Fashion is a wonderful thing – It’s a great way to express everything from your personal style to your status (if you’re into that sort of thing). And in this article I will cover a bit about my favourite section of the Men’s Fashion department; The gentleman. Sure, I like t-shirts and sneakers as much as the next guy, but there’s just a whole different aura around the smell of Italian leather in the morning.
Men’s fashion has often been mentioned as being rather “safe” and conservative, but I’m going to add a new Men Style Guide to the repertoire, to demonstrate that you can, in fact, act and dress like a gentleman, without looking like a 75-year-old duke (unless of course, that’s what you’re into).
First things first. When it comes to Men’s fashion, remember that there are not all that many details to work with. When we’re discussing classic, gentleman attire, the jewellery should be limited to a watch, a wedding ring, and perhaps a (hidden) necklace. So how do you stand out?
Well, first of all, the clothes themselves need to be exquisite. This means that you can’t walk around in sagging pants. Measurements are key. Now hold on, because I don’t mean that you should run straight to Bond Street and buy bespoke suits right away – in fact, this would be a mistake. But know your measurements, know-how pants should drop from your waist to make it look like you were born for those threads.
Now, why not go all-in on bespoke? Quite simple, really. A lot of men’s style guides speak highly of bespoke clothes, and sure – it’s a great luxury, but if you’re just getting into this kind of men’s fashion, you might not know what looks good on you. It’s better to know your measurements, find something off-the-rack, and go from there. Then after a while, when you know how your clothes should be shaped and sized, you can venture onward into the world of bespoke clothing.
When we’re talking about gentleman attire, this is a place where you never, ever compromise with your budget. Whether you’re into Italian leathers, British brogues or something entirely different, your shoes matter. And put together with a rather classic look, it’s the shoes that are going to make you stand out.
1. First, let’s take a look at some of the classic types of shoes to wear:
Oxfords: the classic lace-up shoes. This is a shoe that fits pretty much every occasion. They go below the ankle and are often accompanied by a satisfying “thump” when walking down the hall.
Brogues: Another classic. Brogues share the same credentials as oxfords but are often more creatively ornamented with stitchings, patches of leather etc. Brogues can be a beautiful shoe but maybe too “decorated” to fit all styles.
Monks (or Monk Straps): No men’s style guide would be perfect without the mention of some of my favourite shoes – the monk straps. A shoe that goes to below the ankle (notice a trend here, guys?), but instead of laces, you have a big piece of leather encasing the opening, which is locked with two metal straps. The benefit of wearing monks is that men typically wear oxfords to their business meetings, and brogues on their night out. Monk straps, however, change their expression based on their environment. In the meeting room, you’re the man who has exquisite style and doesn’t just follow the stream and paired with a more night-out-ish type of outfit, you show high class, and indicate that you thoroughly know about men’s fashion.
2. Now, we have covered shoes and measurements. Time to get on with the next big thing on our list: The bling!
I mentioned earlier, that jewellery was a no-no for men. Now, to clarify – men CAN wear jewellery, but it should be a lot more understated – you don’t want to go out looking like Mr T, now do you? Personally I prefer nothing more than a watch, but this would be a very good men’s style guide without mentioning some of the jewellery that I know that a lot of you wear –after all, this article isn’t (only) about me.
Wedding rings and gent watches are both items that are absolutely OK. However, if you’re a bit more adventurous, you could go for:
Necklaces: if you’re into necklaces, I would recommend that you make them the star of the show. Now, what I mean by this, is that if you want to wear a visible necklace, you should pair it with a simple, one-colour t-shirt (dark), simple trousers (not jeans) in a light shade, and casual shoes.
Bracelets: Bracelets can be a beautiful addition to a man’s attire, but you need to be careful with your combinations. If you want a chunky look, don’t go for a single large cuff, but add together a couple of smaller, thinner chains and bangles. This will give you the attention and details that you look for, but by “spreading out” the attention, it won’t look as overwhelming.
Earrings: No. Just. No.
So, we basically got it all covered. Now, I started out this guide by mentioning that the word “gentleman” is often associated with a more conservative look. And while this may be true, it also means that the amount of money you spend on clothes will last longer, because believe it or not – a suit never goes out of style. However, this also creates a new set of rules.
For instance, when you purchase a suit or a nice pair of shoes, you shouldn’t skimp! The clothes are designed to never go out of style – so don’t go for lower quality. The style will hold up – so you might as well invest in something that will last years. There is no reason to buy a cheap product that you’ll have to replace soon. And if you take proper care of your clothes and shoes, I’d make the claim that they could last forever.