Life has enough rules as it is. But some are there to help. Like the rules for a good dress. Of all, everyone’s perspective is based on personal experience, and what works for one person may not work for another, or what works for one person may be regarded too commonplace or too avant-garde by another.
So, when it comes to rules of dressing, they must always be trusted. They’re ideas rather than definitive style.
But excellent advice is never to be sniffed at, and as menswear gets increasingly rich, varied, experimental, and trend-aware, having a valuable fall-back position that cuts through the clutter can help.
These ‘rules’ have a long history and have worked for generations, therefore they should work today. And they tend to be based on the obvious: a desire for a good fit, great quality, variety, value, balance, and discipline.
There are undoubtedly more rules of dressing than those listed here. Some of these you may already know. After all, half of the fun of dressing is trying new things on, seeing if they fit and how they make you feel. But, when combined, these dressing rules for all men should know to serve as failsafe guidance on how to dress well today.
Wear a Suit Well
It’s all about fit when it comes to wearing a suit. If you buy off-the-rack, pay more attention to the fit across the shoulders since Davide Taub, head of bespoke suits at Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes, says he can easily change the chest and waist.
A vintage suit should only be worn when you’re going for a genuine period look, because else, it may come off as a novelty. The best and most useful style is a classic two-button single-breasted suit in a dark color with moderate detailing.
“It’s not boring. A suit is like a uniform since it has a certain look and feels to it. The idea is to use this outfit as a blank canvas on which to paint alternative meanings of one’s personal identity. To be memorable, wear it in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Invest Wisely in a Watch
“A watch is comparable to a work of art,” explains Don Cochrane, managing director of Vertex, a British watchmaker. “Choose it because you enjoy it, not because you believe it will generate revenue. Watches are personal; they serve as a reminder of your journey through time. However, you must also be realistic”.
Aesthetic, utilitarian, and robust sports versions pair well with anything and can withstand the demands of daily wear. Nonetheless, a watch must fit the wearer. It should be comfortable to wear and the appropriate size and depth for your wrist — 40mm is called the ‘Goldilocks’ size.
Don’t Shy Away From Colour
Don’t be afraid to add some color to your wardrobe, whether it’s for work or fun. Oliver Spencer, a menswear designer, thinks that most guys are afraid of anything that isn’t navy or grey. “Color, on the other hand, has the potential to remain timeless”.
Even while a green suit might appear smart, Spencer recommends using brighter shades of blue and mustard as well as lighter shades of pink as year-round colors that can liven up any outfit. In the case of color, less is still more, according to him. To put it another way, “you just need a little bit in a single outfit.”
Wear in Your Jeans Until They are Yours
According to Alex Mir, co-owner of Sheffield-based company Forge Denim, the most beneficial cut of the world’s most popular garments is slim tapered. “It’s wider in the thigh, which makes it more comfortable, but it narrows at the ankle, which makes it fit with either smart shoes or sneakers,” he recommends.
“It’s the perfect all-year-round, anything-goes, dress up or down style”. The wise will also wear dark, raw denim and will avoid pre-distressed items. “The joy of denim is that it ages according to how you wear it. Why would you want to miss out on that?”
Spend Money on Shoes
“Timelessness is about basic design, especially with shoes,” says Tim Little, owner of Grenson, a heritage shoe brand. “The color, pattern, and sole should be simple. “Fussy will seem beautiful now but odd later.” Quality shoes, like resole able Goodyear quality leather shoes, should last 15 years or more.
Choose classic styles including brogues, loafers, or a basic black five-eyelet Derby on a round-toe last. “It’s all about the toe shape, and round never goes out of style,” says Little. “Pointy or square toes are clearly impractical. Nobody has those feet.”
Don’t Skimp on Glasses
Find the right glasses for you. The average person selects eyewear that will define them for three years or more. “Most individuals hate their glasses because of poor selection and fit”.
Buy what you like, bearing in mind your face form, eyebrow shape (straight with straight, curved with curved), and hairstyle. Buying cheap frames and getting up-sold on pricey lenses is a waste of money.
Buy a Dinner Suit, Never Hire
Rare occasions for formal wear make them all the more exacting. After years of use, buying a dinner suit that fits you rather than hiring one makes more sense. According to Toby Lamb, design director of modern tailoring company Richard James, “hiring runs the risk of making the wearer look childlike”.
Own a midnight blue single-breasted dinner suit with silk lapels and pants seams. Of course, you should also learn to tie a bowtie.
Know When to Break the Rules
Know when to follow dress rules like black ties and when to break them so you can look your best at all times. They’re usually there because the situation calls for it or because a higher authority – like your boss – expects it.
As Drakes’ Hill points out, “we can also get too hung up on rules, and there’s always a justification for ripping them up,” After all, this is how fashion evolves over time, in small steps. The freedom to make mistakes is something to take advantage of the dressing rules for men