Gentlemen, style is a language that takes time to learn. However, we all pick up a couple of key phrases on the plane before visiting a non-English-speaking country, right? Portami dal tuo sarto, pronto yeah! Style is no different. So fast-track your education with the following tips and tricks that will immediately upgrade your look by taking care of the finer details that many men continue to neglect.
Make A Statement
Buy a statement piece that’s unique to you. Elton John was a patron of the rebel tailor of Savile Row, Tommy Nutter, in the 1970s and would ask Tommy to, “make me something so you can see me coming from the other end of the street”.
Not all the real estate in your wardrobe needs to be a statement, but there should be one haymaker that will distinguish you from the rest when the time comes. Be it a lounge suit that fits you like a glove or a Canada Goose Select coat that just ticks all the boxes.
It’s not about being overtly flashy or loud for the sake of it, but more about purchasing something that resonates quality and most importantly, makes you feel comfortable. It’s likely to hit you relatively hard in the wallet but, as per Ape’s Ten Commandments of Menswear, when you buy the best you only cry once.
Make Friends With A Tailor
Locating and then building a personal relationship with a high-quality tailor is imperative if you want to look and feel your best. Bianca Jagger is one of the most overlooked style icons of the 1970s; she was renowned for being super-meticulous when it came to getting the exact fit, often needing 5, 6, sometimes 7 fittings on a pair of trousers. Half an inch here, half an inch there – it all makes a difference to your overall look.
Unless you’re Mr Average, off-the-rack clothing will never fit you correctly, whether it’s a simple white T-shirt or pair of chinos. A truly stylish gentleman knows that you can only achieve a perfect fit through after-purchase alterations. A truly great tailor will also offer advice on fit and sculpt your clothing to highlight your best parts, while helping to conceal any areas you’re not as confident about.
It’s not just suits that can be altered, either. You’ll be surprised what a good tailor (or seamstress) can do: they can thin the leg out; dart a shirt to accentuate your triangular physique; rescue an ill-fitting jacket; or repair your favourite jeans, extending their lifespan.
Once you’ve located a tailor you can trust, look to build a long-term relationship with them. This will enable your tailor to learn your unique quirks, what you like, and how you prefer your clothes to fit, meaning they can offer personalised advice that will make the most of what god gave you.
Act Your Age
If you’re a mature gentleman, think twice about those garish graphic tees and skinny ripped jeans – not only are they passing fashion trends, but in truth, they don’t look particularly great on younger guys, even now. Dressing your age doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to a life of plain turtleneck sweaters, but retiring some of those “nostalgic” garments will be a step towards the light.
A good tip here is to keep things simple. Buy high-quality basics and invest – these are the type of pieces you will get your cost per wear from. If you were restocking your jeans selection, for example, opt for a classic slim- or straight-cut pair (two cuts that will never fall out of fashion) in indigo selvedge denim, then pick up a black pair for contrast. Look to brands that specialise in high-quality, value-for-money denim, such as A.P.C., Levi’s, Edwin, Nudie or Uniqlo.
Apply the same principles to your entire wardrobe and no matter what you reach for, you will always look on point – no matter how old you feel inside.
Pinterest Is A Gold Mine Of Inspiration
The social network isn’t all interiors and “inspirational” quotes – it’s packed full of men’s style inspiration these days. It’s also a great place to keep on top of topics and/or specific people that inspire you. You could follow pages dedicated to modern style icons, such as David Beckham or Daniel Craig, for example. Or maybe you’re a fan of Peaky Blinders’ heritage aesthetic. Having a hub of imagery at your disposal will not only lend your wardrobe more steer, but give you pointers on where to shop.
Ape uses Pinterest a lot for photography shoot inspiration – locations, setup and new ideas. It’s a great tool, and best of all costs you nothing. Give it a try – you’ll be surprised at the quality of imagery on there, the levels of curation that some of the users go to, and its sheer variety – there’s a niche for every taste.
Keep It All In
The quotidian of your shirt making a run for it, constantly unfurling itself from your trouser waistband every time you reach for something, can be deeply infuriating. Well, no more. These unruly shirt hems’ days are numbered. Garters are making their way over to the modern man’s accessory drawer once again, or for a truly modern approach, shirtmakers like Hawes & Curtis now offer a plethora of choices in shirting lengths, including sleeve and body.
Painfully, this also leads on to your active (or inactive) lifestyle and diet. If you eat better, drink less alcohol and hit the gym or sports field more often – not only will that middle-aged paunch start to recede but you’ll boast a better shape, feel more confident, and your clothes will fit as they should.