The rugged look is in. It shows that you’re both a man of class and style, while remaining a strong alpha male who’s not afraid to chop some wood or hop on a horse and ride into the sunset… even if you’ve never done any of those things.
You don’t have to dress in old second-hand clothes and dirty jeans to achieve this look, either. There are plenty of ways to stay fashion-forward and still achieve that rugged look, especially in today’s fashion landscape.
Here’s your ultimate guide to staying classy and rugged all at once.
Flannel Is In
You might see it as a predominantly “hipster” aesthetic, but a good flannel, plaid shirt screams rugged more than anything else today. Before being appropriated by hipsters flannel was the go-to choice of the countryman, and still lets off that hard-working, rugged-manly look that so many desire.
Piece your flannel together with some leather boots, tweed pants, or “work” jeans, and maybe even a nicely trimmed beard and you’ve got a whole look going. The choice of color and style is up to you, but thicker flannel is usually the best option. Wear a plain-colored t-shirt underneath or go commando, and don’t be afraid to roll up those sleeves.
Facial hair is a big part of that rugged-yet-classy look and the way you present it matters. If you go too long and unkempt the classiness is lost, so you want to invest in an electric razor or take a trip to the barbershop on the regular. For that rugged look you want an even-lengthed beard that shows you know how to take care of yourself, but still want to project your manliness to the world.
Stubble is a good look, and for some people a nice thick mustache can do wonders. Don’t use too many products or gels in the beard, just keep those side-burn lines clean and the length nice and even.
The Cowboy Look
Because who doesn’t want to look like Clint Eastwood?
There’s a lot of options for the mens western wear look. Chore coats are decidedly in, mimicking the style of laborers from as far back as the 1800s for that boots-on-the-ground working aesthetic. You can get these in denim, cotton, canvas and beyond, and their button-up style and collars are perfect to give off the rugged-yet-classy look.
You can also go leather for the western look, from the jacket all the way to the pants, so long as they’re not too tight. You don’t want to go too baggy, but a skinny pant isn’t the best look for the aspiring western man, so try something in the middle.
Find a good pair of light-wash denim jeans (maybe roll that cuff up), some leather boots, and of course a belt with a nice buckle. The buckle will bring the whole look together. As far as the beard goes, stubble works especially well here.
If you want to go full cowboy, you can even experiment with a fringe jacket, full-on cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. Buy the right combination of these and you’d be surprised with how well you can pull this off. If you’re going to go for it, you might as well go for it hard.
Denim, Denim, Denim
Did I mention denim? Denim is in, and it’s the perfect material to give off that “I work hard but I also care about fashion” look. Denim jackets, denim jeans, and denim shirts are all great options that work extremely well with a number of other materials.
Denim jackets are much more versatile than you may first think. You can go acid-washed, black, torn, or clean and look equally rugged in all. Just make sure not to go overboard and go all-denim everything; you’ll want to mix it up a little with the pants.
Denim jackets look impeccable with a good pair of khaki chinos, dark-colored and simple joggers, and even some corduroys. For a really rugged-classy look, try wearing a flannel shirt under the denim jacket for that double-layered manly look.
The Mountain Man
One popular way to go is the mountain man look. Maybe you’ve never chopped a tree in your life, but nobody needs to know that as long as you’ve got the look down.
The mountain man look is all about warmth mixed with utility. Thick wool sweaters and boots, relaxed pants or jeans, and vests are all a go for the modern mountain man. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with suspenders, this is definitely a look to try out.
Chino pants, chukka boots, and a thick wool or cotton sweater will make the look. In the winter try combining this with some leather work gloves and work-style pants. Turtle necks are also acceptable here, but a loose-fitting turtle neck is usually better than a tight one.
The mountain man look is also the perfect time to wear a newsboy or flat cap and look completely natural. Try any combination of this and you’ll be looking like you’re ready to fight a bear in no time.
Achieving a Rugged Look
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to achieve a rugged look without sacrificing style or class. All the elements of rugged style are in, from denim to flannel and beyond, and the right combination of materials will help you give off both a manly and fashionable look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your look and embrace your manly side.
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