have a three-course meal when you are up there?
Then show it.
If you have a rugged side, dress rugged. It doesn’t matter if your mountains are literal or in the workplace, you can still dress like you mean business.
I want to share with you five, rugged, manly styles to give direction to your choice of clothes. To dress like somebody who is going to achieve.
Plus, there’s nothing sexier than a rugged man.
That’s what they say - but oh how easy it is to fall on the wrong side of: stylish, rugged, i-want-to-talk-to-him! vs scruffy, rough, let’s-cross-the-road!
If you don’t want to fall into this trap, you should try to perfect a specific style of rugged. Importantly, aim to be a rugged gentleman.
Being masculine has nuances. It isn’t all about looking swarthy, big muscles, and facial hair.
You should know what clothes suit your body, and which style suits your personality.
And dressing ruggedly is more than just a style - it’s dressing in a practical way that will demand respect and will help you to reach your dreams.
A rugged style suggests you are interesting - you have stories to tell. Being a gentleman means that people will be ready to approach you and let you tell those stories.
You may not live in the mountains, fight bears, nor cut down trees, but you can always add a bit of Mountain Man to your wardrobe.
If you are taking a girl glamping, visiting a work colleague’s ‘house in the country’, or planning a party by the lake, this is a good option.
Mountain Man can combine touches of the country club but not so preppy, cowboy but not so exaggerated, and lumbersexual but not so hipster. It’s taking the most masculine and stylish aspects of these clichés and making them feel natural and smart.
This Buffalo Jackson post shows how to pull this off effortlessly.
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One offshoot of Mountain Man is Mountain Casual - which is basically smart casual, just more mountain. A great relaxed-but-formal look, fantastic for an outdoor wedding. Wear a good shirt, I’d say white or a subtle check, relaxed trousers, like jeans or thick chinos, and then a jacket or a tweed vest. A tie or a bowtie goes well, and this look is an unmissable opportunity to get out the suspenders!
The jungle explorer look can really make you seem like a man who means business. And a man with a few stories to tell.
This look can work for holidays in warmer climes, or great summer day outfits.
This look shouts out a light khaki shirt and trousers. Thin natural materials are best, like linen and hemp. I always say use long sleeve shirts; they are much more multi-purpose than the short-sleeve variety. Roll the shirt up to the biceps if it is hot. Or rip off the bottom half of the sleeve to stop that bleeding wound!
Leather is the other essential: brown leather jacket, leather belt, leather bag. Leather is a hardy material that will wear well through your adventures, whether you are in the jungle, climbing rocky peaks, or fighting the good fight in the city.
A broad-brimmed hat for sun or rain is essential. Think Indiana Jones’s fedora or a stockman hat. Often these are wool felt, but better to buy fur felt, which is 100% waterproof. I love leather or waxed cotton (the best in heavy rain, in my opinion) but these may look out of place when the sun is shining.
Check out action man Prince Gaspolino in this post. Combined with the polo neck it looks like Prince is ready for adventures in slightly colder fields. I hear he’s going to the Southern Carpathians... I don’t know, we’ll have to ask him (you get it?).
A leather or canvas over-the-shoulder or travel bag is a good option where to keep the snake antivenom and perhaps stolen artifacts from a hidden jungle temple. Or a laptop.
These cap-toe boots are beautiful pull-up leather and just the ticket. Pull-up leather is the most rugged of leathers - it is durable, low maintenance, and looks the Scheiße.
The typical British country gent - this is the classic outdoor look. Very smart, but also rugged.
These are people who are going out for a day’s hunting, but not forgetting to stop for sherry and sandwiches.
Why not take inspiration from this style and add it to your wardrobe for a classy but rugged alternative?
Tweed. I need say no more. Tweed is essential for this look. It has been used for centuries for rugged outdoors wear. From George Mallory scaling Mount Everest to John Doe walking his dog in the park.
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The Edison 3 piece Harris Tweed Suit - Part of our classic collection. *This suit is available in sizes 32R - 54R and in 3 different fabrics. 78.2232° N, 15.6267° E www.thomasfarthing.co.uk Photo - @thomasfarthinglondon Vessel - @duenexperience #thomasfarthing #thomasfarthinglondon #menswear #vintagestyle #expedition #spitsbergen #harristweed #suit #knitwear #1930s #explorer #adventurer #northpole
Starting at the top, you want a nice flat cap. Tweed obviously.
Shirt and tie. Tweed coat, and maybe a vest. A three piece Harris Tweed Suit like the one above is exactly how to be well dressed and ready for everything.
For your pants, you decide what style you are going to carry off. If you are going out with a hunting party, or want to have that classic style, then it’s tweed trousers and nice brown brogues or these Balmorals.
For more general wear, play down the style, and try with nice jeans and some good quality leather boots like these Nolan brogue boots.
Another excellent item for the country gent style is a waxed cotton coat (known often by the brand name ‘Barbour jacket’, but there are many options out there). Perfect on top of a shirt and sweater.
This way you can have the appearance of a country gent while being relaxed enough to go for a coffee, or meet a client in the country.
This is a surprisingly versatile style.
For less formal situations, go for the combat look. You might want to combine green or khaki cargo pants with a white t-shirt, or a black sleeveless t-shirt and military style boots. That’s the classic Army or Marines inspired. It’s what I’ll call the Vin Diesel.
This can work well with a green cotton jacket and kafiya scarf.
GATs are the best style of sneakers to pair with this look - universally popular and actually developed by the German Army to train in, thus the name.
Then you have the Punisher look. This is more secret ops. Go with all black - boots, combat pants, t-shirt, and a leather jacket or hoodie. A black beanie when it gets cold.
Of course you can go Air Force - the Top Gun. Much more smart casual, and adaptable. The most iconic part is a leather aviator jacket (with or without the furry collar!) and aviator shades. Often matched with a white t-shirt and jeans, but pretty much anything goes with this.
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And then there are more formal military inspired options. More officer than soldier. A trench coat, with a sweater and shirt and tie, can work fantastically. Match with smart jeans and some oxfords.
I once found a WWII RAF greatcoat in a cupboard, and it’s the best overcoat for smart occasions I could ask for. You might find something magical in a vintage or thrift shop.
Otherwise, try a duffle coat with smart pants and Chelsea boots to look more British secret service. A leather overnighter can finish off this look, as you board the train!
A lot of choice, but to carry this rugged style off make sure you don’t buy cheap imitation clothing or footwear. Buy the best, and look like you mean business.
The Most Interesting Man in the World
You know the guy?
As you get older you can still be rugged. Embrace it.
Maintain that beard nice and smart though.
Dos Equis’s signature advertising campaign The Most Interesting Man in the World is exemplary of how to carry this off.
This is as much about the attitude you take as the clothes you wear.
These guys have a moniker - Silver Fox.
The secret is to look smart, but not overly prissy. Look young, but remember that you’re not. Wear a suit and shirt, but leave it unbuttoned.
Good formal shoes will make this look stand out, like some monk-straps.
For a rugged but smart look you can also go for jeans and a vest, perhaps with a pocket square and sleeves rolled up to show a stylish watch or leather wrist band.
@sir_ndrewsilver you can see precisely how well dressed can be made more casual to become rugged, and attract attention.
Even wearing jeans, keep your footwear smart, perhaps with some jodhpur boots, I would say.
These styles will make you stand out. You can go lock, stock, and barrel for one of these, or just pick aspects to add to your wardrobe. Make it your own, and make it fit your personality. Or the person that you want to be.
Take note, these styles are powerful, so remember to not go over the top. Use judgment and look at how others do it. Do it wrong and you will look like you have just left a Village People convention.
Show off the man you want to be - dress like a man with experience, and a man on whom others can rely.
Go out there, be tough, and dress well!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for upcoming posts.
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