Basics of Men’s Styling (Part 2): Accessories
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”
What up fellas! Hope all is going well in your fashion worlds out there. We’re now going in on the subtleties…accessorizing! The plan is to provide you with some simple guidelines to help you infuse some personality to complement the wardrobe. I’m also going to share one of my best-kept styling secrets that I’ve never publicly shared. Traditionally, the resources available for proper men’s styling were often very limited, but today we thankfully have a wealth of them, and therefore can be more educated about proper styling for the every day gentleman. Let’s get into some accessorizing rules, shall we?
- Find brands that fit your style. Some are more conservative in their styling than others. Are you bold? More simplistic? If you do your research you will definitely come across some great companies to check out. Some popular ones for men’s accesories below:
ALDO | ASOS | H&M | Urban Outfitters | Birchbox | Ulterior Motive | Jack Threads
My wife recently signed me up for SprezzaBox, too. It’s a subscription based accessories company that will send you monthly goodies in the mail. Similar concept to clothing subscriptions like Five Four Club and Trendy Butler (check these out too if you haven’t already)…I’ll be doing a SprezzaBox reveal in an upcoming post!
2. Size. Keep the size of your accessories proportionate to your body type and size.
- Larger dudes: big faced watches, wider ties and knots, thicker bracelets and necklaces
- Slimmer guys: skinny ties, smaller watches, keep the bead size on those bracelets to a minimum
3. Color. In the last post, I talked about the clothing colors I often opt for – neutrals such as blues, greys, whites, browns, etc. Accessories of the right color can be the perfect splash to brighten up the outfit! If you’re into more bold patterns with your clothes, maybe try some solid complementing colors when accessorizing. What I learned recently is that you can actually use the color wheel to help you match everything up properly.
4. Material. Make sure your materials are consistent and cohesive. Of course this doesn’t mean if you’re wearing a wooden bracelet that your socks should be made of splinters too. No. Just know that certain materials mean different thinks. Example: wood, cotton, and plastic denote a casual vibe. Silk, stones, and metals are more formal.
BIG NOTE on metals, specifically silver and gold. Typically it’s been a traditional school of thought that you can’t do gold and silver at the same time. Throw this rule out. Metals are neutral and you can pretty much put any color scheme against their palette and make it work. I know, right? Thank you, Internet, for enlightening us!
5. Prints, Patterns, Textures. Two simple options:
- 1: One single print, pattern, or texture. Solid on solid / Print on Solid
- 2: Two or more prints, patterns, textures. If this is the case, make sure they are different sizes. Example: stripes… A tie with wide stripes can go with a belt with small stripes.
Guys. Here’s the single most important thing to know about accessories. They are meant to subtly embellish, refine, and make your outfits pull together more cohesively. They should never be the center of attention.
Some side points from I got Birchbox.com
- Rule of thumb to try: one accessory per limb.
2. Commit to either neckwear or wristwear. If you take on both, you’re going to be approaching the Johnny-Depp level of accessorizing. Let’s keep it simple.
3. A well tailored suit is a statement in itself. Keep the jewelry / accessories to a single ring, bracelet, or watch.
Also… some clever (not-so-serious) insight from Esquire.com:
- There is a difference between water-resistant and waterproof. Don’t find out the hard way.
2. A watch is to be worn securely around your wrist. It’s not a bracelet people.
3. If a man wears a pinky ring…do not f*ck with him.
4. Wire hangers should only be used for breaking into cars.
5. If you are uncertain how much cologne is enough, you are not allowed to use cologne.
6. A man can never own too many pairs of socks!
Now I leave you with one last thing: My best-kept fashion secret! So you know how everyone talks about custom vs. “off the rack”? Other than the companies out there who are meticulously and affordably combating this forever struggle for the modern gentleman, there’s something I’ve been doing for years that’s ended up in a ton of questions and comments from people asking how all my clothes fit so damn well. So for affordability purposes, I do purchase off the rack. Stores like Banana Republic, Zara, and even Target are my go to’s. I then take my clothes to my local dry cleaner. I have them take my clothes in to my liking and, voila (pronounced vwa-la for those of you who never took French)! I mostly do this for pants and tailoring my leg openings (7” opening to be exact), but I’ve done suits, sweaters, tee shirts…you name it! Your local cleaners will definitely have on site tailoring capabilities and for the work they do, super affordable to get your clothes fitting just right and looking a bit more bespoke.
There it is my dudes! Hope this was helpful. Here’s to looking your best…until next post. Ciao!
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