Gentlemen, Please – Perfect Fit, Perfect Look, Part 1

Never one to neglect a perfect gentleman, this week I offer some style tips and how to nail the perfect fit.

As I have mentioned before in my style columns, perfect fit is key to looking ones best.

While many are wrapped up in sizes, labels and being “on trend”, I think style is an evolution.

I believe we grow into our style, and hopefully wear it with confidence.

This can often mean experimenting, trying items you maybe have shied away from.

Always remember fashion is flexible, but should always be flattering!

First a few tips on perfect fit.

Collars, cuffs and coats, where to start?

Well, let’s start with the shirt.

A perfect fit collar should just graze the neck, allow a 2 finger gap for comfort, but no more.

Cuffs should fall to where the palm begins and be tight enough so they don’t ride up.

Armholes shouldn’t be tight around the shoulder.

Make sure the shirt is long enough so if you are reaching for the top shelf it stays tucked in.

Always check the style of shirt on the tag. Is it slim fit or relaxed?

My husband needs relaxed, as he is very broad in the shoulder and across the chest, while his brother looks fabulous in a slim fit, perfect for his slimmer physique.

Doing a little research before shopping will make the task much simpler, and help avoid disappointment.

Just like women shopping for jeans, it can be disheartening for the male of the species too.

Jackets should never pull across the chest when buttoned up and should just cover the tush! Buttons may be confusing.

Do you fasten them all up?

With a 3 button jacket, follow the “sometimes, always, never” rule.

That is top button, sometimes, middle, always and bottom button, never.

With a 2 button, always and never!

When choosing a coat, keep in mind what you will be wearing underneath it.

A warmer winter may only need a sweater, while a cooler northern hemisphere temperature will call for more layers, thus more room is needed.

Coat sleeves should be longer than your jacket, so as not to reveal the under layer of clothing.

Pants should fit so they don’t need a belt.

That being said, wear one anyway. It is a much better finish.

And always line up the bottom of your tie with the centre of your belt.

We all need basics in our wardrobe, those pieces that are tried and tested. I’ll run through a few must haves for the masculine closet.

This week, 5 pairs of shoes every man must own.

The black dress shoe.

Suitable for everyday work wear and formal occasions, usually lace up.

If you can only afford one pair, make it these.

The brown dress shoe, classic but less formal and great with a navy suit.

The ankle boot.

These are functional and can be worn with varying styles e.g. jeans or suits.

Square toe and black leather can be worn with almost any style of pants.

The sneaker. Perfect with blue jeans and a casual shirt for weekend outings.

The casual shoe.

Not a dress shoe and not an ankle boot. These should be sleek and structured, just right for a slightly upmarket feel from the sneaker.

My rule of thumb with shoes, if they are ill-fitting it will show on your face.

Try to allocate a decent chunk of your shopping budget to the shoe. Sale time is excellent for nabbing a bargain, and a great cobbler is heaven sent.

Look after your shoes and you will have them a life time. Remember weight may change, foot size remains the same and women always notice a fabulous shoe.

Polish shoes regularly, this will keep leather in tip top condition, as too will having them heeled and soled.

Next week I’ll offer more tips on perfecting the male wardrobe!

Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor The Culture Concept Circle 2013

Read Gentlemen, Please – Perfect Fit, Perfect Look, Part Two



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