Men’s Style Workshop at Westfield Southland by me; James Banham

Men take heed.

The warmer months are upon us, seasons have changed and along with them their fashions and styles.

Westfield is one of Australia’s most well known names when it comes to retail, shopping, fashion and affordability, all of which recently combined for me upon my first public appearance at Westfield Southland.

I was fortunate enough to be invited by Westfield to host – alongside their resident stylist Jo Blankfield – my own Men’s Style Workshop in an effort to introduce to the shoppers of suburban Westfield that they needn’t be frightened of clothes nor shopping and identify for them three key pieces every man should have in his wardrobe not only for the season that’s upon us, but for life in general.

I hit that stage with all the confidence that my three-hour shop the week before had given me in myself and the outfits I had composed for the audience that spread themselves throughout the three-tiered shopping centre before me.

Westfield stylist Jo Blankfield and I after the show

First was chinos. A piece of clothing every man should have and something that every man should jump at the opportunity to wear.

Chinos (or Khakis if you’re American) are a twill fabric pant that have actually been adapted from 19th century military outfits for civilian day use. This means they’re comfortable, practical, durable and thanks to modern day dying techniques, quite the stylish piece.

I styled our model Niall from GIANT Model Management in chinos, a singlet and Havaianas thongs for that casual beach style look, which was easily adapted into something more dressed-up appropriate for more adult occasions.

Next on my hit list for the warmer months was shorts; a staple in my wardrobe and something that when the sun comes out to play, enshroud my pins in a multitude of colours and prints.

This is what I wanted to communicate to Westfield’s male shoppers and encourage them to mimmick. Contrary to common belief, shorts are such a versatile garment that when teamed with a the right choice and the best choice of shirts, jackets, shoes and accessories can actually be appropriate for many different events and occasions.

We coupled the shorts with the likes of an Aztec print and touched on how easy it is to use floral and random prints especially for on-trend looks with something as casual as shorts and deck shoes.

Finally, we played to the more dressed of a man’s wardrobe.

Blazers, shirts, prints and trousers were all touched on as I tried to hone in the importance of owning a decent pair of trousers that can be spread across a multitude of uses.

I’ve always said that the navy blazer is the little black dress of a man’s wardrobe. So what about navy pants? They’re the next best thing. Navy trousers are dressy and casual simultaneously, add a pleat at the front and they not only elongate the leg for those height-challenged, but also add an air of a man who knows how to dress when it comes to more formal occasions and more casual encounters.

The experience was wonderful as I’ve not had the pleasure of presenting publicly since my days of leading high school ‘boffinry’.

My thanks to Westfield on a Fashion Festival – the first ever – well executed and even better received. With the final day of the festival this Sunday 28 October 2012, we’ll have to wait until the Autumn-Winter 2013 season for the next instalment. Who knows what the future holds!

Some other random on-stage shots…

2 Responses to “Men’s Style Workshop at Westfield Southland by me; James Banham”
  1. What a fabulous gig!
    Hope it was an amaze experience & congrats x

  2. timtopham says:

    Nice tips James 🙂 could do with some styling myself!!

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