Over the past few days, I’ve trawled through the archives here at ‘Guy Style Guide’ to create a compact fashion guide including all the male styling hints and tips that you simply cannot afford to ignore if you want to look smart and chic.
Here’s a list of the top fifteen fashion commandments I’ve given you in the past, revised and expanded, so you’ll have no excuse to break them in the future:
1. Socks and sandals
How many times do I have to say it? Socks and sandals are a match made in hell. It’s like wearing shorts on a rainy day or an overcoat in the height of summer; you either want your feet exposed to the fresh air or you don’t!
If you want to wear something light on your feet, but still keep your socks on, try a pair of light canvas shoes instead.
2. Wearing sunglasses indoors or after-dark
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Only the most neglected of individuals would be so bold as to put on shades inside or during the post-evening hours. There’s no need to resort to such a poser move – instead, rest your sunnies over your forehead if you plan to escape outdoors again soon, or fold them up and tuck them in your pocket instead.
3. Expensive umbrellas
As I mentioned in my book “Male Wardrobe Essentials” (yes, I’ve written a book wouldn’t you know) it’s a waste of time buying expensive umbrellas. You’ll either leave them in the back of the taxi cab after a week, or they’ll be blown inside-out after a sudden gust during a blustery shower.
4. Excessive Denim
Denim works brilliantly in small doses. Feel free to wear a denim jacket or a pair of indigo jeans; just make sure you don’t go overboard with it though, otherwise you may find somebody has reported you to the fashion police.
5. Novelty Clothing
We all like a good natured joke, and a pair of jovial socks at Christmas is no bad thing. But please don’t bring it into the workplace; it’s unprofessional, appears garish and nobody needs to know about your affinity for cartoon animals and primetime sitcom characters.
6. Damaged garments
There’s no need to wear clothes that are falling apart. Find a sewing kit to reattach those missing buttons and small rips in the fabric. No good with a needle and thread? Then find someone who is!
7. Bye-bye ‘bling’
Unless you’re an international hip-hop artiste or Mr. T. (congratulations on both by the way), there’s absolutely no need to go overboard with the costume jewellery. As a broad rule, never wear any more than three pieces of ‘bling’ at once; that usually means a wedding ring, a watch and either cufflinks or a tie-clip (depending on what the occasion calls for).
8. The golden rule for baseball caps
This one is simple; if you’re older than your shoe size then your baseball cap should face the front. Again, don’t resort to novelty designs and team logos; cattle are for branding, not humans.
9. Belt sizing guidelines
Remember that your belt should always be one size bigger than your waistline. Therefore if you have a 32-inch waist, you should be looking to find a 34-inch belt. If the belt is pulled too tightly, you’re going to look like a glorified sack of spuds and a loose belt does no good for anyone.
10. Controlling your Windsor knots
Don’t let your Windsor grow out of control! Pay attention whilst you’re tying the knot and make sure you spend a good few minutes working to achieve the perfect trademark dimple.
11. Going on a shopping spree?
Then always take a friend along with you. Salespeople aren’t there for your benefit, they’re there to keep the store in profit; they don’t really care if an item of clothing suits you, just so long as they’re they ones ringing up the purchase on the tills…
12. Sneakers and suits
If you’re wearing sneakers with your suit then you’re in casual attire. Remember this fact always, and never, ever turn up to the office wearing your brand new Converse or Nikes – it’s just not the time or place for it.
13. Clip-on Ties
No adult should ever resort to wearing a ‘clip-on’ anything; you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever tying a simple ‘four-in-hand’ and if, for some reason you do, there are plenty of great tutorials out there that’ll help you learn.
14. Overcoats and belts
These are a ‘no-no’ for two reasons. Firstly, it has a strong feminine edge to it. Secondly, they look remarkably like dressing gowns, and you don’t want to be wearing night garments in the street!
15. Suits come in pairs.
When you purchase a suit, it should come with matching jacket and trousers. If they don’t arrive as a pair you shouldn’t wear them as such. No matter how hard you try to align the colour, texture and tone, you’ll never get a perfect match and you’ll look pretty ridiculous because of it.