Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top 10: Signs Of A Well-Dressed Man

He’s the guy gracing the covers of magazines, the winner of one of those best-dressed competitions or, perhaps, your upwardly mobile colleague who consistently gets the twice-over. Point being, he isn’t you. But what’s his secret? Funny thing is, there are no secrets here -- only signs. And they all point toward the well-dressed man.

No. 10 - Bright brogues
Dingy, dirty shoes can make even the finest suit look, well, not so fine. Plain and simple, a freshly shined pair can spruce up even the most mediocre digs. Polish shoes in regular rotation about once a week, because they’re quite literally a reflection of you.

No. 9 - Cut and coiffed
Overgrown? Jersey-gelled? Waiting too long between cuts or, worse, plastering on the putty is the quickest way to go from dapper to douchebag. See your stylist every three to four weeks and go easy on the product -- two rules that coif-conscious men follow religiously.

No. 8 - Tailor-made
No matter what your closet contains -- luxe labels, fine fabrics, the newest trends -- it doesn’t mean much without a flawless fit. And that piece of advice isn’t reserved for a custom collection of suits and sport coats. The same holds true for everything from off-the-rack trousers to $10 T-shirts. And there is only way to know if the cut is right: always try before you buy.

No. 7 - Color coordinated
Somewhere along the line -- say, after elementary school -- you should have developed an eye for harmonizing hues. If you were left back a few grades in the dressing department, though, remember that colors should complement but never be matchy-matchy. In fact, feel free to experiment by contrasting colors in the most unexpected places -- like a pair of pink socks with even the subtlest of suits.

No. 6 - Understated elegance
It shouldn’t take a rainbow of Robert Graham button-downs, Ed Hardy shirts and a Mr. T’s-worth of jewelry to get you noticed. Then again, fading into background isn’t the answer either. The compromise? Wear one piece that says something (it can be anything from a blazer to a bracelet) and let the rest play a supporting role. In the end, your attire and accessories should make a statement, not put on a show.

No. 5 - Vintage finds
Few men are fortunate enough to have a heap of valuable hand-me-downs; that’s where second-hand shopping comes in. We’re not talking about Salvation Army-style dumpster diving for clothing by-the-pound. This is high-end haberdashery at its best: think vintage watches and old-school designer duds. They’re not always easy to find, but once you do come across them, you’ll never want to let go.

No. 4 - Signature scent
Having an army of aromas isn’t just a waste of money, it’s downright olfactorily offensive. Men need, at most, just two fragrances. One should be lighter for daytime and warmer weather; the other more robust for nights and scent-crushing colder temps. With proper application (a spritz behind the ears and on the wrists), both will become a part of you -- rather than prematurely announcing your arrival.

No. 3 - Pocket protection
Somewhere along the line, men forgot about the little things in life -- like the all-important pocket square. Use it with a tux or dress up a denim-sport coat combo. The key, as you’ve already learned, is to mix rather than match. Employ the flat fold (look it up), and you’ll soon realize that the hanky is a minor detail with major impact.

No. 2 - See clearly
We’re not all blessed with natural 20/20. So, if you’re holding off on going under the knife and your stash of contacts isn’t cutting it, good-old eyeglasses are your only option. And when it comes to specs, go bold or go home. Sure, they should always fit your face and it may take 30-plus pairs to find ones that do, but make certain they speak with the sureness of geek chic plastic or some angular metal.

No. 1 - Confidence
Confidence -- one word says it all. Without a little swagger in your step, nothing else matters.


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