Do you consider yourself a fashion conscious man? Let’s find out if you are. Is it fashionable to wear a shirt collar over your jacket lapels? And how long should your necktie be? Also, which accessory should always match your shoes? And finally, when do you unbutton a jacket or untuck a shirt?
These questions are not so easy, are they? That’s how tricky the question of the Do’s and Don’ts of fashion is. Let’s discuss it in detail.
#1: Do Tailor Your Suits
Every man, including you, should have a few suits in his closet for work as well as formal occasions. However, avoid suits that don’t fit no matter how expensive they are. They’ll still look cheap. Instead, visit a tailor for a timeless, classy, affordable suit with the standard two, or more, buttons. For as far as suits go, the quality lies in both the cut and material. This way, you get a suit matching your body size and type.
#2: Do Wear Bow Ties
Most men wear a necktie some or most of the time. Few, however, wear bow ties. Why is this? For starters, bow ties are considered more formal than a tie and rightfully so. More often than not, they’re worn with a white dress shirt and a dinner jacket. And this is exactly why you need one. Wearing a bow tie, you stand out from the crowd. But how do you choose one? Match it with your lapel, the folded flaps of your dinner jacket, in both color and size.
#3: Do Own a White Dress Shirt
Speaking of tailored suits and bow ties, they remain incomplete without a white dress shirt. A what, you ask? This is the shirt, often white in color, you wear with a bow tie and a dinner jacket. It has a turn-down or detachable collar, cuffs, and either buttons or fastening studs. And despite the “dress” in its name, the shirt is very masculine. And as you’d expect, it makes an interesting addition to your closet.
#4: Do Know When to Unbutton a Jacket
Ever watched a gentleman in a suit when he’s about to sit down? What does he do? He unbuttons his jacket first. And what does he do again after standing? He buttons the jacket. Ever wondered why? Is there a significance to this ritual or is it a rule of etiquette? It’s both. Undoing the buttons leaves you more comfortable when seated. And over time, it’s become an unwritten rule. So, doing it demonstrates your understanding of the rules of fashion.
#5: Do Know When to Tuck in Your Shirt
Now that you know when to button and unbutton a jacket, here’s another interesting ritual. Do you know when to tuck in and untuck a shirt? Two things should always point you in the right direction – the hem of the shirt and the occasion. Untuck at informal occasions or if you’re wearing shirts with a straight hem. However, tuck polo shirts and turtle neck when wearing a jacket and leave them untucked when not. In contrast, tuck at formal occasions or if your shirt has an uneven hem or tails. But, leave flowered shirts untucked, no matter their hem.
#6: Do Invest in Quality Shoes
It’s been said that men are known for their shoes and with reason. No outfit is complete without a pair of shoes, be they cheap sandals or expensive Oxfords. In addition, shoes reflect your personality. So whether you’re buying Oxfords for formal occasions or a pair of sneakers for the track, get the best shoes possible. And don’t worry about the price. To a man, shoes are hardly an unnecessary expense. They are, in fact, a worthy investment.
#7: Do Match the Shoes and Belt
After buying quality shoes, how do you know which color, texture, and material match an outfit? For casual attire, pick any shoe so long as it matches its function. But for formal attire, such as suits, however, things get a bit complicated. As a general rule, your shoe should always match one accessory, the belt, in every way. So, a brown suede shoe complements a brown suede belt. Likewise, a black leather shoe accompanies a black leather belt.
#8: Do Accessorize
We’ve just looked at one common male fashion accessory – the belt, and its role in choosing footwear. But more exist. Hats, ties, scarves, watches, wallets, pocket squares, cuff links, and tie clips are just some of them. And each plays a functional role. For instance, the cufflinks fasten the cuffs together, the tie clip attaches the tie to the shirt, and the watch tells the time. However, all play a decorative role.
#9: Combine Colors, Prints, and Patterns
Colors, prints, and patterns exist to add variety and to express different personalities. Therefore, use them to do just that. Add variety to your collection by combining bold or neutral colors. And don’t limit yourself to just the clothes. Also try matching different stripes, patterns, and prints on the accessories as well.
#10: Do Buy Pieces, not Entire Outfits
What works best for you, buying complete outfits or single pieces? Ask conservative fashionistas this question, and they’ll advise you to buy a complete outfit. As its already mixed and matched, you can never go wrong. This may be true, but this approach leads to a rigid, predictable dress code. For diversity, buy single pieces from different brands as you can as well. So if you come across a DSQUARED2 Menswear t-shirt, denim jeans, or sweatshirt, then buy it, regardless of what’s in your closet.
#11: Do Dress for the Occasion
Having an excellent fashion sense means doing more than just dressing well. You must also dress for the occasion. This means not showing up at a cocktail party or a wedding reception dressed in a t-shirt, baseball cap, shorts, and sneakers. What you need is a formal suit. Likewise, attending a baseball game dressed in a tuxedo, bow tie, and dress shirt makes no sense.
#12: Do Use Cologne
To conclude the Do’s, do remember to do what you’re most likely to forget, especially when you’re in a rush. And it’s using cologne. Smelling fresh gives you the confidence to interact with others and others, the confidence to respond in kind.
#1: Don’t Wear Flip-Flops Everywhere
Although they’re dirt-cheap and easy to slip on, plastic flip-flops are at home only in two places. One is the beach, and the other is the closet. And wait until after arriving at the beach to wear them. Remember, they look out of place everywhere else. Also go easy with sports flip-flops. Like their plastic cousins, they too have their place, such as the beach or park during summer. Leather and woven flops are an exception because with denim they can be trendy, but only just.
#2: Don’t Wear Sandals with Socks
No one remembers the origin of this fad. Nor can anyone explain why it’s still so popular, especially among men. Maybe they love the casual feel and look of sandals, but hate the dirt that comes with wearing them. Or, maybe they just forget to remove the socks. Whatever the reason might be, it hardly justifies your doing the same. Sandals with socks never look stylish and never will. So, either remove the socks or wear a pair of shoes with them instead.
#3: Don’t Keep Baggy Clothing
In the 1980s and 1990s, baggy clothing was in vogue as was everything excessive, including hairstyles. Today, however, a more restrained fashion sense prevails. Trendy clothes fit more closely, giving you a slim stylish look. In contrast, baggy clothes – if you still wear them – give you an outdated and unkempt look. Worse still, they make you look like a clown. For this reason, empty them from your closet.
#4: Don’t Wear Sweatpants Outside the Gym or Home
They may be comfortable, but sweatpants shouldn’t be your everyday wear unless you work in a gym. So when working out or jogging, wear them. When you come home from work, slip into them. After all, they’re more comfortable than any office attire. But forget about wearing them when you leave the house, even to go to the grocery store.
#5: Don’t Wear Wrinkled Clothing
Although baggy clothes look unkempt, they pale in comparison to wrinkled clothing. These leave the people crossing your path wondering. Did you sleep in your clothes? Or, did you just forget to iron them? Do you even own a flat iron? Or, is it a mirror you lack? Or, was there a blackout when you woke up, forcing you to leave the house without first ironing your clothes? And try as they may, they cannot answer these questions conclusively. So, they may eventually conclude you’re either untidy too lazy to iron.
#6: Don’t Wear a Shirt Collar Over the Jacket
Villains in 1980s gangster movies wore flashy suits, no tie, and silk shirts. But what stood out about their dress code was the shirt collar over the jacket and the bared hairy chest. And much to the dismay of fashion critics, this trend caught on and has remained a favorite to this day. If this is how you dress, know this: A shirt collar belongs under the jacket and chest hairs, under the shirt.
#7: Don’t Wear Excessively Long Ties
You obviously wear a tie or have done so in the past, especially to work. So, here’s a question whose answer you should know. How long should your tie be? Don’t know? Neither do most men. They’re more concerned about buying a fashionable tie and tying the right knot than they are with the length of their ties. As a result, they end up wearing excessively long or short ties. And at these lengths, such ties make them the butt of jokes. So, how long should a tie be? Ideally, it should extend from the knot to the center of the belt buckle.
#8: Don’t Wear Reflective Sunglasses Inappropriately
What’s the most misused fashion accessory? It’s reflective sunglasses. Shiny and considered cool, this accessory has been a male favorite since it was first invented. And that it’s standard equipment for law enforcement agencies only adds to its manly appeal. For this reason, some fans overuse the glasses. Whatever function, dress code, time of day, or weather, they wear a pair. Don’t be like them. Wear reflective glasses only in bright sunlight. And after entering a building or seeing dusk approach, remove them.
#9: Don’t Wear Too Much Cologne
Gone are the days when hard-working men reeked of sweat. Now, you put in hours of work and still smell fresh, thanks to cologne. However, use it moderately. Soaking yourself or your clothes in a strong fragrance may seem like a good idea. But the people spending a significant amount of time around you may not share your opinion. They don’t want to smell you from a mile away or gasp for air every time you walk into a room. So, apply a dash of fragrance only on the wrist and neck.
#10: Don’t Leave Hair Unkempt
What do people see when they first meet you? It’s your face. And knowing that, what have you done about your head and facial hair, which makes a fashion statement whether you like it or not? Are your head and beard trimmed or clean-shaven? Also, are the hairs under the chin and on the neck trimmed? And have you had that mono-brow plucked and tweezed? If you haven’t done any of the above, please do.
#11: Don’t Overuse Hair Products
Here’s a word of caution, though: In your quest for perfect hair, don’t overuse hair products, especially hair oil and hair spray. About the oil, use only a few drops, regardless of how much hair you have. Believe it or not, they’re enough. Anything more than that leaves you with greasy hair, stubborn dandruff, and a dirty pillow. Regarding the spray, use it only on areas you want to set, not on the whole head.
#12: Don’t Wear Cargo Shorts Everywhere
When these formerly military shorts went mainstream, they were an instant hit. But in retrospect, maybe they were too much of a hit. Practical and hard-wearing, they’re now worn everywhere – to the mall, school, or to work on Casual Fridays. When wearing them, though, remember what they were made for – the outdoors. And that’s where they belong.
Leading a successful fashion lifestyle boils down to two things. One, know what to do and when to do it. For instance, do accessorize your attire and do unbutton your jacket before sitting down. And two, know not to do, such as wearing plastic flip-flops away from the beach or pairing sandals with socks.