The only thing better than a well-dressed man is a well-dressed man who isn’t afraid to step out of the box and knows how to make a fashion statement. We humans have a strong instinct towards self-preservation, which means we tend to stick with what’s familiar and safe. When you’re on a safari or hacking your way through the Amazonian rainforest, that inclination is a good thing.
When it comes to fashion, it’s boring. Sure, you may commit a faux-pas here and there, but the only way to reach your full fashion potential is to be fearless.
Next time you’re feeling daring, trying one of these style risks and prepare for glory.
Bold colours are high on the risk list for many men, which makes the colour blocking trend feel particularly daunting. Colour blocking uses two or more solid segments of colour in a single outfit in a mix of warm, cool, or complementary tones.
Here is where the colour wheel from art class comes in handy.One approach to colour blocking blends shades from either a warm or cool palette, and anchors them with neutral tones. A second approach uses complementary/contrasting colours – opposites on the colour wheel – to give an outfit a bright but harmonious look.
Don’t be afraid to pair clashing colours, but mix no more than 3 or 4 in one ensemble.
Believe it or not, you can rock a white suit without looking like Colonel Sanders, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, or anyone on the set of Miami Vice. It’s a dandified, devilishly stylish look that’s criminally underused.
Think of it as the summer equivalent of your grey and navy suits – a neutral that’s seasonally-appropriate and versatile. As per usual, the suit must be well-fitted first and foremost.
Then you’re free to experiment – team it with a tee for a dressed-down occasion, wear it with a gingham shirt for a more formal event, and separate the jacket and trousers for even more sartorial possibilities.
Two-tone shoes are a smart choice when you want to take a simple look to the next level with minimal effort. The most famous two-tone shoe is the spectator, allegedly first designed by legendary English footwear maker John Lobb.
Wearing a two-toned shoe adds a distinctly retro feel to a modern outfit, so avoid anything else with a vintage look unless you’re deliberately trying to create a costume. Otherwise, the footwear world is your oyster and you can be as audacious or as safe as you want to be in your colour choices. Consider mixing materials while you’re at it.
Socks are one of the smallest garments that can have a big impact on an outfit. They’re also one of the most inexpensive ways to rev up your getup. Block colours are the easiest place to start. Try to pick out accent colours in your look and contrast or complement your socks accordingly.
For slightly more advanced levels of sockery, try rocking a pair with a print or pattern. The sky’s nearly the limit, just don’t match a pattern that’s already in the rest of your look. If you’re wearing an argyle cardigan, save the argyle socks for another day.
Wearing Your Watch On The Outside Of Your Cuff
We can practically hear your confused cries of “Huh?” through the screen, but hear us out. On one hand, wearing a watch on the outside of your cuff looks innovative and unique – the perfect expression of sprezzatura. But on the other hand, it’s simply a practical move.
If your watch is on the outside, you don’t have to worry about it being too big to fit underneath and you don’t have to peel away your clothing in order to tell the time. Besides, why hide your carefully chosen timepiece beneath layers of fabric when you could show your good taste off?
Gilet Under Your Suit Blazer
During the cooler months, layering is the name of the game. The shirt-jumper-jacket look is most men’s go-to, but for the guy who’s looking for something a little more unusual, there’s another option: the gilet. The gilet can be worn as an outer layer, but it’s equally interesting (if not more so) as a mid-layer.
Look for one that’s fitted and not too puffy, then pop it between your shirt and your suit blazer for a new twist on office attire. Just remember to take it off when you get indoors. If you need more help check out our guide on how to wear the gilet with a blazer.
The Document Satchel (AKA Man Purse)
Your father carted around a bulky black briefcase. In your university days, you carried a nylon laptop bag (or maybe a messenger bag, if you were an especially stylish student). Neither of those will do now. Every man needs a reliable and sophisticated work bag. Throwing a backpack over your suit simply won’t do, nor will stuffing important papers into your pockets.
The answer is a document satchel, which is both functional and a stylish way of maintaining your professional image. If anyone dares call it a purse, tell them you can’t hear them over the sound of your corner office.
Wearing A Hat
The classic fedora hat catches a lot of flak these days, but well-dressed gents aren’t afraid to rock a hat no matter what the Internet says. First, familiarise yourself with the many hat styles available to you. If you think headgear begins and ends with the fedora, you have much to learn. Then figure out what works with your facial features and your hairstyle.
A hat is an adventurous, original accent – but remember that the hat doesn’t make the outfit, the hat completes the outfit. If the hat is wearing you, something needs to change.