The 10 Basic Style Rules You Need To Know

Categories Fashion

You may have heard some of them before but they’re always worth re-stating. You can’t go wrong with our simple guide…

1. Fit

This is as basic as it gets. Buy and wear clothes that complement and compliment your body. That means they follow your form, rather than overwhelm or try to constrict it. Too big doesn’t hide weight—it makes you look larger or like you’ve got something to hide. Too small is even worse—it makes you look and feel uncomfortable. Here’s a test: if the bottom buttons of your shirt strain when you sit down, it’s too small.


2. Belt & Shoes

These are the two items you should colour match. Think of them as your carpet and curtains. Brown shoes? Then reach for the brown belt. Black shoes? You get the drift… Wearing sneakers? Ditch the dress belt.


3. Tone Up

Brown shoes with black pants? Uh-uh. Here’s why: shoes should be the same tone or darker than your trousers. If you’re ever in doubt, simply opt for black: you can’t go wrong.

4. Waistline

Don’t be a Grandpa Simpson or a slouch-trousered gang member. Your trousers shouldn’t be up around your nipples or down around your butt cheeks. They should sit on your hips naturally, 5 to 7.5cm below your belly button.

5. Speaking of buttons…

Wearing a two-button suit. Button the top one only, the bottom one never. If wearing a three-button suit, remember this rule: yes, yes, never. That means you can do up the top and/or middle button but never-ever the bottom button.


6. Button Down

Wear a dress shirt with a suit. That doesn’t include button-down shirts. Know why button-down shirts have buttons? Because they’re based on shirts polo players used to wear to stop them getting hit in the face by their collars. That makes a button down shirt a sports shirt to be worn with a sports jacket rather than a dress shirt to be worn with a suit.

7. Cuff ‘Em

Your suit sleeve ought to show about half an inch — that’s 1.25cm — of shirt sleeve.


8. Socks-cess

Yep, the trend right now is for gents to hit the streets sockless in suits. Go for it if you can pull it off. Otherwise, aim to match your sock colour to your trousers. If in doubt, go for a herringbone pattern or basic black. Statement socks in a block colour or bold pattern are an acceptable ‘personality’ choice but two definite no-no’s: novelty socks (cartoon characters, etc) and white socks worn anywhere except with gym clothes. Also be aware that the sockless trend has a definite use-by date.


9. Tie Rules

Learn to tie a tie. There are plenty of guides online. Go practice tonight until you get it right, rather than being like a blind Boy Scout doing a knot exam a minute before you’re due to head out. A few rules: a tie should reach the centre of your belt buckle. Anything less and you look like some 1950s comedian; any more and you look like Donald Trump. Don’t wear a tie with a short-sleeve shirt unless you’re a Hungry Jacks assistant manager in the 1980s. If you’re going to undo your shirt’s top button, remove your tie because it looks dishevelled otherwise.


10. Timeless Watch

Yes, we know that every man and his cat can tell the time these days with a glance at that ubiquitous smartphone. But have you ever seen an iPhone as handsome as a Rolex? Of course not. Opting for a digital device over a quality timepiece is like saying you don’t need to see the Mona Lisa because you’ve got a Ken Done print on your wall at home. A quality watch is a piece of wearable art and a timeless accessory. Every man should own at least one.

Tudor Black Bay Heritage