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Style Newbie? 12 Rules Every Man Should Follow

There comes a point in every man’s life when he decides jeans and a tee shirt just aren’t enough anymore. They don’t show off his style, his sophistication, his professionalism or, and this is a big one, his handsomeness. So he begins to fill his wardrobe with other items of clothing that can, like dark blue trousers, men’s tweed jackets, polo shirts and men’s suits. These are the clothing items that garner respect, turn heads and improve his look overall.

When he first begins to wear the men’s clothing, however, things get complicated. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know what the problem is. Choosing men’s suits and tweed jackets is easy. You like the way they look, you buy them. However, wearing them appropriately takes practise. There are lists and lists of rules dedicated to helping men understand how to wear these items. You can’t simply throw whatever looks good on and be sure it’s going to work.

Whether you’re just starting out and exploring your own personal style or you know someone who is, the following rules will help you better understand how to dress smart.


Style Rules to Follow

  • If you’re wearing a three-button tweed jacket, blazer, suit jacket or even a waistcoat, always leave the bottom button undone.


  • When wearing a men’s suit or a men’s tweed jacket, you’ll likely need to button and unbutton the jacket several times. When you sit down, the jacket can be unbuttoned. Upon standing, however, you must button it once again, paying close attention to the first rule.


  • When choosing trousers, be sure they come to rest just above your shoe’s heel. If you purchase suit trousers or chinos and they don’t meet these requirement, have them altered by a local tailor.


  • An undershirt is exactly that- something you wear under your shirt. It should never be seen (at least in public) by anyone. If you want to leave the collar on your dress shirt open, wear a v-neck sweater instead.


  • Want to look slimmer and taller? The easiest way to do this is to rely on colour and patterns. Vertical stripes extend your height and draw attention away from any areas of excess. Using all one colour for all your attire can help as well.


  • Wearing ties is complicated at first, but you’ll figure out those knots quickly after repeated use. A good rule of thumb to remember, however, is that ties should always end at your waist. They should not fall above or below it.


  • When wearing a jacket, pay attention to the shoulder seams. These are positioned to fall directly on your natural shoulder. If your tweed jacket or blazer seems to not fit well, take a look at the seams and make sure you’re putting the jacket on correctly.


  • Match the colour of your socks to the colour of your trousers. This may sometimes be the same colour as your shoes, but that is not always the case. Statement socks are okay as well, as long as one of the colours on these socks matches your trousers as well.


  • Tucking your shirt into your trousers? It’s a good idea, as it gives you a more sophisticated and grown-up look. However, it also leads to another style rule. If your shirt is tucked, a belt needs to be worn.


  • Speaking of belts, knowing how to choose one for each ensemble is important. Accessories like belts, shoes and watches should always match in both colour and texture. If you’re wearing black oxfords made from leather, your belt should be black and made of leather and your watch band should be black. Silver and gold are also acceptable watch band colours that work well with most belts and shoes.


  •  Understand fit. It’s not glamourous, but it’s necessary if you want to look good and feel good about yourself. Your clothing should fit you correctly without being too tight or too loose. It should draw attention to the parts of your body you love while drawing focus away from the areas you don’t particularly like. It should flatter your figure. A good tailor knows how to make most clothing items fit your particular body style.


  • One of the most important rules of style is to always choose pieces of clothing that are going to be around for years. You don’t want to wake up one morning only to discover that bright orange suit jacket you thought was fantastic 10 years ago is still hanging in the back of your closet because you’d be laughed out of town if you tried to wear it. Go for timeless, classic and elegant items of clothing.


Style Rules to Ignore

As a newbie to style, there are a lot of rules to remember if you want to look good. However, there are also a few you can ignore completely, including:


  • Always Wear Socks- Going sockless is not the end of the world. It’s a fact that’s been proven by many men’s fashion magazines over the years. Unless you’re going out to a fancy dinner, seeing an opera or meeting with clients, you can go sockless and no one will say a thing.
  • Don’t Wear Black and Brown or Black and Navy Together- This rule is simply old, out of date and un-fashionable.
  • Only Wear Wool in Winter- This rule can be tossed out with the rest of the rubbish in the bin. Mid-weight wool is much lighter than wools of the past and can be worn all year round. Knowing this can prevent you from having to purchase more suits than you need, thereby saving money.


Are you new to the concept of style? There are plenty of ways to excel- just follow the rules. There are many in place, and most are there for a good reason. They help you grasp the basic concepts of smart dressing so you can always look and feel your best.

By Brook Taverner 25 January 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments