While menswear trends rarely change, it’s surprising how difficult dressing up can be. The wrong cut or fit will make a look sloppy. Luckily, it’s all about the basics for men. Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re looking just as sharp as your date.
Buy a suit
If the dress code allows it, ditch the tux and opt for a suit. While the tux is the go-to for formal occasions, a suit’s versatility will make the investment worthwhile. By buying a suit in a neutral colour (such as black, gray or a deep navy), you can wear it to multiple occasions, such as your cousin’s wedding, your first big job interview, etc.
Make sure your suit fits
There’s nothing worse than seeing a young man in a ill-fitting suit. A suit is all about proportions, and when it fits, it should make you look taller and leaner, not like you’re swimming in fabric. A great suit jacket should fit close to the body when buttoned up. If you feel like moving will cause the seams to split, then it’s too tight. If you feel like you can play basketball in it, it’s too big.
Also, keep the shoulders in check. A suit jacket’s shoulder pads should hit your shoulders, not beyond. Make sure the jacket’s length works for you. The sleeves end where your wrist meets the base of your thumb and the bottom of your jacket meets your knuckles. Look at red carpet photos of celebrities that have builds similar to yours. Study them and see how the widths of their lapels and ties work with their size. Last, go for slim pants (not skinny) that are hemmed to prevent fabric pooling around your shoes.
Avoid square-toed shoes
Don’t ruin all the hard work you put in finding a suit that fits with square-toed shoes. These shoes ruin the lean, slender silhouette a great suit creates. Opt for a shoe that tapers off more gently at the toe.
FOR THE MORE ADVENTUROUS…
If you feel you can afford to make this investment, try a shawl collar tuxedo or dinner jacket. The look is classy and will keep you from looking like everyone else.
Inspiration: Drake at the Grammys
If you’re a Doctor Who fan, then you know bow ties are cool. Keep it classic with the black bow tie, or try out some patterned ones. Don’t buy a clip on. Man up and find a YouTube tutorial and learn how to tie one.
Inspiration: Ryan Gosling at the Cannes Film Festival premiere for Drive, 2011.
Make your look more interesting with a checkered or striped shirt. Just make sure the patterns don’t clash with your neckwear. You can always go the other way around by pairing a patterned tie with a crisp shirt. Keep it simple by picking one or the other. Mixing patterns is for advanced menswear fanatics, and when it’s not done right, the result can cause a bit of a headache.
Inspiration: Darren Criss in GQ
Above all, have fun and remember, Barney Stinson got it right: girls love guys in suits. Why do you think we’re all in love with Ryan Gosling?