The rules of male fashion can seem arbitrary sometimes. Growing up, you were probably told that brown matched everything. As it turns out, brown dress pants with black shoes are a mismatch. Below are critical fashion tips that every guy should know.
Investing in Quality Shoes
If you do not already have nice shoes, buy leather shoes — one black pair and one brown pair will do. Take good care of them: Polish them on a regular basis, store them in a cedar shoe tree to retain their moisture and keep them covered if you will not be wearing them for a while. Oxfords, ankle-high boots and loafers are all respectable choices. The shinier your shoes are, the more suitable they are to wear with a dressy outfit.
Match your socks to your shoes. Your shoes should also closely match your pants. The exception to this rule is that you may wear black shoes with brown slacks. Never, ever wear white socks with anything other than sneakers. Decent shoes are an essential component of male fashion because women pay attention to men’s shoes on dates and interviewers pay attention to shoes as well.
A Few Tips on Pants
When you purchase pants, try them on to see where they fall. When you stand without your shoes on, the pants should almost touch the ground. Cuffs are acceptable but most young men do not buy pants with 1″–1.5″ cuffs. While there is nothing wrong with it per se, cuffs are considered to be a more distinguished look that is characteristic of older men. As far as pleats are concerned, they are usually unnecessary. For pants that need a pleat, just maintain the one crease that the pants had when you got them. Finally, wear your pants at your waist. If you wear them too high, then you will look like a geek. If you wear them too low, then you will look like a 14-year-old.
Dress Shirts and T-Shirts
If you wear a dress shirt, it is always okay to unbutton the top button and it is usually okay to unbutton the second one. If you need to unbutton your collar, make sure to remove your tie or you will look messy. Make sure that ¼” to ½” of your shirt sleeve shows beyond the sleeve of your jacket.
It is important to match your top and bottom halves. If you are wearing jeans, do not wear a crisp dress shirt with them. Likewise, if you are wearing silk trousers, do not wear a bulky sweater. A V-neck tee or tasteful graphic t-shirt is acceptable. However, if you want to make a good impression on someone, then steer away from shirts that look like billboard advertisements for their manufacturers.
Sports Coats and Suit Jackets
It is okay to wear a sports coat without a tie. For dress suit jackets with three buttons, always button the middle one. It is okay to button the top one but that is not necessary. Never button the bottom one.
Any male fashion guru will advise you to have three suits in your wardrobe. One suit should be either gray or navy blue, and should be suitable for all seasons and a variety of social gatherings. Another suit should be black and appropriate for black-tie events. The third suit and any others that you purchase can express your individuality; unusual colors and pinstripes come to mind. A sales representative can help you make decisions on thread count and material. Fold a handkerchief into a square, place it in your jacket’s front pocket and keep ¼” to ½” sticking out from the top.
Match your belt to your shoes and check that your tie reaches your belt. Put a limit on any special items such as fedoras, bracelets or classy wristwatches. One of these items is fine and can serve as a solid conversation starter.
There are a lot of nuances in male fashion. Not everyone knows that some of these trends were started hundreds of years ago. If you follow these tips, you will look very well put together and make a favorable impression on women that you meet every day. And that first impression is necessary as you are going to have lot’s of women wanting to talk to you.