Uniform Commitment and High School Classics

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Nailing that just-got-out-of-bed look probably takes me about 3 hours these days. Long gone are the carefree mornings of my thirties, when 'getting ready' for work amounted to a quick shower followed by an undignified sprint to the tube station. Now it's a right old rigmarole. Hot cloth cleansers, anti-ageing serums and 15 minutes trying to turn back time with a jade roller. Nothing works. Which is why when I see Keanu Reeves still looking every inch the indie chick pin-up, some 25 years later, I get a bit grumpy. Why is it so much easier for men? Anyway, all that aside, there's an enduring spirit to dudes like him that you can't help but admire. He knows his formula and he's sticking to it, teaming laid-back high-end tailoring with a generic t-shirt and some scruffy brown boots – the perfect blend of grotty Monterey Pop Festival roadie and all the best bits of Bryan Ferry.


Reeves takes that just-woken-up-on-the-settee dressing to heady new heights, by chucking out the rulebook and sauntering down the red carpet in trendless, well-cut basics. He doesn't give a shit, and I guess that’s what makes it work so well (and for so long). Being handsome also helps. Chiselled cheekbones aside, there's another long-haired American fav to hit the moodboard this season, and that's Sean Penn's character in Cameron Crowe's sophomore comedy classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Penn plays Jeff Spicoli, a weed-smoking super doofus, with shoulder length, sun-bleached surfer hair and ADHD (not sure whether this was in the script, but you get my point). The Vans sneaker wearing teenage tearaway spends most of his time looking at jazz mags, skipping school or joyriding, but don’t let that put you off. Just like Reeves, he manages to stay close to the slacker vibe uniform, with long-sleeved jersey crewnecks, layered under polo shirts or tunics, all topped off with baggy pants and a beanie. Maybe it's all in the hair? I've always had a soft spot for pony-tailed ravers, or blokes who are still rocking that laissez-faire attitude to male grooming. Obviously, the world's going mad for all things 1990s right now, so it's no surprise to see the long bob skateboarding its way back into popular culture.


For anyone considering a leap to the longer side in the haircut stakes, I'm probably biased, but I think letting your free flag fly with contemporary menswear pieces like those from Studio Nicholson's AW19 collection is definitely worth a try. I'm all for it – adding a bit of feminine flourish to boxy shaped layers, bringing some softness around the shoulders and adding a bit of interest 'up top'.


So, for this coming winter, Studio Nicholson has taken heed of all the best bits from Reeves, Penn (and a host of notable others) and re-contextualised the frat boy classics for a modern man's wardrobe. Sloppy sleeved jersey teamed with chunky Kurt Cobain knits and pleat fronted, crispy chinos begging for some rough and tumble. When I think back, my mum always warned me against dating men with short hair. She'd say, "Nah. Too much testosterone. You'll never be equal partners, but they'll always expect you to pay half the bill on a dinner date.". No thanks, give me a 1971 David Gilmour any day, with his centre-parted flowing bonce and psychedelic trousers. Now that's the mark of a real man.


Leanne Cloudsdale is the Studio Nicholson Editor-at-Large