Ah, the elusive goal of being stylish in a suit.
A goal many of us share. And if you are reading this blog post, it is very possible that you also share this goal too.
So, we do what any intelligent man would do, we start developing our own classic style is being reading a plethora of style magazines, books, seek help from a style consultant, watch videos, or read the occasional menswear style blog.
That’s pretty much how it goes for most of us. The exception being those men that are natural masters of style, you know, the Christopher Korey type of guy. It just comes organically to him, but for the rest of us… we follow instructions.
Ideally, this is a good way to dip your toes into the pool that is style; realizing what it is about it that you like (and moreover what you don’t like) and then applying it to the way you put together your own ensembles.
But in practice, things can go wrong, especially when getting information that is all over the place and coming from different sources with widely differing opinions.
The Risk Of Following Style Guidance From Countless Sources
Staying informed from different sources is find and dandy: It’s part of doing a thorough research in any field. But there are risks that come with it, particularly when dealing with style and applying all the things you learn in your own life.
You see, the predicament is, different sources can give you very different and what’s worse, contradicting information!
One blog will say your wardrobe must be bursting with bow ties while a popular magazine will completely discredit bow ties and recommend you never wear them at all.
Same goes for colors, fabrics, and any other area of style you can imagine. Contradicting advice is all over the place.
The problem has its genesis in the fact that many publications will depend a lot on trends. What is popular today will be praised as long as it remains trendy; and the moment it goes out of style, their support for said trend goes out the window (it’s all business, after all).
And then of course, beyond trends and their risks, we cannot forget the fact that different bloggers and style writers have different tastes and attitudes towards style.
The real complication here is that you might end up following different suggestions that don’t really work that well together.
Which leads me to the main point of this blog post: if you are serious about attaining a timeless and successful style, you can start forgetting about most advice you have ever read or heard.
There is however, one single advice you should follow closely: simplify your style
Why Simplifying Your Style Is The Best You Can Do
I am sure you’ve personally witnessed what happens when bad advice and a wildly imaginative mind decide to collaborate. Let’s say horror ensues.
If you follow many style accounts and bloggers on Instagram (or any other platform, for that matter), take a moment to go thorugh your feed and you’ll probably find hundreds of examples of what I’m talking about: bold and colorful suits, patterned shirts, immense cufflinks, loud pocket squares, weirdly shaped tie bars, huge boutonnieres, bracelets in excess and whatever else you can imagine.
None of these things are a problem per se (well, to be frank I do have a problem with mustache-shaped tie bars. I mean, c’mon, it can’t just be me…).
The real problem is wearing all of this together in one damn single outfit.
Sorry, and some will hate me for saying this, but it’s dreadful. This isn’t a competition to see which suit can resist more weight. Drop it.
Do you really want to attain that style goal you have in mind? In my opinion, when it comes to achieving a classic, timeless and outstanding style, less is more. Less is better.
No matter how popular a certain trend is at a certain moment in time. If you can recognize it for what it is, just a fading trend, you’re better off simply ignoring it.
Look at the most successful dressers out there. You don’t see them adding accessories on top of their accessories. You won’t see them wearing 20 different colors in a single outfit either.
So, what can we learn from them? What’s their trick? What’s the secret?
They keep it simple. And you can, too.
An Easy To Follow Rule To Simplify Your Style
So now that I’ve addressed the very common problem that is a cluttered style and where it comes from, I feel it’s only fair to give you all some good and practical guidance so that you can avoid falling into this deceptive trap.
The basics: I call this the rule of the three threes. Sounds dumb, but it’s super helpful. There are three areas where you can easily go over the top, so I recommend keeping those down to three of each at a maximum.
3 areas, 3 variations. Something like that, I know it’s confusing. Okay, here’s a better explanation:
- Omitting your tie if you are wearing one, keep it down to three accessories tops. Yes, this includes your watch. And yes, this includes bracelets too. Sorry guys, that’s just how it is.
- Not as easy to avoid as overaccessorizing, but not too hard either. Just make sure you have three dominant colors – one for your suit, one for your shirt and one for your tie. Keep the rest of your colors matching closely to any of these three colors. Kaleidoscopes are nice, but leaving your mortal body behind to become a living kaleidoscope isn’t.
- Now this one is tricky, I won’t lie. But again, the rule of three applies very well here. Never go overboard with more than 3 different patterns combined in a single outfit. And most importantly, make sure the patterns don’t match each other in their dimensions. (Read here more about matching stripes when wearing suit).
And that’s it. That’s my rule of the three threes. Easier than it sounds (or maybe it was just my lack of ability to describe what it actually is).
Follow closely these easy directions and you’ll be stylish, elegant, and timeless, which is what this whole blog post is about.
Ain’t that awesome? Can you see that goal of being stylish getting closer and closer? Sure you do!
All I’m Saying Is Give Simplicty A Change
Next time you’re about to suit up, come back to this post. Read it. Restrain from going over the top. And proceed to kill it.
You’ll see huge improvements in your style without much effort and without carrying around tons of things you don’t really need.
Voilà, that’s it for this post, gents.