There are a lot of rules in life, and it seems like there are even rules on how to dress efficiently. Please don’t… Under no circumstances should you ever… It’s the ladies’ room; please leave. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that not all of fashion unbreakable rules really exist. Or, at the absolute least, they belong in the scrap heap of fabric remnants forgotten by time.
Ignorant fashion rules abound; why, for instance, is it taboo to show public skin color by wearing brown? Those who still judge a man by this dictum are stuck in the past since there is no convincing rationale for it.
We’re not saying that if you follow these guidelines you won’t end up with a solid, somewhat sober, middle-of-the-road, anonymous form of clothing that will serve you well, especially if you lack your own ingenuity. But have no fear. Let us not forget the most important guideline of all: when given complete freedom, clothing is an outlet for individual expression.
After all, some of the most stylish men in history have stood out precisely because they broke the mold; hiking boots with my suit? Check. Extending my watch beyond my shirt’s cuff? In a word, yes. Do you have your shirt collar undone? Done and done. Putting the collar of my shirt up? I think we can start working on it right now.
This is why it’s important to periodically examine all style guidelines. Does it help at all, or does it only restrict? It’s up to you to decide.
Never wear brown in public
Brown shoes are frowned upon in the urban environment, and this is a rule that has been in place for as long as men have worn bowler hats to the office in London’s financial center. Surprisingly, many businesses in the City continue to adopt this view, which has the unfortunate side effect of dampening the hopes of those who are less than fashionably inclined while applying for jobs. They claim that brown is for weekend trips to the country.
First of all, how many of us really split our time between an urban apartment and a rural manor? Secondly, have you ever paired a suit that wasn’t black, very dark blue, or gray with a pair of black shoes? I think you neglected an important part of your school uniform.
Brown, tan, or a little orange hue is what you should choose. For a similar idea in the United States, see “No White After Labor Day.” The same may be said about this rubbish.
To Button a Shirt
You should always keep the middle button of your suit closed (or the top one on a two-button suit). Why? Well-tailored clothing may help the waistline, but no one knows for sure. If the other buttons are seldom used, though, they may as well not exist.
Historically, there has been debate about how many buttons are fastened; in the 1990s, Italians favored fastening just the top button of the three; there was a time of fastening all three (cf. David Byrne, c. “Stop Making Sense”). The same can be said about wearing a double-breasted suit and constantly needing to fasten its buttons.
Wearing Mickey Mouse socks, Transformers underwear, or a tie designed to look like a huge fish is obviously not in good taste. In this context, though, the taste might be seen as akin to conventional wisdom or a shared grasp of basic competence. Time, place, and culture also have a role.
The fear of having fun as a child has carried over into adulthood, and this is what is preventing people from trying new things. I say screw them. The traditionally staid tailoring industry has been joined by streetwear brands in adopting a more lighthearted, carefree aesthetic. Anything that brings you joy, even if it’s just for yourself, is worth pursuing.
If you’re going to wear a blazer, don’t wear jeans with them
This is a good illustration of how even the most rigid fashion standards may evolve over time. For a long time, middle-aged men who sought to dress “cool” were stereotyped as wearing outfits that mixed too much formality with too much casualness.
But think about what really happened: the dominant attitude of men’s fashion shifted towards a merging of the inherently formal and the basically informal. Styles of tailoring softened. In time, denim honed its edge. There was some kind of blurring and merging of worlds. And the right pair of jeans with the right jacket looked and still looks great.
Wearing a boxy or loose jacket with a pair of light-wash jeans can give your look a current throwback feel.
The color of your belt and your shoes should match
In the eyes of those who set fashion trends, everything must coordinate perfectly. Well? But if not that, then what? While matching your belt and shoes in color might make your outfit seem polished, it’s also a very basic style choice.
Instead, go for a tonal scheme in which the colors are complementary to one another but not identical. Indeed, it is precisely these distinctions that provide each ensemble its own allure. Fred Astaire, the ultimate style icon, wore his ties as belts. This didn’t resemble his footwear in the least. Was he, as Cole Porter sang, “the top of the pops?” Absolutely.
Always put on a tie while dressed in a suit
In other words, you follow in your father’s footsteps. His father came before him. When dressing formally, a knotted tie was just as essential as a pair of shined shoes and an ironed shirt. Indeed, the tie clearly predates the fashion and contemporary suit, so maybe we should be saying “always wear a suit with a tie.” The proto-cravat was worn by Croat mercenaries many years ago.
Tailors, however, will tell you that the tie is just there to “complete” the look by concealing the gap that appears when the jacket is buttoned. Not exactly the most convincing or up-to-date viewpoint.
You may pair your suit with a knitted polo, a roll-neck sweater, a crew-neck tee, or just a tucked-in button-down shirt. Remember you shouldn’t bother with a tie, however.
You can always get such looks by styling yourself with our exclusive fabrics. Here at Fabriclore, we serve wholesale fabric in bulk. With them, you can style it and flaunt your essence.