Okay, so let's be honest for a minute. There are a couple of things you need in your wardrobe if you consider yourself the true connoisseur of driving. These items do not include the car itself (funnily enough it's hard to fit one of those in your wardrobe). But they are in existence to show proudly just how fond of driving you are. With the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival in full swing here in Australia, I thought I'd curate a list today of my own lifestyle items which make me proud to get behind the wheel.
The Gloves - Dents
Leather steering wheels are to be savored. Especially if your vehicle of choice is day to day. Every connoisseur of driving knows this is done with a pair of driving gloves. Along with James Bond's personal endorsement, Dents are known as the quintessential driving glove. Bar Bond both Queen Victoria and Lord Nelson were known to frequent a Dents boutique for their own personal pair of driving gloves. The gloves I've used as an example are also touch screen compatible, removing the need to remove your gloves every time you need to change your driving tune.
The Jacket - Alexander McQueen
I've had disagreements that have turned ridiculously violent before over what the perfect leather jacket is. I find everyone has their own opinion about it. Some prefer a bomber jacket, for that there is a fantastic Ralph Lauren jacket called a G-1. That jacket looks similar to the one worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun (a favourite movie of mine). One of my favourite movies of all time though is Mad Max. That brings me to the biker jacket. A look made famous both by the aforementioned movie and Steve McQueen. Ironically my pick for the biker jacket is by Alexander McQueen who shares the McQueen surname and evidently their taste for style as well.
The Jeans - G-Star
G-Star seem to have a pair of jeans for everyone. Their sizing and styling varies enough to make the ass end of any conversation attractive. The above are my personal favourites. I love just a bit of wear in jeans, it makes them look a bit rugged. I'd almost go as far as to say it gives them a bit of swagger (not to be confused with Jagger, who most definitely does not have swag).
The Sunglasses - Jacques Marie Mage
When you think sunglasses and driving the brands that come to mind are along the lines of Ray Ban, Carrera and even Persol. I was wandering around Melbourne however on an autumn day last year and ventured into a store over here named Harrods, which is much the same as Harrolds in the UK. There I found them selling a bunch of sunglass brands like Dita and Tom Ford. In between all of the niche and boutique sunglass brands I found a bit of a pearl. There was a brand named Jacques Marie Mage. They're mostly acetate glasses, with real glass as lenses and most of their trimmings are true to product. Ie. their gold trims are normally ct gold. Last November they released their newest range which included the above Borodino. A pair of sunglasses that I honestly fell in love with. Even more so for driving.
The Tee - Orlebar Brown
It's hard to find a good t-shirt. Really hard. I've struggled for yonks trying to find the right fit and the best material. I'll give a close runner up to Ralph Lauren for their ever reliable tees but the real killer in this category is done by a British company named Orlebar Brown, who are normally known for their resort wear. These guys are also partnered with Daniel Ricciardo, which adds to the pedigree they claim in driving.
The Shoes - Nike X Off-white
Full disclaimer, this was a massive toss up. It was a toss up because I had to figure out whether you go down the path of a classic or post-modern attitude. I went for post-modern, because in America and Japan right now if you're caught not wearing a Nike X Off-white sneaker you're essentially a weirdo. These sneakers are ridiculous, and you might think they look a bit like sh*t. But on your feet they're a totally different story. They're comfortable, good looking and ridiculously good for driving. I ran a drive day in a pair of these last November and had nothing but praise for them. I do need to give a special mention here though to your stock standard Tod's. Reason being is that Tod's are to drivers what Range Rover is to SUVs. If you consider buying driving shoes and Tod's aren't on your list? You're totally mental.
Another Tee - Heron Preston
I of all people get that you aren't always going to want to wear a jacket when driving. I mean I live in Australia, we experience 40C degree days here. So I've included a t-shirt to wear when you just want to wear a t-shirt. I only discovered Heron Preston a short while ago but I've started to slowly love their t-shirt and sweat shirt designs. They did a NASA crossover last year which I thought was fantastic.
The Hat - Melin
I like to call these hats the royal family of the hat world. And trust me I have a lot of hats. With that said what would a summer variation of any drive be without a cap. They're so connected to the driving world as well. Personally I'm right on A-frame hats at the moment and won't touch a snap back. I feel like they degrade whatever you're wearing. Melin though are a very boutique European hat brand who have taken to putting suede on hats. Anyone who knows me knows that I love suede anything.
The Time Keeper - Omega
I personally, day to day, actually wear a Seamaster Professional 300m (much alike to the watch worn by Pierce Brosnan in Goldeneye). Please don't @ me about my watch choice. I know there are going to be so many enthusiasts out there who will talk about the TAG Carrera, Monaco or the Omega Speedmaster. Don't get me wrong, I love those watches. They're fantastic watches. But I'm a massive fan of minimalism in watches. Simple, beautiful and yet very practical. You'll laugh at me though because I do have a special second mention on this one. I'm looking at buying a Rolex Daytona at the moment. The more I look at that watch the more I adore it. With that in mind though for a chronograph the Daytona is still very simplistic and has a very rich racing history (Rolex being the title sponsor of the Formula 1 World Championship). With all of that said I know watches are a very personal thing and everyone is going to have an opinion about them.
The Car - Aston Martin
Contradictory to what I said at the start of this list, you didn't actually think I was going to finish this article without mentioning at least one car right? The older 1980s V8 Vantage also comes in a Volante model and almost every colour you could imagine. But this is one of my favourite classic and drivers cars. You can't fit it in your wardrobe but it definitely should be there.
You don't necessarily need to wear all of the above together, or wear them apart. But they're some of my favourite pieces to slide on a nice Sunday morning and go for a drive. They're also some of my favourite pieces to slide on any morning for a drive. With all of that in mind I'd love to hear your fashion choices for driving below. I'm sure you'll give me ideas for a future trip to the shopping center. You never know? Maybe you'll help someone else find their look as well.