Women often say, “Men have it easy. They don’t have to think about what to wear. They put on a dark suit and they’re set.”
The men I work with would disagree. Like women, they struggle with what to wear. So these tips are dedicated to helping men make stylish choices, from head to toe.
If you haven’t bought a new suit in the past 3-5 years, do it now. Suits have changed. Jackets are slimmer and shorter, lapels are narrower, and trousers have flat fronts. So, if you’re still wearing trousers with pleats, it’s time to retire them. Think Don Draper not Gordon Gekko (the original, but without the suspenders).
Don’t date yourself by the width of your tie! Not only are suits slimmer but so are ties. The average tie these days is 7 to 9 cm (2 ½ to 3 ½ in) wide.
Colourful shirts and ties extend your wardrobe. You’ll give that dark suit a totally new look and it’s a great way to set yourself apart from all the other suits.
Footwear that’s scuffed, cracked, turned up at the toe or down at the heel says you don’t care. Buy new shoes. And yes, you need more than one pair. Like us, shoes work hard and need to rest. Think outside “the black shoe”. If you wear navy or grey, brown shoes give you an updated and stylish look.
A pocket square is a wonderful finishing touch. It can be as simple as a crisply ironed white handkerchief or a soft silk square in colours that complement, not match, your shirt and tie.
Make sure your wardrobe includes a black or navy blazer–one that’s up to date, not the one you got in high school for the prom. A blazer is indispensable. It can be worn with jeans and a dress shirt for evenings out, with dress pants and a dress shirt for business casual Friday at the office, or over your golf clothes when that important client shows up at the office as you’re about to head to the golf course. Consider having two–one to keep at home and the other at the office for emergencies.
If you’re still wearing the aviator frames you bought after you saw Top Gun, then it’s time for a change. Think what’s happened to Tom Cruise’s career since then. Today’s frames are primarily plastic, not metal and often coloured, tortoiseshell, red, blue or a combination. Shapes are rectangular, even horn rims like Buddy Holly. Other choices include retro styles like Ray Bans and Mr. Moto’s round frames. If you’re not sure, check out the Turner Classic Movie channel for inspiration.
“If you are not in fashion, you are nobody.”Lord Chesterfield
Anne Sowden, Certified Professional Member of the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), helps people define the perfect image to reflect their authenticity in body and spirit. By assessing their wardrobes, taking them shopping, reviewing business and social etiquette, Anne helps clients build confidence and discover their true identity.