72 Style Quotes Every Modern Gentleman Should Live By

If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a style rut, a few inspiring words can be all it takes to get you thinking differently. Over the years, some of the world’s greatest minds have turned their attention to style. Their observations and thoughts on the matter can help you to refine the way you present yourself.

Here we run down the best quotes about men’s style, from some of the leading names in fashion, literature and beyond. Looking for inspiration? This would be a good place to begin, gentlemen.

1. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” – Oscar Wilde

2. “I often take a brand new suit or hat and throw it up against the wall a few times to get that stiff, square newness out of it.” – Fred Astaire

3. “You don’t find a style. A style finds you.” – Keith Richards

4. “To achieve the nonchalance, which is absolutely necessary for a man, one article at least must not match.” – Hardy Amies

5. “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

6. “Every man should have a magnifying mirror. If you look good magnified, you are set to go” – Tom Ford

7.Shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally.” — Christian Louboutin

8. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

9. “Know first who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.” – Epictetus

10. “People always ask me what the latest fashion trends are, but I’m not a believer in trends. Individuality is more important to me, to stand out and have the confidence to wear something you’re comfortable in – it just happens. I’m comfortable wearing a suit.” – David Gandy

David Gandy for M&S

11. “Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” — Bo Derek

12. “Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self, and helps define me as a man to whom details matter.” – Gay Talese

13. “Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are.” – Quentin Crisp

14. “If you can’t be better than your competition, just dress better.” – Anna Wintour

15. “If people turn to look at you on the street, you are not well dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.” – Beau Brummel

16. “Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough.” – Larry David

17. “Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” — Lauren Hutton

18. “Music has shaped men’s fashion and transposed in a playful and witty manner its riding or military heritage. It is difficult to figure out who leads but music and fashion are connected genetically.” – Hedi Slimane

19. “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” – Marc Jacobs

20. “Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” – Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

21. “To be noticed without striving to be noticed, this is what elegance is about.” – Luciano Barbera

22. “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” – Orson Welles

23. “The difference between style and fashion is quality.” – Giorgio Armani

24. “People will stare. Make it worth their while.” — Harry Winston

25. “We define a metrosexual as someone who really takes care of themselves in terms of grooming and style. There is nothing wrong with that. But I think you need to have some other values. It’s cool to incorporate some traditional values into metrosexuality. Then it becomes a good lifestyle.” – Frank Vincent

26. “Style is when they’re running you out of town and you make it look like you’re leading the parade.” – William Battie

27. “Good grooming is integral and impeccable style is a must. If you don’t look the part, no one will want to give you time or money.” – Daymond John

28. “It is both delusional and stupid to think that clothes don’t really matter and we should all wear whatever we want. Most people don’t take clothing seriously enough, but whether we should or not, clothes do talk to us and we make decisions based on people’s appearances.” – G. Bruce Boyer

29. “Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you – don’t bother me.’” – Yohji Yamamoto

30. “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.” – Hardy Amies

Hardy Amies

31. “Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.” – Alexander Wang

32. “Create your own visual style… Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” – Orson Welles

33. “Dress like you’ve made something of yourself in the world, even if you haven’t.” – Unknown

34. “Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing. To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it. To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.” – Charles Bukowski

35. “Style is the perfection of a point of view.” – Richard Eberhart

36. “Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment.” – Alexander McQueen

37. “Men with style are great because they have a sense of self.” – Lexa Doig

38. “The style of studied nonchalance is the psychological triumph of grace over order.” – G. Bruce Boyer

39. “I can go all over the world with just three outfits: a blue blazer and grey flannel pants, a grey flannel suit, and black tie.” – Pierre Cardin

40. “All it takes are a few simple outfits. And there’s one secret – the simpler the better.” – Cary Grant

Cary Grant

41. “Men tell me that I’ve saved their marriages. It costs them a fortune in shoes, but it’s cheaper than a divorce.” – Manolo Blahnik

42. “The well-dressed man is he whose clothes you never notice.” – William Somerset Maugham

43.Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he’s got it all.” – James Brown

44. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

45. “Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.” – Henry David Thoreau

46. “Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.” – Giorgio Armani

47. “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” – Oscar Wilde

48. “My style – it’s black and it’s expensive.” – Mark Healey

49. “A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.” – George Bernard Shaw

50. “Make it simple, but significant.” — Don Draper

Don Draper

51. “Tis hell to a man of spirit to be contradicted by his tailor.” – Richard Garnett

52. “Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.” – Charles Hix

53. “I think in black.” – Gareth Pugh

54. “Like every good man, I strive for perfection, and, like every ordinary man, I have found that perfection is out of reach – but not the perfect suit.” – Edward Tivnan

55. “Style is primarily a matter of instinct.” — Bill Blass

56. “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” – Oscar Wilde

57. “Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts.” – Jim Morrison

58. “Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance.” – Arthur Ashe

59. “Never wear anything that panics the cat.” – P.J. O’Rourke

60.Dressing well is a form of good manners.” – Tom Ford

Tom Ford

61. “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” — Rachel Zoe

62. “Fashion is an art. You express who you are through what you’re wearing.” – Daniele Donato

63. “To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – there are hints about who you are in what you wear.” – Marc Jacobs

64. “Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots.” – Albert Einstein

65. “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” – Gianni Versace

66. “A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men.” – Unknown

67. “The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, and the way others react to us.” – Julie Rasband

68. “A good lather is half the shave.” – William Hone

69. “Almost every man looks more so in a belted trench coat.” – Sydney J. Harris

70. “The best things you can do for your skin are not smoke, always use sunscreen and drink a lot of water.” – Sela Ward

71. “Buy less, choose well.” — Vivienne Westwood

72. “Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it.” – Unknown

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is Ape's Style Editor. His work has been published in Esquire, Men’s Health, ShortList, The Independent and more. An outerwear and sneaker fanatic, his finger is firmly on the pulse for the latest trends, while always maintaining an interest in classic style.