Some rules are not really rules at all, most are simply judgments driven by recent trends that walks the runway. While some of these rules don’t last a month, others have the ability to stick around for centuries and become timeless style rules. In such an ever-changing world like ours, only a handful of laws are carved on stones. For instance, the slim silhouette which has been a decade long default has in recent times been challenged by wider legs and loose fits and same goes for the long banished fashion pieces like square-toed shoes, boot cut jeans which are not objectively wrong, but just unfashionable yet they are largely subjective calls. This menswear’s tradition entails and guides you in the ideal way of getting dressed in the mornings without being subject to trend or tastes. Remember these timeless rules are there to guide you on how your fashion items were made to be worn and to do so in any other way is wrong but not to worry, we will together get acquainted with these style rules as listed below:

Rule 1- Never use the bottom button on your jacket

It is safe to say that when presented with buttons, men do them up. However, the modern suit jacket is designed to flare out at the hip to create the appearance of a slimmer waist so, if you button every fastener, the fabric pulls and puckers disrupting the silhouette and destroying the seams. You also run the same risk if you stay buttoned up when seated. Since a suit fits closely on an upright body, when you sit your posture shifts putting tension on the fastenings thereby testing your tailor’s stitching. If in doubt, learn your sartorial ABCs or use the ‘sometimes, always, never’ trick. For a three-button jacket it will mean you should sometimes fasten the top button if you feel like it, always fasten the middle button and never button the third. For a two-button, it is easier – always button the top but never the bottom because the top button is all you need. For a one-button, it is way simpler – always button because that’s all there is.

Rule 2 - Cleanliness is not washing up after each wear

It is a misconception that clothes need washing after every wear. Underwear aside, except  you have the table manners of a farm pet, most pieces can stand up to a few more wears. This is especially true for tailored pieces as they can withstand multiple wears. The chemicals used when dry cleaning can damage fabrics and weaken the stitching. If possible, I advise to subject your tailored fabrics to dry cleaning twice a year and also brushing after each wear to take off dirt and air them out often too but you must work on keeping your red wine hand steady to avoid the spills. Denims on the other hand should be washed even less frequently so if you toss them in the washing machine more often than necessary, the dye disappears uniformly with each wash and your jeans will be left with no personality or character.

Rule 3 – Tucking in with the wrong piece doesn’t make it smarter

Tucked in shirts are not a prerequisite for looking smart but this isn’t always the case because it all depends on the style of shirt and most importantly the hem. Dress shirts and tailed shirts are designed to be tucked in as they have a longer hem at the back which gets pinched between the body and the pants when you sit down so the shirt doesn’t ride up or wrinkle and that is why they are worn in a more formal context. Try tucking in with a shirt designed to be worn untucked particularly anything made from thick denim or flannel and watch yourself spend the whole day trying to stuff it back into your pants. If you prefer tucking in your T-shirts or polo, then prioritize longer line styles and wear with a belt if possible to keep your look sharp and check off the need to keep re-tucking throughout the day and avoid inadvertent flashes on strangers when you crouch down. Very embarrassing if you ask me.

Rule 3 – Polish is more than shine

Good shoes are an investment but you won’t be owning them for long if you don’t treat them right. A good polish is leather’s food as it soaks into the pores and keeps it supple. A biweekly feed is enough to keep any shoes soft, keep water out and save you the stress of doing the potato peeling duty. But before you drench up your shoes with the shiny stuff, you will have to ensure getting rid of any unwanted passengers by buffing off with a brush dirt and stains. When your shoes are clean and dry you can then proceed to apply generous amounts of polish to your shoe brush and buff thoroughly until only a thin film of polish is visible and not only will your shoes shine so bright they will practically be their own light source and the leather will feel quenched and pesky grime will find it hard to gain a foothold.

Rule 4 – Fit does not change with trends

Tailoring has undergone reinventions but when buying any outfit same rule applies. I would love to say fit is everything and this is the first rule of men’s style. If there is one thing I’d tell a guy looking to improve his style, it would be to build a wardrobe of clothing that fits. And by fits, I mean clothing that comfortably fit your body without being super tight like a compression gear. This is the difference between the sharp and the sloppy. There is really no reason to wear ill-fitting clothing because well-fitted clothes create a flattering silhouette especially if you are already in shape. Yes, comfort is one thing but big, baggy clothes are never a good look especially with dressy outfits. You can do these simple things to nail a better fit:

  • Invest in a good tailor
  • Try a size or fit down
  • If it doesn’t fit, pass it on
  • Stay active and exercise

Remember, when it comes to good style, fit is king!

Rule 5 – Always match your leathers

There are no ifs and buts – the same tones of leather should always stick together. The problem isn’t so much in the colors but the materials because leathers are slightly shiny in texture, so mixing different colors just causes each piece to fight for attention. This rule extends beyond accessories. Every bit of leather that you are wearing should be in complete tonal harmony so keep that in mind the next time you want to throw on a pair of brown oxfords with a black belt.

Have you been conscious of these style rules? If not, I urge you to be intentional about your looks. It might take a little getting used to the rules but when you see the power and the impact it has on your looks, you will never go back. Remember – look good, feel good and do good and if you are already on that train, then great, you are already ahead of the curve.

By King Aguguo

King Aguguo is a local and international model, actor, and entrepreneur, lives in Maryland USA. He is passionate about fashion and it's accessories and therefore launched FASHIONTRENDSNEWS.ORG as a platform to inform, advise, and interact with his fans and the general public in making an informed decision with their fashion statement.

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