The only six style tips you’ll ever need
This content has been created in collaboration with Lacoste
The difference between fashion and style is that while the former comes and goes with the changing seasons, the latter is a timeless, intangible quality that never gets old, and never fails to make a statement. So while those camo print shorts or that Hawaiian shirt may have a transient place in your wardrobe, there are certain essentials that you must never neglect. To ensure you always look, feel and smell your best, just follow these simple rules.
1. Have a signature scent
The importance of looking your best – not least for your prospects of securing a promotion at work and for your own self-confidence – has been well documented. But don’t turn your nose up at the role that the olfactory system plays when it comes to style. A recent Oxford University study showed that people will see you in a far more favourable light if they like the way you smell.
The key is to have a recognisable scent that is unquestionably yours; that announces your presence in a simple, classic, quiet way. You can’t go wrong with Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Blanc. Cool, crisp and refreshing, but with masculine base notes of cedar wood and leather, it’s pure and simple enough to wear every day, but with enough idiosyncrasy to make you stand out from the crowd and turn heads for all the right reasons.
2. Get the basics white
There are three items of clothing that every man needs in his wardrobe: a white t-shirt, a white polo shirt and a white shirt. Notice the theme? It’s no coincidence, because while garish colours and shouty prints can be fun, they hardly exude timeless style. A clean, crisp, white top, on the other hand, can be dressed up or down, day or night, and will never go out of fashion. Always go for quality: you may not see the point in forking out for a plain tee, but with no loud colours or patterns, there’s nowhere for a cheap fabric or a poor fit to hide.
3. Go in feet first
You wouldn’t build a house from the roof down, would you? Getting dressed is no different. “Start from the bottom up,” says award-winning menswear designer Oliver Spencer. “Shoes are the foundation of a look. Build the rest of your outfit from them.” So rather than picking a shirt and trying to construct the rest of your outfit around that, find your feet – whether you’re keeping it casual or dressing to impress, completing a coherent and stylish look will be a much simpler task if you start at the ground floor.
4. Stay trim
When it comes to facial hair, today’s hipster bush is tomorrow’s fisherman’s fuzz. A clean-shaven visage is a safe bet, of course, but if you do want to rock a beard without succumbing to trends, keep it short, sharp and simple. From Ryan Reynolds to Ryan Gosling via Bradley Cooper, a neatly trimmed beard that still allows you to see the natural contours of your face will give you an aura of masculinity without making you look like a fluffy, cuddly bear. “As a rule, the squarer the shape the better your beard will look,” says Adam Brady from London Barbershop Ruffians. “It immediately slims the face and looks more masculine at the same time.”
5. Ease up on accessories
A well-deployed pocket square can add a refreshing flash of colour to a simple suit, but match it with a statement tie, novelty cufflinks and “party” socks and you’ll suddenly look more circus clown than man about town. You can have too much of a good thing, so resist the urge to mix and match talking point accessories – simply pick one item as a focal point.
6. Wear a suit that suits you
Whether you wear one for work or only dust yours off for special occasions, a well-fitting suit is the mark of a stylish man. While most guys can tell whether a jacket fits the bill (sleeves that reveal a half-inch of shirt cuff, shoulders in line with your own), it’s the bottom half of the equation where even the most stylish men can come a cropper. Start with the socks: colour-matching them to your suit will lengthen your leg. (Of equal value whether your stature is more akin to Danny DeVito or LeBron James.)Next up, lose the belt. Most suit trousers come with side adjusters – not just useful for keeping your dignity intact, but also for creating a clean silhouette, top to bottom. Belts perform the unfortunate visual trick of cutting your body in two and drawing attention to your waistline. Just remember: true style is simple, so keep your silhouette pure to make sure you always look your best.
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