Get The Dickies Look

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Find below the five wardrobe essentials us men need for that rugged, quintessentially American look that will see us through the cooler months. 
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Dickies Eisenhower jacket
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5. 1 Dickies Eisenhower jacket

Why it works: The period between summer and winter is tricky to judge when it comes to wearing outer layers outside. A day can begin sunny and bright, lulling you into leaving the house with just a thin sweater, only for the temperature to drop, leaving you shivering all the way back home.
 
Rather than breaking out the winter overcoat, a simple, light jacket can be layered over your shirt or jumper – something that’s going to keep you warm when the temperature dips but not so much that you overheat at the slightest sign of sunshine.
 
The Dickies Eisenhower is just the jacket. It’s the classic American work jacket, featuring a simple silhouette, a zippered front, slash front pockets and a crisp collar. It’s unfussy, understated and equally at home in a beer garden or building site. A lined version will offer more warmth, while it’s durable enough to stand up to thorny scrubs on country walks or flying debris from heavy DIY jobs.
 
You can extend its wear into deep winter by buying a larger size to accommodate more clothing underneath it. To keep that clean American look, always look to layer up rather than wear a bulky jacket.  

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In the genes: classic Levi's 501s
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2. Levi's 501 jeans

Why they work: It’s almost unthinkable to attempt to nail that frontier US style without a pair of Levi’s jeans. 501s are one of the most iconic pairs you can buy, and are the key component of any American workwear-inspired look.
 
There are some important points to remember in order to buy the right pair for your look. First, choose the right cut to make sure your jeans are timeless rather than dated. That means slim or skinny fit, and definitely not boot-cut – the latter will make you look a little too out of step with what’s on trend.
 
Second, avoid those gimmicky touches such as brightly coloured stitching, pre-torn patches and streaky denim. The only wear and tear should occur naturally, over the jeans’ lifetime.
 
Third, go for classic colours: dark greys, navy blues, light blues. Bold colours come in and out of fashion so try to avoid these. A stylish blue pair will go with almost anything, while a couple of turn-ups will add a modern flourish.
 
Also look at: Uniqlo straight-leg jeans.
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Polo Ralph Lauren cord shirt
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3. Polo Ralph Lauren cord shirt

Why it works: While chequered shirts exploded in the early Noughties, now they are a little tired – despite the style’s close association with iconic American look. If the jeans are the basis of the look, the chequered shirt is the eye-catching finishing touch.
 
But this time, we’re going to suggest avoiding the trusty plaid. Instead, look for a quality cord number. Not only has it not exceeded its best-worn-by date, but the slimmer fit gives a more up to date, flattering look.
 
Steer well clear of bright, bold colours. Darker or natural tones will make your outfit look more effortlessly casual. The Polo Ralph Lauren cord shirt features a fine cord thread that won’t feel too thick under your jacket but will add valuable insulation. Of course if you do find yourself getting warm, you can always wear the shirt open over a good, simple T-shirt. 
 
Plenty of second-hand and vintage stores carry American work shirts – you could even go the whole hog and get a custom name patch sewn on yours. All you’d need then is your own Route 66 gas station.
 

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Dickies leather safety boots
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4. Dickies leather safety boots

Why they work: So much fashion is inspired by either sportswear or, in the case of Dickies leather safety boots, industry. The function is more important than stylish flourishes, with the reason the boots are worn driving their look.
 
The Dickies boots are made from tough-wearing leather that will keep your feet dry in almost any weather apart from extreme flooding. They’re padded and feature thick rubber soles – and that’s about as far as defining characteristics go. The point is they are reliable, no-frills boots designed to last and withstand whatever you can chuck on them.
 
They’ll get more comfortable as you wear them, and will look great under a pair of jeans, striking the right balance between casual and formal. There are plenty of good alternatives that will complement your style, but perhaps the chunky, sand-coloured Timberlands favoured by boy bands have gone the same way as the plaid shirt...
 

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American Apparel cotton T-shirt
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American Apparel cotton T-shirt

Why it works: Whether you wear your shirt open or closed, a simple cotton T-shirt will enhance your casual look and keep you pleasantly warm. You’ll block out miserable temperatures and if you get too hot, you can easily remove layers until you’re wearing just the T-shirt.
 
Plain is perfect. Slogans, imagery and branding are a no-no, since they date fast and act more as a distraction than a focal point in an outfit inspired by no-effort workwear.
 
American Apparel T-shirts are cheap and cheerful. Look for low-key colours and make sure it’s cotton. Natural fibres will wash better and don’t hang on to odours, allowing your skin to breathe.
 
If there’s one thing that defines American-style workwear, it’s layers. With a classic T-shirt as your base, you can build everything else on top safe in the knowledge that you can remove upper layers as required, so you can stay comfy throughout the day – and night.
 

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