For those not looking to read countless posts on sartorial how-to’s I figured I’d make a quick-guide for all those lazy gents-to-be out there (a lot of hyphens in this sentence…). Remember these are just my opinions and everyone is entitled to their own. I tend to represent a more purist stance.
1. Don’t ever button the bottom button of your jacket—ever, ever, ever.
I once read that one of our hotel grooming standards is to always have both buttons fastened on our jacket. I have never and will never do that. Someone tried to discipline me for disregarding the standard and once I explained the reasoning behinde the bottom button, let’s just say someone felt pretty stupid. Case closed. A suit jacket is always cut around the top button and fastening to lower button will cause the jacket to lose form making both you and the jacket look unattractive, as well as decreasing longevity. Don’t do it.
2. Don’t ever wear a matching tie and pocket square.
Similarly, someone asked why my tie and pocket square weren’t matching. In their eyes their personal definition of symmetry was harmed leaving them confused. However, the pocket square is the last front in adding individuality to your outfit. The human brain is very intelligent (or should be at least) and as long as their is some semblance within the pocket square that can be found in the tie (colour, pattern, etc.) the brain will think “ahhh that looks great”. Wearing a purple tie? Chose a wool pocket square in paisley with various colours including purple. Voila, style.
3. Don’t buy a black suit as your first suit.
If you’ve read my Suits 101 post about getting started you’ll know how much I abhor black suits. You can wear them at funerals and weddings, and even at a wedding there are better alternatives. It doesn’t look stylish or cool and you’re just going to be dragging down everyone’s mood. Opt for a navy or charcoal grey suit. Much better.
4. Don’t buy 3 button suit jackets.
This might be a personal opinion but 3 button suits are outdated and do absolutely nothing to compliment your physique. Thus, garbage. They make your body look bulky, boxy and unnecessarily elongated, so unless you’re very tall, it won’t flatter your body type. Opt for 2 button when you can. In some cases a 1 button suit can work very well but often these are reserved for smokings, dinner jackets and tuxedos.
5. Don’t ever wear a skinny tie.
There’s a lot of what I call “bla bla” when it comes to the fashion world, making it out to be some science. Ties do not need to reflect your physique nor your face type. Depending on your body type, compromises can easily be made in a simple change of tie knot, rather than tie itself. If you’re a skinny guy opt for a medium bodied tie and go for a thinner knot such as a four-in-hand or a Prince Albert. Skinny ties are a fashion trend that should be long gone and have nothing to do with style. I don’t care if Don Draper wears it that way. Stick with the classics.
6. Don’t wear suspenders and a belt.
That’s like wearing a tie and a bowtie simultaneously. You’ll look like an idiot.
7. Match your belt and Shoes.
To create sartorial harmony all things leather should match. Make sense right? If you really wanna do it, match your watch-strap as well.
8. Don’t ever wear square toed shoes.
You can have the nicest suit in the world but if you match it with a pair of horrific, square toed shoes you’ll like a bad office hack with dad shoes. Invest in a good pair of shoes. They’ll last a long time and nobody will second guess your decision. Ideally a fine pair of black or brown oxfords will do.
9. Stop with the Sprezzabox, Instagram-style Accessory overload.
Accessories are a nice way to complete a look and add a bit of depth to an outfit. However, I see this trend on Instagram where guys, who think they’re being dapper, combine literally every single accessory possible. Don’t wear a tie, pocket square, lapel pin and tie bar simultaneously. It looks absurd. Additionally, I think you should learn how to develop a style independently without having people supply the accessories for you as well.
10. Refrain from ridiculous tie knots.
Windsor, Four-in-Hand, Prince Albert, etc. Like I said: the classics. If David Blaine or a sailor looked like he tied your tie, you’re doing something wrong.
If you can think of some rules you follow, something you’d like to dispute or something I’ve left out, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by and till the next time.
Love, light and style,