Unless you’ve been in a secure bunker, perhaps in hiding after faking your own death (that’s just one of the theories going around), you will have heard of BBC hit show Bodyguard, the story of a troubled security detail (Richard Madden) protecting the home secretary (Keeley Hawes), which has become one of the Beeb’s most successful shows in more than a decade.
Amid the explosions, bullet showers, fiendish plot twists and swirling conspiracy theories in the series, the finale of which is tonight, one small element has been overlooked – Madden’s wardrobe.
Mr P button down shirt, £125, Mr Porter
At first glance, bodyguard David Budd’s get-up is fairly standard – sharp jackets, shirts, ties. Plus, Madden could look athletic in a muumuu. But look closely and there are some minor adjustments to the standard corporate attire that, as we head through September and men assess their return-to-work wardrobes, offer a subtle adjustment to the standard suit and tie.
Budd – a former army officer – adopts a utilitarian twist to his smart suiting to denote that he’s from a more action-ready background than the stuffy Westminster environs he’s found himself in.
He dons button-down shirts in heavy chambray, in colours such as khaki green that buck the office dress code, and wears substantial wool blazers instead of more banker-appropriate finer iterations. It’s subtle, but it progresses the work suit beyond its traditional set-up to something more dynamic.
Herringbone cotton blazer, £345, Hackett
And it’s something that designers have also grappled with in a market where the traditional suit is being picked apart for something more contemporary and suited to men’s dynamic lives today. A colleague’s fiancé has recently been searching for a pair of shoes that aren’t the clumpy, Victorian clerk-y brogues of old, nor anything as informal as trainers, but something in-between.
Lanvin derby shoes, £495, Harrods
While there’s been a great deal of chatter about “athleisurewear” infusing tailoring, workwear – of the likes showcased so sportily (and occasionally blood-soaked) in Bodyguard – can also help to make suiting less formal. Workwear has its roots in the rustic, heavy-duty worker’s garments of 20th century America (which is also where denim in its current incarnation springs from). Button-down shirting and heavy twill fabrics speak to that sense of the substantial and solid.
Desert boots, £340, Tod's
Wear open-necked shirts with a smart blazer for a less uptight stance (if your workplace allows it, obviously) or perhaps look to shoes that hit a happy medium between smart and solid, such as desert boots in a handsome leather, or derby shoes with a chunky heel or in love-worn suede. A bulletproof vest is entirely optional (and dependent on how aggressive your office gets).
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