Work-wear has shifted onto the centerstage of men's fashion. Functional pieces in menswear have been in the dark for too long. Take the Mackintosh for example. This simple jacket, often constructed from garbardine, has been around since the 19th century. It serves a practical purpose much like a wool sock, or a knitted scarf, but the Mac is also a brilliant design icon. It is both traditional and modern with pure clean lines that fit perfectly in a futurist landscape.
It wouldn't be a stretch to compare an item like the Mac to the classic t-shirt or the blue jean. It is a basic item and can fit into any wardrobe. It has permanence and usefulness. A man's wardrobe should be built around essential and functional pieces like these.
There will always be a naysayer against fashion and etiquette ready to wear sandals in the rain. But for most of us these pieces connect us with our past, we wear them as if we are wearing history. The old gives us a steadiness to launch into the present. Classic style and its timeless pieces allow a context to venture into unseen territory. Classic pieces provide a counterpoint and appositional complement to startling new ideas, silhouettes, and revolution.
Every well composed icon was once the upstart challenger and every well composed icon can be new again.